This morning I read the devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministeries and I was so inspired. The devotional was about giving thanks, and showing my thankfulness for the people around me. The writer started off, however, by telling how she made a list of 51 things she wanted to do the year she turned 51. A few things on her list were just for her. But others were things she wanted to do to show her thankfulness - like cooking dinner for the firemen in her town. You can read the whole devotion at the end of this blog if you'd like.
My birthday isn't until March but I think I'll start thinking about my own list. What do I want to do next year that I've always wanted to do? Who do I want to thank, and what special thing can I do to show my appreciation?
I think this would be a great thing to do as a family on New Year's Eve - make a list for the new year. Then, once a week or whenever you have time, take out the list and pick one item to do.
When I get my list complete maybe I'll share it on my blog!
November 8, 2007
Thanks and Giving
By Zoë Elmore
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48b (NIV)
Okay, I’ll admit I’m no spring chicken, but I’m still full of life; so I decided that I would spend this year doing 51 things I’ve never done before (yes, that’s one thing for every birthday I’ve had). I wanted to do things I’ve always talked about doing, but somehow just never got around to doing.
It’s been fun to use the good china & crystal everyday, as well as the nice towels. I light my favorite candle each evening when I get home from work and I even drove a Jet Ski in the Atlantic Ocean while dolphins raced beside me. I’ve checked off many things from my list this year but there are still things to do before the year is done. Not to give the impression that I’ve only been doing things for myself this year, I also have a few items on my list that will allow me to “give back” to our community. For instance, I’ve always wanted to make dinner for the firemen at our local fire station.
When a neighbor’s home recently caught fire I was so impressed with the firemen who put out the fire and the care they gave to the gentleman living in the home who needed some minor medical attention. After the hoses were rolled up and the ladders stowed I spoke to the shift captain and volunteered to cook dinner for the men of the fire station. He replied “Thank you mam, people are always dropping off cookies; but no one has ever volunteered to feed all thirty-one of us”.
Thirty-one hungry firemen, oh my goodness! What have I gotten myself into? Oh well... numbers aside I said I wanted to do this and do it I will. I think a Thanksgiving dinner would be an appropriate way to say thanks and one way to give back to the men and women who serve my community.
As Thanksgiving approaches and thoughts turn to the food and the whirlwind of details associated with that holiday, I’m reminded that my blessings are too numerous to count or even measure. So this year as the turkey roasts and the marshmallows melt on top of the yams I will rejoice in this new Thanksgiving tradition. I indeed have been given so very much and now I want to find ways to give thanks to those who give of themselves everyday. I hope my list of fifty-one things to do will inspire you to find a way to give thanks to those who serve your community. I can’t think of a better time of year to do just that.
Dear Lord, You continue to lavish your blessings upon me and I am grateful. Help me to find ways to give thanks to those who serve and protect my community. Bless them and their families with Your grace and protection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Small Acts of Grace by Alice Gray
Sponsor a child through Compassion International
Do You Know Him?
Make a list of the blessings you have received this year.
When you see a fireman or policeman, do like my husband Tom does; go over and say “Thank you for your service to our community.”
Finds ways to involve your small group, Sunday School class or neighborhood in giving thanks to your community.
What are you doing to give thanks?
How can you encourage your family to become active in giving thanks?
Acts 20:35b, “Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (NIV)
Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” (NIV)
Romans 10:12, “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, “(NIV)