As we approach the week of Thanksgiving, it is a good time to remember everything that we can be thankful for and to give God our praise. Quinn Graham, Will Graham’s son and Billy Graham’s great-grandson, has written a special psalm to share. This one, entitled “Thanksgiving” is a great reminder to be thankful. Let’s start our weekend with a thankful heart.
The day of thanks and giving has come
Thanksgiving is the day where we give thanks to God
He gave us life
He died for us, for our sins
He gave us this land which now we call home
Now it’s our time to give our thanks to God
We celebrate our Thanksgiving in the name of God
We pray before we cut the turkey that He has provided us
We gather our families to have a special dinner
The dinner wouldn’t be there without God
We have faith and hope in God
We give our thanks to God
God gives us eternal life
That is what Thanksgiving is about
By: Quinn Graham
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As we’re coming up to the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s important to stop for a moment and consider all of the many blessings that we have. It’s easy to do most of the time. We’re thankful for the roof over our heads (unless we don’t have one). We’re thankful for our jobs (unless we’re one of millions who are unemployed). We’re thankful for our families (though many are struggling as they watch a loved one deal with a debilitating or deadly disease).
So, maybe it’s not always so easy to give thanks. Maybe it’s easier to huddle in the corner and look hopelessly on as the world seems to be falling apart all around us. We’re witnessing very serious and troubling conflicts and upheaval on a daily basis.
Things don’t look great at home either. Our chaplains who work in areas that have been impacted by major tragedies (floods, tornadoes and the like) report that up to 70 percent of those to whom they minister were already facing some sort of “storm” in their life prior to the natural disaster.
Truthfully, it may be easier to focus on all the hurt and pain in the world than it is to focus on being thankful. It’s easy to be discouraged. Undoubtedly, many of you are dealing with very deep and personal pain as you read this.
Of course, as Christians we understand that there’s more to the story. My grandfather, Billy Graham – who turned 98-years-old this month – once wrote: “We’re living in a time of spiritual darkness and political upheaval. Only the forward-looking Christian remains sincerely optimistic and joyful, knowing that Christ will win in the end and ‘if we endure, we will also reign with him.’ (2 Timothy 2:12)”
If we can be thankful about only one thing in this world, it’s that we know the One who is in control; the Rock to whom we cling.
That’s what sets us apart, isn’t it? That’s why we can be thankful in a world of turmoil. That’s what gives us encouragement when the never-ending procession of talking heads in the 24-hour news cycle tell us how bad everything is.
And that’s why we need to be sharing this hope at every turn, knowing that everyone else needs it just as badly as we do.
In this dark world, we do have hope, we do have reason to be thankful, and we do have a calling to share that hope with others. Be praying for those you know who need to hear this message, and – when God gives you the opportunity – share it.
And then, my friends, when God answers your prayers and you see a harvest, that’s something to truly be thankful for.
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Kendra Graham notes from Mark 5:28
WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE. In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.
FACTS: If I just touch HIS garments I WILL get well.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS. Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?
LESSONS: I was recently asked a question which has kind of stuck in my mind, and I’ve thought on it for the past few days. I have been to Kenya, Paupa New Guinea, and countless stateside places to be with Wil as he ministers; so what do the women have in common from West Virginia to Paupa New Guinea? The one thing that stuck in my my heart immediately is “brokenness.” Not to be a sapper of joy this Thanksgiving, focused on the worst things of life, but brokenness is a fact of life. I am NOT thankful for brokenness…. but then on the same hand, I am. It is in my brokenness and my desperateness that I saw my incredible need for a loving and gracious Savior. It is also in my brokenness that in my pride and my anger… oh, and bitterness too, that I refused to come to a Savior.
We have all been there…some of us are there right now… desperate and in need. What we do with that desperateness is of utmost importance. This verse here, states it all… if this woman who has been in great need, extreme issues for 12 years, would just come to Jesus… she would be healed, she would be whole. Isn’t that great… and not great at the same time? If we go to Jesus to get healed… well, then, we will be healed! That means we will not have anything to hold over anyone anymore… that means that those rotten people who did this stuff to me won’t be reminded every time they see me, because I won’t be suffering anymore.
I will be healed, and better… Then… those people won’t know how badly they hurt me… So we stay away, willing to bleed out, because that will show them. Truly, this is hard, because I know for me, I stayed in my situation, bleeding out, hurting, because I liked the excuses my situation afforded me. I really didn’t want to be healed.
But then… the day came, when my pride no longer mattered more than my pain, and I went to Jesus–head low, hurting, and messy… and I was healed. The worst/ best time of my life that I talk about constantly, because the grace of God was freely given to me. I wasn’t judged or condemned. I wasn’t scolded for taking so long. It was as if Jesus would have waited a lifetime, just for me to come. I am so thankful for the relentless love of a gracious Savior who just wants you to come as you are, and be healed. What you choose matters. Jesus takes broken things and makes them beautiful, oh that you would let Him.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY. Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?
What is a testimony of brokenness that you are thankful for since it drove you to Jesus? Are you currently broken, knowing if you just come to Jesus you will be healed, and instead of this being great news, that is the problem? Do you really want to be well? Will you grab the testimony that is just in your grasp or will you hold on to the misery of brokenness?
LIVE IT OUT! Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.
Come to Jesus today. Lay your burdens down, speak them out, yell them out, cry them out, write them out… to Jesus… He has waited for you and loves you more than anything! Today, I am thanking God for healing me and taking my broken mess and painting a portrait I can’t not share.
Homework: Pick a verse or a few verses and use the three-question method to see what the lessons are, how they apply to your life, and how you can live it out.
JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.
If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.
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NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.
Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..
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