The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 22, 2012

Giving thanks every day of the year

By Ruth Ann Replogle, Columnist
Enid News & Eagle

— Yesterday was the Thanksgiving holiday, but I hope you don’t give up giving thanks no matter what day it is.

When we give thanks, we are reminded of what God has done for us. It shifts the focus off ourselves and onto Him.

The chorus in Johnson Oatman Jr.’s hymn “Count Your Blessings” narrates this perfectly: “Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done.”

As a new Facebooker and tweeter, I’ve been watching others who have posted each day in November what they were thankful for. Daily trending on most of my “Friends” pages were expressions of gratitude for family, faith and freedom.

Can you name 30 blessings, one by one, for each day of this month?

You might be surprised by what you find when you really sit down and sketch out your own personal list. It doesn’t have to be long; each blessing can be one or two words to describe your thankfulness.

For example you could begin your list much like mine: 1 — Grace of a Savior; 2 — Parents who have shown me the Way; 3 — Adoring husband who still loves me after 10 years; 4 — Freedom of religion; 5 — Siblings who make me smile; 6 — Not only a job I like, but one that comes with great benefits and pay; 7 — Friends who accept me as I am; 8 — Working limbs, decent vision and all my senses in tact; 9 — The ability to read and write; 10 — Mexican food 24/7; and well, you get the picture.

There is always something to be thankful for.

I’m reminded of George Beverly Shea (who is 103 years old and still singing!) and his composition “I’d Rather Have Jesus”:

“I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands; I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

“Than to be the king of a vast domain/ And be held in sin’s dread sway; I’d rather have Jesus than anything/This world affords today.

“I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause; I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause; I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame; I’d rather be true to His holy name.”

The hymn, with words penned by Rhea Miller, hails from Philippians, in which Paul writes everything else dims in comparison to gaining Christ (3:7-8) and he was content and thankful for what God had given him (4:10-19).

I challenge you to consider what is important in your life and what you put emphasis on. If, as a Christian, you are not spending any time being thankful, then you may need to re-evaluate your priorities. We ought to be constantly grateful for His grace and what we have, all thanks to Him.

One friend on Facebook posted an image from someecards.com that caused me pause: “Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”

Let’s be thankful every day, not just around Thanksgiving, and keep that in mind everywhere we are.

“Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.” — Ephesians 2:4-5