The Past of Your Present Thanksgiving

No, I’m not going back hundreds of years!

In All Things Give Thanks
In All Things Give Thanks

But I am thinking back thousands of years!

Today I think about all the things of our past that presents this day to us with an opportunity to be thankful. Not that I need a holiday for this, but we are all resting on the laurels of the past to enjoy this day across the nation, so why not think about those past actions that produce the results of today?

I’m thankful for my family. Near and far. Somewhere in the far, far, long ago, several special people met and began the process that allows me to enjoy being thankful for my family. A huge family tree and root system exists to bring me to this day. The thing is? Unless mom gets us far enough back in the genealogy tree we will never know who those special people were!

This cannot be just about me, but think of all the special people in my life from home and church. We all have a lot to be thankful for – heritage, culture, ethnicity, and race! We come from all over the globe and the result is a very special you and me.

I’m thank for my country. When we compare the countries that we could be living in, even an imperfect country like our own is better than the choices available. Of course, we may not realize how blessed we are when we are faced with so many challenges. But rest assured, this country improves when we all start focusing on improving each person.

I’m thankful for my heritage. Now. We all know that our familial past is not all pleasant, and there are probably skeletons in the proverbial closet we want kept hidden, but we are indirectly connected to what others have done before us. My thought is that I want to live a better life so that no hush hush stories are whispered about me in those generations to come.

I’m thank for my spiritual connections to God. I love that Paul, not long before his death, could utter these words that are impactful even today, 2,000 years later.

In everything give thanks… (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)

In the pattern of Psalms 107 and 136, I believe in giving thanks to God for he is good, his mercy endureth forever!

  • Give thanks for the valleys, for it’s in the valley’s that my mettle is tested and I have the opportunity to shine forth better than I was before.
  • Give thanks even in death of loved ones. Their life has much meaning, and we can rejoice in that better place.
  • Give thanks equally in the good times and bad times. We learn so much through both.
  • Give thanks for your enemies. God has set a table before you in their presence. (Psalms 23)
  • Give thanks even for those who are doing a bad job, else how would you be able to judge a “good job!”
  • Give thanks in the midst of that fiery trial. Just as we learned with those Hebrew children (Daniel 3:21), there are blessings for others when they see how we deal with the struggle. Even the Apostle Peter gives a hint hundreds of years later:

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13 NKJV)

Finally. Give thanks for those close to you today. Not only physically in your presence, but those you reach out to, and those that reach out to you… I may not connect with you today, but I want these folks to know I’m thinking about them, and their families…. Jason, Felicia, Akiko, Emma, Elizabeth, Mat, Frank, Bobbie, Lyn, Mickey, Diane, Teresa, Lynn, Vaughn, Gayla, Teresa, Ken, Tessie, George, Barabara, Kenny, Vicky, Jonathan, Lance, Nevelyn, Ashley, Kinsie, Jared, April, Brett, Gizelle, Jack, Bev, Frank, Jean, Jaylinda, Preston, Wes, Carolyn, Carol, Walter, Anita, Perry, Robert, Richard, Carla, Andra, First Church Family… and less you feel slighted because your name is not written in The Michael Gurley book of rememberance, I’m still writing names out in my mind! I have to go start cooking before family shows up…

I love this song and sing it often to myself…

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He hass given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks

~Don Moen

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