Happy Thanksgiving! Today AMBrewster uses three brief but powerful lessons to help our families grow in their devotion to God.
Recommended Listening: For What Should Your Family Be Thankful?
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Hey, everyone. It’s great to have you here with us today.
I love Thanksgiving, and I hate how the world seems to skip right from Halloween to Christmas. I enjoy both of those days as well, obviously Christmas is my favorite. But, I really love Thanksgiving and believe it’s detrimental to our understanding of God and His Word for us to miss or abuse Thanksgiving.
Of course, my passion may also stem from the fact that my ancestors were the ones who celebrated the first Thanksgiving . . . I don’t know. You decide.
But today I have two purposes. The first is that I want to share briefly that for which I am thankful, and I want to talk a little about my ancestors and the other Pilgrims and give you a couple tidbits you can share with your family as you prepare for the holiday.
But more on that in a minute.
I love the new Apple Podcast app, and — no doubt — you’re enjoying it as well. Most of you use it to listen to TLP, and we think that’s great for two awesome reasons.
The first is that the new app makes it super easy for you to rate and review us. You can easily pause the show, leave a review, and be back to the show in no time.
Go ahead. I’ll wait. It’s worth it.
When you rate and review you add to the testimony of what Truth.Love.Parent. is trying to accomplish and make it easier for new listeners to join our mission to become intentional, premeditated, disciple-making parents.
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Okay, so for what is TeamTLP thankful?
Let me start by thanking you. Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or you’re new to the show, I want to thank you for investing your time. There are millions of other things you could be watching or listening to or doing right now.
Please know that you are loved and valued. We do this for God and for you, and we praise God for you. Thank you for listening, for writing us, for supporting and encouraging us. You guys are amazing. You’re fantastic, and I am very thankful for you.
Second, I want to thank the Lord for His continued sustenance. We just celebrated our one year anniversary and I can’t tell you all the ways God has made it possible for us to continue recording new episodes every week. If you want just a snippet of the crazy awesome things God has done to keep us going, you can listen to A TLP Snippet #4 called, “We Won.”
I’m also thankful for my wife and kids. I know, this is a personal one, but I really think you should be thankful for them too. All the time I pour into this show is time my family is not hanging out with me. They love what I do, and they participate, and it’s a sacrifice they gladly bear so God can speak through me into your parenting.
I’m also thankful to Victory Academy for Boys. I believe that God has used this place to equip me to produce these shows.
I also want to thank The TLP Family. Our closed Facebook group is pretty small at the moment, but I thank God for the encouragement and prayer that’s going on over there. I also encourage you to check it out. Just head on over to TruthLoveParent.com and sign up for The TLP Family and you’ll get access to that Facebook group where we ask questions, share our burdens, and encourage one another.
I also want to thank every one on TeamTLP — past and present. Your sacrificial, voluntary work on behalf of Truth.Love.Parent. is an act of worship to God and I couldn’t do it without you.
And lastly, a huge thank you goes out to our Patrons and Sponsors. Your monetary support is used by God to help TLP minister to families all over the world. Thank you and thank you!
Of course, there’s so much more for which to be thankful, but I want to keep this short because I know you’re busy right now, and I want this episode to be helpful, but not too heavy.
Okay, how can your family benefit from the example the Pilgrims left us?
Here are my thoughts?
1. The Pilgrims sacrificed everything to worship God.
These people left their homes and families and comfort zones because there was nothing more important to them than worshipping their God the way He outlined in His Word.
What about your family?
How can you take this lesson and lead your family into a closer relationship with God?
There are so many things you can do, but here’re some quick suggestions. After sharing this lesson with your kids, you can ask them the same question I just asked you. “Our God is so amazing, is there anything in our lives keeping us from worshipping Him the way we should? What could we change to make God’s Word more important in our family?”
Likely, you won’t find anything keeping you from worshipping God that’s as dramatic as what the Pilgrim’s faced, but if you’re not going to church or engaging with God’s Word in your home, then you’re the one making it hard for the family to worship God in a corporate setting and it’s making it hard to worship Him in a daily setting if your children don’t know the Truth He wants them to live by.
So, the first lesson is that we should sacrifice anything and everything that short circuits living in the reality of God. We need more time with Him and the body of Christ, not less.
2. The Pilgrims sacrificed everything again to stay faithful to God.
The Pilgrims didn’t come to America so they could biblically worship God on Sunday. They found that Freedom in Holland. The Pilgrims decided to leave Holland so they could more easily worship God on every other day of the week.
You see, the culture in Holland was very similar to ours in that there was much temptation. I don’t want to belabor this point, but the Pilgrims left Holland because they realized it would be more difficult to worship God by living a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
So, again, you can ask your children, “What things are there in our family’s life that make it hard for us to stay true to the Lord? What things would it be a good idea for us to remove from our lives because they distract us from God or because they lie to us about God?”
Likely, if your children are young, the list they come up with be short or nonexistent. That doesn’t mean you don’t ask them, though. They need to learn to think like this. However, our older children likely have many influences in their lives that need to be reevaluate.
The Pilgrims chose a grim and difficult course simply because their main mission in life was to know God and grow in their relationship with Him. If that’s your family’s mission, what hindrances are there in your home that are keeping you from thriving in that mission.
If you say you don’t know what your family’s mission is, I encourage you to sign up for our parenting course, “25 Days to Becoming a Premeditated Parent.” Early on in the study we discuss how to biblically formulate a Christ-honoring purpose for your family. Proverbs tells us that without guidance, a people falls. I hope you don’t want that for your family.
So, we need to sacrifice everything to follow God’s Truth — not just on Sunday — but every day of our lives.
And number three . . .
3. The Pilgrims sacrificed everything for each other.
We all know about the Pilgrim’s first winter. We know that half of the population died. But did you know that there were only a few people who didn’t get sick that winter? Did you know those men and women cared for everyone else? In addition to trying to survive, they did all they could to help others survive.
I’m sad to say that too many families are not on the same team. They may all live under the same roof, but they have their own plans and their own gods.
Try asking your kids this one: “What does Dad need to sacrifice to love the family more? What does Mom need to sacrifice? What do the brothers and sisters need to sacrifice in order to be what the family needs and do what the family needs?
No doubt this question will spur a lot of valuable and not so valuable suggestions. Use their ideas to help them create a framework for biblical thinking. Why do they want what they want? If you don’t know the answer to that, I highly suggest you listen to episode 98.
The Pilgrims weren’t perfect. They made many bad choices. They were sinners. But they set a positive example by being willing to sacrifice everything to love God and love others.
I think those lessons will be good for my family, and I think they will be good for yours.
If you click on Episode Notes link in the description, you’ll get a bunch of conversation prompts to help utilize these lessons with your family this Thanksgiving season.
And please don't miss our next episode, “Parenting is More Than a Formula.” Dr. Jim Newheiser will be in the show, and you won’t want to miss it. We can so easily become overwhelmed and even depressed by our parenting responsibility, but when we look at it biblically, we realize where the pressure genuinely lies.
And if you’re looking for more Thanksgiving ideas, please listen to “For What Should Your Family Be Thankful?” It’s a short, four minute episode from our pilot season that outlines one the greatest blessings we too often take for granted.
All you have to do is scroll down and click “For What Should Your Family Be Thankful?”
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