Our Thanksgiving Tradition
Ted Camp - Silent Word Ministries
As missionaries to the Deaf, we have a tradition in our ministry. Thanksgiving means “giving thanks.” It is a time to think and thank. In Sign Language you use your left hand to point to your head (think). To make the sign for thank, bring an open, flat right hand from your mouth forward.
Now try signing think and thank at the same time. As you think, it will make you thank. Here are twelve guidelines to help us as we think and thank.
1. Think about and give thanks for what you have instead of thinking about what you do not have (Eph. 1:16).
2. Think about being content with what things you have (Phil. 4:11).
3. Think of your family and friends. Pray for them and love them. They need you and you need them. Let them know you are thankful for them (I Cor. 1:4)
4. Think of others. Do a kind, refreshing act for that special
someone today (II Tim. 1:16).
5. Think of God’s blessings and benefits each day (Ps. 103:2).
6. Think positive thoughts and avoid being so negative about things (Phil. 4:8).
7. Think about making a difference in the life of someone this day (Ps. 118:24).
8. Think about letting your thankfulness be known to all men at all times (Phil. 4:5).
9. Think of people. God is interested in people. Don’t love things, but love people. The best things in life are not things but people. Love is your greatest gift (I Cor. 13:13).
10. Think of eternal things that are everlasting instead of earthly things that fade (Col. 3:1).
11. Think of the day. You still have life and the opportunity to share it with your family and friends. You have breath to praise Him for the great things He has done (Ps. 150:6).
12. Seek to build good memories. Things in life change, but good memories remain. Make the days ahead the best you have ever known. Do it! (Phil. 4:9).
As you think of these twelve things, continually think of the Lord and give Him thanks. There is no substitute for the peace of the presence of God that passes all understanding (vs. 7).
Start a Thanksgiving tradition—have a think and thank time. Have everyone write on cards at least two things for which he or she is thankful and place the unsigned cards in a basket. Pass the basket and let each person pull one card out and read it aloud. Then have everyone try to guess who wrote it. Take time to discuss the blessings and memories from the cards. Continue around until the cards are all read.
Thanksgiving is giving thanks. Everyone should be more thankful—everyone. Even the Lord appreciates your thankfulness. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20). This season is a good time to think and thank.