Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving is just about my favorite holiday. It’s not just the food and family, but I always tend to reflect the most at this time of the year. It seems over the last five years or so, it seems like it’s the beginning of my year. So as we get ready to kick off my “new year”, I want to reflect on some of my past posts.

Reviewing old posts is always fun as it always amazes me to see where I came from and what I was thinking in the past (anyone that journals can attest to that).

But it’s also interesting to see that even though the years advance and life always brings changes, many of these posts topics and thoughts apply today as much as when they were originally written.

So here are some of my favorites from years past in no particular order:

Back in 2011, in my first full year of this blog, I wrote an article on What to Talk about at the the Thanksgiving table. The inspiration for this was an article from Planned Parenthood, about giving you a playlist for what to discuss with your pro-life family. I felt there were far more important things to discuss.

Skip ahead to 2013 as this blog was pretty much dead in 2012. 2013 was a pretty cold Thanksgiving here in northeast Ohio and as you can tell from the photos of my two posts at that time, we had snow. Despite not being a fan of winter, or snow in general, they are some beautiful pictures and I took the opportunity to talk about things that I don’t like, but God sees as good. I also took a look at how to be forgiving on Thanksgiving.
2014 was a prolific blogging November for me, most of the posts that month revolved around my enhanced passion for being thankful and showing my thanks by sharing with those less fortunate.

  • Year of Thanksgiving – My attempt to make a year full of Thanksgiving and not just keep it to a single day. I’ve had success and failures in my pursuit of this. I will talk more about this in the near future.
  • Live with Abandon – To kick of my year of thanksgiving, I talked about living with abandon. Again, some success and some failure, but pushing forward in this.
  • Do Something Amazing in Your Day – a seemingly simple prescription to live with abandon. Just do something amazing each day.
  • Putting God in a Box – One way to do and see amazing things every day, is to stop our tendency to put God in a box.
  • Thank You – My annual (sort of) Thanksgiving post. A simple but profound prayer.

What will 2015 bring in posts? Who knows. I don’t have a schedule of posts that I create, they typically come to me and minutes later I’m typing them out. Hopefully these posts from years past have inspired you to think about your Thanksgiving. I know I can’t wait to see where the kickoff to my year begins this time around.

Advertisements

Thank You

thank you_tOne of the most touching, profound prayers I’ve ever heard uttered in my life went like this;

Thank you.

Yep, a simple “Thank You” to God, uttered by one of our pastors years ago.  Those two words, with so much meaning behind them.  I remember standing there with people filing out of the church around me, thinking why do we complicate our relationship with God so much?  In the Old Testament, Jewish people had an extremely complicated system of rules to relate with God, and even then it was a distant relationship.  Jesus changed all that.  We can come near to God and have a personal, meaningful relationship with Him.

Today is Thanksgiving day in the United States, a day that we gather together with family and friends, eat lots of good food and watch a little football.   It’s also meant to be a day to give thanks for all that God has given us throughout the year, something we can easily forget in the hype of the day.  Today, I start a year long journey of Thanksgiving, I’m not saving all my thanks for that one day in November.  Each day I plan to wake up and give thanks to God.  Each day I plan on going throughout my day giving thanks.  Each day before I lay down to sleep I plan on thanking God.

A simple thank you is often all it will take.  Two words, so much meaning.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Oh……and…..THANK YOU!

Putting God in a Box

I was blind and now I can see!   John 9 brings us the story of Jesus healing the blind man.  Let’s step back to this time.  We meet a man that has been blind since birth.  He undoubtedly had heard that Jesus was in the area.  I’m sure he had heard of the miracles of Jesus, saying a word and sick child is well, a word and a lame man walks again,  just a word and a man rises from the dead.  He’s heard the stories of this Jesus and the power of God that he contains.

When Jesus approaches him, his excitement must have risen….”This Jesus will say a word and my blindness will be healed.”  His excitement must have been hard to contain.  But what does he hear?  Jesus talking with his disciples about him.  Then Jesus spits on the ground, makes some mud and rubs the mud in his eyes.  The blind man could have easily said, “Wait a minute….Jesus had healed people with just a word, but all I get is some mud in my face.”   He could have thought, “I got a raw deal, this isn’t going to work.

But no, Jesus tells him to “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam“.  So what does the blind man do?  He goes and washes his face….and what miracle of miracles….he can see!   He could have thought, God works through Jesus by his words….but he didn’t put God in a box.  He believed that he could be healed and he was.

Expect the unexpected

Another step in my process of living with abandon to kick of my year of Thanksgiving, is to try and not put God in a box.   God works in wondrous ways, in ways that bring glory to His name.  He works in ways that we may not expect, but we can take comfort that God’s perfect plan is in motion and His ways are better than ours.  I often pray about a problem and I already have a solution in mind.  “This is the way God should solve my problem.”   We’ve just placed him in a box of our own making.  God can’t be contained.

The Jewish leaders in John 9 questioned the now formerly blind man and his family about his healing.  They had put God in a box and was convinced that God only operated in a certain way.  They said to the man while questioning him.  “Give glory to God by telling the truth, because we know Jesus is a sinner.”  Why did they feel that Jesus was a sinner?  Because their notion was that God didn’t heal in the fashion that Jesus did, or He didn’t heal on the Sabbath, or he didn’t heal someone who had been born blind or any number of stipulations and restrictions that they had put on God’s power to heal.

The blind man had a bigger view of God.  Listen to his words:  “Why that’s very strange!  He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know anything about him!  Well, God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will.  Never since the world began has anyone been able to open the eyes of someone born blind.  If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do it.”  This healed man believed that God could perform a miracle.  He didn’t place God in a box.

Expect the unexpected when praying to God about something.  Expect God to work in ways that are beyond what we can ever imagine and we won’t be disappointed.   Our God is bigger than any box!