I got carried away with the early Christmas songs and displays early September so bought some garlands to try and spread the expense over one quarter instead of one month. But we still had some scheduled special occasions which might make Christmas decor out of place. So when my dear friend, Sol Tiansay, tagged me on her Canadian Thanksgiving photo on October 12, God gave me the idea of highlighting Thanksgiving. Our new store theme until just before Christmas is “Daily Thanksgiving is good for the heart.”
This morning, I wanted to review yesterday’s CCF teaching, “Love God, Love Others” but couldn’t access the video so I browsed and found this timely treasure in Ann Voskamp’s video below. This is a welcome refreshment after watching last night’s news with images of danger, disaster, deaths, and after my husband and I watched the movie, Sicario on the hard realities of the drug war:
In case you wanted to look up “doxology,” I did too. Here’s the definition: a liturgical formula of praise to God.
Here are excerpts from Ann Voskamp’s talk:
“Gratitude… increases a focus on good which increases levels of trust which all together constitutes the necessary elements for societal flourishing… Any deep healing in society will always be associated with deep gratitude…
You cannot force out the darkness; what you can do is reflect the light / amplify, magnify the light so more light drives out the darkness. To pay the dark most of our attention is to mostly praise the devil. To focus on the dark makes the dark seem stronger than the light…
Gratitude amplifies goodness so that you can hear the grace of God. Gratitude amplifies the light of God so you can see the face of God in the midst of that darkness.
Those one million people who kept thanks on their lips… they testified that gratitude stopped the vicious cycles of dysfunction and created these virtuous cycles… Gratefulness amplifies goodness which enhances wellness which magnifies generousness and multiplies more gratefulness.
…Being grateful is what makes you joyful. Gratitude in our circumstances is essential to our wholeness as any change in our circumstances.
You may be thinking the dark you’re facing in your community, family, your city, your life is too dark. But Jesus, when He was staring right into the very face of evil, what does He do? Out of a universe of supernatural options, what does Jesus decide?
“And on the night He was betrayed, Jesus broke bread… and gave thanks.
If Jesus can give thanks in that, you can give thanks in anything. If Jesus chooses gratitude as elemental in destroying evil, do you have a better weapon against the dark?
Real gratitude does not make you apathetic; it makes you a real activist. Radical gratitude is the attitude of the revolutionaries. So the world turns and life surges up one grace given after another… some elderly woman thanking a man right now as he helps her off a bus in LA … A dying child in a hospital right now in Georgia being tended to by a nurse with aching feet, and your heart beating a hundred thousand times today… and we all know we need Someone to thank. And the people known by gratitude are the ones who can make God known… they make their life about the language of gratitude— that language of friendship with man and of friendship with God because the one word that will come unplanned to your lips at your very end is the one word worth planning to live your one and very beautiful life by: “Thanks.”