When It’s Hard To Be Grateful On Thanksgiving

When It’s Hard To Be Grateful On Thanksgiving

DaySpring Cards

DaySpring.com

When It’s Hard to be Grateful on Thanksgiving

It’s a story of sacrifice and survival; partnership and progress.

It was our country’s very first Thanksgiving.

Imagine the challenges the first settlers endured in 1620. They left everyone they knew and everything that was familiar. The Mayflower carried 102 voyagers across the Atlantic on a 66-day journey full of sickness and storms. That winter, nearly half of the voyagers died from disease and lack of shelter.

Yet, when the harvest season arrived, they set aside three full days to give thanks. In spite of the hardships, there was still much to be grateful for. They were alive. They were welcomed as strangers into a new land. The natives taught them how to grow their own crops. They had food to eat and friends to share it with. And…they had religious freedom, which is the very reason they came.

The settlers’ simple decision to be intentionally grateful led to centuries of Americans doing the same every November.

Let’s be real though. In some seasons of life, being grateful is just plain hard. We find ourselves overwhelmed with circumstances and underwhelmed with relationships. With preoccupied minds and aching hearts, it goes against our nature to give thanks anyway. But that’s exactly what the Lord asks of us.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

But…

How can we give thanks if we lost our job?

How can we give thanks if we’ve been diagnosed with a disease?

How can we give thanks if we can’t conceive?

How can we give thanks if our friend refuses to talk to us?

How can we give thanks if we are spending the holidays alone…again?

How can we give thanks if our marriage is falling apart?

How can we give thanks if our child is suffering?

How can we give thanks if we lost a loved one?

How can we give thanks if we don’t know what the future holds?

Because even though we are struggling, our God is still sacred.

In each difficult situation, our Creator gives us glimpses of hope in a sacred silver lining. It’s the place where God is working all things together for good. It’s where the hidden blessings are stored. They aren’t always easy to find, but they’re always there.

The secret to giving thanks in all circumstances is to find His sacred lining.

We will find His sacred lining when we give thanks for what we do have, instead of complaining about what we don’t have.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13 NLT

We will find His sacred lining when we give thanks for what is right instead of worrying about what is wrong.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

We will find His sacred lining when we give thanks for the process instead of grumbling about the problem.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 NLT

We will find His sacred lining when we give thanks to God first.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1 NIV

Before we gather around the table this year, gobbling up turkey and a slice of pumpkin pie, let’s be intentional about giving thanks no matter what. We can be personal about it by starting a gratitude journal, or we can share it with others in a prayer before dinner. Yes, circumstances can be challenging. Yes, relationships can be broken. But we serve a God who is for us, not against us. There is a holy gift waiting for us amidst the hardship. Let’s look hard for His sacred lining and give thanks to God when we find it, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day.


Know someone who is having a difficult holiday? Send them 
a handwritten greeting cardencouraging Ecard or check out our Difficult Times section to find just the right gift to lift their spirits this season.  

Be Thankful People

Be Thankful People

Crosswalk.com

Be Thankful for People
This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

I thank my God every time I remember you. 
—Philippians 1:3 

Thanksgiving Sunday is here, and across our country, pastors are preaching sermons pointing out the need for Christ-followers to be thankful people. As a pastor, I’ve made impassioned pleas for Christ-followers to rise above our culture… to resist the temptation for the holiday season to be simply another opportunity for us to be self-focused and self-indulgent. Thanksgiving isn’t just about eating to the brink of explosion; shopping to the brink of bankruptcy; watching television to the brink of insanity. I’ve tried to make the point that Thanksgiving for a person who loves God can be so much more.

Even so, I discovered in my own life that despite what I’ve preached, I have missed a crucial element in the process of being a thankful follower of Jesus in my own life. I found that over the years I have been mostly thankful for the THINGS in my life; for food, finances, the house I have lived in, the clothes I have worn, and so on. While there’s nothing wrong with being thankful for these things, I have missed the boat on giving thanks for the biggest blessings of God in my life… PEOPLE.

Consider how empty, purposeless, and meaningless our lives would be without relationships. Relationships have shaped who we are and who we are becoming. Without exception, everyone I know has been positively influenced by other people. While it is easy to thank God for the THINGS in our lives, we should remember to be equally thankful for the PEOPLE God has placed in our lives as well!

Let me give you just one example. I am thankful for my Aunt Patty. She had suffered a brain injury when she was a small child severe enough that by the time I was born, she had become mentally disabled. But, when I was a child, she would play games and entertain me for hours. She loved me unconditionally. We would play The Beatles records and pretend to be Paul McCartney and John Lennon. It was her love for music that infected my soul for the rest of my life. I thank God for her!

