A Bit of Bread

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17

In this season

if we are able

we bring those we love

to our table

and celebrate

and feast

while at the same time

we’re honored to share

with others

who might not have the means

but God

to our joy

nevers limits himself

to our concept of time

or date of festival

So it is that

 

a bit of bread

a sip of wine

will always be

my Thanksgiving

 

We share communion

remembering

the body and the blood

some in open, some in secret

all together in God’s love

preparing for our mission field

ten thousand miles away, or one

 

The union of believers

gathered wounded searching souls

numbered few or many

makes no difference at all

God’s pleased as his children

make one giant choir call

in thanksgiving

 

If angels could cry tears of joy

it would rain

if angels could cry tears of joy

you know we’d feel the rain

 

God’s children

gathered around the world

lift their hands

different languages

accents of  their lands

placed within us all

a desire

to worship our Father

so

this offering we now bring

 

Praises to our God

he’s on the throne

we’ll sing praises to our Lord

till we go home

then every nation gathered

the bride’s song will continue

on and on

the sweetest song

on and on

our worship song

 

Whether my table

is laden or lean

the presence of Jesus within

sustains

and nourishes me

 

a bit of bread

a sip of wine

will always be

my Thanksgiving

 

©Joel Tipple
#9/16

 

 

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The Heart of Thankfulness

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What qualities do you admire most in people? Friendly? Funny? Outgoing? Kind? Intelligent? Certainly I think you’d discover one common denominator would be the quality of thankfulness. While the most miserable people seem best at finding the worst, the happiest ones have a way of tapping into an attitude of gratitude that buoys them even in difficult circumstances and similarly lifts everyone around them. No matter their physical appearance, they somehow manage to be the most beautiful people in the room.

In his first letter’s exhortations to the Thessalonians, chapter five, verses 16 through 18, Paul says to “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Note that he says, “in everything.” The circumstances may be horrible, but an attitude of thankfulness can keep hope, essential as breathing, alive even then.

How can we break out in thanksgiving
even in the middle of mourning, grief and pain?
How can we be there for the living?
If God’s commanded, he’ll surely provide a way
to be thankful.

Lord, maybe I’ve taken leave of my senses,
to be joyful, in a world missing paradise,
but since you’ve given me permission
I’ll swing for the fences,
and be so thankful.

No matter how the earth groans,
no matter whether man
tries to destroy all you’ve given,
I know you’re sovereign, Lord.
No matter how dark the news,
and evil seems to win,
I’ll search for the way…
to remain thankful.

I’ll enter your gates with thanksgiving.
I’ll enter your courts with praise,
for you are good and your love is eternal.
I will not fear what I can’t see in the night,
I won’t fear the dark in the day,
for you remain Lord no matter where or how I am.
For that and so much more I’m thankful.

Lord heap my heart
full of thanksgiving,
Heap it up till it overflows.
Heap it so I can’t keep it to myself,
The whole world has to know.

God’s word helps me to perceive,
we must be illuminators of his love,
justice and hope.
Circumstances will change,
our health may ebb and flow.
The world’s economy might fluctuate,
but that won’t change what I know.
So I’m thankful.

Whether we face plenty or hunger,
abundance or need,
we can do all things
through Christ who strengthens us.
He is our sufficiency
and we are thankful.

Though we’re persecuted, we will not be abandoned;
Though we’re struck down, we will not be destroyed.
we lift our hands and rejoice
because we look toward the one who does not change
and give our offering of thanksgiving.

Lord heap our hearts
full of thanksgiving,
Heap them up till they overflow.
Heap them so we can’t keep it to ourselves,
The whole world has to know.

Take over the places in me
that are not all about you,
like the place that calculates
what’s owed me
and from whom.
If you would, Lord, make it over… Lord, make me over.
You know God, we’re pretty selfish
and we’ve all got our wish lists.
It seems they’ve changed only little
from the days we were kids.
But Lord, among those qualities I value,
grow in my estimation that of gratitude.

Imagine the world like that,
thankfulness,
spreading like a good disease.
I can’t possibly overestimate
what it could mean.
All that taking turning into giving.
Ground zero right here.
That’s a funny thought…
infectious agents for Jesus.
Ha!

Lord, heap our hearts
full of thanksgiving,
Heap them up till they overflow.
Let the good news
from our overflowing grateful hearts
draw those we meet
to your kingdom.
Lord, heap our hearts.

©Joel Tipple
#13/15

Thinking Thanks

A day of Thanksgiving is great,
but what about the rest of the year?
One day isn’t nearly enough.
It’s a drop in the bucket, I fear.
So consider that today was practice,
and spend more time getting it right.
A good start would be to thank God for His grace,
then to seek His direction and light.

© Joel Tipple
352

The Eve of Thanksgiving

On the Eve of Thanksgiving,
we’re grateful in advance
for the family and friends
who will share our repast.
Because it’s not so much
that with turkey we’re smitten,
but rather the fact we all gather bidden,
to enjoy the bounty with which we are blessed
and remember those loved ones from Thanksgivings past.

© Joel Tipple
351