Give Thanks All Year Long
Have you ever heard of the term, Chreasters? If you have, you’re probably chuckling right now.
Chreasters is a slang word that describes people who only go to church on Christmas and Easter. These people can also be referred to as “Two-Timers,” or “Poinsettia and Lily Christians.” I bring this up in light of Thanksgiving approaching, the one time of year where many of us take turns around the dinner table and say what we are thankful for. If you’ve never done this before, I urge you to suggest it this year. Personally, I think it’s a great idea to be doing this all year long, not just once a year — just like we should be celebrating and honoring the birth and resurrection of our Savior in our hearts every day.
What Are You Thankful For?
Going around the dinner table at Thanksgiving and allowing the littlest to the eldest to say what they’re thankful for is such a feel-good practice with many hidden Godly lessons for all. It’s a wonderful reminder to have gratitude for all of the many blessings in our life. Even during challenging times, there’s always a silver lining in every cloud. It also represents the power of positivity, and it encourages forgiveness. It’s a time to set aside our differences and to open up and be vulnerable. That’s what happens when we gather together and share a meal — and it’s what Jesus did in his eating ministry, which I’ve talked about in sermons this year. “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” —Psalm 69:30.
For some people, big family gatherings mean they’re going to have to eat with someone that they don’t really care for, to put it delicately. But when we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for, something magical happens. Even the most stubborn of people seem to soften. All of the pettiness, jealousy, and differences that can develop in families all seem to melt away, at the very least for a day — but hopefully, it could be the start of something new. We can feel the Holy Spirit work inside us and start us on our way to healing what’s broken in our lives. It could lead to a new beginning. In this moment, we set anger aside to focus on what IS good in this world and within our family and community.
New Seasons, New Reasons to Give Thanks
Speaking of new beginnings, isn’t it great that four times a year, we have a chance to experience a new season? Not only do the weather patterns change, but a new season can invoke change within us. It can signal and encourage a fresh start. You see these natural patterns in nature all the time, and we as people are linked to nature in many ways. In this season, I’m challenging you to give thanks not just at Thanksgiving, but to give thanks in all seasons.
Harness the energy in each new season and recognize that every day is a gift from the Lord. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, nor is the next hour, but as long as there is breath in your lungs, keep your hands and heart open and ready to honor Jesus with the blessings of each day. Although there’s power in new beginnings, there’s also strength and wisdom in commemorating the past. Even if it’s been rough, you wouldn’t be who you are without what you’ve gone through. Each circumstance has perfectly prepared you for what will be entrusted to you.
Celebrate the Present
Friend, bless your new season by celebrating the present. The present is your greatest present (as in gift), so enjoy it fully by being in the moment, maintaining an attitude of gratitude, and investing in the people God places along your path every day. You can also steward your new beginning by commissioning the future. Live in your God-ordained authority, walk as a disciple of Jesus and learn more about Him through others. In this new season, build your dreams, and take charge of the gift of life you’ve been given by doing your best and giving Him the rest!
God loves you and so do I!
Viewer Gives Thanks for Her Baptism Journey
For Lynda Pierce of Tucson, Arizona, the baptismal plan she laid out for herself was clear and concise, and she was going to carry it out no matter what. As a former police officer turned banker, she had the discipline needed to follow through on such a plan. At age 66, Lynda was baptized by Pastor Bobby Schuller on July 17, 2016. She decided early on to commemorate her baptism the next time July 17
landed on a Sunday. Sure enough, Lynda celebrated the anniversary of her baptism this year with
Bobby on July 17, 2022.
“My baptismal birthday means more to me than my own birthday,” Lynda said. “At the time, I hadn’t found a church home in Tucson, so I reached out to Hour of Power and asked if it would be possible for me to get baptized, and Christine said, ‘Possible? Absolutely it would be possible!’ Pastor Bobby baptized me on July 17, 2016 and it was so wonderful to be able to see the church I saw every Sunday on TV. It was the most memorable weekend I’ve ever had. I came alone but I never felt alone. That’s where I needed to be. It was such an enriching weekend.”
