As an American, I have found that it is almost mandatory to be happily unhappy. We are told to want more and to never be happy with what we have. You have a nice house and a nice car? So what, your neighbors house is much, much larger! Your kids are doing well in school? Too bad they aren’t as athletic as several of their peers! Your happy with your job? No you aren’t! You don’t make enough money!
So says (and goes) the media, society, and every aspect of our culture. Nothing is ever enough. We are trained to want more. What’s worse is that many Christians actually think they really aren’t like this! I heard Jason Upton state that Christians need to be free from thinking they are free. I couldn’t agree more.
My point is that no one is above this problem. I constantly hear “intercessors” and “prayer warriors” spend hours upon hours talking about all the problems they face. I’ve sat in small group after small group and heard people share just how broke and in need they really are. I’ve watched gathering after gathering stay focused on the needs and desires of the congregation. And time and time again I have this strong sense that we just need to shut our mouths for a few minutes and thank God for what He has and is doing! With this same feeling, I believe Paul wrote,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God…” – Phil. 4:6
It is perfectly natural and even acceptable to make requests for God to make changes to our life. But every request must be made in a spirit of thanksgiving! We are to ask God to change things and yet thank Him for the way they are.
Since I’m quite sure most of us have no problem making our requests known to God, let’s take a moment to note what we’re thankful for. After all, it is “thanksgiving” season, right? So, what are you thankful for in regards to the following categories:
- General areas of life
- Family “stuff”
- Work related issues
- Materialism (houses, cars, clothing, etc.)
- Church “stuff”
- Friend “stuff”
- Everything else
Happy Thanksgiving! Be blessed.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.
General areas of life – I can breathe. Enough said!
Family “stuff” – My wife and son bless me.
Work related issues – I still have my job.
Materialism (houses, cars, clothing, etc.) – Our house is heated and our car is in working order.
Church “stuff” – The church we go to has a hear for missions and evangelism. We are thankful for this because we are learning that we are all called to both.
Thanks be to God for His mercy in my life.
* General areas of life – God has been incredibly faithful at all times, no matter what I am facing.
* Family “stuff” – My kids are awesome and I am hugely blessed by their presence in my life. My new son-in-law is “da bomb”. I’m married to a good man who is very committed to our marriage and family.
* Work related issues – I have a job I enjoy, that I can do from home, with a boss I really connect with, who is also a Christian and generally good to work for. And, it brings in extra money!
* Materialism (houses, cars, clothing, etc.) – I’m thankful for our house, with all it’s imperfections. It’s warm, has some really appealing colors in places, and has lots of space for all of us. It’s also sturdy and pretty well made, overall. I also really, really, really like the new windows it has on most of the windows, and the airtight back door that doesn’t let cold air in (so my tootsies don’t freeze on the way to the bathroom!).
* Church “stuff” – I am tremendously blessed with the church I attend. The pastor has a good understanding of scriptures, so I know I’m pretty much getting the truth in his sermons. The people are thoughtful and caring. The worship is uplifting. It’s really cool on the Sundays when I can feel God’s presence, too. That encourages me a lot!
* Friend “stuff” – I am very thankful to God for Karen (my BFF) and Marvin (her husband, who is also a friend), as well as Linda W, who is becoming a friend, and my dear friend Nan in Minnesota. I’m also blessed by the many other friends and “friendly acquaintances” God has sent my way over the past few years. I can remember some times in my life when I was dreadfully lonely and didn’t feel “connected” to anyone. Right now, I have so many friends who are really dear to me, and others that I see developing on the horizon, plus the many, many more people with whom I am friendly… I shouldn’t have started naming names, because I’m thinking of many others who should be on that list, too. 😀 (I’ll spare you the list…except to add Kim.)
* Everything else – There’s a nice broad category! lol I’m thankful for the delightful turkey dinner with all the trimmings (and then some) we will be having later today. I’m thankful that we have generally positive family relationships, all our needs are pretty much met, and we live in a really great small town where I can walk just about anywhere I want to go…without too much worry of bad stuff happening to me.
Most of all, I am thankful that Christ died on the cross so that I might have eternal life. All the rest makes life a lot more pleasant, but I’m with Peter and the other apostles when they said, “Where else would we go? You (Jesus) have the words of eternal life!” and also with Moses when he said, “If You (Yahweh) don’t go with us, I will not go.”
The pastor actually is a heretic. I just confirmed it.
I am eternally grateful for the grace and mercy of God that He has continually demonstrated in my life. As I’ve gotten older I have become all the more awe struck by just how gracious the Lord has been in my life. Great is thy faithfulness!
Well, yeah, but he does such a good job of making it sound good that I just like listening to him. 😀
I am thankful that I have a job still. Many of my friends are currently unemployed.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I pray yours was well.
I expect all of my pastors to be heretics. The question is, Just Exactly What Kind of Heretic Is He?
You like listening to him? Really? 😉 All I hear when he gets into the big words is Charlie Brown’s teacher- “Waa-wah waa-waa-wha-wa…”
God is AWESOME! I’m just saying… He could not BE more AWESOME!
In my life, I am in such a state of … AWE of His … well, His EVERYTHING! When I start to think of all that He has done, every breath He gives me, every minute He gives me, I start to cry because it is just too much for me to handle. We can’t even begin to grasp what He have done for us!
I mean, we exist in every way because of Him and FOR Him. I am so thankful to Him for everything that I can’t even begin to list individual things because I don’t think I could ever stop!
But… I would have to list my BFF in there somewhere, as well as a kewl Pastor who really is the most-greatest heretic pastor you’d ever want to meet.
And don’t forget his wife is even more awesome 🙂
And The Wirtalas… and the Schrafnaugels (sp?)… and The Gwonjas (SP?).. and The Ciolkoses (sp?)… OK wait a minute- can’t ANYBODY have a EASY name to spell????? Egges.. I can handle that…
I’m thankful for my friends. There- ’nuff said!
Rats! You called my bluff! There go all my brownie points…..
Right now, I am thankful for cheesy scalloped potatoes with ham. I made it for supper, in the crock pot, and it’s the first time it has turned out pretty delish…if I do say so myself. I still haven’t figured out the secret to potatoes of just the right texture, but at least these came out actually cooked. Yum! (I’m eating leftovers for my not-quite-midnight snack.)