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Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

Going into the weeklong campaign of Giving Thanks by Giving Back, I handed it over to God and trusted God to lead me in a new manner of approach and address within the scope of ministry. COVID-19 did its part by giving me some restrictions that I had imagined would have been lifted or lessened to a degree by then, but I had to maintain my trust in God going into this. For anyone seeking to anything B.I.G. in the name of God, always remember to remain Bold In Grace (B.I.G.) as I learned from Hebrews 4:16.

Giving Thanks by Giving Back incorporated a formula that helped shape the campaign and make for an ease of communications and social media sharing. We used daily themes related gratefulness, expressions of thanksgiving, leaning heavily on the Book of Psalms, and items in 3 major categories. We placed these into a calendar which we made available for download online.

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks gave people an opportunity to reflect on God’s goodness and to take time to spend time with God. Personally, I thought that this was a key component for setting the tone alongside the daily theme. Our personal time with God sets up our worship and works. Giving thanks gave an open opportunity to settle into a a mode where we might search our own hearts or look into the Scriptures for where we truly need to acknowledge and appreciate God for His everlasting love towards us.

Our campaign promotion was primarily through social media

Giving Back

We spent some time with a focus on giving back in various ways. We even looked at why and how to give back. We provided a lot of support here, providing examples and training videos on conducting good works. I sought out a lot of references to other bloggers and authors of the faith to lend support and examples linked throughout the series of daily posts I have archived on this blog during this past week.

During this week and beyond I had the privilege of sharing the campaign components with Christ Temple of San Diego and Pastor John Powell. I was also able to join in service with my beloved friend Pastor Terry W. Brooks and the Bayview Church as they served over 700 meals to local families with the support of Saddleback Church. Additionally, I was able to connect with Dr. Foley Parker and the Lamb of God Food Bank to assist in unloading food for needy families in North County San Diego. These are just examples of some of what we got to get into with this campaign in term of giving back.

An Endearing Example of Gratefulness

An example of gratefulness on full display in a modern context would Amy Frohnmayer Winn. I read her story a few years back in Runners World Magazine. Amy suffered from the debilitating effects of Fanconi anemia (FA) and it plagued her with a high risk of cancer and no cure due to what is considered a recessive-gene disorder. Despite all of that going on with her medically, Amy relished life and its every moment with her husband and her family, especially while she was able to continue running. In essence, Amy’s story taught me a few things about gratefulness.

First, I learned that gratefulness comes out through your composure despite your condition. Let your countenance show that you appreciate life, even the little things that will vanish into thin air when you are gone. Secondly, I learned that gratefulness comes out through your communication despite your condition. What we say oftentimes does not match what we show on our face. Let your words and writing express more gratitude than grief as you deal with life and any condition that you might face. Finally, I learned that your gratefulness will come out through your contentment despite your condition. Paul speaks of this eloquently in the epistles when he wrote: Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content (Philippians 4:11). Our gratefulness does not have to be hidden. It should not be hidden. It should be shown to others, encouraging and inspiring them to hold fast throughout the storms of life embracing more than enduring through it all.

Thank you again to any and all who were involved and supportive of the campaign. We will continue going forward in faith with more to come in the coming month.

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1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

Daily Theme

Thank God for safety & shelter.

Giving Thanks

Read Psalm 121 in its entirety. Think about those times when you might have been down and out, when you were not at your best or on top of your game. Reflect on how God reclaimed you and restored you. Think back on how it felt to know His presence and to receive His provision, those times when you knew that you would not have made it if it had not been for His protection.

Thank God for His help during your hard times. Thank Him for everything that He provided to you. Thank Him for everything that He protected you from during those times. Take a moment and thank Him for all of the grace and mercy that He showered upon you. Let Him know how much that it meant to you to have His hedge of protection in your time of need.

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Giving Back

Support & shop small businesses today. Whether it be at a local farmers market or through a small business website for online shopping. Help end the effects of coronavirus on the small and minority business owners that have been able to keep things together. Black business owners need help, women-owned businesses need help. Veteran-owned and operated businesses are in need of help. Do what you can and make Small Business Saturday a staple as we shop small and buy local.

