To WHOM is your thanksgiving?

No doubt the vast majority of Americans are, in some way or another, celebrating Thanksgiving today. We are giving thanks for various people and various blessings, whether we talk about them while we sit around the table together, share about them through social media, or remind ourselves of them in our own hearts and minds.

When you “give thanks,” though, to whom is your thanksgiving? Sure, you might be thankful for your spouse, for your family, for your friends, etc., but to whom are you thankful?

Generally, we give thanks to someone who has done something beneficial for us. For example, on a typical evening I certainly ought to give thanks to my wife for a delicious supper, for a clean house, and for the seemingly constant care she provides for our children. All of us ought to be able to think of people not only for whom we are thankful but also to whom we give thanks.

Most importantly for followers of Jesus Christ, of course, is our thanksgiving to God. Everything good we have is from Him and for His glory.

On Thanksgiving (and always) we ought not only to say, “I am thankful for ________.” We also ought to be saying, “Thanks be to God for ________.” And, at the top of that list should be resurrection life.

Lord willing, during our worship service with Richland Baptist Church Sunday morning, I will be preaching on “The Victory of Discipleship” from Mark 16:1-8. As I have been studying this passage of Scripture this week, I cannot help but think we do not rejoice and give thanks to God nearly enough for the victory that was and is won by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

If not for this victory of discipleship, my grief over the physical death of my dad (seen in the picture above teaching my sister Steph how to cut the turkey in 2013) would be too much to bear. If not for this victory, our lives would be hopeless. If not for this victory, we would ultimately have nothing for which to be thankful.

The victory over sin and death is the most important thing that has ever happened, and so God is the most important One to whom we need to give thanks.

Is your mind set on truly seeking and thanking Him, or are you more set on yourself? Are you intent about honoring Him, or are you more concerned about getting honored?

Seems like I have heard multiple people say (and I agree completely): the more life is all about you, the more miserable you are. May the Lord help us have the right focus and the right thanksgiving!

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Tough but good summer so far

breakfast timeWith an extended, exhausting trip back to the U.S. a couple weeks ago, followed by my Grandpa David’s memorial service this past Saturday, this summer is off to a difficult start for our family. We slept in five different places (including the Chicago airport) our first 12 nights back in the U.S., but the good news is that we seemed to get over jet lag rather quickly. My grandpa’s memorial service was one of the toughest things of which I have ever been a part. Still, it was and has been an incredible blessing being with family, leaning on each other for comfort and looking to the the King of kings and Lord of lords for grace and strength. Preaching the gospel at the memorial service was an honor and a privilege, and I continue to pray that God will use His Word to soften hearts to the Truth.

So, even though the summer is off to a bit of a tough start, we are doing well. God has been so good and faithful, as always, and we certainly recognize that our family is blessed.

To see a bunch of pictures from the past month, please click HERE.

2011 in Pictures

This is our attempt at a "quality" family picture.
New Eng/Trksh computer for Noah's birthday.
Noah and Levi at the aquarium in Istanbul.
Posing with a major Johnny Depp wanna-be.
"Hold on, dudes. I know the way to find Nemo."
Birthday blast for Noah at the aquarium.
"Hold on, brother! I'll protect you from Jaws!"
The aquarium had the boys smiling for hours.
Armed with his new swords. Look out!
February 3rd - Noah turned six years old!
Noah's favorite gift - his big rhinoceros.
An "interesting" modern soldier battle-ready.

Friendship Security

One of Noah and Levi’s best friends spent the night a few weeks ago. They had a great time playing together, and as you can see in the picture, they are as comfortable as brothers. In fact, the next morning, Noah wanted to know why the sleepover couldn’t last a few days. There are not many things Noah and Levi like more than having friends over to play. Thankfully, they usually wear each other out and sleep well. Sleeping in late, though, is never an option for Noah and Levi. Even if they have a friend over who might sleep until 8 or 9, Noah and Levi are up and ready to start their day shortly after 6 a.m. Such is life with the Drake boys!

Thanks be to God!

Praise God for family and for so much more!On Thanksgiving, people give thanks for family, friends, health, freedom, etc. We, too, give thanks for all these things. Above all, though, we give thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We give thanks to Him for who He is – He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one gets to our Heavenly Father apart from Him (John 14:6). We give thanks to Him for what He has done – “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). We give thanks to Him for what He continues to do in our lives – “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks be to God!

Merry Christmas!

What a blessing it is to know and follow the LORD Jesus Christ! It was nearly 2,000 years ago that He came to this earth, born of a virgin. He then lived a perfect life and died on the cross for the sins of the world. Praise God because that’s not the end of the story! Jesus rose from the dead, defeating sin and death and providing a way for all who trust in HIM to have eternal life. We pray that you will examine your faith today and make sure that you have trusted in Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins and change your life forever.

If you have time to download our five-minute 2008 Drake Family Highlights, we hope you will enjoy it. DrakeCity has been a blessing, as it has allowed us to keep you posted on our lives and remind you to remember us in prayer. Here are some of our highlights from 2008:

-We moved to Adana, Turkey.
-Levi learned to walk, run and talk.
-We met and made some great friends.
-Noah turned three.
-Nick and Marsha learned to talk like three-year-olds in Turkish.
-Marsha’s parents came to visit us.
-Nick’s mom came to visit us.
-Levi turned two.
-Nick and Marsha feel like they now speak like two-year-olds in Turkish.
-God continues to work in our lives and bless us in incredible ways!

Merry Christmas and God bless you!