How about you? Who do you thank God for? Today, take a few moments and thank God for the relationships in your life. Truthfully, it can revolutionize your life. Happy Thanksgiving!

GOING DEEPER:

1. Make a list of the people who have shaped your life. Share the list with your friends and family.

2. How easy is it to just thank God for things in your life? How can you live a lifestyle of thankfulness more consistently?

FURTHER READING:

[Psalms 150Philemon 1]

For more information and resources please visit HomeWord.com.

Remember To Give Thanks…

Remember To Give Thanks…

Crosswalk.com

Remember to Give Thanks

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:15–16 NKJV)

The Bible tells the story of ten men who had a lot to give thanks for. They were miraculously touched by Jesus. Prior to this touch, they were complete outcasts, the very scourge of society. These men had leprosy, and you couldn’t get any lower in that particular time in history with this incurable disease.

If a man was found to have leprosy, he could have no contact with others. He had to leave his house and his friends and live apart from them. So here were these men living an isolated, miserable, lonely life. But they heard about Jesus. They heard how He had touched others and healed them.

So they called out to the Lord and asked for His healing touch. Now these men were standing before Jesus in various stages of decay. Their clothing would have been ripped from perpetual mourning. Their skeletal heads would have been uncovered. They would have been required, according to the Law of Moses, to cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!” wherever they went.

But Jesus did not respond to them with special effects or even a dramatic touch. He simply said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14 NKJV). So that is what they did. And guess what? They were healed.

We are so quick to ask for God’s help, but let’s remember to be just as quick in giving Him praise when He comes through.

Copyright © 2019 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

Internet/Phone Struggles Live On…

Internet/Phone Struggles Live On…

Hello Sweet Friends,

I was able to upload the SABJC video of the day but not our Weekly Prayer Project. My apologies!! And today’s Weekly Prayer Project is GREAT!!! The Names of God!! 

I will keep trying. And if all fails, I will wake early hopefully before the network gets busy. Our internet phones are linked and after 6 weeks…still absolutely no resolution…and sadly it is honestly worse. Please pray we can get this resolved. Friday we made over 12 calls in for 2 hours and 20 minutes. Truly a lesson in patience!! 😉

Please keep praying,

k 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Verses…

Weekly Verses…

Monday
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
For Christians, God’s temple is one of two related things: either the Christian’s body (1 Cor. 6:19-20) or the group of people who make up his Church (1 Cor. 3:16). Because of the flaws of the people in our churches, many are hypercritical of them. But God’s Church is precious to him and should be to us. Anyone who destroys his church through division will be utterly destroyed. God’s faithfulness to his people is seen in his preservation of the Church through all the ravages and persecutions of history. But God is still the center of the Church and he alone is to be exalted and the Church is still to be governed by his word and not just their own will.
MY PRAYER…
Holy and matchless God, I praise you for your steadfast love and faithfulness revealed in the preseveration of your Church through all of history. I promise to cherish your Church and do all I can to help it grow and mature to be more like Jesus, but I recognize that you and you alone are to be exalted above all other things and that my church must never be more important than your will revealed in your word. Give me the courage to be true to you even if my church may not be. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Tuesday
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Of all the names for God in the Bible, this is my favorite: Him who is able to do immeasurably more. Our God is the same God who parted the Red Sea and fed 5,000 on a green hillside with only a couple of sardine sandwiches. He longs to do more than we ask and imagine, but most of us haven’t really given him much of a challenge. Dream big dreams for God. Then hang on!
MY PRAYER…
Almighty and awesome God, do in our day what you did in past days. Give us faith to believe and then amaze us at the smallness of our faith. Give us vision to see your plan and do greater things. We ask this, not for ourselves or our experience, but for your glory and the salvation of our world. In Jesus name. Amen.
Wednesday
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
God made the world in 6 days. Now he sustains it with his powerful word. But in each of us, he is still at work and will continue to work to his glory (seePhilippians 2:12-13) until Christ comes to take us home!
MY PRAYER…
Thank you Father, for being at work in my life. I confess that at times you seem distant, but looking back over the crucial moments where things were held in the balance, I can see your fingerprints and your grace leading me to where I am today. Please make your presence more powerfully known in my life as I seek your will and live to your glory. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Thursday
Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
In the immense expanse of our universe, with its billions upon billions of stars, where our own tiny blue planet is only a small speck of sand on an inestimable seashore, God knows us each personally. Such knowledge it too wonderful to be true, and yet it is. God has shown us his love in Jesus to remind us that he not only knows us, but he cares for us.
MY PRAYER…
O Great God of the heavens, thank you for caring for me even though I am such a small part of your great work in the universe. Your love is beyond my comprehension, and yet it thrills me to know that in your grace one day I will see you face-to-face. Through Jesus I praise you. Amen.
Friday
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Like Esau, we get so diverted by the mundane things of life, the growling of our bellies, we forget the longer-range view of things. God’s word, his written word the Bible, his demonstrated Word in Jesus, and his proclaimed word in the Gospel, are what can sustain us eternally.
MY PRAYER…
True and Faithful God, through your Holy Spirit create in me a hunger for your word that is much more demanding of life than my hunger for food. I confess that at times I have been distracted by the mundane things of life and have not sought your word and have not nourished my soul. Please forgive me as I pledge myself to be more attentive to your leading and your truth through your word. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Saturday
God exalted him (Jesus) to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
When Jesus is exalted, when his name is praised and his glory confessed, rather than being insulted or blasphemed, God is honored. Praise be the glorious name of Jesus and the grace of our God!
MY PRAYER…
Precious Savior, Jesus Christ my Lord, your name is wonderful! Your sacrifice for my sin was so loving and generous. I am so thankful that our Father raised you from the dead and that through you I will be able to be with God and worship you all of eternity! You are glorious, Jesus my Lord!
Sunday
(Jesus said) “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Love is not just a feeling, but it is action. For us as believers, the action that most shows our love for Jesus is for us to be obedient to his words and his example.
MY PRAYER…
Father, thank you for showing your love in Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, for showing us how to love our Father by being obedient to his will and word. Today I pledge to conciously try to live in obedience to your will. Please receive my actions, words, and thoughts today as an offering of praise to you. In Jesus name. Amen.
Weekly Verses…

