Things good with the fam?
Y’all have a good Thanksgiving?
Well, it wasn’t memorable, but it was still good, thank you!
No, no, it wasn’t sad; I didn’t mean it that way…
Sure, sure. Yeah, yeah, first Thanksgiving without Graham, and that part was sad … but he’s with Jesus and that part made us sooo grateful.
What I meant was, Sandy woke up with fever, chills and a horrible, terrible, very bad sore throat…
Ah well, yeah, I see what you mean. Sure, alone, home, sick, pretty sad … if you focus on that. Bu-ut … Sandy and I were home, warm, cozy – and together.
Turkey? Well, that’s the real cool part: I jetted over to Cracker Barrel, got FOUR thanksgiving meals – enough for seconds, thirds and leftovers!
Crowded? Well, sure, but that was also the really cool part: the manager met me, tracked down my take-out order, cleared a path to the register … and a lady offered to carry the huge bag ‘o goods all the way to my van – which was parked a half-block away…
Sandy, oh she’s fine. She needed about two or three days of rest, hubby nurture and meds. Good as new…
Truly, so many things to be thankful for.
So, before we let the season of thanks peel away from us like a page from the calendar, I thought I’d add some chiseled-in-granite, bonafide, never-take-for-granted, hang-your-hat blessings to the cornucopia…
…Which you might already be boxing up and storing away for next year.
But do me this favor: leave it out, okay? For one more day at least?
Digging through some old notes this weekend, I found an outline I preached 19 years ago – at this time – in Huntsville, Alabama, to my favorite church fellowship on earth: West Huntsville Baptist Church.
My wife and I had our first-ever date there in 1982 when I was a speaker for a special Valentine event, and I asked a gorgeous college coed to be my date. One thing led to another, and Sandy would be my bride a year and a half later. She and I have been blessed to share Christ with that beautiful flock nearly every year since at the behest of their gracious shepherd and my lifelong friend, Scott –
– Whose wife’s name is Sandra, just like my bride’s. Cool, huh?
In ’97 – when I offered my Thanksgiving homily to the good folks of WHBC – a couple in Des Moines, IA became the proud parents of SEPTUPLETS, which, if you’re keeping score at home, is seven bouncing babies … in a single birthing!
And all were delivered in SIX MINUTES’ TIME!
So, naturally I took that idea and ran with it, offering 7 blessings to give gratitude for in the season of thanks.
Recently, I got curious about the McCaugheys, ciphering their tiny infants to be seventeen now, and, sure enough, found an online article about them posted earlier this year.
I discovered while almost all of them are gifted and excel in studies and have various talents, two of their kids have forms of cerebral palsy and are limited, but have adjusted brilliantly. I see the parallel in our own blessings of life – some, on the surface may not seem so, but that doesn’t diminish the Good Hand of God’s purpose in supplying them.
Here’s the McCaughey kids today:
Soooo, seventeen years later, I’m dusting off the old notes and giving you a cornucopia of blessings to spill out of your…cornucopia – the very same blessings (tweaked here and there) I shared with my family in Huntsville way back then.
Because, well, they never get old, stale and out-of-date.
Did I mention they all spill out of a PRAYER?
That’s right. He prays these blessings to His Father … over us.
Let’s see what He wants us to have – and not stop being thank-filled for:
We Know The Father As The Son Knows Him
Jesus Is Trustworthy Because He Finished All The Work He Came To Do
We Have Certain Hope Because Jesus Is Who He Said He Was
We Rest Because Of The Ongoing Protection His Prayers Offer Us
Jesus Sees Us As His Glory-giving Trophies Of Grace In His Redemptive Work
His Sanctifying Work Makes It Possible To Live As He Did On Earth
We Are Endowed With The Very Same Affirming Love With Which The Father Glorified His Own Son
John 17:3 (ESV)
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
John 17:23 (ESV)
…so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
John 4:34 (ESV)
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
John 17:4 (ESV)
I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
John 19:30 (ESV)
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 17:8 (ESV)
For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
John 17:11,12 (ESV)
And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name…While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost…
John 17:15 (ESV)
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
John 17:10 (ESV)
All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
John 17:14 (ESV)
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
John 17:17-19 (ESV)
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
John 17:22 (ESV)
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one…
John 17:24 (ESV)
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Come to think of it, this is a perfect Advent post, too, because these are the things His First Advent brought to us. How about that?
But still … keep your cornucopias out for another day, ‘kay?