Thanks/Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

happy-thanksgiving

 

For those of us in the United States, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. I hope you’ll all have a lovely day with family and friends giving thanks to God for all of the ways He has blessed you.

I am taking the rest of this week off from blogging to spend time with my family and enjoy the holiday. Next week I won’t be blogging as I’ll be traveling to Chicago to speak at a Christian women’s event. I’d be most grateful for your prayers for safe travel and that God would be glorified as I speak. Lord willing, I’ll resume my regular blog schedule starting Monday, December 5. (I apologize if you’re participating in The 10 Bible Study that this means we will go two weeks without a lesson.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gratitude, Thanks/Thanksgiving, Top 10

Top 10 Bible Verses on Giving Thanks

Originally published November 20, 2015thanks

Next to Easter and Christmas, there’s no better holiday that Christians could celebrate than Thanksgiving. Scripture reminds us over and over that we have a precious Savior and innumerable blessings to thank God for. Here are ten of my favorite Bible verses about giving thanks. Feel free to share them around on social media or print them out to use in your Thanksgiving decor.

1. Psalm 100:4

ps 100 4

 

2. 1 Corinthians 15:57

1 cor 15 57

 

3. 1 Chronicles 16:8

1 chr 16 8

 

4. Ephesians 5:20

Eph 5 20

 

5. Psalm 69:30

ps 69 30

 

6. Colossians 3:17

col 3 17

 

7. Psalm 79:13

ps 79 13

 

8. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

1 thess 5 18

 

9. Psalm 86:12

ps 86 12

 

10. Revelation 7:12

rev 7 12

 

What’s your favorite Bible verse about giving thanks?

 

Christmas, Mailbag

The Mailbag: Where should I shop for Christian gifts for Christmas?

mailbag

 

Now that Christmas is coming, I have a question about where to buy books, and/or Christian gifts. Should we patronize Christian bookstores and websites? Or would we be helping the culture become more Christian by buying from Walmart or ordering from Amazon?

It’s great to be thinking about having a Christ-like impact on the culture in everything we do. After all, the Bible does say, “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Even shopping.

I think the answer to this question is largely a matter of conscience and good stewardship of the money God has blessed you with, and, of course, husbands and wives need to be on the same page if this is an issue in your home.

Christians have been buying from WalMart and Amazon for years, and the culture continues to march toward Hell at breakneck speed, so I don’t think shopping or not shopping at either of those venues is going to change society much. Amazon carries just about everything that’s in print, so they’re just as happy to sell you a Bible as a Book of Mormon as a Koran as a Richard Dawkins book. The last time I perused the “Christian” book section at my local WalMart, I literally could not find a single book by a doctrinally sound author. The half dozen shelves were laden with Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and the like. (So, yeah, definitely don’t buy “Christian” books there!)

Some Christians don’t want to patronize Christian retailers who carry materials by false teachers. For others this isn’t an issue. This is something you (and your husband, if you’re married) will need to think and pray through and make a decision about.

A few suggestions as you shop this year:

Amazon has a great program called Amazon Smile. It allows you to designate a charity that will receive a percentage of every purchase you make. There are scads of Christian organizations to choose from: churches (maybe even yours!), ministries, missions organizations, pro-life organizations, and others.

If you’re shopping at brick and mortar stores, does your town have a locally owned, doctrinally sound Christian retailer- either stand-alone or at a nearby church? Wherever you choose to shop, don’t forget to take your tracts with you to hand out along the way! That’s the best way to impact your community for Christ while buying gifts.

If you’re shopping for Christian gifts on line, you might consider “shopping small” rather than hitting one of the major Christian retailers. If you’re ordering a book or CD, try getting it directly from the author’s/publisher’s or artist’s web site. Check out some of the smaller Christian book and gift sites. And don’t forget sites like Etsy where you can order lots of Christian gifts directly from the craftsman. Here are a few awesome, doctrinally sound sites to order Christian books and gifts from:

Wretched

Grace and Truth Books

Ligonier

Wrath and Grace

Banner of Truth

Logos

Grace to You

Missional Wear

Westminster Bookstore

Seeds Family Worship

Living Waters

To get the most bang for your stewardship buck, start scouting out the sites you like now. Some are already running Christmas sales. Some will have Black Friday deals, and some will offer discounts on Cyber Monday (Nov. 28).

Happy shopping!


If you have a question about: a well known Christian author/leader, a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Thanks/Thanksgiving, Top 10

Top 10 Songs for Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-songs

Isn’t Thanksgiving a wonderful holiday? It’s a whole day set aside for feasting and thanking God for all of the glorious things He has done for us. And what’s a celebration without great music? Here, in no particular order, are my top 10 picks for beautiful and joyful songs of Thanksgiving. (Click on the titles of the videos without screen lyrics for a lyric sheet in case you’d like to sing along!)