She accepted Jesus as her savior in middle school, but said, “I always had one foot in church and one foot out in the world. I made some choices that weren’t the best choices, but the Lord never left me. There were some consequences that I had to work through but the Lord kept those at bay. He allowed
me to work through them and still be successful.”
As an Eagle and Sparrow Partner, and now with a stone in Hour of Power’s East Gate Legacy Walk, Lynda said, “I am where I am today spiritually and financially because of the Christian mentors the Lord placed in my life. I truly believe with all my heart that all that I have belongs to him. I give because I don’t want anyone to leave this earth without knowing the Lord.”
in Every Season…
Celebrate every day and month as a gift from God with our New Beginnings Calendar.
Leaving a Legacy, One Memory at a Time
At 93 years old, Eldon Tessman of Minnesota has an exceptionally keen memory for numbers, dates,
and milestones. When he talked about a trip he took to The Holy Land during the Crystal Cathedral era, he remembered, “It was in 2007 and there was a group of 540 people on 12 buses.” As he edges closer
to the 100-year mark, Eldon mused, “I’m sitting in my great grandfather’s home that was built in 1883.
My great grandparents came here in 1870, so the family has been here for 152 years. I’m also the oldest living male member of my church, Brooklyn United Methodist, in Brooklyn Center MN, which was
established in 1854.”
Clearly, you get the picture that Eldon is a bit of a historian. He and his second wife, Addie, have been
married for 11 years. Prior, he and his late wife, June, discovered Hour of Power on TV and became
Eagle Partners in 1988. He remembers becoming a Legacy Donor 25 years ago. “June and I set up our Charitable Remainder Trust and felt very strongly about including Hour of Power in it.”
Eldon fondly remembers his trip to the Holy Land. “I have several highlights from that trip. The best was when I was re-baptized in the Jordan River by Bobby Schuller. I wear a golden cross every day because of that,” he said. He also remembers going up to the Mount of Olives at 4 a.m.. “There were about 15 of us, but each person was standing by themselves as the sun came up over Jerusalem. It’s an experience I’ll never forget, and to top it off, I sat with Bobby and Hannah and had a good visit.”
When asked what Hour of Power means to him, Eldon proclaimed, “My goodness, I think the world needs this service right now. I can certainly use it myself. We watch Bobby and Hannah on Saturday nights and rarely miss it. It’s an awesome message.”
To learn more about how you can update or create your Will or Living Trust, we invite you to call us at 714-971-4111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Pastor Chad Blake
Thankfulness is an attribute my wife Hillary and I declared we desire as a core family value long before we had children. It is such a powerful force within a family. Thankfulness reframes our daily lives. Obviously, many are thankful for big milestones like birthdays, holidays and big achievements. But, our desire is to have thankfulness every day.
Now, with a bigger family than just the two of us, it is our job to teach our children how to be thankful. How is it more than just a nice pleasantry that is said in passing to be polite? How can we learn to be truly thankful for the gift of Jesus, our family, and our daily lives? I’m reminded of the words of the apostle Paul when he writes to the church in Thessalonica,
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” —1 Thessalonians 5:18. Giving thanks in all circumstances is what Scripture tells us to do, but I love that second part of the verse, “for this is the will of God… for you.”
As a pastor, one of the most common questions I am asked is, “What is God’s will for my life?” I love when Scripture gives us such a clear way to step into God’s will. As we are shaped into the kind of people that practice thankfulness in all things, God’s will for our lives takes shape. We literally are changed by the simple act of thankfulness. It’s not just scripture that says this, but modern-day psychology also agrees.
Practicing thankfulness changes a person. Hillary and I do this by reminding ourselves of the faithfulness of God, by not taking things like housing or food in the cupboard for granted, and by giving to others. We remind ourselves that even in hard times and the times that feel sad, we have a steadfast Father in Heaven that we can be thankful for His work in our lives.
I encourage you to do one simple task over the next month. Every day when you wake up, write down one thing you are thankful for. That’s it. Just one. Do it every day. Watch what happens!