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John Calvin on Prayer and Thanksgiving

By prayer and supplication we pour out our desires before God, asking as well those things which tend to promote his glory and display his name, as the benefits which contribute to our advantage. By thanksgiving we duly celebrate his kindnesses toward us, ascribing to his liberality every blessing which enters into our lot. . . . The sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving can never be interrupted without guilt, since God never ceases to load us with favor upon favor, so as to force us to gratitude, however slow and sluggish we may be. In short, so great and widely diffused are the riches of his liberality towards us, so marvelous and wondrous the miracles which we behold on every side, that we never want a subject and materials for praise and thanksgiving.

— John Calvin,
INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION,
Book Third, Chapter XX, Translated by Henry Beveridge, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989, page 176 in Volume II. ISBN 0802881661

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Thanksgiving and Prayer

by Charles H. Spurgeon

 

“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” — Psalm 65:11

All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake, his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave off shining, but our God will never cease to cheer his children with his love. Like a river his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fullness inexhaustible as his own nature, which is its source. Like the atmosphere which always surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all his creatures; in it, as in their element they live, and move, and have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days appears to gladden us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen with the rain, and as the atmosphere itself on occasions is fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God: it hath its golden hours, its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifieth his grace and lifteth high his love before the sons of men. Continue reading

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Countdown to Thanksgiving

“Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains”. Psalm 147:7-8

This November Facebook is abuzz with “3o Days of Thanksgiving”. Many Christians post one gratitude note everyday. Some “thank-you’s” are big ticket items, while others are the recognition of small everyday blessings. And then there are some who thank God for ‘blessings in disguise’: lost jobs, financial struggle, health issues – all those things that test our faith, build up your trust, and make our hearts seek God with new eagerness.

“Gratitude is our ability to see the grace of God, morning by morning, no matter what else greets us in the course of the day”. ~ Craig Barnes

Whatever our situation is today – or any day – a grateful heart is the attitude we are called to as the redeemed children of God.

  • “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV).
  • “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” Psalm 50:23.
  • “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” Hebrew 13:15.

We learn about thanksgiving every day as we wake up to a new dawn, have a morning cup of coffee, enjoy food on our table, hear our children’s voices, see our loved ones, get a phone call from a friend, watch the sunset, kiss our spouses good-night. There are things we might be missing. There are circumstances we wished be different. Yet none of that can or should diminish our gratitude to God for all what we do have: our life, His constant presence, protection, and provision.

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled”. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Our family had a good year. We stayed very busy with our three kids: homework, swim classes, field trips, AWANA. One of the biggest highlights of the year was our summer vacation to Virginia Beach along with Oksana’s sister and her son, who came to visit us for a month.

Our children are a constant reminder of God’s special mercy and His blessings. Each one of them is a gift from above. Their little hearts full of wonder and love, their eager minds hungry for truth, their arms outstretched toward us. We delight in our precious gems every day. What a blessing to be a Mom and a Dad!

With the headlines telling us that the world is falling apart all around, we thank God for His faithfulness and hold on to His everlasting promise:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

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What are you thankful for today?
Have you had any ‘blessings in disguise’ lately?

Please share with us in the comments.

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Time to rejoice and give thanks!

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise;
be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good…”

Psalms 100:4, 5a


 

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name:
make known his deeds among the people.
Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.”

Psalms 105.1-3

 

“Before you go out into the world, wash your face in the clear crystal of praise. Bury each yesterday in the fine linen and spices of thankfulness.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

 

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” ~ Harry A. Ironside

 

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

 

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us,
and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.”

Psalms 100.1-5

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Countdown to Thanksgiving

What?! Can it be true? Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But where did the year go?..

Are we the only ones who feel like the year has just flew by with the unheard of speed?..

It certainly has been a fast-paced and busy year for our family. The move from California back to Virginia, the search for jobs, house repairs, a shed built from scratch, new school for Bogdan, pre-K for Daryna, search for the right church… No wonder the time went by so fast.

As we approach yet another Thanksgiving, we have so much to be thankful for. God’s faithfulness and goodness have been so powerfully present in our lives this year! Here are just a few things from the big ‘thank-you’ list:

Great schools for our kids

This was the first year the Bogdan went to a public school. We were worried about almost everything. Now we see it as a special blessing, as he has a wonderful teacher and a great class. He sure is one happy kid this year, enjoying his studies, home work, and reading.

Daryna is happy now, too, as after a year of begging us to put her to school she got her wish! We were able to find a Christian school just minutes from our house that is not only excellent in program, but also quite affordable. She loves her teachers and classmates!

–  Wonderful home church

After months of searching for a church that would truly meet our needs, we have found one that is justright. We love the solid and powerful teaching, the worship, and the out-of-this-world childcare! :) Having three young kids, a good childcare is not a small thing for us.

Illya’s new job

It’s never easy to find a job in this economy, especially after a big move like ours. We are very grateful for the job God has provided for Illya.

We thank God for keeping us healthy and safe, for blessing us with good friends, for watching over our kids, for the constant provision and numerous blessings we see everyday. Above everything else, we are grateful for His closeness, for walking this road with us, and keeping our family in His hand…

What are you thankful for this year?
What challenges and blessings have you encountered this year?
Share with us!

 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

 

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