 

1. We Gather Together

It’s the iconic song of Thanksgiving, and for good reason. Now you might think it’s strange that I picked this particular rendition, but there’s just something awesome about a large group of men singing. I think they did a marvelous job.

 

2.  My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness

This was a new one for me this year, but it’s already a favorite. With its phenomenal theology and singability, this one is probably already a Thanksgiving staple in many churches.

3. Now Thank We All Our God 

“With hearts and hands and voices.” We thank God in our hearts and by singing and praying to Him, but let’s not forget to serve Him, and others, as an act of thanks as well.

 

4. Give Thanks

This song quickly became a Thanksgiving standard in the 90’s. I love the way it points us to the simple truth of being thankful for Christ.

 

5. Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Sit down and read over the lyrics of this one if you have a moment. The hymnist beautifully weaves together the idea of harvest time and God’s provision for us with the idea that we are God’s “crop,” wheat and tares sown together. And one day “the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home.”

 

6. Thank You, Lord, for Saving my Soul

Did you know this song had verses? I have to say I feel a little cheated. I’ve been singing this song all my life and never knew of the three precious verses about thankfulness in this song. We need to bring them back!

 

7. For the Beauty of the Earth

How often do we forget to thank God for the simple things? The beauty of the earth, the love of family and friends, the church, and Christ, God’s best gift of all.

 

8. I Thank You, Lord

I’m sorry, but if this song doesn’t have you dancing across the kitchen with the turkey, you’d better check your praise thang to make sure it’s not broken. “I thank you Lord. You’ve been so good to me.” Not a thing wrong with that! (Sorry, I couldn’t find a lyrics sheet.)

 

10. He Has Made Me Glad

Drawn from Psalm 100 and 118, this sweet little song reminds us of the joy of simply being in God’s presence and thanking Him for who He is.

 

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving song,
or song of thanks and praise to God?

Christmas, Evangelism, Missions, Throwback Thursday

10 Ways to Share the Gospel During the Holidays

Originally published November 24, 2015share-gospel-during-holidays

With all the hustle and bustle during November and December, it’s easy for the gospel to get lost in the shuffle. But the Great Commission never takes a vacation, and the holiday season provides some unique opportunities for sharing the gospel that we don’t have during the rest of the year.

1.

If your family does the “let’s go around the table and say what we’re thankful for” thing at Thanksgiving, briefly express your thanks to Christ for His death, burial, and resurrection, and for saving you.

2.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, place a slip of paper with a Bible verse on it about giving thanks at each place setting . Go around the table and let each person read his verse before the meal. Here are a few to get you started, or if you like it artsy, try these.

3.

Give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering of the International Mission Board. (This is an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, but anyone can donate.) The LMCO is designated to fund and equip missionaries who serve outside of North America. You can give online here or drop by your local Southern Baptist church.

4.

Invite an unchurched friend to church with you. Lots of people are more open to dropping in on a worship service or attending a special church event (like a Christmas cantata or nativity play) during the holidays than they are the rest of the year.

5.

Get a group from church together and go Christmas caroling. Choose songs whose lyrics showcase the gospel (Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, and O Holy Night are good ones!) Take some tracts, Bibles, or small gift baskets (containing tracts or Bibles) with you to leave at each home (and don’t forget to invite them to church!).

6.

Donating to a toy drive? Tuck a tract inside your gift or consider donating a gospel-centered children’s book or Bible. The Jesus Storybook Bible  and The Biggest Story are great, doctrinally sound choices. Or how about The Mission Ball?

7.

Contact your local college campus ministry and find out how to invite an international student to spend the holidays with your family. International students can be curious about the way Americans celebrate the holidays. Additionally, dorms often close during school breaks leaving students far from home with no place to stay. Take advantage of the time with your student to take him to church with you and share the gospel with him.

8.

If Christmas parades are a thing in your area, put a float together for your church and use some awesome gospel-themed throws like The Biggest Question DVD, Pocket Testaments, or some eye catching tracts.

9.

Chat with your neighbors, even if you don’t know them well. Shoveling snow together? Exchanging baked goodies? Slow down and take the time to talk (and really listen) with your neighbors. It is amazing how people often open up if someone just takes the time to listen to them. Ask how you can pray for them, and, if the situation is conducive, do it right then. You might even find it turning into a witnessing encounter.

10.

Send out an annual Christmas newsletter? This year, instead of making it about your family’s accomplishments, how about focusing on what God accomplished through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Christ? That’s the most important news your family could share.

What’s your favorite way to
share the gospel during the holidays?


This ARticle Was Originally published at satisfaction through Christ.