Tag Archives: Thanks

What Refugees Remind Me About Thanksgiving

Pictures of refugees fleeing their homes in Syria and Iraq, cry out for men and women of good will to respond with compassion. On a practical level, a group of five churches in our town, among others, have banded together to help bring five to seven families here to start a new life. Unfortunately, red tape may seriously delay their arrival.

Day after day the devastation and cruelty, the destruction and misery grinds on in the Middle East. We pray for it to cease. We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing…The wicked oppressing cease them from distressing!

Meanwhile the misery of those in refugee camps remind me of how much we have for which to give thanks. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.

We are safe from the rockets that fly by day, and the bombs that fall at night. We take safety so much for granted! We can sleep at night without fear of being captured and tortured by inhuman monsters. God, of our fathers,…From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence, be Thy strong arm our ever Rainbowsure defense.

We live in lands blessed with a beauty that is unspoiled by war and destruction. For the beauty of the earth…Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r.

We have roofs over our heads, soft beds to sleep in, and kitchens in which to cook our abundant food. Refrigerators to keep things from spoiling. Furnaces and air-conditioners. Grocery stores with a bewildering array of foods. Malls chock full of every kind of consumer product from clothing to books and shoes. Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices…who from our mothers’ arms hath blessed us on our way.

Beyond our cities and towns, farmers work long hours to supply our population and people in other countries wLocal applesith an abundance of food. Come ye thankful people come. Raise the song of harvest home.

We have running water at our finger tips and sewage systems to drain away our waste, not onto the street but somewhere beyond our thought and care.

Every day, we open our closets and let our eyes wander over the various choices we have in what to wear. We have blankets and coats for the winter. Imagine, having only the clothes on your back. Imagine trekking to safety in worn out shoes. We thank Thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,…our life, our health, our food.

We have newspapers and bookstores and libraries and access to the Internet. We are wealthy in information and free to travel along our highways and through our skies.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We have abundant hospitals, clinics, and doctors plus a bewildering array of other health care providers. Our drug stores are well stocked with medicines. Fire brigades and police forces are there when needed.

We have the freedom to vote; the freedom to speak out against tyranny and evil. And in spite of concerns about the deterioration of religious freedom, we still have freedom to gather in our churches and worship God according to our conscience. In everything we give thanks for what we have, whi???????????????????????????????le we intercede for the suffering churches of the Middle East.

But most of all we give thanks for the Bible and for the Holy Spirit who opened to our hearts the good news of Jesus who died for our sins and rose that we might have new life. We thank Thee for Him—Thy unspeakable gift without whom all others were vain…For Jesus, our Light, our Salvation, our All, Our Hope till His coming again.

(Further articles, books, and stories at: http://www.countrywindow.ca Facebook: Eric E Wright Twitter: @EricEWright1 LinkedIn: Eric Wright )

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Giving Thanks for Green

For months the landscape lay grey and brown, ochre and dun. Prison grey. Dirt brown. Grey trees lifted imploring fingers toward the wane sun. Tattered brown blankets wrapped the fields in slumber. Even the evergreens—the spruce and pine and cedar—straggled into spring in tarnished dresses of dingy oliAngus on a farm near usve-drab.

Then spring came, and green burst out all over. Grey days quickly become magical green days. Every morning became an Amen of praise to the Divine Artist, a gentle symphony of awakening life heralded by the blush of spreading green. Gentle green. Subtle. Fresh. Vibrant. In a myriad of soothing shades.

Ponder the miracle. Almost overnight grey was banished from the fields of winter wheat. The ditches come alive with shoots of green. The crocuses flowered. Tulips and daffodils brightened the brown border. Wildflowers rose from the litter. The twigs of all the forest trees, according to a timetable choreographed by the Creator, began to swell and stretch. Slowly, the leaves unfurled and stretched toward the warming sun.

???????????????????????????????Spring is like a smile, suddenly transforming a face tight with sadness. Or a subtle blush spreading on the face of a young woman at the sight of her beloved.

