November 24, 2022
"A joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful." ~ Book of Common Prayer
Thanksgiving is intended to be a pleasant day of feasting, football, family, and – for the Mills family – hunting!
Mounting evidence suggests that "giving thanks" is a powerful act which can transform lives, including the giver, the receiver, and spectators! Thanksgiving is a call to worship, an invitation to joy and a catalyst for personal health!
In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Let me explain: The biblical mandate to "give thanks in all things," and "give thanks to the Lord, for He is good," is a gateway to worship. The very act of thanksgiving requires a focus away from distraction and frustration, and toward the source of Grace and Blessing. The act of giving thanks jettisons self-absorption and opposes entitlement. Indeed, it is virtually impossible to be thankful and indignant simultaneously. You see, thankfulness requires a laying aside of irritation and necessitates a reflection upon unearned blessing and its source.
Thanksgiving is an invitation for joy. This act of reorienting perspective brings an awakening of the imagination! As G.K. Chesterton noted,
"[G]ratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." A mind released from resentment to gratitude is one that is free to rejoice in grace! God's grace is a wonder beyond comprehension; we may grasp but a glimpse of His grace, which in turn satisfies the longing soul and simultaneously creates a hunger and thirst for even more! A promise accompanies that hunger and thirst! Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Gratitude is righteousness manifested! What a divine set up: gratitude calls, then fills, heals, restores, and renews! It is the function of grace and it truly is good!
As C.S. Lewis observed, thankfulness actually completes delight:
The most obvious fact about praise – whether of God or anything – strangely escaped me. I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise does not merely express but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete, till it is expressed. This is so even when our expressions are inadequate, as of course they usually are. But how if one could really and fully praise even such things to perfection – utterly "get out" in poetry or music or paint the upsurge of appreciation which almost bursts you? Then indeed the object would be fully appreciated and our delight would have attained perfect development. The worthier the object the more intense this delight would be. The Scotch catechism says that man's chief end is "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.
Amazing! In fact, recent contributions of medical research compile ample empirical evidence that confirms this long held spiritual truth: the act of giving thanks brings health, resilience, and relational strength. There is overwhelming medical evidence that the thankful live longer, laugh more, sleep better, exercise more, have more friends and stronger marriages, are more likely to volunteer and donate, forgive more easily, bounce back from disappointments sooner, navigate transition better, maintain a clearer sense of life purpose and sustain greater hope and emotional health than those who lack an attitude of gratitude. They are less likely to be depressed, addicted, or indebted, and demonstrate less materialism and self-centeredness.
Such remarkable transformation begins with simple thanks to Him from whom all blessings flow and to others who serve as conduits of this same flow.
So today, the LFF Team and I are most thankful for a Gracious Heavenly Father, His Son and:
- Christian leaders who fearlessly serve the Lord by representing us in our state and nation's capital.
- The remarkable opportunity to build a Louisiana where God is honored, life is respected, families flourish and liberty reigns.
- Our brave military, police, and first-responders who daily serve.
- Friends like you, who invest and share in holding this organization before the Lord and to the people of Louisiana. Your prayers, support, encouraging letters and emails, and the lending of your time and talents throughout the year are a tremendous encouragement. As a result of your investment into LFF, much fruit remains.
My friends, we are so privileged to partner with you, Louisiana's finest! The simple truth is, without you, we are not in this field, in the news, at the Capitol, or in a position to speak truth to power!
Happy giving of thanks to you and your family!