Friday, October 5, 2007

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving weekend --- as we approach the first long weekend of the Fall season, it sure does not feel like it weather-wise! It is 27C right now as I look out the window into a calm, beautiful, warm and sunny Fall afternoon.

As I reflect on what Thanksgiving Day is all about, I remember reading somewhere about the Parliament of Canada making some sort of proclamation about Thanksgiving. So, I did a quick search, and here it is: On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the second Monday in October."

What a difference 50 years can make! I don't think that we would see a proclamation by the Canadian Parliament worded like that in this day and age. Sad, but true. The reality is that we live in a society today that has increasingly embraced pluralism. On the flip side of this, I do think that pluralism is a good thing. In my experience, I notice that people today are more open to listen to what I have to say about my faith because of pluralism. People who are willing to listen is really all I need, the Holy Spirit will do the rest!

In Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV), it says: "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

So...where was I? Yes, giving thanks. So it is the Thanksgiving weekend already. What have we planned for the family? Let's see...for starters, we will be working on filling Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes which we do every year around this time to get them ready for shipping overseas. We will also be having Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's home on Monday. Aside from that, we are starting something new this year. Tomorrow, we will take the children to the grocery store. They will fill the shopping cart (on their own) with food items that the local food bank has requested, then we will make a trip downtown to drop these items off.

We are so blessed in this country! We have so much to be thankful for. Everyday should be Thanksgiving Day! That is what we are instilling in our children. Each night when they pray, we encourage them to think of three specific things that happened that day for which they can thank God for. At first, it was a bit difficult to think of even three things without repeating the ones from the previous night, but once they got into the habit of doing it every night, it became easier. One night not long ago, my son announced to me that he kept going and ended up with five things to be thankful for.

I look forward to the day when my son comes to tell me that he's lost count of how many things he's thankful for from one single day! That will be such a blessing!

"I will praise God's name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving."
---Psalm 69:30 NIV

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