Sometimes, it is easy to forget to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. If they are exciting, sure! Joy and thanks are a natural response. But what about the little necessities God provides for us every day? Can we consider them any less?
As I prepare to serve as a host for a Thanksgiving celebration, I cannot help but stop and realize that this holiday season is going to be entirely different than any other. I don my mask as I enter the grocery store, staying at least six feet from my shopping counterparts. Inside, I see a little girl in a shield drop her doll in the aisle; I smile at her through my mask (you know, the eye smile) and pick up her doll. Her face lights up behind the shield as I move toward her with her toy.
One of the latest major updates for the iPhone includes a new setting called “Screen Time.” Using Screen Time, users visually can see data created around how you use your phone. This includes how often you pick up your phone, how many notifications you receive in a day, and the ultimate gut check: how much time you spend on each app. Yikes. Our phones have been integrated in our lives to the point where even tech companies and app developers are trying to give us tools to discern their place in our daily rhythms.
Reminder: Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Ack. Just like everyone forgot to buy canned pumpkin and will be frantically rushing to the store Wednesday afternoon, you might also be desperately trying to think of ways to give thanks this week.
The devotional reading for Thanksgiving Day comes from a sermon selection found in Concordia Pulpit Resources.
We are entering a busy time in the Church Year.
Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be upon us, followed rapidly by the Advent and Christmas celebrations—and, in the blink of an eye, 2017 will be here! Christmas programs and parties, special worship services, and many more special events will soon dominate the calendar. And that does not account for the regular ministries already taking place in your congregation.
If your congregation is like most, you ask a lot of your volunteers during times like this. It can be very easy for volunteer leaders to feel worn down and even burned out during this season of ministry. So how can we help volunteers stay refreshed and energized, even when things seem crazy?
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away! In the midst of preparing for the meals and family get-togethers, it’s surprisingly easy to let the day come and go without taking time to pause, reflect, and actually give thanks. This struggle can be magnified for pastors, church administrators, and volunteers who are trying to balance preparations at home with preparations taking place at church!