"Children are a gift from God, a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is His reward..."

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Count Your Blessings
Happy Thanksgiving!
November 24, 2010
Written by Angela Michael
Psalms 107:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”

    Ahh...the holidays are just around the corner. In our large family they are full of traditions and bodies. : ) The anticipation is mounting as we began the ritual of picking up our college-aged children arriving back home from the airport to celebrate with their younger siblings. Thanksgiving together. I thought, “What can I say about this Thanksgiving gathering?” but the name alone says it all. “Thanks.” It’s not about 24 hour shopping at the mall, football, or the plethora of food, even though we enjoy them all way too much. It’s about giving thanks to our Creator who made this all possible. It’s about taking inventory of our many things to be thankful to the Lord for and his provision through it all. It’s about those we hold dear and surrounding ourselves with them during this time. It’s about remembering our all too much forgotten and ignored history. Why, it sometimes annoys me how we go from Halloween to Christmas and fail to see any Thanksgiving décor displayed or the mentioning of its name. The devil would love nothing more than to remove this holiday from our collective American memories.
     As I gaze into our youngest babe’s face, I can’t help but reflect on how a small, devout band of non-conformist Christians were willing to travel in all kinds of inclimate weather and conditions in dark, dank quarters not knowing how they were going to provide for or tend to their young children in this new land; that endured so much hardship and sacrifice because they lived, trusted, and stood on God’s covenant promises. They risked everything to separate and protect their children from ungodly practices and influences and to leave a legacy for future generations and…the providential hand of God brought them across an ocean to untrekked shores.
     It was a gift from God named “Squanto,” an Indian, who befriended the Pilgrims and taught them how to survive their first horrible winter. He taught them to hunt, to fish, and to plant. He was a blessing, and they gave God thanks for him. They brought glory to God. That is why the devil hates this holiday more than any. It points to the Lord, His providential hand in our national history, and biblical principles that our nation was founded on. The devil is terrified that we might remember the manifold works of our Lord Jesus Christ and that we are beholden to Him and Him alone. That is why the devil busies himself ripping any godly reminders from our history books, public places, and schools. He busies himself trying to steal our kids and any reminders of God and His principles. The devil knows very well what will happen to him if we remember who we are and why we are here.
We must always count our blessings and remember how we came to be. As we gather and pull up a few more chairs around our festive table it’s easy to give thanks this day, but it should be everyday as we count each head, kiss another boo-boo, change another diaper, run another errand, attend another concert, unclog another toilet, dislodge another foreign object from the dog’s pallet, and laugh at ourselves when we realize we mistakenly poured the baby formula in our cup of tea instead of creamer. No wonder it tasted odd. For now, the luxury of sleep is just a thought with a newborn. But we give thanks with a grateful heart.
“Lord, I thank You for my family. Thank You for special days. Thank You for the sound of little voices and for the patter of their feet. Thank You for those childish expressions of love and for the simple things in life.”

        “Count your blessings instead of your crosses
            Count your gains instead of your losses
                Count your joys instead of your woes
                    Count your friends instead of your foes
                        Count your smiles instead of your tears
                            Count your courage instead of your fears
                                Count your full years instead of your lean
                                    Count your kind deeds instead of your mean
                                        Count your health instead of your wealth
                                            Count on God instead of yourself."

To support and encourage Daniel and Angela please contact them - 
smallvictories@juno.com (email), 618-654-5800 (phone), 
or write them Small Victories P.O. Box 143 Highland, IL 62249.