Thursday, November 24, 2011

Poppy, Thanksgiving, and Cold Cornbread Dressings


Poppy, Thanksgiving, and Cold Cornbread Dressings

When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was the holiday when we traveled to Florida—and a day when I got to eat a whole lot of good food and see all my cousins, many times for the first time in a year. 

And a time for leftovers. While everyone else was either glued to the football game or snoring in a recliner, I was seizing my Granny’s cornbread dressing from the fridge and finishing it off cold and in the pan.

But besides being a holiday when I had permission to eat from the pan, thanksgiving was also a word my Poppy always incorporated at the end of his prayers: "And in Jesus' name, with thanksgiving, Amen." I always wondered why he used a word that made me think of pumpkin pie and construction-paper turkeys; but I knew he must have had a good reason.

Years later, I think I now understand. In that one word, he was saying "Thank You for giving." The “You” there, being God. From my Poppy’s example, I see that thanksgiving was more than about family gatherings, turkey dinners, or time off from school and work. It was and is a way of living, a daily act of expressing gratitude to our Maker who first gave to us.

At this time of year, I sit and think about when I last thanked God for giving me anything—let alone His Son, Jesus Christ. I'm ashamed to admit that it has been a while. But I know that I want to make such gratefulness a way of life. I desire to have an attitude of gratitude and an attitude of graciousness.  

There's no better thanksgiving wisdom than that found in God's Word, especially Psalm 100. If you open your Bible and take a look at this passage, you'll see a notation under the heading: A

Psalm of Thanksgiving.

1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. (NKJV)

Here are some suggestions that can help us live a life of Thanksgiving ...

1) Make a joyful noise to the Lord

2) Serve God joyfully

3) Come to God with a song

4) Give Him the thanksgiving for all of your circumstances, not just the good ones

5) Remember that the Lord is good … His mercy is never-ending … His faith is unchanging

Reflect on these today, and ask the Lord how He can help you practice Thanks living each day of the year.

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