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Table of Contents
Teaching Thankfulness, Part 2
Providing Examples of Thankfulness
Establishing the Habit of Thankfulness
* Thanking God
* Thanking Others
* How To Write a Thank You Card
Timberdoodle: Knex Construction Sets
Impresa Publishing: Measure Match
Pattern Central: New and Older Favorites
New Vision Systems: Christian Home-Based
Creation Illustrated: Bible-Based Nature
American History and Political Science Reference
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote
Thankful people are happy people! In
this issue we bring
you more practical suggestions for helping your family have a
wonderful "Thanksgiving" -- all year long.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness
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Teaching Thankfulness, Part 1
In our last newsletter (#100) we began a discussion
teaching thankfulness with the subjects below.
The Character Qualities of Joy
Teaching About Thankfulness
"To Be Thankful, You Must Be Thoughtful"
"Count Your Blessings"
* Thanksgiving Tree
* Continue All Year Long
* Your Family Thanksgiving Service
You can see our last issue online at
Teaching Thankfulness, Part 2
In this issue you will find practical ways
to both teach and
Provide Examples of Thankfulness
The most powerful influence on your child's
example, for better or worse. You can help your child by
providing good examples of thankfulness and avoiding or pointing
out examples of unthankfulness.
The example you set is primary. As your
you being thankful throughout the ups and downs of your life,
they will be more likely to become thankful themselves.
"Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts
(I Cor. 15:33).
Children who watch a lot of commercials on
TV, especially at
this season of the year, will probably develop intense desires
for things they do not have, rather than being thankful for what
they do have.
Like-minded friends who show a spirit of thankfulness
a positive influence on your children.
3. Examples in Scripture
God has given us many examples in Scripture
behavior for our edification and of wrong behavior for our
* David is the most prominent example; he wrote hundreds
verses in the Psalms that show forth his thankful heart.
* Job, in the midst of his loss and misery, and Paul and
in prison, are prime examples of praise and thankfulness amid
"But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying
hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them"
4. Examples in Stories and Literature
Look for and comment on examples of contentment,
joyfulness, and patience (or their opposites) in your children's
and your family's reading.
* Instead of TV
Why not turn off the TV until the end of the
year and spend
an hour reading uplifting literature aloud as a family each evening?
* Include Evaluation
Follow your reading with a discussion of the
qualities displayed or other spiritual principles.
* Listen to Recorded Books
An alternative to reading aloud (especially
children) is to listen together, at home or in the car, to an
audio recording of good literature. If listening at home, you
can follow the practice of days gone by and do quiet handwork
(e.g., needlework, folding clothes, or drawing) while listening.
5. Examples in Our Nation's History
Read about our Christian heritage and the
gratefulness to the Lord for His blessings to us as a nation.
* The Origin of America's Thanksgiving Day
* Past Thanksgiving Proclamations
Governor William Bradford, 1623
George Washington, 1789
Abraham Lincoln, 1863
* President George W. Bush's 2004 Thanksgiving Proclamation
"All across America, we gather this week with
the people we
love to give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. We are
grateful for our freedom, grateful for our families and friends,
and grateful for the many gifts of America. On Thanksgiving Day,
we acknowledge that all of these things, and life itself, come
from the Almighty God."
* Christian Heritage Week. Promoting our nation's
foundation, plus many links to other sites.
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Establishing the Habit of Thankfulness
Help your children establish and maintain
the habit of thankfulness.
1. Start with the Attitude
If your children assume that they "deserve"
they will not be thankful for them.
* Help your children understand our dependency upon God
everything we are and have.
"For in Him we live and move and exist" (Acts
* Teach your children what God says about being content
only food and covering.
"But godliness actually is a means of great
accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the
world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have
food and covering, with these we shall be content" (I Timothy 6:6-8).
* Explain that anything God or others do for us, or give
an occasion for our thankfulness.
2. "Please" and "Thank You"
Include thankfulness in the basic rules of
courtesy that you
set for your family.
* Teaching your young child to say "Please" and "Thank You"
whenever he asks for, or is given, anything is a practical way to
teach him to be thankful and to show it.
* Start by saying it for him at appropriate times, even
he can talk.
* A gentle reminder and later (or for older children) a
while waiting for them to say "please" or "thank you," if
consistent, will soon establish the habit.
* You might review this rule with your older children to
advantage as well.
* Make sure your children thank others outside your home
they are given something, are wished something (e.g., "Happy
Birthday" or "Have a good day"), or have a service performed such
as opening a door or being served a meal.
3. Reinforcing the Habit
* Discuss good examples of thankfulness, such as how good
makes you feel to receive a prompt and handwritten Thank You card
from a friend.
* Have your child keep a Thankful Diary in which he writes
the things he is thankful for and checks off those for which he
has expressed thanks.
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Thankfulness is a character quality that includes
attitude of the heart and an outward expression of thanksgiving.
What To Thank God for
1. For His Provision
"And my God will supply all your needs according
riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
2. For His Free Offer of Salvation
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free
gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
3. For All Good Things
"Every good thing given and every perfect
gift is from
above, coming down from the Father" (James 1:17). You can
rightfully thank Him for anything and everything good, including
a found parking space, safety during a near accident that you
avoided, good news from a friend, or the beauty of the day.
