Thanksgiving Thoughts

Send the poem below as an invite/reminder to those coming to your house for Thanksgiving.

 

Or, try an e-mail such as this one I’ve sent out to my guests:

 

Hi,
I am praying we are all overjoyed at the goodness of God this Thanksgiving.  To that end, if you have something to share – a testimony, poetry, a song of thanksgiving perhaps!!!, and if ____________ would sing too that would be SO marvelous.
No pressure, and please pass on to your beloveds if they have something to add/share.  Anything at all, maybe something from American History???  A favorite psalm or other verse?
Love and Hugs and Can Hardly Wait!
Bev
And now for the food:  “We’re not having ham this year?” Seth asked in wonderment.  “No, we’ll have ham at Christmas maybe,” I answered.  The truth was that I have other meats in the freezer I want to use.  I think it’s OK to deviate a little from tradition, just as long as you keep the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.
Gravy can be tricky, but it’s nothing compared to who to invite.  The key is that, after prayerful consideration and family discussion, YOU INVITE.
There are countless people who would love to come to your house, but you need God’s
guidance to get the right group together.  I like to have it all nice and tightly sewn up, so I can plan.  Let’s see.  If we take the folding chairs off the balcony, if we mix the old steak knives with the new, and alternate the plates – green, gold, white, green, gold, white . . . Should we move the loveseat into the living room for more seating???  
How many people?  One couple has to go to Minnesota to see ailing folks, and that other couple who’s on the outs with their own families could take their place . . .
Or, I could invite that little single mother down the road . . .
In all this there are, thanks be to God, some people coming who will back us up and stand with us in prayer if there are some “messy” folks there, some folks who really need extra, extra, extra love, love, love.
Thanks be to God for Thanksgiving.  Amen.
 

Thanksgiving Day

Over the river, and through the wood,
  To grandfather’s house we go;
       The horse knows the way 
       To carry the sleigh
  Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood—
  Oh, how the wind does blow!
       It stings the toes 
       And bites the nose
  As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
  To have a first-rate play.
       Hear the bells ring 
       “Ting-a-ling-ding”,
  Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood
  Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
       Spring over the ground, 
       Like a hunting-hound!
  For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood,
  And straight through the barn-yard gate.
       We seem to go 
       Extremely slow,—
  It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood—
  Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
       Hurrah for the fun! 
       Is the pudding done?
  Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!

 

Blessed in Denver???

I am thinking of living life toward what makes me grateful, thankful, overwhelmed and amazed at the glory and goodness of God.  Thinking of THOSE things, talking about THOSE things, building THOSE things.

I have been in Denver for what seems like a very long time – getting lost, getting honked at, finding parking, finding ATMs for yet more tip cash, for yet another nervous look at my account balance.  My daughter was called to jury duty and I thought (duh) she wouldn’t get picked but just in case I took a  change of clothes (one change) and came along with the idea of writing the bestseller of the decade in a coffee shop while she did jury things.  That was last Monday.  Ten days later . . .

I have come to love these people, the plaintiff and company as well as the defendants and company, and indeed, their entire little mountain town.  If you pray enough for people, you come to love them, you come to see them through the eyes of Jesus.

So, here I sit at Corner Bakery on Stout Street because the staff here give me free stuff and smiles and don’t seem to mind me sitting here praying and reading my Bible all day (not trying to say I’m a spiritual giant, just wanting to let you know you can do this), hoping the jury reaches a verdict today, and preferably before rush hour.

Last Monday Denver rush hour seemed a big deal to me.  Now, it’s more important that God is the true Your Honor here.

I sat in court for what was to be my only time, that first morning.  That was enough for me to say to my daughter, “Call me when you’re finished,” and, “Lord, deliver me from endlessly repetitive attorneys and crotchety judges” (I stood up too soon – when the jury was dismissed – along with a few other ignoramuses, and did we ever get a verbal spanking!).  Note:  I now think this judge rocks in every way.

My daughter said she would feel better knowing I was there in all that darkness, so after a brief absence I rejoined the fray as a praying and often appalled spectator, and it all began to matter.  And I thought of how much grief might have been saved by baking cookies (that’s what I did when we were new and unloved in a small town), and by saying, “I’m sorry.”  In short, by obeying the Truth, the Word, the Lover of us all.

The Bible tells us to settle out of court.  Look it up.  I think the judge is marvelous and the lawyers brilliant (sometimes) and the witnesses incredible (in both good and bad ways), but I think the legal system is best left, if at all possible, to those who have no better alternative, i.e., the alternative of faith working by love.

What?  You heard me right.  I was daring to agree with my Maker, being weird.  The weirdness of faith.  Dave Ramsey talks about becoming weird in his book Priceless, and I had no sooner finished reading that than I turned on Ministers Jesse Duplantis, Mark Hankins and Keith Moore (not all at once) and I got the message again – be different, be weird, expect people not to like it, not to get it, to be threatened by it.

But not all people, and not the ones you might think.  The people of Denver have amazed me, astounded me really, with their curious and helpful friendliness.  Beginning with the people in the courthouse (all of them) to the hotel and restaurant staff, to people on the street, I have sensed and experienced a most unexpected friendliness, and even a gladness of heart in many cases.  (The exception were some British businessmen making fun of President Trump and stupid Americans, which was a lovely time to flex my forgiveness muscles and press my lips firmly together – casting pearls before swine, you know).

This isn’t my first time to town, and this enjoyment hasn’t been my experience of Denver in the past.  Has Denver changed, or have I?  Or both?  Whatever the case, I am thankful.  Does that mean I want to live in Denver?  No, but it does mean that if God said so, I wouldn’t argue or complain.  I would give thanks, because He is wherever I am.

I am thankful for changes in me, changes for the better that are the inevitable consequence of letting Him be Lord.  When he says “Love” he means always and everywhere.  He doesn’t mean lament about having to be in Denver and pay for parking on the street as well as $40 per night valet parking (which may or may not be reimbursed). He doesn’t mean whine about possibly missing being home tomorrow, October 12, which is not only my daughter’s (different daughter) birthday, but also my and John’s anniversary.  He means enter into, abide in, be enormously thankful in, His love. He means stop griping about having to drive down here on slick roads, and stop worrying about driving home in the snow.  It means grooving in his grace flow.  Wow, that sounded really groovy, didn’t it?

There’s a lot of talk about grace lately, and I am NOT thankful that the subject is actually fodder for division among Christians. But I’ll let the Holy Spirit sort (learned that word from the Brits) that one.  I just want to submit that if you or I are in strife, we are thereby not in grace, and we are without power and victory in this world.

But thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph!  In spite of sorry attitudes about my little world getting disrupted by folks who can’t get their acts together and think they can fix everything with a lawsuit, in spite of my being rather given to my own ways and means, in spite of dead zones in my brain, and grey spots on my heart . . . still, He patiently and endlessly works in me and through me.

So, as to living my life toward what causes me joy, what causes me to be overwhelmed with thanksgiving, it’s so simple:  Live life toward The Way, The Truth, The Life.  Jesus.

Wow.  What a deal!

P.S.  I am also ever so grateful for everyone who reads my posts.  Thank you.

P.P.S.  If the case is over by Friday (please God!) I will talk about it and much, much more on my radio show at 2:00 MTN.  Simply go to http://www.1360am.co Friday, October 13 at 2:00.