Weekly Verses…

Monday
Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds — his name is the Lord — and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
I can’t help but think of what James, Jesus’ brothers said: “Pure religion, undefiled before God the Father is this: keep oneself undefiled and care for orphans and widows in their distress.” Jesus showed clearly this was the Father’s heart in his ministry. Now it is up to us to continue it!
MY PRAYER…
Father, may my life, my compassion, and my ministry reflect your heart for those who need care and protection and love. Give me eyes to see this need more clearly and a heart to responded more certainly so that your love may be demonstrated through me. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Tuesday
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Mothers have such an inside road with children that it is interesting that God commands fathers to be about the work of spiritual nurture. I don’t believe he means to exclude mothers. No, I think he assumes they’ll do their part. But the father’s influence and intentional training is so essential.
MY PRAYER…
Abba Father, may my children come to find you in me. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Wednesday
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
For husbands, there is sacrificial love in our purpose and purpose in our sacrifice. We give up ourselves to love our wives. But Jesus is the example here, and he gave up everything. His purpose? Simply to make us holy. Our motives are to be equally as sacrificial and pure in surrendering our rights to bless and love our wives.
MY PRAYER…
Holy God, help our families to be full of love and may it begin with me, today. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Thursday
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his very soul?
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
We chase after so many different things. Only one thing is needed. Having a fist full of dollars, a great estate, and lots of prestige doesn’t mean a whole lot if you’ve gone to your ultimate address without the Lord. Even worse, is to find that in the middle of your busy-ness, you awake to find yourself in the barren land where Christ does not dwell and life is not found.
MY PRAYER…
Father, help me to keep my priorities right and my life holy and my heart open to your will rather than being blinded with my own self-seeking. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Friday
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
How good it is to be as close to God as his shadow and share in the comfort of his shelter. He is not far if our hearts choose to draw near him.
MY PRAYER…
O great Almighty God, tender Shepherd and Abba Father, make known to me your nearness. I long to live in your presence and reflect your holiness and grace. By Jesus’ blood I draw near to you in full assurance of your love and grace. Amen.
Saturday
The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Our lives are not lived alone. The Lord is with us personally. He holds each of futures and our safety in his hands. We live to serve him and go to be with him when we die. The Lord will keep us from all harm!
MY PRAYER…
Mighty Protector, Rock of my salvation. Thank you that my future is secure with you. Make this assurance the convicting power in my life to turn over my future and my life to you. Through Jesus I ask this. Amen.
Sunday
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and will not be faint.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
It is easy for us to live victoriously for the Lord when we soar on eagles wings. It can be exciting when we run and don’t grow weary in the work of the Lord, buoyed by his power and presence. But it often takes heroes to keep walking and not faint when trying times come. Keep on walking, brother and sister. The Lord is there when you most fear he has forgotten you!
MY PRAYER…
Majestic God, whose voice holds together our universe, give those who can barely walk under the stress and assault the strength to continue. I specifically want to pray for those I know personally who are facing trying times. Please, dear LORD, give them strength and meet their most pressings needs. Through the intercession of Jesus I ask it. Amen.
Devotional credit: Oneplace.com

