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messages · Archive edition
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
On the way down to Nashville we got off
I-81 for a while to view the Virginia backroads off the beaten path of
"The Power of Thankfulness"
This week we are visiting with
Brooksyne's sister and niece, Elaine and Courtney Morgan in Nashville, TN. We wish each of you a blessed Thanksgiving! We are following with concern the increased terrorist warnings abd realize we do indeed live in perilous times.
Note: A podcast was not prepared for this message.
In the first part of today's message we each share some memories of
Thanksgiving Day. Scroll down for some Bible exposition and teaching.
"Enter His gates with
thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise
His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His
faithfulness continues through all generations" (Psalm 100:4,5). "And
whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians
is "Thanksgiving Day" here in America. Canadians celebrate a Thanksgiving Day in October, but
I'm not sure of
the customs in other countries. Our Zimbabwean friends told me they do
not have a day like this in their country.
It's a great time of the
year to especially be thankful and count our blessings. However we
should always be thankful! Turkey is the traditional meat
for the day, and though most of you are completely unaware of
this, the turkey many of you will eat was raised in a facility using
a product made at Val-Co, one of the companies we visit as chaplains!
Although most will eat turkey according to custom I respectfully remind
readers that it's not "Turkey Day" as many have come to call it.
Many of us have a lot of great memories of Thanksgiving Day gatherings with extended family. We are now in Nashville and visiting with Brooksyne's
sister, Elaine, in her RV. In recalling past Thanksgivings they
remembered often gathering with their aunt and uncle's family in
Harrison, Arkansas. Not only turkey but ham would be offered since
their dad, Brooklyn, refused to eat poultry. Having worked on poultry
farms in his younger years he had his fill of cleaning up after the
birds and never partook of the delicious meat that others of us enjoy.
Not only did Brooklyn refuse to eat the poultry but he didn't even
permit the family to say "chicken" at the dinner table. It's a good
thing for our poultry farmers, including a number of Brooksyne's
relatives, that most people serve chicken and turkey on their dinner
table on a regular basis.
I (Stephen) remember gathering with our
immediate family, grandparents, aunts and uncles and many cousins on this day on a farm in
southwestern Missouri near Harwood. At times there must have been
nearly 50 people gathered in that old farmhouse where my Uncle Gentry
and Aunt Dora would host the entire family. My grandparents had a small
house that was not suitable for large gatherings. I recall the
wonderful aromas coming out of that country kitchen and all the ladies
working together to prepare our Thanksgiving feast. I even remember the aprons! The men would
often go across the road for some high powered rifle shooting practice.
Or they would gather around the small (by today's standards) black and
white tv to watch a football game.
that was in an age before we had handheld devices to stare at and
tinker with most of us kids found plenty to do outside, playing in the barn and fields. Uncle Gentry would often take us on
a wagon ride behind his Allis-Chalmers tractor. But the dinner bell
signaled us back to the house for a huge meal.
The specific day we call "Thanksgiving" may well have originated here
in America at the time of the Pilgrims in 1621, but God's call for His
people to be thankful goes back deep into the Bible period. In the
various offerings ordained in the Law of Moses we find "thank
offerings" commanded. Throughout Israel's long history recorded in the
Bible we read of special periods of thanksgiving.
In the New Testament being thankful is commanded again and again such as this verse, "And
whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17).
And in a heavenly glimpse found in Revelation we find the twenty-four
elders, who are seated on their thrones before God, falling on their
faces and worshipping God, saying: "We
give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign"
But probably our favorite Scripture verse on the subject of
thanksgiving is the majestic call to worship in Psalm 100. This was
written about three thousand years ago and yet absolutely remains the
call for God's people today and every day. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name." Notice the repetition for emphasis: thanksgiving, praise, thanks, praise. (This is known as Hebrew parallelism.)
Notice also the focal point of thankfulness is directed to the
Lord. In increasingly secular America there is a vague focus on
being thankful without specifying to whom. The Scripture says, "Be thankful to Him and praise His name."
The basis for our praise and thanksgiving should bless us as much as it
did the initial worshippers. The very next verse states, "For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."
Based on a 33 year generation cycle (easy math) that would mean we are
90 generations since the time of David. And there's no expiration
date! And this will be true all through eternity. His goodness,
love and faithfulness endures and will do so forever and through all
generations. We rejoice in that truth today and welcome you to join
Brooksyne and me in thanks-living!
Be encouraged and thankful today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Father, in thanksgiving we lift our voices of praise from
grateful hearts, as we sing songs of praise and adoration to
You, our blessed King. Whether in seasons of prosperity or in seasons
of want we find Your grace sufficient to meet each one of our needs.
You guide us, protect us, and You provide for us as we journey here
below. Every good and perfect gift comes from Your hand. Thank You,
faithful Father! Amen.
Hay bales on a frosty morning in southern Virginia.
Can you understand these directions! It's known as wrong way concurrency. See here.
Sunset this morning from the RV park we are staying in near Nashville.
Special Thanksgiving Resources
We offer these resources to families and church leaders to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will leave them up through Thanksgiving.
We appreciate singing the traditional Thanksgiving hymns.
Here are several classics that you may or may not have heard this season.
"Be Magnified" Video Kim Hill
"In Everything Give Him Thanks" Video The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Everything Give Thanks" Video Charlotte
Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter This song will bring joy to your heart!
"Now Thank We All Our God" Video Best Loved Hymns
"Come Ye Thankful People Come" Video Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video
"Thanksgiving Medley" (We Gather Togather, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come) Video Studio Musicians
"Give Thanks" Video Don Moen
"Thank You Lord" Video Community choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.
"Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul" Video Holland Davis
"Thankful For The
family reading and exercise that is a
wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for
a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However
it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation.
Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways
God has worked in your life over the past year! Some of
you are not in charge and are only visitors at your Thanksgiving
gathering, but if it is possible share together
the table the theme of "Thankful for the Thorns" (printable web page).
family exercise" (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a
stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage
you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after
Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor
friend of ours and
shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service
several years ago. (web page) For those
who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read
together at the Thanksgiving table.
A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and
New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for
church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out
"Thanks" Video Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers
Want To Thank You" Video Karen Peck and New
This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who
impact our lives and also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly
insignificant expressions of faith. From the Gaither Homecoming series.
"Thank You Lord For Your
Blessings On Me" Video Gordon Mote
& Jason Crabb
"Come We Thankful People Come" Video Traditional version Here's a bit more contemporary version with same lyrics.
"I'm Forever Grateful" Video Willow Creek
"Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart" Video Don Moen
"When I Thank Him For What He Has
Done" Video The Cathedrals
"Worthy Is The Lamb Crown Him .. Crown Him With Many Crowns" Video Travis Cottrell
"Thank You, Lord" Video Dennis Jernigan
"Thank You For Loving Me" Video Tommy Walker
"10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)" Video Matt Redman
"For These Reasons" Video Lincoln Brewster
to Stephen &
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am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus
Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the
Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and
obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
Encouragement Net 495
Church Road Mount
C. Weber All
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."
securely today anchored
God's solid foundation"