It’s that time of year when we give thanks for all of our blessings—both as individuals and as a nation. Our thankfulness usually focuses on our material blessings—our daily provision of food, our jobs and homes, our family and friends and our freedom as a nation. While we should thank God for all of these blessings, how many of us ever give thanks for the trials and difficulties of the past year?
Why should we do this? Author and speaker, John Bevere says in his book, Killing Kryptonite, “Adversity locates the strength of our faith.” In other words, life’s difficulties are a kind spiritual thermometer that reveals whether we are trusting in our own ability to get through our trials or whether we are really putting our faith in God. Continue reading
Focus on Being more thankful
More and more our Thanksgiving holiday has been eclipsed by the commercial focus on the upcoming Christmas season. By October, merchants line their shelves with Christmas goods, and TV and newspaper ads remind us that Black Friday and Christmas are just around the corner.
The distractions of the season are ever present, but one way we can focus on what is really important is to increase our “thankfulness.” I’m challenging myself to purposely begin my prayer time each day with thanksgiving for all the blessings God has given me. Continue reading
The Holidays Afford Us the Opportunity to Draw Closer to God
Like a bear preparing for its winter of hibernation, I always seem to gain at least five pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those buttery homemade mashed potatoes and rolls on the Thanksgiving table always beg for seconds. And the Christmas cookies and fudge that show up everywhere—at the office, at church and at all those holiday parties further weaken my resistance. I actually make myself miserable thinking of the pounds I’m gaining as I chomp down on that second or third cookie without exerting any self-control. Continue reading