|Increase Your Family’s Thankfulness…
In the rush of living in the 21st century I wonder if the holiday we called Thanksgiving has lost some of its meaning somewhere. Families will be gathering this weekend and there will be an opportunity for an insane amount of football, turkey, shopping opportunities, and maybe even stringing up the lights for the next holiday to come. But Thanksgiving is more than just trying to fill the day with as many family activities as possible. It’s a time to pause, not to focus on the things that we don’t have as a family but to reflect on the gifts, blessings and treasured relationships we do have. It’s a time to remember all the ways that God has been good to the family over the past year.
John Murchison, Director of Children’s Ministry at Austin Stone Community Church, suggests an
easy activity that could be used with children to help lead them in thankfulness both on Thanksgiving, and throughout the years. He highlights the story in Joshua 4, where under Joshua’s leadership the people have crossed into the Promised Land through a miraculous parting of the Jordan River. After that crossing, Joshua instructs the Israelites to find twelve large stones, one for each tribe of Israel, and to place them together. Joshua says to the people in verse 21: “…When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” (Joshua 4:21-24 ESV)
“How about considering this Thanksgiving that in your family you follow the example of Joshua and the Israelites to remember God’s faithfulness, his goodness, and his might? All you need is a clear vase or container of some kind, some light-colored stones, and some Sharpies. Have each family member write down one thing that God did over the past year that they are thankful for onto the stone with the Sharpie. After everyone shares what they wrote down on their stone, have them place it in the clear container. Display that container in your home somewhere that your kids will see often. Then, whenever you want, you can review what God has done for your family. Even people who come visit your home may ask, “What do these stones mean?” and you get to share the goodness of God with them! Imagine, over the years, how many stones will be piled up by your family, reminding you each day how great and mighty the LORD is!”
May Thanksgiving be a meaningful experience in your family!
— Wayne Van Regenmorter
23: Office; Conference Call
25: Vacation Day
26-27: Thanksgiving Holiday
29: Sunday Worship
30: Meeting Friesland Reformed Church, Friesland, WI
1: Meeting/Naperville, IL
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3: Wisconsin Ridder Conference Call
4: Travel Day
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6: Congregational Meeting/Reformed Community Church/Venice, FL
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