Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks in a Hard Year

Sometimes I’ve wondered, If I were a Pilgrim, would I have celebrated Thanksgiving? Perhaps after all of the hardships enduring a brutal winter, burying so many family and loved ones, and struggling just to survive, I’m not sure that I would have thought of setting aside three days to give—of all things—thanks. 

But I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the pilgrims lately. Because if they could institute Thanksgiving 1621, surely we can celebrate Thanksgiving 2020. 

If the Pilgrims could institute Thanksgiving 1621, surely we can celebrate Thanksgiving 2020 Click To Tweet

This year has been challenging. It has held losses for many of us—financial, relational, physical, and even emotional. 

But has our year not held blessings as well? Has it truly been harder than that first Thanksgiving when bereaved Pilgrims (families who had dug seven times more graves than they built huts) gathered with their Native American benefactors and together gave thanks to God who preserved and provided for them?  Continue reading

Why We Give Thanks


Thanksgiving is more than a holiday; it is an action—thanks giving.

Of course, everyone—saved and unsaved alike—has much to be thankful for. We all enjoy what Spurgeon called the “common mercies” of God. And most people try to practice gratitude.

But those of us who know the Lord know who we are grateful to. We don’t simply “give thanks”; we “give thanks unto the Lord for He is good” (Psalm 136:1).

So what do we give thanks to the Lord for? Everything. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

Because, however, it is difficult to genuinely give thanks for everything all at the same time, here is a simple acrostic of ten things we who know the Lord have reason to give Him thanks: Continue reading

What I Learned by Eating Stringy Pumpkin Pie


You might call me stingy, but I prefer to think of myself as thrifty. Either way, I’m all about saving pennies where I can…which is exactly what I did two years ago when I salvaged several small pumpkins from being tossed.

My initial plan was simply to roast the pumpkins’ seeds. (If you’ve never had roasted pumpkin seeds, you’re missing a big piece of life.) But once I had the pumpkins cut open, I got to thinking about how much I could save by not purchasing canned pumpkin. Why spend $1/can when you can do it yourself?

A quick call to my mom (pretty sure she always knows when I’m baking by my calls) and I was in business. It was a cinch: cut the pumpkin into chunks, place in a casserole dish with a little water, cover with a tin foil tent, and bake. Once the pumpkin is tender, remove from oven and scrape from its peel. Who would buy canned pumpkin with this easy process? I even froze some for later.

While I was on a roll, I went ahead and whipped up a pumpkin pie with my freshly baked pumpkin. Continue reading

Book Review: Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss


On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your gratitude? If you had asked me this spring, I probably would have rated mine about a 8.2.

But then I read Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Through this book the Lord worked in my heart to show me how ingratitude had worked its way into my life in ways I had not recognized. Subtle expectations I hadn’t identified and buried pride surfaced.

As the subtitle suggests, this book connects the dots between gratitude and Christian joy. I already knew the two are related, but I was challenged through the book to recognize specifically on what points they connect—namely humility and an outward focus.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in ourselves—even in our service to others—that we become burdened and inward focused. Choosing Gratitude highlights how effective gratitude is to usher us into the presence of God. It enables us to break away from ourselves and renew our joy.

Even today, as I flip back through the book to reread my highlights, I was challenged anew. Here are a few: Continue reading

Half Poured & Overflowing

I set out at the beginning of November to write a blog post every day about one of the attributes of God for which I’m thankful. I even called it NaThaMo.

Well, if you’ve been following the posts, you know that I am now five days behind (besides having missed letters J and M). In fact, I’m far enough behind that I’ve conceded I won’t finish out the month.

In assessing this “failure,” I determined to look at the month as half-full instead of half-empty. “Hey,” I told myself, “at least you did half of the letters.”

And then it hit me. Continue reading

Closer than You Think

Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.

Have you ever felt alone? Forsaken? Abandoned? Forgotten?

There’s a pathos in Psalm 142:4 that I think we can all identify with: “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.”

And perhaps you’ve felt a similar anguish to Job’s when he seemed to search for God’s presence in vain: “Behold, I go forward,” he cried out, “but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him” (Job 32:8–9)

If you’re there right now, could I tell you something? Continue reading

Nothing, Nothing at All

Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.

What can make God stop loving me? What can separate me from His love? What can dim or cloud the intensity of His love for me?

Please read the answer very slowly: nothing, nothing at all.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans 8:35, 37-39

I’m thankful for God’s love.

Sometimes I forget about it.

Sometimes I live as if I must earn it. Continue reading

Everything You Need

Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.

The shortest complete sentence in the English language is “I am.” When the Great I AM speaks, it is also the most complete sentence! I’m thankful that He is everything you or I need today.

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.—Exodus 3:14

I am the bread of life.—John 6:35, 48, 51

I am the light of the world.—John 8:12

I am the door of the sheep.—John 10:7, 9

I am the good shepherd.—John 10:11, 14

I am the resurrection, and the life.—John 11:25

I am the way, the truth, and the life.—John 14:6

I am the true vine.—John 15:1, 5

What attribute of God are you thankful for today that begins with the letter I?

You’re Not Alone

Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.

Over ten years ago, my cousin Jonathan was rushed to the Children’s Hospital in Chicago where his life lay in the balance. Of course, his family as well as our entire extended family was deeply concerned. Even as the doctors studied to diagnose and treat the infection, they warned the family of the seriousness of his condition.

Meanwhile, my uncle and aunt were juggling time in the hospital, time at home with the other seven children (who were all too young to be allowed in the room), multiple jobs, and paper routes. For one week of this time, I was able to travel to their home and relieve my aunt and uncle of home duties as well as a precious few of the job duties. My cousins and I made lots of memories that week…most of which I sincerely hope they won’t share. (That includes the “gooky” cereal, Kirsten! :))

But one moment took place which I will never forget.  Continue reading