PHOTO CAPTION: One way to celebrate God is by sharing what God has given us with others. This photo was of the boxes we collected last year for Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is a part of Samaritan’s Purse. Each year in November, shoeboxes are filled with small toys, hygiene items and other small gifts to send to needy children around the world. For more information go to: https://www.samaritanspurse.org
November is here and we are beginning the countdown to the holidays. It seems that as soon as Halloween is over, the emphasis is on Christmas and Thanksgiving is almost overlooked. I love Christmas too and yes, I am already thinking about it, but I also want to reclaim Thanksgiving this year. Before the Christmas rush begins, I want to pause to praise, celebrate God and give thanks. And on those days when caught up in the busyness of the season, I still want to remember why I am celebrating and give thanks.
What do we have to celebrate? I would daresay we have a lot. Even many of the things that are cause for complaining can be turned into a praise celebration when we pause and look up. I admit I’m not always the best at this! I’m tempted to complain way too often! Just this week, I found myself complaining about my schedule being a little too busy, but guess what everything that really needed to get done did get done and I even got to a couple of small projects that I’d been trying to get done for awhile. I also complained about some other problems that seemingly had no answer, but then I made them a matter of prayer and found new solutions that I hadn’t seen before.
Of course there are a lot more things to celebrate and praise God for too. How about starting with the wonderful way He made you – Yes you! You are unique, talented and amazing! Then there’s your family, friends, food, seasons and pets. And how about celebrating God just because He is God. Are you going through a tough time right now? God is there with you in the midst. He loves you. He’s alive. He’s mighty, strong, our redeemer and provider. He is everything that we need and best of all, He desires relationship with us. Amazing isn’t it? The God of the universe desires relationship with us!
So let’s celebrate God all this month because we have plenty of things to celebrate. Have a party and invite God to your celebration – not a pity party, but a praise party. It will change your perspective. Celebrate God because He is good. He loves us like a shepherd loves His sheep. We are part of His family and He sent His Son Jesus to earth to redeem us just because He loves us so much. That’s definitely reason to throw a party and celebrate! God is amazing and He loves you for sure! Happy celebrating!
I have so very much to be thankful for. I am thankful that you are my God and that you love me. You have been so good to me. Even when things seem a little hectic or problems arise, I know you are with me and that you are there to help me. I can praise you no matter what happens because your love never fails. You give me peace in the midst of a storm, light in the darkness, comfort when I am sad or lonely and you love me even when I am unloveable. Thank you God for opportunities to share your blessings with others. I pray that my kids learn the discipline of celebrating you and giving thanks too. This time of year when the desire for toys and gadgets that “every child thinks they should have” is so prevalent, teach my kids, teach me, to look up, celebrate and give thanks, because you are with us, Jesus Immanuel. Open our eyes to see the opportunities around us to share with others too, because I want my kids to learn to be generous. Thank you God. You are amazing! Thank you for coming to earth. Amen.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH YOUR CHILD?
* Write a thank you note to someone – if your child can’t write, he/she can draw a picture. Don’t forget to say, “Thank you!” to God too. You could even write a note to God or dance exuberantly and say, “Yeah God!”
* Turn complaints into praise. EX: When your child says, “My toy is broken.” Say, “I’m sorry your toy is broken. I’m thankful you have other toys to play with while I see if I can fix it, then I will play with you.”
SHARE A STORY – Let’s Celebrate
Excerpts from Psalm 100 Simplified for preschoolers.
There is a book in the Bible called Psalms. It’s a book of songs to God. When we sing songs, we can thank and praise God. Let read this psalm together and think of some good things to thank God for.
Sing to the Lord – (Sing, “La, la, la!” or “Thank you for your love.”)
Be happy – (Clap hands and say, “Yeah God!”)
Come before Him with happy songs. – (Play shakers is you have some – can be made from small plastic containers with a small amount of rice or dried beans inside.)
The Lord is God, He made you – (Say, “Yeah God!“)
We belong to Him. – (Say, “Yeah God!“)
He takes care of you like a shepherd takes care of His sheep. – (Say, “Baa, baa!“)
Give thanks to Him – (Say, Thank you, God!“)
The Lord is good. – (Rub tummies and say, “Yeah God!“)
His love is forever. – (Give self a hug.)
God loves you so much, thank Him for His love and for all He does for you. What would you like to thank God for? (He loves me. He is good. He made me. He gave me a family. My kitty….) God is very good to us. Let’s remember to worship, praise and thank Him for making us, loving us and for all the good things He does. We can also praise God just because He is God. He is amazing!
MEMORIZE: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIRV – (Hold hands open.)
Give thanks – (Extend hands out as though giving a gift.)
No matter – (Clap hands and shake head for no.)
What happens – (Push hands outwards to the sides.)
Thank you for making me and loving me. Thank you for my family who take good care of me. Thank you that you are good and strong. I love you. Amen.
THE MAIN IDEA:
God made me to praise Him.
TALK ABOUT: I can celebrate and praise God because.…
ASK: Who made you? God made me.
AND DO: What can you do? Celebrate what God has done. Praise Him and tell Him thankyou.