Go Beyond the Norm

Deliver leftovers to a needy family within your church or community. If you have leftover turkey and trimmings, you might be in a position to help somebody else out and offer them something that you might be looking to toss out come Sunday. Ask your pastor or a church elder. Check with the principal or counselor at your child’s school. Look into it and see who might be willing to accept some care packages of homemade cooking, especially if it is enough to feed a family or two.

#GivingThanks #GivingBack

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You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

– Psalms 145:16

Daily Theme

Thank God as your provider for all your needs.

God’s name Jehovah Jireh means “God the Provider.” “It’s the name given by Abraham to the place where he had sacrificed a ram provided by God, instead of his son Isaac ( Genesis 22:14 ). The meaning plainly is that the Lord sees and provides for the necessities of His servants,” according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Giving Thanks

The Book of Psalms has plenty examples of thanksgiving within its pages upon pages of praise to the Lord. Read Psalm 145:16 & thank God for meeting your needs day by day. Truth2Freedom’s blog expresses it through a list of passages with thanksgiving and gratefulness, while Period Pastor Pad has been reflecting on the Book of Psalms since Lent of 2020 amid church closure due to the pandemic.

This season has taken many names and labels but I believe that we must watch and guard ourselves against what Daily Disciple called ” a season of discontentment.” Aside from being Black Friday, you know that there are daily necessities that God meets for you. Take a moment to thank God for the daily needs He provides for you. Thank God for His provisions that make your life smoother and easier. Thank God for all that He has done on your behalf. As CFoster20 simply put it in a recent post from earlier in November: Let’s be grateful.

Giving Back

Instead of buying items for your Christmas list, donate clothing or food. Give away old clothing that fills your closets that you will never wear again or better yet fit again. Give away canned goods and other nonperishable items to food drives or food banks in order to address hunger and food insecurity. Give back to help others today as a sign of your gratefulness for God’s provision for you and your family. Try to match God with your giving back. After all, the song says that you can’t beat God giving.

Go Beyond the Norm

Provide clothing or food directly to people on the street in your community. Meet people at the point of their need and embrace the opportunity to share with them. Take advantage of an extra day off if you have it and enter the streets with bundles of blankets and jackets, even socks, to share with people on the street and simply be a blessing to someone else today.

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Reflect on Thanksgiving as a holiday. Think on how you spent the time you had on Thanksgiving. Did you do a virtual turkey trot with family and friends? Did you serve others on that day? Did you reflect on what and who you are thankful for in your life? Look back and let yourself feel free to make the most of the days remaining if you feel like you might have missed the mark.

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Daily Theme

Thank God for family & friends, even community.

Giving Thanks

Message each family member your gratitude for them. If you have a large family, consider doing a video message of thanksgiving. You can even add a message via Facebook Messenger or Instagram Direct Message. The point is to share your gratefulness with as many family members as possible.

Giving Back

Model an attitude of gratitude. Show others the way by providing a grateful example, especially as you share a scrumptious meal together. Be sure to thank and acknowledge those who cooked and brought dishes, even the ones who just showed up with those King’s Hawaiian rolls. Just be sure to show yourself an example of gratitude. In case you forget somebody, make sure to circle back and talk to them one on one about how much you appreciate them.

Go Beyond the Norm

Message your local officials or church leaders with your gratitude for them. Give them an encouraging message of what they mean to you and your community. Take the time to send them a message, whether it be a simple tweet with the leader tagged on it or post to Facebook or Instagram with a photo or inspiring visual that you share with a message of gratitude for their service.

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I had the pleasure of presenting our Fall 2020 campaign Giving Thanks by Giving Back yesterday. The livestream was an opportunity for me to present and pray over the project with an open and earnest heart for the work ahead. As always with our Life Path Multimedia livestreams, the recording remains available via YouTube. A copy of the presentation is available for download online.

