Giving thanks through worship

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Do you live a life full of thanksgiving? When depressed living depletes happiness, prayer and plowing through tough times in faith provide plenty of reasons for thankful hearts and lives filled with thanksgiving! The power of thanksgiving encourages us to praise our heavenly Father and thank Him for an abundance blessings throughout our land.

Bad news, sad news, and fake news penetrate our planet sending people to places where trust, love, joy, and honor are not. Dr. Seuss shared in Oh, The Places You’ll Go! the importance of steering clear of people and places that pull you into pits of despair where darkness lurks.

His children’s classic promotes happy places where people live peaceably with plenty of thanksgiving! God’s Word gives clear instructions to keep Him first and tell Satan to flee. He commands His children to love one another and honor mothers and fathers. He longs to be our First Love, Best Friend, and for each of His children to enjoy a close relationship with Him. Then, hearts will overflow with contagious blessings.

With Thanksgiving just around the bend, this story reminds us of reasons to give thanks to Him. We have food on our tables. 1 Timothy 6:8 reminds us to be content even when our meals might not be what we would order. “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” Can you remember a time when you were hungry and had no food? What about a Thanksgiving with very little food on the table? When we gather around our tables this year, take time to truly survey the wondrous foods and give gratitude to Him.

God gives each of us talents. Jesus shared parables that still remind us to use our talents wisely. “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him,” states 1 Corinthians 12:18. Showing gratitude and using talents to glorify God give a sweet aroma in a world where wasted talents and ungrateful attitudes thrive. It only takes sparks to get grateful fires of revival going where talents shine while love for Him and one another come alive. Don’t hide your talents under bushels; let them shine and feel the joy of His love sublime.

We have an abundance of places to worship God. Where do you worship? When do you worship? How do you worship? What is your attitude toward praising and worshiping God in your place of worship? Psalm 122:1 proclaims, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Worshiping freely, joyfully, honorably, and passionately in the house of the Lord pleases God and fills hearts with His sweet spirit.

King David’s last Psalm (150) puts praising the Lord in proper perspective for all people. “Hallelujah! Yes, Praise the Lord! Praise him in his temple, and in the heavens he made with mighty power. Praise him for his mighty works. Praise his unequaled greatness. Praise him with the trumpet and with flute and harp. Praise him with the tambourines and processional. Praise him with stringed instruments and horns. Praise him with the cymbals, yet, loud clanging cymbals. Let everything alive give praises to the Lord! You praise him! Hallelujah!”

Give thanks for time spent conversing with God. An old country hit shared lyrics about taking time for God and me. Ty Hunter and his Learning Station buddies wore cowboy hats and sang that song a decade ago at our Summer Program. Proud parents clapped their hands and praised the Lord in that place where God was honored by His little children praising Him with everything they had. Pure, precious, powerful worship and time spent growing closer to Thee make us wealthier and wiser in His Word and ways. A great blessing this Thanksgiving would be devoting daily time to spend with Him. Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love me: and those that seek me early shall find me.”

Be thankful for letters from a loved one. Have you written a love letter lately? Recently, I shared with friends at New South River Baptist Senior Conference about a love letter I write every morning while my cup of coffee brews. Reading scripture, writing prayers, praises, and sharing my heart with the Lord in my devotion book – a gift from a friend who watched The War Room with me, laughs and cries with me, prays and supports me through seasons of sorrow and sunshine – starts each day the right way for me! My final words to the Lord are always… I love You, Becky!

Try writing a daily love letter to the Lord! Your love and connection to Him will become sweeter and closer day by day! Write a love letter to people who color your world with love. Leave a love note for a loved one and see the joy that fills their hearts and yours. Having a box of treasured love letters is a priceless gift that keeps on giving joy, hope, love…even after loved one who wrote the letters have gone Home to Heaven. Take time to write love letters to people in your life and to reread love letters sent to you. Oh what blessings love letters bring!

Give thanks for time spent with family. “Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord, that walketh in his ways…Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table,” Psalm 128: 1,3.

Figuring out ways to fit in quality time with family can be burdensome. Taking time together to prune things from schedules that can steal time and sour relationships is wise. Time spent together grows family members closer to the Lord and one another. How many family meals have you shared together this week? How many times has your family gathered in the den at night or by the kitchen sink while coffee brews and kids scramble to stop and share a time of love with the Lord?

There are many things to be thankful for in this season when holidays remind us of His bountiful blessings and generous gifts. May this story stir each of us to enjoy time with our heavenly Father, family, and friends and give God glory for a life filled with Thanksgiving!

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.