Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Tag

Being Thankful   Leave a comment


With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, this may be the only post I make this week.  So I thought that it would be more than appropriate to share my list of reasons to give thanks to the Lord this week.

I Am Thankful For

Image provided by http://www.guideposts.org

I am thankful for….

  • Family
  • Special people in my life
  • A community of faith
  • Opportunities to grow
  • A healthy life
  • A place to call home
  • Safety
  • Wisdom
  • Hope
  • Opportunity to learn from two individuals from different countries
  • Special celebrations
  • The Lord in my life
  • My life

What would your list include?  Please make sure that you stop and take time to remember all the reasons that you have to give thanks.  I am sure if you create a list, you will be amazed at all your blessings.

Thank You God   1 comment


New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto o...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is a day that I continue to have thoughts of gratitude.  So I decided it was time to create a list of thankfulness:

  • I am so thankful for the warmer weather that we have experienced lately.
  • I am thankful for the greening of creation.
  • I am thankful for new life both in the world and in the organization that I lead.
  • I am thankful for friends who make me laugh.
  • I am thankful for the people who express love to me.
  • I am thankful for people to love.
  • I am thankful for opportunities to make a difference.
  • I am thankful for serious conversations.
  • I am thankful for light-hearted conversations.
  • I am thankful for the life that I have been given.
  • I am thankful for hope when things are difficult.
  • I am thankful for peace in the midst of chaos.
  • I am thankful for the privileges that I have.

So thank you God.  Thank you for giving all of this to me.  Thank you for opening my eyes today to why I should be thankful.

A Month of Thanks   Leave a comment


Calendar, November

Calendar, November (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This is my first blog post since the start of a new month.  So following the discipline that I started last month, I want to pause and reflect on the month that just concluded.  What were the meaningful aspects of the month of November?

 

November was definitely a month of activity.  One of the most significant events to me was that I took on a new leadership role within the church.  I was elected to serve as moderator of our regional body.  I view this role not as one of prestige (although I am deeply honored to be asked to serve in this role) but more one of servant leadership.   I intend to treat this role as one in which I serve my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ.  I have no idea how that will play out but I am eager to serve.

 

Of course the week of Thanksgiving is always meaningful.  I was able to pick up my father on Wednesday and enjoyed spending the holiday with him in our home.  The car ride always allows us opportunity to talk in deeper ways than just over the phone once a week.  Whenever I am able to spend time with my dad, memories seem to flood into my mind.  I recall many holidays spent with him, my mother, my sisters, and our extended family.  It was always a great time that I looked forward to.

 

I also had a wonderful meeting with colleagues at the end of the month.  Together, we discussed ways to encourage and transform the structure of our organization.  We planned a retreat for next month.  We affirmed and supported some transforming work happening in a specific location.  We always look at creative ways to continue to move forward and that always challenges me to continue to be creatively transformed.

 

So reflecting on the month that we set aside a day to give thanks, I am thankful for these meaningful experiences in my life.

 

It Takes Work   Leave a comment


These people really went all out

These people really went all out (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like many of you, I have spent time over the last few days trying to put up Christmas decorations.  It is something that I dread with the coming of Thanksgiving every year.  Yet, once I have all the decorations up and in place, I love the look and the joy that seeing them lit up at night brings to me.  So like many of you, I wish there was some magic button that I could push and the decorations would be in place (While we’re at it, the pushing of the button would ensure that all the lights work the whole time from getting them out of the storage boxes to putting them back away.).  However, we all know that such a magic button does not exists.  So every year, I begin the ritual of getting the boxes up from the basement, testing the lights, replacing half of the strands because a portion on each strand does not work, hanging them, and then spending the rest of the season fixing different parts each day.

This exercise in what may appear to be futile efforts has led me to think about all the aspects of life that take work in order to achieve a great outcome.  If I did not take the time and effort to hang the lights and put out the lit, movable decorations, then I would never get to experience the beauty that arrives each night during the Advent and Christmas seasons.  Relationships are another part of life that require work in order to achieve something of value.  You must be willing to put in the effort and to experience the joys and pains if you are going to have a beautiful relationship.

Accomplishments in education, careers, athletics  the arts, organizations, and other aspects of life are the same.  Each of these require work and effort before a beautiful outcome can be produced.  There are set backs and frustrations in each of these but the work must be done.  None of these accomplishments happen without the work.

So today I am reminded of the importance of the work.  If I seek the future beauty in whatever area of life I may be focusing upon, then I need to do the work.

A New Month   1 comment


November Michigan Sunrise

November Michigan Sunrise (Photo credit: hz536n/George Thomas)

 

It is November 1.  Hard to believe that we are starting a new month.  Not just a new month, but the end of another year is close at hand.  November always seems to me a good time to do inventory on what I have accomplished and what I have experienced over the year.  Maybe it is because during the month of November we celebrate Thanksgiving Day and that it is a good time to recall what has happened in the year and for what to be thankful.  Or maybe it is because I realize that I still have a couple of months to accomplish what I have not accomplish to this point.  Either way, the start of a new month, especially November, is a good opportunity to do a little cleaning and re-prioritizing.

 

So part of my day will be spent in reflection.  I want to take an inventory and a look to the future.  This is something that I, as a leader, should probably do at the start of every month.  It is very easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day.  It is easy to forget the accomplishments as you try to manage through a day at a time.  It is easy to lose focus on the future direction as situations arise.  Then when I stop and look around I ask myself – Where has the time, day, month, year gone?

 

Starting this month, I am going to make a commitment to a new practice.  I am going to take time on the first day of every month to do inventory and determine if I need to chart a new path toward the future.  I am going to take time to acknowledge the accomplishments in my life and in the organization.  I am going to take time to be mindful of the reasons to give thanks.

 

Maybe this is something that you would like to start doing.  If so, I invite you to join with me and share what you discover through comments on my blog at the first of each month.

 

Be prepared for a list of some sort tomorrow and every first week of the month.

 

Plenty Enough   1 comment


cornicopia

Image by radcliffe_photos via Flickr

As we are in the midst of yet another Thanksgiving week, I have been thinking about what I have.  I have come to the conclusion that the Lord has promised to provide more than I need and the Lord always does. 

The reality is that as a citizen of the United States, I live in a land of great abundance.  There has always been plenty natural resources, plenty of land, plenty of opportunity.  I am very fortunate to live in such a land.  Unlike my fellow human beings who live in lands that have a scarcity of space, a scarcity of tillable ground, a scarcity of resources, I have never truly had to be concerned about any of this.  I have been given a safe place to sleep, I have limited concern for my physical well-being, I have employment, and I have friends and family who fill in all my gaps.  Not everyone shares in those blessings.

So why does the Lord provide all these blessings?  First, it has nothing to do with my deeds and actions.  It has nothing to do with my status or my heritage.  It has nothing to do with my skills or intelligence.  Simply, it has to do with the fact that the Lord loves me and all of the people the Lord has created.  The Lord provides because the Lord loves us.  Not only does the Lord provide what I truly need, but the Lord provides an abundance which has purpose also.

My response to the abundance that I have been given is to share with others.  One of the means the Lord uses to provide is through me.  I need to be the method in which the Lord offers what others need.  How I use what the Lord has provided to me is important.  In my service and giving to others through ministries of groups, organizations, and hands-on activities, I am able to ensure that the needs of other people are met.  My response to the Lord’s provisions should be one of gratitude and service through the use of my blessings and talents.

So this Thanksgiving, I encourage us all to take note of how the Lord has provided and the abundance in those provisions.  Then respond with thanks, gratitude, and service to others.