4. For Unasked-for Blessings
"For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep"
127:2) and "He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew
5:45). We can thank the Lord for those things we have received
from Him, without asking.
How To Thank God
* Private Prayer
Talking to God in prayer throughout the day
is how we can
"pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). And the majority
of our words to Him should be thanks to Him for Who He is (His
attributes) and what He has done for us.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to
God" (Philippians 4:6).
"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert
in it with an
attitude of thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2).
* Modeling Private, Constant Prayer
Since your children cannot know your constant
prayers to the Lord, you may want to occasionally say them out
loud in their presence, such as "Thank you, Lord, that we have
the freedom to home school and had such an interesting history
* Family Prayers
During your family prayer time, ask your children
of one specific thing that happened that day (especially to them
individually) for which they can thank the Lord.
2. Singing Hymns and Spiritual Songs
Throughout Scripture, thankfulness to the
Lord is expressed,
not only in words, but through music.
"I will praise the name of God with song and
with thanksgiving" (Psalms 69:30).
"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within
you, with all
wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and
hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your
hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16).
Learn (memorize) and sing hymns and songs
of praise. Sing
* Alone, either aloud or silently in your mind as you work
* As a family, at meals, devotional times, and in the car.
* Corporately, as a church congregation, choir, or ensemble.
* For others, such as at a rest home or rescue mission.
3. Proclaiming God's Praise to Others
* Tell Others.
"In the midst of the assembly I will praise
You" (Psalms 22:22).
"I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among
I will sing praises to You among the nations" (Psalms 57:9).
Part of our giving thanks to God is to do
it before others
as a testimony of His goodness to all mankind and our
appreciation of Him.
* Direct the Praise to God.
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your
name give glory
because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth" (Psalms
Teach your children by your own example that
when we are
praised by others, we should acknowledge the Lord's grace that
enables us. In this way we give the glory and praise to Him.
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Besides God, there are many others in our
lives to whom we
owe our gratitude.
1. Parents and Other Family Members
One family's tradition is to start a box on
into which family members put notes of thanks to each other
-- with specific things they appreciate about each other. Then
they add to this box until Christmas and open the notes to each
other before they share their gifts.
These are those who love us and our family,
stand by us, and help us. We might be tempted to take our
friends for granted, but how it warms the heart to receive a note
like we did today:
"Thank you for all your love, support, and
the years. Your family means so much to our family. I just
you to know that when I say 'I love you guys,' I do mean it from
the bottom of my heart. One of God's greatest blessings is
having friends like you!"
* Remember, too, your Pastor and fellow Church members.
One church that we attended provided space
on an attendance
card in which to write a note of appreciation to a fellow church
member. Then the notes were placed in the offering plate and
mailed to the recipient during the week.
3. Those That Serve Us
Even though the mailman, garbage collector,
carrier are paid for their service, they deserve and appreciate
thanks. This is why many people give them a small gift at
Christmas. Include an attractive tract to enrich your gift with
God's offer of eternal life. Remember also:
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How To Write a Thank-You Note
There are many ways to express your thanks
* A Phone Calls and a Personal Visit
* Thoughtful Gifts and Service
* Letters, Notes, and Cards
A thank-you note is an extremely important
gratitude after you have been a guest at someone's house for
dinner or overnight, received a gift (including flowers), or been
treated with special kindness and generosity.
1. Write Promptly
* Part of the value of a thank-you note is that it is received
soon after the gift or service.
* Procrastination often leads to an embarrassing lapse
that can discourage you from writing at all.
2. Use Appropriate Materials
* Choose a nice card or stationary. You can buy a
Thank-You card or make your own.
* See how to make cards from many materials at
* Keep a supply of cards or stationary on hand so that
prepared to send a thank you immediately.
* Always use a pen (not a pencil). Your child may
first write out his message on plain paper
and then copy it
into the card.
3. Be Specific
* Mention the gift or service by name when thanking the
* Say why you like the gift and what you plan to do with
how you will enjoy it.
* If you enjoyed someone's hospitality, tell them something
specifically that you appreciated.
4. Mail It!
* Follow through with putting an address and stamp on your
* Don't loose your note before it gets in the mail!
heard, "The dog ate my thank-you note"?)
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It was funny, but at the same time, I was
thrilled that our
son heard and applied scripture to life's circumstances.
My husband had been reading to us one night
chapter 5. The next day while in Wal-Mart, our boys couldn't
wait to get to the sporting goods aisle because they had plans to
buy fishing baits.
After our 6-year-old son complained, "Are
we ever going to
get over there?" our 9-year-old son leaned over and whispered in
his ear. I didn't know what was said.
In a few minutes, we were at the fishing stuff,
9-year-old said, "Momma, I whispered a little encouragement to
him, to help him wait." I remarked that it was very nice of him
and asked, "What did you say?"
He replied, "I told him, tribulation worketh
Submitted by Holly W., Arkansas
God Loves You.
Because we have been separated from God by
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust
Christ as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
"For by grace you have been saved through
faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
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