Thanksgiving Day and Every Day

I am spending the early morning hours in my home office thinking about Jesus words of overcoming the worries of life with daily gratitude, as I look forward to co-hosting family and friend tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day.  Before America thought it was a good idea to have a national day of thanksgiving, Jesus had something to say about gratitude when he said: “Consider the birds of the air”.  Those words implore me to feel the astonishing wonder of life and the abundance of God’s supply day by day in our lives.  In short, those words say to me, be thankful for every moment.

Thanksgiving Day has to be more than a day of reprieve from worry as we stuff ourselves with the bounty of food and family.  I want Thanksgiving Day to lead me further down the road of being thankful each day.  This cartoon says it all: 

Learning to be thankful daily is the Jesus way of life.  When I can focus on being grateful for the simple things of life I am not as likely to be tempted to mindlessly ask along with the masses: “Is It Friday yet?

This requires me to be specific with my gratitude and not just to be thankful in general.  Too many Thanksgivings have come and gone in my life, when I was full of gratitude; but for no apparent or specific reason.  Allow me to say particularly to whom and why I am thankful.

I am not just thankful for my family in general, I am thankful for every member of my family in particular and for the persons they are, even for their ugly sweatshirts at Christmas.  I am thankful for the way Terri loves me in way that makes me better each day.  I am thankful for all the ways Lauren, Tara, David, Erin, Emily, and Blake have taken me to places I might not have otherwise gone.  I just don’t love my family per se; I love each person in my family.

I am not just thankful in general for the church I am privileged to serve.  I am thankful for every person who makes up FUMC, Irving and for the way God is shaping us together.  I am thankful for administrative leaders like: Jimmy, Bill, Gary, Alan, Kathy, Ed, Linda, Mickey, and all the members of their teams that gave us direction and structure to build the Kingdom of God in 2011.  I am thankful for our ministry leaders like: Cindy, Joe Y., Bobbye, Judy, Danny, Marni, Phyllis, Gerald, Christine, Rod, and Cathy and the people they led in this last year to make us a better Body of Christ.  I am thankful to work with Barbara, Hyung, Keri, Debbie, Sean, Glen, Susan, Kelly, Jessica, Paula, Sammy, Seong, and Cindy, who make up a staff committed to doing more for the sake of our church than the minutes of a single work day allow.  I am thankful for all silent saints who made ministry happen in such unnoticed ways that we may have taken them for granted.

I am loitering this morning over the details of my life.  Jesus words that say: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” are the words I carry into Thanksgiving 2011. These words say to me, God wants me to know the fullness of life God wants to give each and every day.

Excuse me, I have to go.  I need to get busy passing along my particular thanks to many more people who bless my life.  So, I close with a general Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  But, from my heart and till I am able to tell you in person, I am thankful for YOU!


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. The Schilling Family is thankful for you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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