Harvest Thanksgiving UK Traditions

When we immigrated to the U.S.A. we brought many of our U.K. traditions with us. We obviously don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but we do have harvest thanksgiving services in our churches where we decorate the church with such things as fruits, vegetables, breads, wheat, grain, autumn flowers and plants to represent His abundant provisions.
The windowsills are lined with a variety of fruits,
We tie tall husks of wheat at the end of the pews,
The altar area is covered with many reminders of God’s provision.
The church doesn’t only look warm and inviting but I remember it smelling so good.
We would praise the Lord for His many provision with grateful harvest hymns
such as:
“ We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land
But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand:
The seed time and the harvest
Our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer for all thy love imparts,
And what thou most desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.”

After the service the food and displays are distributed to the needy and less fortunate.
While attending Hawthorne Gospel church in New Jersey in the 1970’s we offered to provide and decorate the first ever display they had in the church of God’s provision. We are told that forty years later this U.K.tradition is still alive and has become a tradition of Hawthorne Gospel Church. Perhaps an idea for your local church this coming Sunday as you prepare to celebrate not only Thanksgiving but also God’s faithful harvest.

Thanksgiving is a Faith Builder

thanksgiving-mike-waters

Dear Child,

Entering My presence with thanksgiving will build the faith you need to present your requests before Me, and without that faith it is impossible to please Me.

Without thanksgiving you will not have that ever increasing faith to believe that I am a rewarder of those who diligently seek Me.

Because thanksgiving brings to remembrance My faithfulness in the past and feeds your faith.

But ingratitude produces a complaining heart drowned in self-pity which will quench your faith.

An unthankful heart will be excluded from My presence.

In My presence is joy unspeakable and full of glory, a place you can only enter through the gate of thanksgiving! Child, be thankful!

                                            Thus saith Papa

                                              My Jehovah Jireh

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. 

Counting our blessings and remembering His goodness and faithfulness in the past feeds and nourishes our faith BUT being ungrateful and complaining will quench our faith and gratify the weeds that the enemy has sown.

An attitude of praise is the result of a thankful heart.

 Praise and thanksgiving are like Siamese twins i.e. they are inseparable.

Without thanksgiving we haven’t even entered the gate. Yet so often we try to offer praise in His court, and yet still find ourselves coldly on the outside. The only way into the warmth His presence is through the Gate of Thanksgiving. 

So often we come to church with a heavy heart because of circumstances. But if only we would spend a few moments reflecting as we declare  “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11 it would give us an appreciative and thankful heart and our attitude would change, preparing us to enter the gate and into His courts with praise. As the Word tells us “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”Isaiah.61:3.

Please note that I did not say our circumstances would necessarily change, I said our attitude to the circumstances would change. We will no longer be under the circumstances because our sacrifice of praise will raise us above those circumstances, and we will find ourselves spiritually seated in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Then in His timing we will see victory because He can work with those who praise Him. A grateful heart is a soft, pliable heart in the loving hands of the Master Potter. But hearts become cold and hardened when we murmur and complain.

Yes, it is hard when we are burdened and we just don’t feel like praising God.

But isn’t that what a sacrifice is all about? Something that is costing you! What is the cost? An act of our will to choose to offer Him a sacrifice of praise even when we don’t understand the “whys?” We are actually saying with that praise, “ God, I don’t know the future but I do believe that you hold my future and I trust you with the outcome.” We call that faith and without faith it is impossible to please Him.

CHALLENGEMay we all grow to the stature of the faith of Job who declared “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 13:15

Page 141 “DEVELOPING A SECRET HISTORY WITH GOD”

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 Available from Barnes & Noble/ Amazon or a bookstore near you

Thanksgiving for Family Unity!

At this time of the year as we are planning our thanksgiving preparations we often have thoughts of past thanksgivings floating in the air. As I picked up this photo of our first Thanksgiving together in the USA 1973, I was reminiscing of God’s faithfulness to our family through the years.

A photo of a close knit family even to our dress LOL but after all I was a dressmaker! Wow all that sewing! Guess it came from my Scotch-Irish background where the clans would all wear the same tartan to identify family unity.

However you don’t have to dress the same to have family unity. Unity in our families is more than our dress even more than our historical roots. Lasting unity in our families is due to deep spiritual roots when we all have the same Heavenly Father who doesn’t have any grandchildren – only children born of His Spirit whereby we cry out “Abba”.

Be thankful this season not only for your historical roots and parenthood but also for His love, grace and mercy when He adopted us, making our family unity stronger than anything the world or the enemy could use to disintegrate us.

Thanksgiving is a Faith Builder

thanksgiving-mike-waters

Dear Child,

Entering My presence with thanksgiving will build the faith you need to present your requests before Me, and without that faith it is impossible to please Me.

Without thanksgiving you will not have that ever increasing faith to believe that I am a rewarder of those who diligently seek Me.

Because thanksgiving brings to remembrance My faithfulness in the past and feeds your faith.

But ingratitude produces a complaining heart drowned in self-pity which will quench your faith.

An unthankful heart will be excluded from My presence.

In My presence is joy unspeakable and full of glory, a place you can only enter through the gate of thanksgiving! Child, be thankful!

                                            Thus saith Papa

                                              My Jehovah Jireh

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. 

Counting our blessings and remembering His goodness and faithfulness in the past feeds and nourishes our faith BUT being ungrateful and complaining will quench our faith and gratify the weeds that the enemy has sown.

An attitude of praise is the result of a thankful heart.

 Praise and thanksgiving are like Siamese twins i.e. they are inseparable.

Without thanksgiving we haven’t even entered the gate. Yet so often we try to offer praise in His court, and yet still find ourselves coldly on the outside. The only way into the warmth His presence is through the Gate of Thanksgiving. 

So often we come to church with a heavy heart because of circumstances. But if only we would spend a few moments reflecting as we declare  “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11 it would give us an appreciative and thankful heart and our attitude would change, preparing us to enter the gate and into His courts with praise. As the Word tells us “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”Isaiah.61:3.

Please note that I did not say our circumstances would necessarily change, I said our attitude to the circumstances would change. We will no longer be under the circumstances because our sacrifice of praise will raise us above those circumstances, and we will find ourselves spiritually seated in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Then in His timing we will see victory because He can work with those who praise Him. A grateful heart is a soft, pliable heart in the loving hands of the Master Potter. But hearts become cold and hardened when we murmur and complain.

Yes, it is hard when we are burdened and we just don’t feel like praising God.

But isn’t that what a sacrifice is all about? Something that is costing you! What is the cost? An act of our will to choose to offer Him a sacrifice of praise even when we don’t understand the “whys?” We are actually saying with that praise, “ God, I don’t know the future but I do believe that you hold my future and I trust you with the outcome.” We call that faith and without faith it is impossible to please Him.

CHALLENGEMay we all grow to the stature of the faith of Job who declared “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 13:15

Page 141 “DEVELOPING A SECRET HISTORY WITH GOD”

IMG_1344

 Available from Barnes & Noble/ Amazon or a bookstore near you

Family Time – The True Joy Of Thanksgiving 

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Thank you, Father, for the opportunity to travel far and wide just to be together!

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from 

the Father of lights.