Good works are part of our calling as believers. StopAndPrayTV speaks on being fruitful in our good works, every single one of them. The reference to Colossians 1:10 centers the post and makes for a compelling read. I truly love how Kim Petitt lays it out there and explains good works. Naturally, Being Benedictine would reference Saint Benedict as it explores the topic of good works. I guess part of my take on it is aligned with the combined stances and approaches to good works, summing up my views by quoting NT verses from Titus 3:14 to Ephesians 2:8-10. I believe good works are the fruit of our faith, not the root of our faith. (One of my preacher friend’s will steal that and use it, and it’s okay.)

Part of Giving Thanks by Giving Back was covered in the previous post, but yesterday’s training session allowed for me to delve into finer elements of the campaign. This post gives you some of the highlights from yesterday’s session.

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The Campaign Includes Guidance

What we presented is designed to serves as a guide for generating ideas and stimulating conversations around how to give thanks by giving back within your local congregation and community. It is by no means designed to serve as the only source material or resource for doing good works or charitable service. Every congregation and community is unique, so it would behoove anyone seeking to do something with this campaign to identify local issues and priorities that fit with the theme of the campaign as they plan and strategize any kind of project or event.

You Have to Keep COVID-19 in Consideration

The numbers don’t lie. There is a major upswing in COVID-19 deaths and case throughout the United States. In California, we have many counties shifting into the most restrictive tier due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. It is difficult to plan and organize any project or event without considering the implications of COVID-19 on those plans.

Some advice on how to handle COVID-19 restrictions and precautions comes from the CDC. As many of us have learned over these past months, be sure to check with your local public health officials for restrictions and guidance related to large gatherings and events. Some of the most basic precautions such as face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing have been touted to help limit the spread. Always check and keep updated and abreast of the latest restrictions and precautions as you plan and organize.

Develop Connections within Your Community

Whether it is working with the local food bank or another church in its efforts to distribute turkeys, make connections that provide a win-win for your group or church as well as whoever you might partner with to make things happen. Do not neglect the idea of serving as resource to your congregation and community by providing updated information for clothing drives, food distributions, turkey giveaways, and special events happening within and around your community. Make connections that help make a difference and make an impact.

I like how another blog puts it out there with Psalm 100 and “Daily Service: Give Thanks.” It ought to become more natural for us to serve and give thanks. It should become part of our Christian DNA. Similarly, another blogger references Simon Sinek when speaking on a lifetime of service. No matter how you see it, giving back a way that we can show our gratitude and our own way of giving thanks that touches someone else’s life.

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I am grateful for what I am and have, my thanksgiving is perpetual.

– Henry David Thoreau

Perpetual Thanksgiving

Perpetual is defined as “never ending or changing; occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted.” Let that sink in for a moment. Meanwhile, the dictionary defines thanksgiving as “the expression of gratitude.” Now put that together and you would have a never ending or changing expression of gratitude. Imagine that as part of your daily life.

To make your thanksgiving perpetual, you are grateful continually and do not limit your expression of gratitude to one Thursday in November. Imagine if your daily attitude expressed your daily gratitude.

I looked in my inbox this week and I got just what I needed from the Simple Preacher. I am oftentimes intrigued by self-inflicted limits many Christians in ministry or Bible teaching place on themselves in the realm of faith teaching, a limitless and boundless space when you consider that our God, Elohim, has no limitations and offers us so much. Yet, I received a post related to Obadiah, an obscure book of prophecy from the Old Testament Scriptures and thanked God that there are at least a few kindred spirits like the Simple Preacher and Georgetta Head in the struggle for God’s people to know the entirety of God’s Word. Thanks and praise be to God for the encouragement found in His Word daily as we seek Him through devotion and Bible study.

2020: Make a Difference, Make an Impact

I have attempted this before and I will continue to try to make this a regular annual campaign through the Life Path Mobile Ministries. Giving Thanks by Giving Back is back again. With your help, we can make this a reality despite the limitations and requirements due to COVID-19.

