F&F NJ - Thank-FULL - A Thanksgiving Reflection by Tim Cheux - Psalm 46

F&F NJ - Thank-FULL - A Thanksgiving Reflection by Tim Cheux - Psalm 46

As we begin to reflect upon Thanksgiving this coming week I would like us to pause, reflect and listen to Psalm 46 in the Passion translation as I open and close my short reflection:

“Everyone look! Come and see the breathtaking wonders of our God. For he brings both ruin and revival. He’s the one who makes conflicts end throughout the earth, breaking and burning every weapon of war. God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge! You’re a proven help in time of trouble— more than enough and always available whenever I need you. So we will never fear even if every structure of support were to crumble away. We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes, moving mountains and casting them into the sea. For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves cannot erode our faith in you. *Pause in his presence* God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams bring joy and delight to his people. His river flows right through the city of God Most High, into his holy dwelling places. God is in the midst of his city, secure and never shaken. At daybreak his help will be seen with the appearing of the dawn. When the nations are in uproar with their tottering kingdoms, God simply raises his voice and the earth begins to disintegrate before him. Here he comes! The Commander! The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side. The God of Jacob fights for us! *Pause in his presence* Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth. Here he stands! The Commander! The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side! The God of Jacob fights for us! *Pause in his presence*” Psalm 46:1-11 TPT Prayer of Thanksgiving “O Lord our God and heavenly Father, which of Thy unspeakable mercy towards us, hast provided meate and drinke for the nourishment of our weake bodies. Grant us peace to use them reverently, as from Thy hands, with thankful hearts: let Thy blessing rest upon these Thy good creatures, to our comfort and sustentation: and grant we humbly beseech Thee, good Lord, that as we doe hunger and thirst for this food of our bodies, so our soules may earnestly long after the food of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Amen.” George Webb, "Short direction for the daily exercise of the Christian,"
London 1625. Courtesy of Plimoth Plantation When researching the topic of Thanksgiving I found various topics including different cultural traditions, religious practices, Harvest collections, Canadian and American rituals and a history of English settlers upsetting, killing and wiping out indigenous people.

I was thankful that today’s Psalm provided me with the reason for why we give thanks.

1 Timothy 4:4-5 reads 4 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer”.

The prayer I read to you this morning was what a traditional Pilgrim prayer may have been back in 1621. This selected prayer was taken from an English prayer book of that period and would have been said at a similar time to that of a Thanksgiving meal. My own first thanksgiving was in England with my beautiful wife Liza and I invited two friends with me. My artist friend Jonathan and Australian and American friend Adrian. I was so extremely thankful to be invited, to practice the tradition and be able to learn about Pumpkin pie! It was like Christmas a month early and we paused to stop and to give thanks. It reminded me of my family, friends and those whom I love and helped me to remember them, both alive and dead, near and far and present and past in my life. One of my particular friends Michael prays for our country, the UK, our nation, our people and our government and this is his prayer today for which I am grateful for. “It was for our salvation that Christ Jesus came for, as a babe. It was for our redemption, freedom from sin, it was for our true knowledge of God and His great mercy and grace that the Word Christ became flesh to dwell among men and teach us the truth. Grant and give us new hope in a heavenly kingdom. Re- new our knowledge and relationships with God our heavenly father. It was to break the chains, destroy sin, expose the deceit and lies of the evil one, remove the barriers, open the door to Gods eternal love, kingdom, benefits, promises. Also to expose and defeat the devil and retake ownership back to God almighty. But most of all, it was to give us a new name, Saints, Christians, followers of God almighty, and joint heirs and children of God almighty our dear and loving and eternal glorious adorable father. Amen and Amen. I celebrate Christmas everyday. Because of what it means for all of us and for all the riches and heavenly gifts it brings to all of us. Our God and great king gave His very best. He gave HIMSELF TO US THAT WE MAY BE SAVED. BLESS GOD HALLALUYA FOREVER.AMEN. In Jesus holy name, Amen.”

Prayer courtesy of Michael Jaylola Psalm 46 reminds us of God being present in our lives and our needs to focus on him. To pause, reflect and to give thanks.

In the amplified version it reads “The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower]. Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has brought desolations and wonders on the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire.” Psalms 46:7-9 AMP So like me at our first thanksgiving together we went around the room and gave thanks so today let’s do exactly that lets ask each other what we are thankful for. This month I am doing a campaign called “Share the Miracle” campaign courtesy of our friend in Christ Dan Usher from the UK. The campaign is built around sharing Kindness and its a very simple practice where people stop and give thanks for the people they love in their lives or for an experience or encounter they are grateful for.

Everyday I try to post onto social media and share an interview with somebody taking time out of their day to for them to give thanks. Today after Church, on Tuesday at lunch time and through our collection for the Centre for Food Action I hope to give thanks to the service men and women of New Jersey. I have asked, and I would be hugely appreciative if you would consider giving back to our local communities. For our men and service men and women today I have chocolate brownies my lovely wife Liza made and some lollipops for a sign of thanksgiving. We love to give back to our local communities and we hope we can help by giving thanks. Immediately I am thankful to our Pastor Reverend Wayne Jones who serves this community, congregation and Westwood United Methodist Community Church. He has personally shown me great compassion and kindness as I discern my place both in life and in Ministry. Thank you Pastor Wayne. All this thankfulness may seem hard to do, hard to accept and hard to give out as we live in a world where we perhaps find it harder everyday to be grateful for even the littlest thing let alone to give thanks. If you are like me though and you have a roof over your head, food on the table and shelter to stay warm in the winter we have plenty to be thankful for. Not because our circumstances are easy or worry free. Or because we are without illness or ailment, but because we have a God whom we can believe in, a hope for the future, a God who is planning for our lives with a plan and a purpose and a room for us in eternity with him. Today as we reflect on Psalm 46 we read that our God is the God of Angel Armies.