Creative Thanksgiving Ideas

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Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity for families to get together and have meaningful conversations that focus on thankfulness. Don’t miss this opportunity to share what matters with your family.  I saw an article from Alex Absalom on the Verge Network site that listed ten different ways to creatively celebrate Thanksgiving.  Below is a few that I thought were cool.  Check out the whole article here!

1. Go round the table and invite everyone to name one thing, one person and one place for which they are thankful.

4. Ask the children and teens at the table if they can suggest some benefits of being thankful. Don’t be satisfied with bland answers!

5. Copy the original Pilgrims – after their first brutal year, at Thanksgiving each person was given 5 kernels of corn besude their plate as a reminder of their starvation rations. They then named 5 things for which they were thankful to God.

6. As a family, commit to an act of service that lives out your thankfulness. You might need to arrange this in advance, or agree to do it at a later date, or even have something practical ready for that day (raking the leaves of an elderly neighbor, etc).

8. A fun visual game: put a big glass vase in the middle of the table. As the meal winds down, each person takes a cup of water, says what they are thankful for, and pours the water into the vase. Eventually it will overflow – part of the fun is seeing who will be that tipping point person, so give them a prize or a forfeit! (If you put a big platter or tray underneath the vase then the mess will be easy to clear up.) The point is a simple one to highlight: God’s blessings to us are overflowing in abundance.

Does your family have any Thanksgiving traditions that promote good conversations? 
Which of the suggestions in the article do you think might work this Thanksgiving at your home?

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The Tabernacle Declares the Glory of God

Just a quick word for you parents out there: your students are given the opportunity to soak in some seriously great teaching from our small groups and Sunday School teachers (not to mention Frontline and BASH: that speaker guy’s not a total bum either).  I hope you are making it a priority to have your students at these times.  I had the opportunity to sit in with the 11-12 graders this week and I was amazed at the quality of the material that Jeff was bringing.  He is tasked with teaching through Exodus with his class and he has gone through the fun stuff (burning bushes, plagues, Red Sea) and is onto the Tabernacle furnishings.  Not the most fun, but wow, he nailed it.

Here are some of his observations following this diagram of the Tabernacle:
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  1. There is a wall that separates those who are outside of the tabernacle, just like there is a wall that separates mankind from God (sin).
  2. There is only one way into the tabernacle courtyard, there is only one way to reconciliation with God (John 14:6 Christ Jesus)
  3. The first thing that we come to in the tabernacle courtyard is the altar for sacrifices, this reminds us that we approach God only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
  4. Before entering the actual tent of the tabernacle, the priests had to wash their hands and feet.  This reminds us of the Last Supper where Jesus washed his disciples feet.

There was about dozen or so different Christological reference points that Jeff drew out, but I just wanted to give you a taste of what is happening in youth Sunday School.  We truly are blessed with a great group of teachers!