Thanksgiving…and forward…..

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!

As I write this, I think of the many blessings that I have.  I have relatively good health.  I have Jesus and the hope, restoration, and life that he brings to me and countless others.  I am blessed with a supportive wife and a daughter who thinks “daddy is silly”.  I am employed and able to spend some extra time with family between now and into the New Year.  We have food on the table and clean clothes.

As we move past the day of Thanksgiving, I believe it is crucial to look at where we are headed over the next month and a half.  Christmas season is around the corner.  Some of us will celebrate Advent and all that comes with this beautiful season.  Much will take place in our homes, churches, communities, and even workplaces.  Vacations, late nights of finishing work projects, and trying to wrestle with where to spend the holidays–things we will think about.

During Christmas, it is easy to get caught up in the hype.  Buy gifts.  Attend every holiday party.  Show up at church for every event.  You know the ritual.  It is toxic to our souls.  It is fine to buy gifts, go to church, and attend parties.  But what we must realize is there needs to be limits.  We live in a limitless culture which can be counterproductive.  You want something when you are shopping?  There are credit cards for that in every credit line available under the sun.  You need to go shopping at weird hours? Hey, it is okay. Stores are open almost 24 hours to accommodate your needs.

There are prices to pay for living in a limitless culture.  That credit card bill from your shopping spree–it will catch up to you when you least expect it.  And those long store hours–half the employees there will burnout before Christmas even gets here and hate their jobs even more.  Yes, they chose that job but at what price is it okay to always go for more money while driving your employees like oxen.

This is the Christmas that we live in.  Be everything to all people and be everywhere.

Toxic.  Draining.  And something we need to address.

Stay tuned to my blog over the next month.  I will take a look at the season of Christmas…..and Advent.  We will explore what it means to walk with Jesus and focus on Kingdom living during a season that is often chaotic.  As the New Year approaches, we will talk about having a “theme” for 2013 and how this will shape how you function for the year.

I will leave you with these thoughts.

What are a few things that you can thank God for?

Thank God for the people closest to you in life that bring joy and strength to your life, daily.

Ask God to show you more ways you can be thankful as a daily way of living–not just for one day in November.

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