thankfulness

Thanksgiving Quotes

Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is a collection of short Thanksgiving thoughts. 

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues." 
— Cicero, c. 106-43 B.C.

"Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves."
—Henry Ward Beecher

"The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart."
—Plutarch, c. 100 A.D.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
—Philippians 4:6

"Some people complain that God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses on thorns."
—Anonymous

"Were there no God, we would be in this glorious world with grateful hearts: and no one to thank."
—Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations." 
—Psalm 100

"O Lord, that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness." 
—William Shakespeare in HENRY VI, PART II

"Gratitude is the heart’s memory."
—Anonymous

"Thou hast given to me so much . . . Give one thing more—a grateful heart." 
—George Herbert, 1593-1633

"In everything give thanks."
—I Thessalonians 5:18

"Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest, and simple graces as especial favors. If you remember the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem small or mean, for nothing can be valueless that is given by the most 
high God."
—Thomas à Kempis, 1380-1471

"Count your blessings,
Name them one by one;
Count your blessings,
See what God has done."  
—Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856-1922

"God gives and forgives. 
Man gets and forgets." 
—bumper sticker

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. AND BE THANKFUL. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs WITH GRATITUDE IN YOUR HEARTS TO GOD. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS to God the Father through him."
— Colossians 3:15-17

[How easy it is to use our Thanksgiving gatherings and even our Thanksgiving worship to celebrate the glory of our own comforts and accomplishments. Lord, redirect our thanks and our lives. Amen!]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chip Stam

Giving Thanks vs. Being Thankful

Have you thought about the difference between "giving thanks" and "being thankful"?

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK directs our thoughts to the spiritual attitude of gratitude. The author, Henri Nouwen, writes about the prodigal son's older brother.

GRATITUDE
Resentment and gratitude cannot coexist, since resentment blocks the perception and experience of life as a gift. My resentment tells me that I don't receive what I deserve. It always manifests itself in envy.

Gratitude, however, goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.

Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. I can choose to grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly. I can choose to listen to the voices of forgiveness and to look at the faces that smile, even while I still hear words of revenge and see grimaces of hatred.

There is always the choice between resentment and gratitude because God has appeared in my darkness, urged me to come home, and declared in a voice filled with affection: "You are with me always, and all I have is yours."

======================

-Henri J. M. Nouwen, from THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON: A STORY OF HOMECOMING, Image Books/Doubleday, 1994.

[Dear Lord, thank you again for your steady and lavish (prodigal) love. Protect me from a spirit of resentment, and nurture in me a deep sense of gratitude for all that is mine because of my relationship with you. Amen!]

Have a great week,
Chip Stam


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.


Nouwen on Gratitude

Have you thought about the difference between "giving thanks" and "being thankful"? Today's Worship Quote of the Week directs our thoughts to the spiritual attitude of gratitude. The author, Henri Nouwen, writes about the prodigal son's older brother.

GRATITUDE
Resentment and gratitude cannot coexist, since resentment blocks the perception and experience of life as a gift. My resentment tells me that I don't receive what I deserve. It always manifests itself in envy.

Gratitude, however, goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.

Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly. I can choose to listen to the voices of forgiveness and to look at the faces that smile, even while I still hear words of revenge and see grimaces of hatred.

There is always the choice between resentment and gratitude because God has appeared in my darkness, urged me to come home, and declared in a voice filled with affection: "You are with me always, and all I have is yours."

- Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming, Image Books/Doubleday, 1994.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Dear Lord, thank you again for your steady and lavish (prodigal) love. Protect me from a spirit of resentment, and nurture in me a deep sense of gratitude for all that is mine because of my relationship with you. Amen!

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Rinkart on Corporate Thanksgiving

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE comes from the very familiar hymn "Now Thank We All Our God." The poet was Martin Rinkart, a pastor in Eilenburg, Saxony in the early 17th century. He lived at time of great political strife. During the Thirty Years War his city was under siege by Swedish and Austrian armies. In 1637 a plague swept through the area and during one period of time, since he was the only surviving pastor, he was conducting some 50 funerals a day. What unbelievable hardship! And yet, in the face of all this pain and sorrow, this hymn resounds with clarity and confidence in God's providential care. It also has a great Mother's Day line.

Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done, in whom his world rejoices;
Who, from our mother's arms, hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in his grace and guide us when perplexed, 
And free us from all ills in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,
The Son, and him who reigns with them in highest heaven,
The one eternal God whom earth and heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be ever more.

I learned about the life and ministry of Martin Rinkart from the Worship Leader's Edition of The Worshiping Church, Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 1991.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

This is thanksgiving that comes out of a poet's understanding of eternal
values, not just immediate blessings or temporary comforts and joys. Is there
a lesson here for us?


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Barnes on Being Thankful

Hustling God
By M. Craig Barnes

BEING THANKFUL
. . . . Until you become thankful, you will never find joy.

Being thankful is not telling God you appreciate the fact that your life is
not in shambles. If that is the basis of your gratitude, you are on slippery
ground. Every day of your life you face the possibility that a blessing in
your life may be taken away. But blessings are only signs of God's love. The
real blessing, of course, is the love itself. Whenever we get too attached to
the sign, we lose our grasp on the God who gave it to us. Churches are filled
with widows who can explain this to you. We are not ultimately grateful that
we are still holding our blessings. We are grateful that we are held by God
even when the blessings are slipping through our fingers.

Only when we see this are we able to be truly joyful, because then we have
made God our joy. We still cherish the blessings, but not because we have to
have them. We cherish them because they are our windows into heaven.

Gratitude is our ability to see the grace of God, morning by morning, no
matter what else greets us in the course of the day. 

- M. Craig Barnes, HUSTLING GOD: WHY WE WORK SO HARD FOR WHAT GOD WANTS TO
GIVE, Zondervan, 1999, page 155.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Well, that's enough to help fine-tune my Thanksgiving prayers. May the Lord
allow each of us to know the incredible magnitude of his love and blessing in
our lives. "Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for
today and bright hope for tomorrow. Great is thy faithfulness." AMEN!


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.