 

Weekly Verses…

Weekly Verses…

Monday
Do not be deceived:   God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Galatians 6:7-8, New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Isn’t it incredible how huge trees grow out of tiny seeds! This principle runs throughout all of life.  We can never completely get away from the seeds we sow.  So let’s not fool ourselves while we’re trying to do a “snow job” on God.  Let’s make sure the seeds we sow are the ones we want sprouting up!
MY PRAYER…
O Eternal God, who lived before time began and who will be the Great I AM when time is no more, bless the seeds my life sows so they may bear fruit and bless those I love.  Through Jesus, the grain of wheat who died and was buried so that life may flower forth.  Amen.
Tuesday
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Ask!  So often we’re afraid to ask for help because we have to admit we don’t have the answers.  Seek!  Effort and interest and perseverance are necessary and that’s sometimes hard. Knock! But God wants us to use the A.S.K. principle and bring our hearts before him. So let’s not whine, complain, desire, and want.  Let’s A.S.K. our Father and seek his glory.
MY PRAYER…
Waiting Father, I am sorry that so often you hear only my whines, complaints, and concerns.  You have been so generous with your love.  Help me to keep my heart set on you and your will today as I ask you to minister to the things on my heart. Through Jesus I pray.  Amen.
Wednesday
If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Wisdom is that illusive quality we respect in others and find so difficult to develop in ourselves.  Yet God promises it to those who really ask.  But remember the secret of ASKing –asking, seeking, and knocking.       Or better yet, check out Proverbs 2.  Wisdom is ours only if we seek it above all other possessions and value it above all other diversions.  God longs to impart it, but there is something about wisdom that demands we  value it before we can receive it.
MY PRAYER…
Gracious giver of all good gifts, please bless me with wisdom today.  Let me reflect your will and live for your glory in all my decisions.  Let your Kingdom guide my heart as I make my choices and have your Spirit lead me in your ways.  I confess, Father, that I cannot guide my own steps without your help.  So grant me wisdom this day.  I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Thursday
If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.  But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
Galatians 6:1
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
In a day when intervening in someone’s life is no longer politically and socially correct, these verses ring out like a gunshot on a still night.  Sin is still real and is just as deadly as ever.  Yet because we fear being branded judgmental, we let many who are trapped by sin go to their spiritual death.  The call is for nonjudgmental intervention — we recognize the gravity of the sin and the need of the sinner, without feeling arrogant in our righteousness.       “There but for the grace of God go I.”
MY PRAYER…
Father, forgive my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me.  But Father, also help my heart to be gripped by the gravity of sin’s effects and to be stirred into action by those whom it has trapped.  Through Jesus, who came to rescue me from my sin, I pray.  Amen
Friday
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable –if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
Philippians 4:8
Philippians 4:8New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Our actions follow our thoughts like a heat-seeking missile follows the exhaust of a jet fighter’s engine.      So in a day when so much around us trains us to find the negative in life, we must aggressively think and pursue the character, the qualities, and the things of God’s goodness.
MY PRAYER…
Holy and Magnificent God, thank you for being better than anything my world can offer me.  Thank you for calling me to a higher standard than the world accepts.  Thank you for giving me the promise of a better future than any human can imagine. Thank you for giving me a high calling. In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen.
Saturday
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
-James 4:10
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Humble yourselves.  That sounds obscene.  At least to the culture of self-promotion and “get ahead at all cost” and “don’t look back, the competition is gaining on you” it sounds obscene.  Humility is a forgotten virtue.  Often confused with weakness or timidity, humility is about knowing our proper place in the world without flaunting it.  Only God can exalt in a permanent way, so the key is to know our place before him and let him put us in the place he chooses to honor him.
MY PRAYER…
Abba Father, Most Holy God, thank you for allowing me into your presence. When I think of all that you have done, the incredible universe you have made and hold together by your word, I am amazed you invite me into your presence and care about my words.  Thank you for knowing me and having a plan for my life to please you. Help me this day to glorify you in what I do.  Through Jesus I pray.  Amen.
Sunday
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:12-13
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE..
How often do you forget that we are in a spiritual war?  Our enemy is deceptively cunning – take away the immediacy of a threat and the danger appears gone.  But he’s there, always. But rather than try to guess his plans and counter all of his moves, Paul reminds us to simply take up the tools God has given us and stand up to the evil one.
MY PRAYER…
Lord of Hosts, my Great Deliverer, protect me from the evil one by your great power.  Give me a sense of urgency as I face Satan and his schemes on a daily basis, but also give me confidence that Jesus has already defeated my foe.  Help me to stand against this foe and show myself faithful to you. Through Jesus my Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.
Devotional credit: Oneplace.com