Giving Thanks

By Florida Senator John Grant, Retired

Week Forty-Seven, 2019

By Florida Senator John Grant, Retired

From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained. Jeremiah 30.19

We were slightly hesitant as we drove to an economically lesser part of a strange country. We were there on mission to help refugees who fled from their neighboring homeland. They appreciated our work to help them and one family invited us to their less than modest small apartment for dinner with the family.

Their home was impeccably clean, and they so welcomed us. While the husband was cooking over charcoal on a grill on the balcony, we visited with the wife and two ever so polite teenage sons. As we ate, they told us their story, how they fled their homeland on foot, each with a small child in one arm and a bag of belongings on the other. They left everything, but they gained freedom in a new land. They exuded thankfulness for what they had.

I listened with tears in my eyes, as I thought of all I had back home and thought of what it would be like to leave it all in order to be free. I have so much, and they have so little, but they had and were thankful for that which mattered…. Faith, family and freedom.

This week, all across America, families and groups will join to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is my most favorite holiday. No commercialism, no last minute shopping….. just family time together to stop and give thanks.

As Christians we should give thanks in all things, and at all times to God the father through Christ Jesus. He has given us all we have and saved us from our sin. Giving thanks is the least we can do.

Psalm 107:1 (NIV) -“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) – “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Colossians 4:2 (NIV) – “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

What will you thank God for this Thanksgiving?


Howard Hendricks tells a great story when he was on an American Airline flight after a very long delay. A man who had too much to drink was being rude to the other passengers. He was demanding with the flight attendants. And in a word just plain obnoxious!

Hendricks watched this flight attendant treat this unpleasant man with class, dignity and professionalism. She was unruffled. When he was rude, she was polite. When he was uncaring, she was kind.

Howard was so impressed that he walked back to the plane to commend the flight attendant. He told her what a good job she did. How impressed he was. And that he was going to write a letter of commendation to American Airlines.

In response, she said, “Thank you sir, but I don’t work for American Airlines.” Hendricks was briefly baffled until she added, “I work for Jesus Christ.”

Who do you work for?

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Because Jesus humbled Himself for us, it is our duty, obligation, and joy to humble ourselves as well. But to adjust ourselves into a radically humble lifestyle to escape the clutches of that other god, the question we must ask ourselves is this: Have we lived so long worshipping our own egos that we’ve lost our ability—perhaps even our desire—to humble ourselves as Christ did?”

— o —

• French philosopher Blaise Pascal said, “There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous.

• What storms have you allowed to rob you of God’s peace and assurance? What storms have caused you to forget—that no matter what is going on around you—God is still with you? Don’t let what is around you control you. Scott Whitaker

• What does it mean to be a “culture-changing Christian”?


We know how to organize warfare, but do we know how to act when confronted with peace? Jacques Cousteau

Ships are safe in port, but that’s not what ships were built for. Brig Sorber

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. Ronald Reagan

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy cows and cows produce milk and milk makes ice cream and ice cream brings happiness.

Never leave home without a kiss, a hug and an I love you. Then remove the dog hair from your mouth as you walk to your car.

We are not cisterns made for hoarding, but channels made for sharing.
Billy Graham

Buying things isn’t bad or wrong, but shopping to feel a certain way, or to prove yourself to others or because you think something will make you feel happier or more successful doesn’t work.

We are all called to do, not extraordinary things, but very ordinary things, with an extraordinary love that flows from the heart of God.—Jeane Vanier

If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present.—Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army.