“The Power of Thankfulness” (Part 1)

November 23, 2015

Mount Pleasant church sign Mount Joy, PA
“The Power of Thankfulness
(Part 1)

Note: This week we are traveling to Nashville Tennessee to visit with Brooksyne’s family. We do not expect to be able to post new messages each day but depending on access to the internet hope to get several out. We hope all our readers have a blessed Thanksgiving!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). “Return his cloak to him by sunset so that he may sleep in it. Then he will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 24:13).

Chaplain visitThere is great power in thankfulness. Let me emphasize at the beginning of this message that our main focus should be thankfulness to God and we will certainly share a message with that focus this week.

However we also believe that being thankful to others is a great means of blessing and encouragement. We try to purposefully practice that. Last week I walked through a manufacturing facility that makes precision machined parts for the nuclear power industry and for agriculture. As I greeted the employees I thanked them for their work whether they were helping feed the world or keeping the power on!

Ester’s job as a bagger at Darrenkamp’s Supermarket in Mount Joy is going well and she really enjoys working. She told me how some people thank her after she packs their groceries. No matter her age I respond as a dad and remind her to always respond with “You’re welcome” but also encouraged her to develop a more thoughtful response such as adding, “It’s a real joy to serve you”.

It is a joy to serve others and to recognize their service to you. I regularly counsel people in the course of our business chaplain ministry that work may be drudgery if you are only working for a paycheck. I urge them to consider how their work is a benefit and blessing to others.

Years ago the NFL sponsored an ad series with an interesting theme. Brief clips showed players going to stores, standing on street corners, meeting workers coming out of factories, just to say “Thanks for watching”. The fans reacted, “I can’t believe they’re doing this!” (Of course, the NFL players could do this with the ulterior motive that their paycheck is a result of people watching their games.)

Let’s be people who are thankful today; above all to God and then to the many who have blessed our lives.

There’s a lot of thanklessness in our world. In fact Paul in listing characteristics of mankind’s fallen nature lists thanklessness (Romans 1:21).

Consider today Deuteronomy 24:13, the rather obscure second daily verse, “Return his cloak to him by sunset so that he may sleep in it. Then he will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the LORD your God”.

What is “regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the LORD your God”?  The return of the cloak or the “thank you”? Both are; compassionate, responsible behavior reciprocated with thankfulness. Let us all practice that in our little corner of the world today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I pray for an attitude of thankfulness like Paul wrote about where I give thanks in everything. In doing so I deliberately look for the blessings right in the midst of a trial and see beauty where once there was ashes. You also help me to see the everyday blessings others bring to my life in ways that I would otherwise lack; the postman who delivers my mail; the garbage collector who picks up my trash; the employer who provides a paycheck; the medical team that responds to my critical need; the church family that provides loving support during a time of crisis; the faithful family member that keeps vigil until the loved one passes from here to glory. All of these and so much more make up the everyday events of life that make living more loving and memories more lasting. May we be grateful instead of grumbling, givers instead of takers, loving instead of indifferent, and thankful to those who make a positive contribution to our daily living. Amen.

See I Thessalonians 5:17

Special today: A moving local story of thankfulness.

Home view 11/22/15
We had a beautiful weekend and I did lawn work Saturday, including what will likely be the final mowing for the season, as well as raking whic I expect to have more of! Although we enjoy the colorful beauty of spring and summmer there is also a certain beauty to the starkness of late fall and winter. Notice though that our lawn is still green and the pets enjoy being out.

Special Thanksgiving Resources
We offer these resources to families and church leaders to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will leave them up through Thanksgiving.

We appreciate singing the traditional Thanksgiving hymns. Here are several classics that you may or may not hear this season.

“Be Magnified”  Video   Kim Hill

“In Everything Give Him Thanks”  Video  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

“In Everything Give Thanks”  Video   Charlotte Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter  This song will bring joy to your heart!

“Now Thank We All Our God”  Video  Best Loved Hymns

“Come Ye Thankful People Come”  Video  Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video

“Thanksgiving Medley” (We Gather Together, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come)  Video  Studio Musicians

“Give Thanks”  Video  Don Moen

“Thank You Lord”  Video  Community choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.

“Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul”  Video  Holland Davis

Thorns“Thankful For The Thorns”: A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. The Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Some of you are not in charge and are only visitors at your Thanksgiving gathering, but if it is possible share together around the table the theme of “Thankful for the Thorns” (printable web page).

“A Thanksgiving family exercise” (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service several years ago. (web page) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)

“Thanks”  Video  Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers

“I Want To Thank You”  Video  Karen Peck and New River  This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who impact our lives and also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly insignificant expressions of faith.  From the Gaither Homecoming series.

“Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me”  Video  Gordon Mote & Jason Crabb

“Come We Thankful People Come”  Video  Traditional version  Here’s a bit more contemporary version with same lyrics.

“I’m Forever Grateful”  Video  Willow Creek

“Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart”  Video  Don Moen

“When I Thank Him For What He Has Done”  Video  The Cathedrals

“Worthy Is The Lamb Crown Him .. Crown Him With Many Crowns”  Video  Travis Cottrell

“Thank You, Lord”  Video  Dennis Jernigan

“Thank You For Loving Me”  Video  Tommy Walker

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”  Video  Matt Redman

“For These Reasons”  Video  Lincoln Brewster


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