A Late Thanksgiving Post

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Yesterday I celebrated my second Thanksgiving in the US. I still find it interesting that Black Friday comes after people have gathered with their loved ones and (hopefully) pondered what they were grateful for. I will say, though, that Black Friday is a good opportunity to buy things you actually need that would otherwise be too expensive to get on any other day. You can also shop online to avoid in-store madness. Now I'm just rambling. The irony just baffles me, I guess.


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Even though Thanksgiving isn't a major holiday in the Philippines, November would still be celebrated as a month to count and name your blessings. I would even have a list. This year, however, I'm simply left speechless at how good the Lord has been to me and my husband. I didn't even attempt to write it down (although it's a healthy thing to do so). But when I really think about it, I get overwhelmed and quickly realize that the majority of things I'm grateful for aren't "things." They are unquantifiable but tangible. The fact that Carlo and I doing life together in San Diego is a miracle in itself. Living here, working here, everything that comes with building a life in this wonderful place. It is a setup I never could have dreamed of myself.

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There is always, always something to be thankful for and the passage from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 rings true:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Whatever the circumstance, it's empowering to think that I can choose joy and gratitude. I can see the good in all difficulty, or to see just how good a "good" situation is.

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High...  
 - Psalm 50:14
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.  
- Psalm 116:17 
Thanksgiving counts as sacrifice??? Yep. If we were living during the temple era, we would probably offer a literal animal sacrifice-- a thank offering. I don't intend to offer a full study of the levitical thanksgiving sacrifice, but the Israelites would offer it after safe passage, healing, and deliverance. The thank or peace offering was an optional and voluntary response in gratitude to God's grace and mercy.

Since we don't have to sacrifice animals anymore thanks to Jesus, we can still offer our "sacrifice of thanksgiving." Being grateful, whether privately or publicly, reminds us that we did not earn or deserve what we have, it results in joy, and it teaches us to be content and generous.

Thanksgiving declares that God is God and that we are not. What we truly deserves was destruction but He gave life instead. Thanksgiving begets joy as you see how you actually have everything you need (and then some). It allows you to have a loose grip on material things and openly share your abundance. This, my friends, is beneficial for your wallet, your mental health, and for the common good.

Ultimately, thanksgiving humbles us and it pleases God. My challenge to us now is to cultivate a life of gratitude for all the reasons I said above. As blogger Rach Kincaid puts it, let's get after grateful.
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