What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving?
Pumpkin pie, turkey with all the trimmings, and spending time with family?
But,Thanksgiving is more than food, family, and fun.
It's about giving thanks to God!
When the Pilgrims first arrived in America, they endured many hardships. Yet, they still set aside a time to celebrate and give thanks to God. Among the things that they were grateful for were a bountiful harvest, new friendships, and the freedom to practice their Christian faith.
Often at Thanksgiving, we can get so focused on the planning, the cooking, and the busyness surrounding the holiday, that we don't take time to thank God. This year make a deliberate effort to focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Here are some simple and fun ways to keep Christ in Thanksgiving!
1. Pray - Our family tradition is to stand in a circle, holding hands, and pray together before we eat.
2. Scripture - Have each person read a Scripture out loud about thanks.
3. Thanking - Incorporate some thanking ideas like these:
Have each guest write on a piece of paper what they are thankful for. Then when you sit at the table, have them pass around the jar and read one out loud.
What you'll need: pumpkin and marker
Write your thanks on a pumpkin. Start writing on it before Thanksgiving. Each day, add a few things to the list. Just turn the pumpkin and write them down one after the other. This is fun for kids to do.
Thanksgiving memory book
Each year have guests write in the book, including their name and what they are thankful for. Put a group picture of everyone that was there. You will enjoy looking back through the years.
Supplies: tablecloth and markers
Have each guest sitting at the table write their name, the year, and what they are thankful for. The younger children can even draw pictures of what they are grateful for. Use it each year and have memories of who was there.
Thanksgiving blessing mix
What you'll need: treat bags and candies
Give your guests a blessing bag full of treats. Include a card with the symbolic meaning for each item. You can download and print this label card at ihavenogreaterjoy .
4. Read a book together which tells the true reason that we celebrate Thanksgiving.
5. Movies - Watch a movie that tells the Thanksgiving story.
6. Share the love of Christ - Invite someone who doesn't have family to join your celebration. (college student, co-worker, neighbor). Bring food to a homebound person. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
This year as you celebrate Thanksgiving, take time to thank God for your blessings.
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works. Psalm 9:1 NKJV
What are some Thanksgiving traditions that you have?
related link: Thanksgiving word puzzles
How should Christians handle Halloween? Should we participate at all?
Halloween provides a unique opportunity to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of the kids (and parents) who come to your door on Halloween, may never have heard about Jesus. They may never have read the Bible or gone to church. We should be using this opportunity to tell them about Christ!
1.) Pray in advance for God to give you the right words to say, and for Him to open the hearts and minds of unbelievers, so that they are receptive to God's word.
2.) Tell them about Christ - Even if you only have a short time to talk to them, you may be planting a seed. Do this with gentleness and respect.
3.) Scripture - The Bible says that God's word will not return void.
Isaiah 55:11 " ... it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
-Have a sign by your door with a Bible verse on it.
-In addition to candy, hand out pieces of paper with Scripture on them.
4.) Include Bible tracts with the candy that you give them. (Put them together in a little treat bag or rubber band the Bible tract around the candy.)
5.) Better yet, don't wait for them to come to your door. Go out to the streets to meet them. Tell them about Christ! Invite them to your church!
In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
This would be a great way to start!
Here is an example of a Bible tract.
The inside tells a short story about salvation. You could also include crayons for them to color the booklet.
This isn’t about putting up Halloween decorations, taking your children trick or treating, or promoting Halloween in anyway. This is about whether or not we should answer the doorbell when it rings on Halloween night. We can either turn the lights out and not engage them, or we can reach out to tell them about Christ! There is a difference between participating in Halloween, and recognizing that it is a mission field. If we don’t tell them about Christ, who will?
Pray and ask God what to do. There are many ways that He can use us!
-He may call some to go on the streets and preach the Gospel.
-Others to open the door and give out Christian literature.
-Others to keep the door closed and pray. We need mighty prayer warriors!
-Others to abstain from Halloween, altogether. Perhaps they have a history of dabbling in the occult, and it would be too great of a temptation for them.
Remember, this may be the only opportunity that some of these people have to hear about salvation through Jesus Christ.
Instead of turning the porch light off this Halloween, shine the light of Jesus!
Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…” Matt. 9:37-38
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16
Thanksgiving is not very far away!
Have fun with these free Thanksgiving word puzzles!
Click here to print them.
Does the Bible Stand Against Attacks?
Christianity is based upon the teachings of the Bible. Can we depend on it to be reliable? When someone attacks the Bible, are you confident that you can defend it?
The Bible has endured more scrutiny than any other book, and yet, has never been discredited. It remains the bestselling book of all time. There is no other book like it!
7 Important Facts About the Bible
All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
3. Eyewitness accounts – Many of the New Testament books were written by people who actually knew Jesus. Some of them were imprisoned, and even killed for their beliefs. They were willing to risk their lives for Him.
4. Science- The Bible accurately states many scientific facts, which later were discovered to be true. The Bible authors could not have had this foreknowledge without divine inspiration.
5. Archeology – Many people and places mentioned in the Bible were not known to exist, until archeological discoveries confirmed them.
No archeological discovery has ever contradicted the Bible!
6. Prophecy- There are thousands of prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled.
There are many end-times prophecies yet to be fulfilled, however we are seeing some signs today. See more on End times prophecy.
7. Changed lives – No other book has changed so many lives! It not only informs people, but it transforms them as well!
Defend the Bible with confidence, knowing that truth is on your side. It is accurate and reliable. It has stood the test of time. The Bible is the absolute Authority of God's Word.
Even Satan knows the Bible is true! The main point is, what are you going to do with this information?
Go forth and proclaim the gospel!
Jesus said, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Matthew 24:35 KJV
Use a Prayer Board as a visual reminder of what you are praying for!
Keep it in a central location in your home. Family members can each place their prayers on the board. Then everyone can be praying together for the same things. United in prayer!
Here are some ideas!
1.) Dry erase board - Use one part to write prayers on and the other to place pictures of those you are praying for.
2.) Decorate a cork bulletin board.
3.) Use a Padded Memory Board.
4.) Picture frame - Place decorative paper under the glass and then write on the glass with a dry erase marker.
5.) Divided picture frame - This would be great for kids! They could each have their own section to write in.
6.) Paint a picture frame or a mirror - use chalkboard paint to cover the glass.
7.) Purchase a cute prayer board like this one from etsy.
8.) Don't limit your prayers! Paint an entire wall with chalkboard and/or magnetic paint.
Check out these other prayer board ideas from Pinterest!