First, I want to give a special welcome to the Pathways to Organization blog to those that attended the woman’s conference at Pine Cove last week! What a blessing and honor it was to speak at the event. It was evident that God touched many hearts and opened up paths to help us be more organized. As I mentioned, the main goal is to organize our hectic lives better so that we can devote more time to God and our families. You are in my thoughts and prayers, with thanks, for the joy you gave me.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I’m not even sure why I love it so much, but perhaps it’s because the emphasis is on what is really important: family, friends, fellowship together, warm homes and great food. I also love how Thanksgiving began.
The Pilgrims, who celebrated the first Thanksgiving in America, were fleeing religious persecution in their native England. After moving to Holland, they again realized that this way of life was not the best for their families. So, on September 6, 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. There were 44 Pilgrims and 66 others.
The long trip was cold and damp and took 65 days. Since there was danger of fire on the wooden ship, the food had to be eaten cold. Many became sick and one died by the time land was sighted on November 10th.
The first winter was devastating to the Pilgrims. The cold, snow and sleet made constructing their new settlement very hard. Many died during the long winter. Of the 110 Pilgrims and crew, less than 50 survived the first winter.
But thankfully in March, an Indian by the name of Squanto, who could speak English, taught the Pilgrims how to farm, hunt and fish. They would not have survived without his help. By October, the harvest was very successful and so the Pilgrim Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to be shared by all. Squanto, his chief and 90 braves came to celebrate which lasted for 3 days.
Over the years, this custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving continued until 1863 when President Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving.
However, we as Christians also have a history of giving thanks. In the Old Testament, God told the Levites to sacrifice a thank offering to the Lord each morning and evening. This was to keep the people’s focus on their true provider – God. We, as Christians, should remember to give thanks to the Lord too, morning, evening and all during the day.
Having a grateful heart and saying thanks also honors God. “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23
– God loves a humble heart: He gives grace to the humble. So, remember to be thankful for all things.
– A humble attitude of gratefulness refocuses our attention on the things that really matter in this life.
– Being grateful keeps our focus off of our self and our wants and puts it on others.
– You can demonstrate gratitude by singing, praising Him, giving generously and living a godly life.
– A thankful heart is a heart that will continue to get closer to the Lord.
– A life that has thanksgiving and praise is one that is focused on God, not on the circumstances.
– When you give thanks to the Lord, your spirit is lifted and refreshed, your tension goes away because giving thanks shows that you believe the Lord is working in your life.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night.” Psalm 92:1-2
A person who is boastful and proud would never show gratitude or thankfulness. I believe that is why God continues to ask us to give praise and thanksgiving to Him. It shows our love and our faith in Him.
Just remember to say thanks and a stronger relationship may be your gift in return! A study at Florida State University compared two groups of people in relationships. One verbally expressed their appreciation while the second group only thought about it. At the end of the study, the group that spoke up rated their relationships as stronger and more connected. Their willingness to do for their spouse was much stronger than the group who did not voice appreciation and thanks.
Everyone loves to hear the words “thank you” and to feel appreciated!
Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without cranberries! And now we know how healthy they are for you. Recent research has shown that each tiny cranberry contains phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, many of which are classified as flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help maintain cell structure and good health by combining with and neutralizing “free radicals”, highly reactive chemicals that damage cell walls. In fact, cranberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, when compared to other fruits.
Cranberries protect against urinary tract infections (by preventing undesirable bacteria from sticking to the bladder’s walls, how cool!), gum disease, ulcers, cancer and heart disease. So, remember to add cranberries to your diet. They may be tiny but they are mighty!
There will not be a blog next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy your family and lots of turkey! Happy Thanksgiving.