Today Aaron shares some encouragement for your family at Thanksgiving and exposes his family's little secret.
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Welcome to this special edition of Truth.Love.Parent. I am AMBrewster, and I’m guessing that most of you are extremely excited about this Thursday.
To be honest, I think everyone not working in retail or foodservice is excited. I used to work in food service at a mall, and due to the years I spent there, Black Friday ads always make me cringe.
But as Thanksgiving descends on our country, the vast majority of Americans will celebrate it with great enthusiasm, yet spare hardly a moment for gratefulness. There’ll be too much Thursday feasting and Friday shopping and Saturday left-overing to be focused on anything more than their own appetites.
As for our house, Thanksgiving is a special time, and we emphasize the same thing any God-loving family does: we praise Him for His bountiful provisions. This may come a little easier for us than some because of where we live. We don't spend Thanksgivings with the parades and sales and football games like many do because for us the Thanksgiving weekend is a time to minister to the families we serve at Victory Academy for Boys. I believe this affords my little tribe a unique vision of the countless blessings God’s bestowed on us. It’s easy to see how packed, shaken down, and running over we are here at Victory, and I’m sure each of you could share the same testimony about where God’s placed you.
But in my household we’re also thankful for something unique . . . it was our ancestors who started what we know as Thanksgiving.
My wife and I are direct descendants of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower Pilgrims. So, this time of year is a big deal for my family because we’re not only celebrating a Christian, National Holiday . . . we’re also celebrating a four hundred year old family tradition! In fact, my wife and I were so excited about our shared heritage we named our son Micah William in honor of William Brewster.
Yet even though you may not be related to the men and women who crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower, if you’re a Christian, in a way they are your spiritual ancestors. Without the firm stand the Pilgrims took, our country might be as religiously enslaved as England was in those days. But because of the foundation they laid, millions of Christ-followers have been free to worship God as His Word describes.
So, as we thank God for His innumerable blessings this year, don’t forget the one that allows us to worship Him without persecution . . . freedom of religion. With that freedom comes the freedom to train your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord without persecution. We have the freedom to read them the Bible, and teach them God’s Truth without fear of punishment. We can model for them the life of Christ, and — for the most part — do so comfortably in this land of religious liberty. Never take that for granted!
I told my kids a few days ago there are countries where Christianity is illegal and men and women are daily imprisoned and systematically murdered for their faith in God. Make sure your focus is right this Thanksgiving and take a moment to explain to your kids what gratefulness is and why we must thank God for the men and women He used to make our country free. We owe our religious freedom to the families -- past and present -- who sacrificed for their God -- the pilgrims, the Christian leaders, our military, and the folks continuing the good fight of faith today.
And, Lord willing, the steps we take today to glorify God in our families by becoming intentional, premeditated parents, will resonate for years to come. May the investment we make in our children be used by God to further His kingdom while He tarries.
Everyone here at Evermind Ministries and Truth.Love.Parent. pray that this Thanksgiving is sweet -- not just because of the pies, but because our God is worthy of our praise!
"[We] give thanks to you, O Lord [our] God, with [our] whole heart, and [we] will glorify your name forever” (Psalm 86:12).
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