Part 3 – Are You Game?


Here is the final part of my thoughts for Thanksgiving, if you like you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

As I write this my home is filled with the smell of apple and pumpkin pies. Our thoughts are filled with anticipation of welcoming home our son Josh who has been away at college in Indiana. It is a good feeling to know that our Father has blessed us so. I am also grateful for all of you who have graced Soulfari with your kind words of encouragement and grace.

I pray that this Thanksgiving will be one of overwhelming awareness of the Father’s love and care for you…He is worthy of all praise. Blessings, Jay

Oh, since Part one featured squirrels, I have include Josh’s latest movie in the post at the end…it’s one you won’t soon forget!

Are you game?

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  ~G.K. Chesterton

To be ready to be grateful means you might have to let go of a few things.

I had to let go of some things in order for thankfulness to penetrate my spirit. Listen to this verse in 1Peter 5:7

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

To cast means to release, to throw out, to throw away, to let go of, to get rid of, to let loose of whatever concerns, issues, guilt, confusion, problems and worries that are burdens and obstacles in your life and leave them with God. Sitting at His feet, seeking Him that’s when our heart learns trust and that leads to a thankful spirit.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”
Psalm 28:7

Being truly thankful means you trust more in the Provider than the provision.

“Lord, you have put joy in my heart, more than they have when their grain and their wine are increased.” Psalm 4:7

In this scripture, more than the provision itself, the Lord excites the heart of the Psalmist! The true provision is knowing Him.

Again, Relationship is essential to thankfulness

In Hebrews we see just how far God went in “personalizing” his contact with us.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin. (16) Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. Hebrews 4: 15-16

He’s reachable, he’s touchable, and we can approach the Father as sons and daughters. As ones who know Him and trust to act on our behalf.

One of the most memorable Thanksgivings was the one I spent in my dorm room at Evangel College in Springfield Missouri (the state of misery we called it). My roommate and I were basically stuck there over the holiday, with no money to return home we were obliged to accept the hospitality of our college home away from home. With only a box of Sugar Pops and a loaf of banana bread we shared Thanksgiving Day away from family and friends. We were bumming and not especially thankful, I remember thinking unkind thoughts about pilgrims and hoping all the balloons in Macy’s parade would suddenly fly off with some of their handlers still hanging on. It was the only time in my life that I longed to spend time with a turkey.

Then somehow (Hmm, I wonder), another student found out we were still on campus. He invited us to his apartment to share his small feast with him, which we accepted with drooling excitement. God had provided and I learned another lesson about being grateful, no matter the circumstances.

This season is not really about the pilgrims, or turkey or parades; it is really only about the Father and His faithfulness. It is a time of reflection, a time to celebrate the awesomeness of His provision for His people.

Lets read Psalm 70 again…but from the Message Bible.

Let those on the hunt for you sing and celebrate. Let all who love your saving way say over and over, "God is mighty!" (5) But I've lost it. I'm wasted. God--quickly, quickly! Quick to my side, quick to my rescue! GOD, don't lose a minute.

Father God comes and reminds us that we are not alone, that circumstances are opportunities to know Him more intimately. Are you game? Are you ready? We need to look for ways to give thanks-giving…to cultivate that spirit

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you also are called in one body, and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

The Greek word for thankful in this verse talks about cultivating an attitude, a lifestyle of thankfulness. Born from relationship with the Father we can offer up praise and GIVE thanks.

This Thanksgiving I’ll be thankful:

For the prayers for it means the presence of God will fill my home.

For the smells and aromas and the memories they stir.

For the crowd at my house for it means I have love in my home.

For the noise of children for it means their lungs are healthy.

For the laughter for it means I have joy in my home.

For the old stories retold for it means there is heritage to pass along.

For the sleepiness afterwards for it means all are content.

For the cleanup afterwards for it means we all had our fill.

For dessert for it means there is always something more to look forward to.

For leftovers for it reminds us that God gives abundantly beyond our imagination.

Amen…Bless you all!



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S Etole said…
I like that quote by Chesterton ... the "wonder" carries so many of God's fingerprints.

Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Susan...bless ya!
Bee said…
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all you wonderful Cookies! So glad your Josh is coming home for the holiday :) Give Christine a big hug from us all!
Mari-Anna said… get me into the mood of Thanksgiving far, far away from TurkeyLand. Thank you! HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Jay! Blessings to you and yours!
bill (cycleguy) said…
Not sure what I am most thankful for-the sermon you preached and have reprinted for us or the mockumentary at the end of this one. I love it! What an off the wall humor he has. I have this sneaking suspicion that life in the C household is a veritable blast of "what is going to happen next?" Blessings to you and your family Jay. Oh yeah, remember if you ever get some extra time let me know. i will make the trip to Huntington to meet you and take you out to eat.
Dusty Rayburn said…
Striving for a lifestyle of thanksgiving and joyful laughter at the abundant blessings which God has poured upon us.

Thank you for (re)sharing these posts for us and guiding us in an exercise of thankfulness.
Jay Cookingham said…
Dusty...not quite the teacher you are but I'm trying! I appreciate you and thank you for your kind words!
Jay Cookingham said…
Bill, the Cookie house is a lot like you described but it's a blast! Thanks for your friendship and kind words. Would love to meet ya in person when we're out that way but I think I owe you lunch! I pray we could meet up some time, that would be cool.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Mari-Anna, may your Thanksgiving be a huge blessing to you and your family!
Jay Cookingham said… thankful for all of you and the friendship we have shared over the years! All our love from our house to yours!
Lisa said…
God has been impressing on me to see Him as the Source. Like you said, to trust the Provider, not the provision. I have many friends that are looking for jobs. I know that God provides jobs for us and gives the ability to work, but HE is our source, not the job. He can provide through the job or He may choose to provide in a totally different way. Ultimately, He is all we need and our focus should be on Him.
By the way, I went to Evangel too - for one semester, fall of 1988. : )
Jay Cookingham said…
Excellent words about trust Lisa and you're right, our focus should be on Him. I went to Evangel waaaaaaay back in 1978....seems ages ago!

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