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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Adoption, Thanksgiving, Birthday

Well, a lot of things have happened in the past week, so please consider this a “brief” update. We arrived in the U.S. a week ago Sunday and got over jet lag pretty quickly. Praise the Lord!

Last Wednesday we went to court to begin the “re-adoption” process in getting Zoe’s name legally changed and getting her U.S. birth certificate. Miraculously (thanks to God’s providential hand and thanks to our good friend Nathan Carroz, who happens to be a good lawyer, too), that process was much easier than we ever anticipated. Our court hearing went smoothly, and we got Zoe’s birth certificate that same day (a process that usually takes months). Then, we were able to apply for her U.S. passport and should have that back in 2-3 weeks. Praise the Lord!

Today was our meeting with a local social worker who came to complete Zoe’s 3-month “post-placement report.” That went really well. The final thing we have to do is apply for Zoe’s Social Security number, and we will be able to do that, Lord willing, next week. Then, it’s just a waiting game before everything is complete. When we started the adoption process just over one year ago, we never dreamed it would go this quickly or this smoothly. God has shocked our socks off in blessing us beyond our imaginations and has been so good to us. Praise the Lord!

Last Thursday, of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving with Marsha’s family here in Windsor Valley. It was a fun day at Marsha’s parents’ home, even though it included 14 kids running/crawling around the house. Thankfully, the weather was nice, and we did a lot of playing outside. To see some pictures from the past week, please click HERE. We sure are thankful for family and friends, as we have the best. Praise the Lord!

Then, Saturday was Silas’ second birthday. We had a great time celebrating with everyone here at Marsha’s parents’ house, and you can see some pictures by clicking HERE. Hard to believe Silas is already two years old, as most of you haven’t seen him since he was a baby! Time does fly, and God’s incredible blessings surround us more and more all the time. Praise the Lord!

Today was my dad’s PET scan to see if/where his Adenocarcinoma cancer has spread. We probably will not know anything until his next appointment on Friday, but please continue to pray for his healing and for his faith in Christ to be real and strong. This is obviously a difficult time for him and the rest of our family, but I am beyond thankful that God is always in control and has a perfect plan. His ways are sometimes difficult to comprehend, but His faithfulness and goodness never end. Praise the Lord!

 

THANKFUL

I am thankful today…and ALWAYS…for countless things. Most importantly, I am thankful for my gracious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; for my amazing and beautiful wife ; for my sweet and fun sons; for the opportunity we have to adopt a child from Ethiopia; for a family that loves and cares for me; for my friends who go above and beyond; for my church that walks in unity, love, humility and boldness; for the Church – the precious body of Christ; and for the gospel – that anyone who calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.

Happy Thanksgiving, and may this day be only one of many days you walk in thankfulness for what the God of the universe has done and continues to do. To God be the glory!