Posted by: mikenicholsblog | November 25, 2010

thanksgiving in a jar

For a large portion of Americans, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday (count me in that group). It may be the once a year feast that families enjoy, or it is more likely the family time and spirit of thankfulness that the holiday evokes. And for some of you, it may even be black Friday (count me out). But for all of us, it is a time to remember, and give thanks for all of the gifts that God has favored to bring our way. Even for those going through a difficult season, there is room for thankfulness.

Let the words of this Psalm be your Thanksgiving anthem this year.

Psalm 100 (MSG)
On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence. Know this: God is God, and God, God. He made us; we didn’t make him. We’re His people, his well-tended sheep. Enter with the password: “Thank You!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him, Worship him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.

Without a conscious effort to remember the good things that have come our way in the last year, Thanksgiving can become just nice words in our Thanksgiving prayer. I was reminded and convicted of how easy it is to “not remember” His gifts just this week. When our daughter was little, we had a “praise jar” that we would use at the dinner table throughout the year. Each of us would write our praises on slips of paper at dinnertime and place them in the praise jar. It was amazing to see God’s goodness and then be reminded again as we emptied the jar at Thanksgiving. I wonder why we stopped the praise jar?!

Did God stop blessing us? … I think not!
Did our daughter get too old? … Never!

As my wife, daughter and I reminisced about the praise jar this week, it started the memories of the last year flowing. Our family, like yours, has had joy and difficulty, but many things happened that are worthy of the praise jar. I don’t want to forget again any of the goodness of our Father. I trust that this Thanksgiving season (even if you read this note late) you will revisit God’s grace in the last year, as our family will.

We serve an all-generous God who loves us and is loyal always. Look at every gift from the last year (large or small) as from the hand of the Father. You know the password…it is “thank you.” In a world of endless passwords, there could be none better. Turn your heart to Him this Thanksgiving, and be blessed! One last word……start a praise jar!

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