For several years now, I have kept a Blessing Book by the bed to write down things I’m thankful for. Some of my friends post something they are thankful for on FaceBook every day in November. Many Americans will share something they are thankful for around the table today before diving into their turkey dinner. (I understand the pilgrims probably ate venison, not turkey, that first Thanksgiving; if they ate pumpkin, it was a vegetable, not pie (sigh); and the Indians were probably there because they often hung around their strange new neighbors, especially when there was food involved, not because the pilgrims were gracious enough to see beyond cultural differences and thank them for their help in getting through the previous winter. Sigh. Have we learned anything in three hundred and fifty years?)
Sunday our pastor encouraged us to go beyond the typical friends and family that are mentioned around the dinner table. Not that we are not thankful for those things—we definitely are—but God has given us so much more.
Here are a few suggestions for your Thanksgiving list:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.
With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment--
to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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