During November 22-29, Life Path Ministries & Services will actively push and promote Giving Thanks by Giving Back: A Week of Works.  Through our Holiday Outreach Service Team (H.O.S.T.) and the Saved2Serve Volunteer Network, this campaign works with Faith Impact Training (F.I.T.) to support any other ministries, parachurches, and local churches as well as individuals seeking to do good works and give back during this time..

This year’s theme is simply stated as: Make a Difference, Make an Impact. That is support by the NT Bible verse: And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful (Titus 3:14, NKJV).

So, what will be different this year than in the past? Think about the pandemic and its restrictions and guidelines from the CDC and your local health officials. The health guidance on contact tracing and small groups for your area will drastically impact how we will launch our work this year. In response to the limited contact, we will host a brief presentation and a walkthrough of the campaign and its components along with some tips and technical assistance for implementation on November 14th at 12:30 PM PST via livestream on YouTube.

https://bit.ly/2U5vWW7

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“Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good, and his love is eternal” – Psalm 118:1

LifePath_hoody

Once again, I am purposefully pursuing a way to give thanks and give back this holiday season.

I have been here before.  I have done this a few times.  The problem is that I am persistent.  I have not given up yet.  I am either stubborn or faithful.

I just haven’t figured out which one yet.

I think I will go with faithful.

A Week of Works (download available)

However, this time I have approached things a little differently.  There are all sorts of ways to get the work done.  My goal is to share small and simple ways to give thanks by giving back.  It doesn’t matter if you do it as an individual or as a small group, even a church ministry or family.  I have included ways to support small businesses for Small Business Saturday.  I also have shared ways to extend yourself and your outreach on Black Friday.  It is about sharing the Word.  It is about truly being thankful.

What I am most proud of (if I can say so without boasting or bragging) is that I am involved in the same efforts that I sharing.  I am involved intimately.  I am involved intentionally.  I am involved.

Follow my feed and see how I am giving thanks by giving back.

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Be sure to download the Week of Works PDF

Check out my other e-Books at Sellfy and on Lulu.

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I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. – Psalm 69:30

I can publish praise of God openly with my voice.  However, I begin to wonder about the effectiveness of that praise in light of good works that reflect in the shadow of His wondrous works.  My works, no matter how much good that they actually do for God or others, are totally eclipsed and overshadowed by His great works.

This Thanksgiving say a prayer for those who seek to do good works.  Many will feed the homeless.  Some will offer them clothing and shelter.  Others will open their homes to them.  Some will go and spend volunteer time with wounded veterans while others will read to children in the cancer unit of the local hospital or wash feet at the neighborhood hospice.

Offer a prayer for those who offer their service.  Join the ranks of men and women who make Christ come alive for some people who will never set foot in a church’s sanctuary or crack open a Bible to find an inspirational passage.

Thank God as you give the world a glimpse of Him in action.  Remember, He could choose anyone.

It did not have to be you.  The least becomes greatest and the last becomes first in God’s economy and on His balance sheet.  We should be thankful to have been chosen and in a position to give back.

 


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“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”
D.L. Moody
 
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – Psalm 103:2 (NIV)
 
How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? – Psalm 116:12 (NIV)
 
Think back over the past week.  The main event of this past week was Thanksgiving. 
 
Thanksgiving is a compound word, combining  “thanks” and “giving.”
 
How much giving and thanking did you do last week?
 
Black Friday came and went with all of its eventful lore.  Cyber Monday has already started. 
 
Give thanks by giving back.
 
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. – Psalm 107:1 (NIV)
 
Get ready for the “giving season” that has plenty of opportunities available for you to give back.  Think about all of the gifts that God has already given to you. Give thanks by giving back during this winter holiday season.  Prepare to celebrate Christmas with great joy as you offer thanksgiving through what you do along with what you say.
 
The day of  Thanksgiving has already passed, but the opportunity  to share is still available to you. 
 
 Search for volunteer service opportunities in your area.  Use Urban Ministry to locate such seasonal opportunities.
 
Give thanks.  Give back.
 
Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. – Psalm 105:1 (NLT)

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