Be thankful for all things

 I love holidays, I really do. The holiday season seems to bring the best out of most people. It would be fantastic and a true blessing if the essence of family, joy and togetherness manifested at this time could be accomplished throughout the year. I believe it can if only we understood the spirit of the season. 

This week we celebrate "Thanksgiving." A day of family, food and fellowship but what does it really mean and how can we transform it from a yearly event to a daily affair? I truly appreciate one of the Hebrew concepts of the word "Thanksgiving," (Todaw) which means "Confession" or "Praise." The Merriam/Webster dictionary defines "Thanksgiving" as the "expression of gratitude." 

What if we where to take the essence of "Thanksgiving and apply it to our daily lives. What if every day we make a confession of "Thanksgiving" to someone special that has made a positive influence in our lives. Every day we "Praise" someone for a job well done or a simple thought of appreciation for simply being who they are. Every day we express "Gratitude" to someone that has done something nice for us.
 

There is one lesson of life that my dear mother instilled into my brothers and I that I have never forgotten. She always told us to be ¯Thankful¯ for all things, great or small. When someone would do anything for us she made sure we said, ¯Thank you.¯ Her case and point was pretty simple and made perfect sense; people don¯t have to do anything for you so when they do say ¯Thank you.¯ 

The experience of life operates the same way, we are here but what life offers should be received with ¯Thanksgiving.¯ The other day very early in the morning as I meditated a great atmosphere of thanksgiving overshadowed me as I deeply thought about my life. My wife, children, grandchildren, mother, grandmother, brothers and sisters, family, friends, my cat and all of the experiences that life has shared with me brought upon  me a great sense of joy and appreciation for being alive. There is a saying, "Every time we remember to say "thank you"; we experience nothing less than heaven on earth."
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach ~
 

During this holiday season let us take the time and be thankful for all things. The opportunity of life, the love of family, the support of friendship, the path of success and our relationship with God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To be thankful each day to God is a wonderful tribute for His awesome love toward us. 
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."
~ Meister Eckhardt ~     

As we prepare for this holiday season with food, fellowship and festivities let us remember to say, ¯Thank you.¯ To the pastor of your church, the mail carrier, the police officer, the fire fighter, the store clerk, the waitress or waiter, the parking lot attendant. Call your parents and just tell them, ¯Thank you¯ for being my parents or your brothers and sisters. Tell someone that would never expect it, ¯Thank you¯ and watch the power of sharing such a wonderful gift and that is what thanksgiving is a gift to be shared. 

Husbands surprise your spouse and tell her, ¯Thank you¯ for being my wife. Wives tell your husbands, ¯Thank you.¯  You might be pleasantly surprised at the results of this. The universe is moved by thanksgiving and gratitude and more importantly God is moved and pleased by it. The Apostle Paul stated to the church at Thessalonica, ¯In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:18 

I would like to wish a very special ¯Happy Thanksgiving¯ to all of my Greater Christianity family and thank you for allowing me to serve as your internet pastor.¯Until next time continue to, ¯Live in excellence.¯ 

Your Internet Pastor James Friedman

Please feel free to join Pastor Friedman on Face Book, YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

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