The Hoof Print
Horse News. Christian Living. Equine Education
The Christian Equestrian's Literary "Stamp" in Type
I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Ps. 69:30
I love this holiday. It's so American and rooted in giving honor and praise to God. All year long, when we get our big family together, it's always a feast. Still there is a distinction with Thanksgiving! We have our fun. We have our traditions. We have our family recipes! And plus, it's just an exciting, cozy time of year with weather changes, beautiful colors among the landscapes and the delicious smells of cinnamon!
Consider it's Christian origins, is it any wonder that Thanksgiving is getting more and more overshadowed by Halloween, commercialized Christmas, Shopping and Football each passing year?
Yet, the Bible reminds us that thankfulness is a charateristic of God's people. We can celebrate Thanksgiving like it should be done!
Here's some ideas for the day in addition to the feasting:
Read Thanksgiving Bible Verses - Just type in "thanks" or "thanksgiving" on a website like www.biblegateway.com and you'll be amazed how many Bible verses pop up!
Get Dad to read the Story of Thanksgiving outloud. With the East Texan accent, in our home, that can get really entertaining for "pronounciations!" From Sea to Shining Sea is a great book and the children's version allows a condensed version of the details!
Do a family Thanksgiving skit. We used to do this but alas our Chief Massasoit and William Bradford revolted! :) We had so much fun doing it and even made our own video version. I was ambitiously writing my Thanksgiving version of Pride and Prejudice - but it would have been a seriously reduced casting (uh...me) after Mrs. Bennet finished her rhapsody over the turkey and dressing at Pemberly. I possibly could have made a convincing Mrs. Bennett - yet also being Mr. Darcy could have proven a challenge despite my theatrical experience in church plays as a kid!!
Take the time to play family games. It takes a lot of energy to plan all that. One year, we had a Thanksgiving themed obstacle course, wheel barrow races and beyond. We've learned to change it up and just allow each year to unfurl. However, good times usually don't just happen! You've got to plan for success when it comes to doing something besides watching television or playing video games!
Play a game like Kick Ball or go on a walk - after eating all that food, it might be a good idea to get some exercise! Go on a nice, gentle stroll with your best friends, your family and enjoy the outdoors while visiting.
Plan a campfire! Why is it we never can remember all the words to all those great songs we want to sing around a crackling fire? Print them off, but be sure to hand out flash lights should it be dark! :)
Make a Thanksgiving Tree - Give everybody colored strips of paper to write down what they are thankful for. I did this once with students at a horse facility I taught riding lessons. You can very quickly cut out a trunk of the tree with brown paper and then add little rectangular shaped strips in fall colors. Keep it simple!
Be sure to Pray as a Family! In all the festivities, don't forget to stop and Thank God for His provision, His salvation and His love.
If you can - go pet a horse! Of course, I will be making my rounds through the pasture, Lord Willing, and saying hello to the family horses.
Sing! Make a joyful noise as a group. How about some hymns? The internet has the lyrics available ready to print out.
God bless you~ and do have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9
7 Reasons We Can Be Thankful!
Thankfulness is a true mark of Christianity. It is an outpouring from the heart of rejoicing in God’s provision.
The born-again Christian has every reason to be thankful. Here’s just a few explanations why:
- Our lives are enriched with purpose. Christ’s own life was given as a ransom to redeem us from sin. And God’s provision didn’t stop there! He gave us Salvation for free. We could never earn or pay the price of such a gift (Eph. 2:8-9). Every day, He is working in our behalf to unfurl His specific, individual plan for each of our lives (Eph. 2:10). God made us to bring Him glory (Is. 43:7)! In Jesus Christ, we each have a reason for living, a hope for tomorrow and a joy for today.
- Our lives are enriched with gifts and benefits. God bountifully provides for all our needs (Philippians 4:19). Jesus is our Great Shepherd, carefully preparing a place for us, tending to our needs (Jn. 10:14). Every day He is leading us in His pathways whether through valleys or green pastures (Ps. 23). He takes delight in blessing us (Ps. 149:4)!
- We have freedom! Through trusting and obeying the Lord and His Word, as Christians we find God’s righteous lifestyle to be one of true liberation. His ways guard us from evil—freeing us! Through our willingness to live according to His Word, It positions us to receive blessings of genuine worth. When living like God wants, we have freedom (Ro. 8:1-11)!
- Our lives and souls are made like new! Regardless of present sorrows or past sins and/or tragedies, Christ has overcome them all. He took the burden of our sins and the agony of our sorrows; they were nailed to the cross (1 Cor. 15:3-5; 57). Christ is the Great Physician that heals the broken hearted (Ps. 147:3). He renews our strength that we might soar as eagles (Is. 40:31)! He puts a new song in our mouths that we might be like a chosen generation showing forth the praises of Him (Ps. 40; 1 Peter 2:9). Christ’s blood cleanses us from all our guilty stains (Re. 1:5)!
- We may know His truth and live like Christ today. The Lord has provided us the Holy Spirit to instruct our hearts (Jn. 14:26). When we accept Christ, the Spirit of the Lord renews our thinking in the mindset of Christ so we can value what God values (Eph.4:22-24). By having God’s view, we have an eternal, heavenly perspective. Prayer is our privilege to communicate with God Almighty. We can humbly come before the Throne of grace and make our requests known to Him (Ph. 4:6; He. 4:16).
- We are not alone. As one of God’s children, we are never alone! We belong to God’s family (Ps. 89:26). We are a chosen generation, joint heirs together with Christ (Ro. 8:17; 1 Pe. 2:9).
- We have a future and a hope! As Christians, today we have reason to be joyful despite the reality of living in a fallen world. Still, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, even the sufferings (or just the crumbling!) of this present time are not to be compared with the Glory of what is to come (Ro. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17). Jesus Christ has gone to prepare a place in Our Father’s House—just for us (Jn. 14:2). We will one day be with Him forever, feasting at His table. What a day that will be.
It takes being with Christ—in our hearts, souls and minds— to get the most out of living life. We don’t have to wait to be thankful. It doesn't take a special "setting". We can be thankful everyday. Every Christian is guaranteed all the best things in life that have eternal value. When we have God’s perspective, we can say with genuine thanksgiving
“Blessed be the Lord God…
Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.” Ps. 72:18-19