Since we are missionaries to the Deaf we have a tradition in our ministry. Thanksgiving means giving thanks. It is a time to think and thank. In Sign Language, (left hand) point to your head to sign think, then sign thanks by bringing an open flat (right) hand from your mouth. Now, try this… Sign “think” (left) hand and “thank” with (right) hand at the same time. As you “think,” it will make you “thank.”Now let others join in to also “think” and “thank.” Here are twelve guidelines to help us as we think and thank.
1) Think and give thanks for what you have instead of thinking about what you do not have (Eph. 1:16).
2) Think about being content with what things you have (Phil. 4:11).
3) Think of your family and friends. Pray for them. Love them. They need you and you need them. Let them know you are thankful for them (1 Cor. 1:4).
4) Think of others. Do a kind refreshing act for that special someone today (2 Tim. 1:16).
5) Think of God’s blessings and benefits each day (Psa. 103:2).
6) Think positive thoughts and avoid all negative thoughts (Phil. 4:8).
7) Think about making a difference in the life of someone this day (Psa. 118:24).
8) Think about letting your thankfulness be known to all men at all times (Phil. 4:5).
9) Think of people. God is only interested in people. Don’t love things, but love people. The best things in life are not things, but people. Love is your greatest gift (1 Cor. 13:13).
10) Think of eternal things that are forever instead of earthly things that fade (Col. 3:1).
11) Think of this day. You still have life and the opportunity to share it with your family and friends. You have breath so praise Him for the great things He hath done (Psa. 150:6).
12) Seek to build good memories. Things in life change, but good memories remain. Make the days ahead the best you have ever known. Do it! (Phil. 4:9). As you think of these twelve things, continually think of the Lord and give Him thanks. There is no substitute for the peace of the presence of God that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
Start your Thanksgiving tradition. Have a think and thank time. Everyone write on cards at least two things you are thankful for and then place them unsigned in a basket. Pass the basket and each person pull one card and read it aloud. Then everyone tries to guess who wrote it. Take time to discuss the blessings and memories from the cards. Continue until the cards are all read. Thanksgiving is giving thanks. Everyone should be more thankful – everyone. Even the Lord appreciates your thankfulness. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20). This season is a good time to “think” and “thank.” Happy Thanksgiving.