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Friday, November 26, 2010
Lancaster County Amish farm taken from a hot air balloon.
Photo by Debra Zimmerman (Used by permission)
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"The Fruit Of Thankfulness"
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:4-7).
Today we will conclude our week of messages dealing with thankfulness by considering the fruit of thankfulness.
We enjoy listening to the Focus on the Family broadcasts and at this time of year they typically share touching testimonials of thankfulness by callers who record a brief message concerning an experience or perspective they share on thankfulness. Their stories are very moving and can have a transforming effect on the listener.
Note: The above photo is not the little boy in the story below but rather three-year old David who spent the day with us yesterday, along with his family, as we enjoyed our day of Thanksgiving!
"I'm amazed at what my son Luke taught me about the power of thankfulness. It happened when we took a long overdue family vacation. His three year old word for thank you was "tonk ewe". I must have heard fifty times in one day "tonk ewe" from a little boy who, like most 3 year olds, often times doesn't feel you're doing enough for him.
He would say, Tonk ewe for bringing me to the beach, Dad. Tonk ewe for bringing my toys. Tonk ewe for vacation. Tonk ewe we can camp, and tonk ewe for my sippy cup and on and on it went. I had to look away as I knew he wouldn't understand the tears welling up in my eyes. I was instantly hit with thoughts of how much this vacation meant to him and wondered why I hadn't done it sooner. At that moment I wished I could do have done more for Luke and all he had done was say, "Tonk ewe".
Later, after reflecting on that moment in prayer the Holy Spirit began speaking to me. You see, I'm not anymore spiritually mature than Luke. My normal conversations with God reflect more about what I want from Him than what He has already done for me. It made me think about how God must feel when I say, "Tonk ewe". Could I bring a tear of joy to my Father's eyes for acknowledging all that He has done for me? Could I touch the heart of the Creator of the universe by just saying, "Thank You"? Thank You for daily food; thank You for the use of my eyes, my family, my friends, my home, for a job, for clean water every day, for the truth in Scripture, for Jesus' sacrifice. My list could go on and on.
The fruit of thankfulness is such a blessing. It's called contentedness and peace. God wants us to be grateful people toward Him and others (Psalm 100). When we are thankful we experience contentment and peace. This Thanksgiving I encourage each of us to make a long list of the things that we've been given by God. There won't be one blessing on that list that doesn't come from Him. The more detailed the list the better.
One of the most astounding things Luke thanked me for was his sippy cup. The fact that he noticed something so small meant a lot to me and it will to God. If a sparrow doesn't die without God knowing it, you know He is a God who cares about details…. so take your list, go away by yourself, go through each item carefully with the One who gave it to you and just say, "Tonk ewe."
May the Lord regularly remind us of the value of thankfulness both by those expressing thanks as well as those on the receiving end. Surely our heavenly Father is blessed by the persistent, habitual, heart-felt expressions of gratitude from His children and we in turn also grow the healthy fruit of thankfulness which brings about contentment, peace and joy.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we desire to be a grateful people. We want to be mindful of our blessings and express thanksgiving regularly for that which we do not deserve but receive regularly because of Your merciful Spirit toward us. It is far too easy to observe ingratitude in others and be blind to its presence in our own lives. When we're tempted to grumble prompt in us a grateful response instead, so that we will bear the fruit of thankfulness which brings about contentment, peace and joy. In the name of Jesus we pray these things. Amen.
Our Thanksgiving meal, joined by Ken and Nila and their children and Tim, Ester's boyfriend.
Brooksyne and Dawn preparing to cut the pies.
Cherry, Pumpkin, Pecan
Mike and JoAnne Gardner and their two children, Adoree and Zane, joined us for dessert.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
Focus on the Family broadcasts with testimonials of thankfulness: November 25 November 26 (The testimony shared in today's message in from the November 25 broadcast at the 8 minute mark.)
"Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me" Video
"Thanksgiving medley" Video
"Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goal Posts of Life" Video This song really has absolutely nothing to do with the message or theme of thankfulness, but came to mind last night when I was watching a football game with some friends and the punter dropped the ball and then kicked it similar to a drop kick. This brought about a recollection from Joyce Reid, a friend from our church in New England, who shared about singing this song as a youth in the fifties. It's the world's only Christian football waltz! As you listen to this song it speaks of "the big super bowl way up in the sky."
Now a trivia question for football buffs. When was the last successful drop kick in the NFL? See video (10 seconds) or here for details. This morning this site was already updated to explain the play from last night's game!
Today's photo of the Amish farm from a balloon was taken by Debra Zimmerman, daughter of our friends Cerwin and Doris High. More photos like this are on Doris High's photoblog site.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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