Posted by Colleen Woods on

 A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably.

 John Bunyan


Let your praises be tender, savory, and full of gratitude as you count your blessings and celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday! Rooted in the rich tradition of the Pilgrims' thankfulness, it has been celebrated in the United States since 1621 as a day to be kept holy and filled with thanksgiving to Almighty God. May we look back through the days of this year with a grateful heart for all of the mercies we have received, acknowledging that they are a gift from Him.

God has poured out his lavish love and mercy on us in the midst of sickness and health, hardship and prosperity, tears and laughter, and days of difficulties evened out a bit by moments of comfort and ease. Do we believe that the words in Nahum 1:7 have been true for us during this swiftly closing year? 

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. (NIV)

I believe! I hope you do too.

As we head into the holiday season, may times of reflection and thanksgiving be abundant. May thoughts about the frailty and brevity of life encourage us to dwell on the unseen rather than the misty, temporal things that will pass away. As we gather to celebrate with family and friends, may the people we get to share our lives with be cherished. May opportunities to sow seeds of love and kindness be plentiful as we spend time feasting and giving thanks to our great God!

To all who have lost precious loved ones this year and in years past, leaving a great void, may the God of all comfort fill you with peace and times of rest in the midst of grief and loss. May sorrow be replaced by the joy only God can give. He is familiar with our pain. He loves us!

As we continue to walk out our days on the journey of faith, may our lives be savory as we follow the commands of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount to be salt and light in this weary world.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

It’s easy to sow some of those seeds of kindness by filling Ruby Buckle’s gift bags with treats and sharing them with acquaintances, a way to give them an experience of the generosity and love of God. One idea is to bake a batch of salted caramel cookies or chocolate chunk cookies sprinkled with sea salt. Cool and package them up in batches of a dozen or two, and add them to the gift bag with a handwritten note and the Truly Loved booklet for delivery. Or, store shelves are filled to overflowing at this time of year with delicious savory options: many varieties of nuts, miniature pretzels, crackers in tiny packages, and other treats which are also great for gift-giving (no baking required!).

These little acts of thoughtfulness and kindness go a long way in letting people know that you care! Have a most blessed Thanksgiving ... and let your light shine. 

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