Thanksgiving Devotions

November 27, 2019

 

We Sometimes Underestimate the Influence of the Little Things”

I found this beautiful quote today written by a gentleman, Charles W. Chestnutt. These words prophetically read so true during the holidays. We lose sight of the small things that bring pleasure to our lives and allow ourselves to be overwhelmed at things that do not matter.

 

Charles W. Chestnutt, an acclaimed afro-american writer in the early 1900’s set out to protest civil justice post civil war through the written word. His words still reverberate today.

I picture in my mind a thanksgiving past, my mom standing in the buffet line, too many pain killers, eyes closed, her head bowed, with her plate about to fall to the floor. Many holidays we have spent just praying Nana would join us on the day. Her pain, over clouding her judgment. She, feeling like she had to wear the perfect outfit, prepare the perfect side dish , put on the perfect smile. If she only understood, that her just being there was all we hoped to share.

Please, please heed Mr Chestnutt’s words this holiday season. Never underestimate the influence of the small things. Make a list of the little things that you love about Thanksgiving day…. enjoying a piece of pecan pie with grandma, opening a can of cranberry and adding it to everything on your plate, sitting on the couch with your dog or other loved ones and watching the Macy’s day parade. Most of the time, that’s enough. Don’t make it more than it needs to be.

Christ reminded us that ‘ if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” He knew about the influence of the little things. Follow his lead.

If you have children, spend a moment and make a list of the little things they love about the holidays. Have them help you create a list. Make time during these days to be still, create atmosphere of minimum chaos, and just love on them. If you have big kids, teenagers, have them recall from Thanksgiving past’s what their favorite moments were. I bet it’s the little things they remember. God bless.

 

Tis The Season 

 November 21th, 2109 

 “Tis the season” … What we can learn about Gratitude from the Sea to the Mountain Top”

It’s funny how we talk about life in “seasons”. Two great quotes I just read today on instagram remind me of this word. “ Let Thanks and Giving be more that just a season.” “ In every season, God is working.” But is it God’s purpose for us to live our lives in season? Personally, It does help me focus on the small chunks of life, taking one day at a time, and focusing on the present. But how does God feel about it?
Over the last two months I have studied in depth the stories of Moses and Aaron, and the Israelites, and their “season” of time living in the wilderness before they could enter the promised land. I think now I know why they had this “season” It says it over and over again actually. But this afternoon as I was reading it really rang true. This was a season that they had to learn how to wholeheartedly follow the Lord. Numbers 32:12 states this fact. Fortunately, two of these characters figure this whole “season” thing out, Caleb and Joshua. They were going to get to see the promised land because they had wholeheartedly followed the Lord.
This is the beginning of the time we call the “holiday season”, the time we search our souls and think about gratitude, focus on making a nice meal for our families, begin our shopping lists to find that perfect gift for our loved ones. Could it be that you have been in a longer season, and God is still trying to show you how to reach your promise land? Is it really that easy? I just need to just wholeheartedly follow Him? Oh, but it’s not so easy, is it?
Pray with me. Dear heavenly Father, please give me wisdom. Please give me faith to follow you wholeheartedly. Teach me what season that I am in and show me the lessons that you want me to learn. Thank you for this season that I am in. Thank you for this time in our lives that we do focus more on others. In you Sons holy name, Amen.
For deeper study read Numbers 32. Meditate on what season you are in right now. Is God trying to teach you something?
For those with children, talk to your little ones about the different seasons. Compare the four seasons to what we call the “holiday season” . Then share with them about Moses and some of the crazy things he and the others had to live through during those 40 years in their “season” of learning how to follow God… eating only manna (Exodus 16), receiving water from a rock (Numbers 20), the poisonous snakes ( Numbers 21:4-9)
For those of you with teenagers…. Bless your hearts, You really are living in a season.. My 18 year old daughter reminded me yesterday that I need to brush up on Reese Witherspoon’s book “Whiskey in a Teacup” to plan our Thanksgiving dinner. I did. I read it last night and picked out some recipes to include in our turkey day. Make this “season” special for them too. They have so much going on in their lives. So much stress. Remind them that this is a season and you are here to help them get through it along with their heavenly Father by their side.
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From the  Sea to the Mountain Tops

November 14th, 2019 

What we can  Learn  about Gratitude 

 

What can we learn about gratitude from the characters in the bible? Particularly the characters  who spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness with Moses by their side after leaving Egypt?  Miriam, Moses sister  begins our devotion, as we focus and meditate on gratitude. “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tamborine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tamborine and dancing.  Miriam  sang to them:

 

Sing to the Lord,

 

for he is highly exalted.

 

Both horse and driver

 

he has hurled into the sea.” Exodus 15:20-22 

 

Miriam was connected to water. 

 

Miriam stood by the waters of the Nile River and watched over her baby brother Moses to ensure he would be safe. In this song we see her exuberant praise after the Splitting of the Sea. From her gratitue for this miracle that occurred through water, some believe God rewarded her with water—for which the Jewish people sang even more praise, the water provided to them while they wandered in the wilderness. God’s Word teaches us that we can be rewarded for our gratitude. We are to sing to the Lord, for He is indeed highly exalted. 

 

How can I apply these verses to my life during this Thanksgiving season?  Spend some time this week thinking about your role as a woman: wife, mom, sister, and daughter.  Miriam, she was a leader in her community. She stood by her brothers and family.  She knew the importance of supporting her family. She wasnt perfect, and was even punished once for accusing Moses of wrongdoing. And Moses loved her so.  You can feel it as you read the scriptures.  Support your family, love them, stand by them even in hard times, and give God praise for his miracles. 

 

For those of us with children, remind them of the story of Miriam and her support of her siblings.  Trace her story back to the  time when Miriam helped put her brother in the basket to save him from the Egyptian king.  Thank God for your family, your brothers and sisters.