Favorite Thanksgiving Inspiration?

blessed-be-your-nameHere we are 2 days before Thanksgiving.  I can almost taste the turkey and pie.  But of course, that’s not the most important part of Thanksgiving.  It’s really all about giving thanks to God for the many blessings he’s given us.

So, I thought I’d conclude our GratiTuesday series by asking…

What is your favorite Bible passage, hymn, poem, worship song, or other inspiration that stirs gratitude within you?

For me, I’d have to go with Psalm 145:15-16

The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

This is the prayer my grandparents’ used to say before meals, so it has special meaning to me.

A close second is the worship song Blessed be the Name by Matt Redman.  I just love the lyrics.  The way he blesses the name of the Lord both “when the world’s all as it should be” and “on the road marked with suffering.”   It’s an wonderful reminder that no matter our circumstances we have so much to give thanks for.  I’ve included a video and the lyrics below.

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

So, what’s your favorite Thanksgiving inspriation?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

3 Responses to “Favorite Thanksgiving Inspiration?”

  1. I recently did a short writing on the Iron Curtain (as if the wall had feelings, walls and corridors. I sent it to an e-mail friend anneliese R.. I then received information of which I had been unaware. She told me of how she had escaped from East Germany in 1952 with her parents, of how a man on the ship gave her dad a Bible and led him to the Lord. It inspired me to write what is below. I appreciate my freedom and the way God works in his time and is way to bring us to him. How much more even must Anneliese appreciate these same things. I hope you will enjoy my writing below and count with me all we must be thankful for. God Bless you all. Hope I got my website link right.
    THE ESCAPE…
    © Vickey Stamps 8:50 p.m. 11/18/09

    “SHHHH…..shh “the roughened bass voice of the guard vibrated in the silence of the night, silencing the growling murmurs of the dog that trotted along beside him. His duties took him across the pathway of but one other guard as they stalked the pathways of what seemed to be endless coils of barbed wire, in opposite directions. Ahead lay the Berlin entrance gate, a barrier with more guards. It led to what some called the road to freedom, and from an opposite direction otherwise termed an entrance to hell. His grip on the rifle tightened, his gaze shifting about for shadows, his ears scanned alertly as they tuned in for unusual sounds. Some of the population didn’t agree with the new life within the walls and sought to escape. These same people sometimes died despite their efforts. It was May of 1952 in East Germany. It had become for many families, a time of imprisonment within these walls, a place where separation from loved ones meant nothing to guards or military officials. Hearing and seeing nothing, the German soldier continued about his job.
    The couple and their child crouched in the deeper shadows near the entrance to the gate. This starless night had been hoped for. It had been decided, at the last moment, that it had become the best time to flee. A few jewels lay sewn into the hem of her parents clothing, small pieces that could be sold in exchange for cash in a free land where they could rebuild their lives. Arrangements had been made to let them slip through. Partial bribes had been paid. But who was to know how honorable these people would be once the remaining money was within their hands? It would be so easy to yell “Escape! Escape!” They would surely know the guards would not hesitate to shoot. It would not matter if it were adult or child. The child held her breath. Her heart beat so quickly she became even more frightened. Without making a sound she leaned into her father’s strong arms. None of them knew of a Savior who even now waited with them, walked with them and interceded on their behalf. She knew only of her faith in her parents and of their need to be away from this place. They had woken her in the middle of the night, dressing her warmly in layers of clothing, for there would be no carrying bags to slow them down, only a small scentless candle and small box of matches to help them find their way to the guide who waited in the quiet night, on the other side.
    “Quick. The money. Give to me now! The other soldier working with me is gone but for a short time. You have three minutes. No more. Leave now. Hurry before the supervisors come to check. GO… GO …GO !!!” The soldiers voice bordered on fear and the three did not hesitate, running into deeper shadows hugging the outer wall as they fled, then into nearby trees that better hid them. Their escape had only begun.
    The night seemed endless and her small legs burned as she trudged along between her parents, never daring to complain nor stop, for she had been told they must put many miles behind them. A ship was waiting. It was a ship that would take them further yet, to where they could at last find real freedom. She knew how fearful her father must be that the ship might go on without them. She knew how brave he was as well. Perhaps there would be East German soldiers that would be there waiting for them? Her mother hadn’t been well, but still she whispered words of encouragement despite her own fears and the sickness within her. She clutched her mother’s dampish hands with her own small ones, and hurried along as best she could.
    The child was now the older woman, remembering in more detail then she thought possible how those days had been, how hard her father had worked upon the ship that their passage might be paid. Her mother had lived on to know again the sweet taste of freedom. A family in the land of the free was far more than just something to be thankful for. It was a treasure. A good man had led her father to know of the Savior. Her father in turn had done that same wondrous favor for her and her mother. Life was a daily trip into the world of ‘’thanks fullness’. Every year she waited for it to come for she knew Christmas lay just ahead. She well knew the story of the baby Jesus. She had such good reason to thank him again for being a part of her world Life was good.

  2. re: just sent e-mail with my writing THE ESCAPE

    I used the website URL incorrectly. Below and above is the correct one.

    I apologise

    Vickey Stamps (wordpaintervs)

  3. Vicky thanks for sharing part of your story. It certainly helped me appreciate the freedom we have in American as well as the risks & sacrifices people made to make that possible.