Ruminations on Thanks-Giving (and Christmas)

Lord God, Ruler of the universe and Creator of all things. We choose this day to pause. We choose to stop from all our activity in this moment and simply reflect on You and give You thanks.  If we will choose to rest in You we can come into that place of awe which enables us to receive Your peace, so we can go forward into the rest of our day in a different way. Oh Lord, we are overwhelmed with a need to thank You for Your love, Your care and life. Thank You for being with us through all things. Thank You for being Victor when there seems to be no way and for conquering death so that we no longer need to fear it. Thank You that nothing can snatch us out of Your hand and that You lead us through every dark valley as our Beloved Shepherd. All that we want and need is you. All that we want from life is to follow You.  Thank You, dear Lord God that You are. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Lord God, Ruler of the universe and Creator of all things. We choose this day to pause. We choose to stop from all our activity in this moment and simply reflect on You and give You thanks. If we will choose to rest in You we can come into that place of awe which enables us to receive Your peace, so we can go forward into the rest of our day in a different way. Oh Lord, we are overwhelmed with a need to thank You for Your love, Your care and life. Thank You for being with us through all things. Thank You for being Victor when there seems to be no way and for conquering death so that we no longer need to fear it. Thank You that nothing can snatch us out of Your hand and that You lead us through every dark valley as our Beloved Shepherd. All that we want and need is you. All that we want from life is to follow You. Thank You, dear Lord God that You are. In Jesus’ name, amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2015

In the United States we have entered what we hope will be a season of reflection and thankfulness, of celebrating the blessings of family and friends and giving to others in a way they know they are appreciated. And in our well-intended efforts to do all of this perfectly, it can become the season of hustle and bustle and hectic.

Where is our Lord in this? How have we welcomed Him? What is His place? The baby in the manger. The child born to redeem the world, open the door back to restored relationship with the Creator of the universe (and our Father) and the few who saw the signs of the angels and the star, believed, then came to adore an infant born to poor parents without any true vestige of what they understood kingship to be.

Christmas is the hope of the Resurrection. Christmas is the beginning of Pentecost and our jobs for the Lord to be His ambassadors here on this earth now. Christmas is the remembrance nothing and no one can snatch us out of the Lord’s hands. He is there for us. He always will be. He will never leave or forsake us.

Thanksgiving is the beautiful intersecting point, related to and preceding Christmas where we pause to express thanks to our Lord and acknowledge the ever-critical, never-ending role and place He has in our lives. This is what it’s about—not crowded airports and grocery lines and just-the-right napkins and tablecloths. It is the intentional pause to remember He IS our life and LIFE eternal. Our life is in Him. All life is from Him. With Him all things are possible. Without Him nothing is possible.

The Thanksgiving we remember as the first in the United States was exactly this. It was an intentional time to gather and thank God for His provision and protection in the midst of misery which was not unexpected. To acknowledge His place in our lives as Creator, God, King, Father and Lord. The pilgrims had struggled. Over half died the first winter before they planted their first crops and long before the first harvest, after which they gathered to give thanks.

To give thanks when all is not perfect is real. There will be no life without hardships on earth (for here will never be heaven). To give thanks when all is not what one had hoped is to recognize the imperfection here and how God still blesses us in it and through it until He takes us home. To give thanks as the harvest comes in and in the face of the unknown of the season to come (which for the pilgrims was another winter) is to acknowledge that all things belong to Him, all things are enabled by Him, we are at His mercy and recipients of His grace and care and choose by faith to take up the rest in Him to which He invites, in the midst of difficulties and suffering, trusting in His perfect and eternal plan until He takes us home.

The family gatherings of Thanksgiving and the holy-days (true root of the word “holidays”) which follow can be deep, rich blessing. Yet, the true meaning of these celebrations is the joy of knowing we were made by a God who loved us and loves us beyond what we can imagine, who came to rescue us and is with us now, who takes care of us and uses us through every generation.

The true fulfillment to be found in these days is to resist the hectic, realize it is not about turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie, and make sure to take the time to revel in the mighty, majesty of our Creator and enjoy the imperfect people with whom He has surrounded us, His imperfect beloved children. Pause. Reflect. Breathe. Be filled with childlike wonder. Sigh. Breathe. Shed a tear. Stay present to only Him for a moment. Breathe. Listen. Hear the heartbeat of His love for you. Exhale thanks. Go about your day in a new freer way.

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email elizabeth@eaglesnestfoundation.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

 

 

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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