Every spring I’m bursting with thankfulness for . . . green, yes, green, as a pigment, green as a symbol of life and hope. What would our world be without its soothing shades? And yet in the few short weeks since this resurrection has occurred, I tend to forget—take it for granted, like so much else that comes from the Creator’s Hand.

Forgive me Father for everything I take for granted! And now that I think of it, what about blue, the colour of sky and water, red that announces cardinal and rose, orange the hue of pumpkin and tangerine, and violet the colour of lilac and amethyst?

If I take colour for granted, what about apples and zebras, bread and butter, coffee and x-rays, dandelions and water? Paul wrote, “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”(Eph.5:20). Clearly, I’ve got a long way to go before I reach the borders of thanksgiving country.

From Philippians we learn that a dearth of prayer laced with thanksgiving Sugar Maplepromotes anxiety.(Phil. 4:6) Colossians teaches us that “overflowing in thanksgiving” acts as a catalyst to encourage our growth in Christ.(Col. 2:7) Colossians also links vigilance to thankfulness.(Col. 4:2) Failing to count our blessings, to name them one by one, makes us careless, spiritually lazy, and dangerously naïve—the dark territory into which I stray too often.

And so, Lord, help me to be thankful for the simple things—all the things I take for granted—including all the colours of the rainbow, but especially green. (Check out Psalm 136) For further inspiration thoughts drawn from nature see Through A Country Window or Down a Country Road at: http:www.countrywindow.ca

Taking Things For Granted

How fortunate it is that God reminds us from time to time to be thankful for what we take for granted. Last week a terrible series of storms marched across the US. In Ontario we felt the whiplash of their passing. Although the winds knocked down trees, removed shingles and plunged thousands into darkness, we didn’t suffer any of the tragic losses felt by our American cousins. For that we are cautiously thankful, for we know that it is certainly not because we are more worthy than they. A more generous people than Americans is hard to find on planet earth.
However, we did learn a lot from the storm. Those lessons concern not only being thankful for good, sunshiny twister-free weather. We are especially thankful for electricity and the ingenuity that God has built into those He created in His own image. Last Thursday the storm blew a tree over the power lines across the road and we lost power for three days along with 600 others. We found ourselves singularly unprepared for this eventuality. As the temperature dipped close to freezing, the house got colder and colder. We had no heat source whatever. A couple of times during the next days, we drove to our daughter’s house, a half hour away, to get warm.
For light we did have a few candles and a oil lamp. I couldn’t find a flashlight. How could we live without being able to read? How would we entertain ourselves without the TV?
Since we live on a rural property we have a well. With the pump disabled, we soon found ourselves without water. Fortunately, we had some water we could use for flushing the commode and washing hands. The summer before I’d installed a barrel to collect rain water off the roof. And we had some bottled water for drinking and brushing our teeth.
At first we fired up the backyard BBQ to boil water in a can and heat up some soup. Finally, deep in our storeroom we found an old propane camping stove that we could use to fry eggs and heat water to wash up without blackening our cooking pots.
Would we lose all our frozen food—the scores of containers of soup we’d painstakingly cooked, the meat, the bargains we’d found at grocery stores? Fortunately, the power outage was not widespread and we were able to buy ice to keep things cold.
Everything takes so much longer and is so much more difficult when we lose the boon of electricity. So, we’re suddenly very thankful for light bulbs and furnaces, for stoves and freezers, for coffee pots and water pumps, for computers and TV’s. Truly, the Lord has made man a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honour. Now if only we’d learn to redirect the glory to its source.
We will try to remind ourselves in the days ahead not to take good things for granted whether they be the conveniences we enjoy or the people in our lives; and especially not to take God’s grace in Jesus Christ for granted. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights. (James 1:17) And as Romans 2:4 reminds us, the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience…should lead us…toward repentance. Including repenting for unthankfulness.