Sunday, November 18, 2012

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is the most celebrated holiday in America.  AND, rightfully so because we have A LOT to be thankful for.

So, although this is not new information, it IS a reminder that....
            we ought to  A)  Be thankful and B) Give thanks!


#1.  Monetary Blessings - regarding A) money   B) Annual income  and C) Compared worldwide
Some statistics:
After taxes, bring home income for a family of four - poverty level is $22,350.00
That puts you in the top 11% in the world.  Your income is higher than 89% of the world's population.

If your bring home income is $25,000.00, you're in the top 10%
                                             $30,000.00 ------------------7%
                                             $35,000.00 ----------------    5%
                                             $40,000.00 ----------------    3%
The top 1% - $47,500.00

#2.  National Blessings  (blessings because you live in the USA)
     A)  Prosperity - USA accounts for 25% of the world's wealth
     B)  Resources - we're blessed with abundance which assures future prosperity - water, farmland, timberland, minerals, etc.
     C)  Freedoms - free to campaign, complain, criticize
     D)  Stability - Post-election - no riots.  no military coup.
     E)  Security - when was the last time the US was invaded?  neighbors to the north or south launched a missile over the border on one or more of our cities?  people had to move to refugee camps?

Deut. 8:10

#3.  Opportunity Blessings - because in America we HAVE opportunity to pursue money, career, business, education, relocation, etc.  Question?  Why do so many with to immigrate??  - Because this IS the "Land of Opportunity".

#4.  Community Blessings - On one hand, we live in the low income section of a low income state.  Therefore, most people are here by choice with a lot of good people AND blessed with beauty!!

#5.  Health Blessings - not all but most live a long, relatively healthy life.
Compare to other parts of the world:
A.  Life Expectancy - in the USA - 78 1/2 years
       Compare                Djibouti -55 years
                                    Ethiopia - 53 years
                                    Somalia - 48 years
                              Afghanistan - 44 years
                                    Zambia - 42 years
                           Mozambique - 39 years

B.  Infant Mortality - deaths per 1,000 live births within 1 year.
                  USA = 7
            Ukraine = 14
             Mexico = 22
                Brazil = 28
                  Iraq = 36
         Botswana = 54
                India = 61
                 Haiti = 70
            Ethiopia = 87
            Djibouti = 91
          Somalia = 113
    Afghanistan = 144

A.  Those people given our health benefits - would live longer!
B.  Those babies given our health benefits would not die!

#6.  Relational Blessings - most people hesitate to end a poor relationship!!  Because, even  a poor one
= great blessings. 

These blessings are more than we deserve.  We have these because God is good and has blessed us.

And, now add...
#7.  Spiritual Blessings - (the greatest of blessings)
If you are a Christian, you have forgiveness, reconciliation, eternal life, eternal security, a heavenly Father, divine Presence, glorious expectations, etc.

So, today we are taking the Lord's Supper because  1)  these blessings are ours through the Person and work of Jesus Christ
                                                                                2)  These elements represent His sacrifice for us.

Many places the word "Eucharist" is used for the elements of the Lord's Supper.  The word Eucharist means "to give thanks".

Eph. 1:3   John 1:16   Psalm 35:18

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