We begin the Godly Play liturgy each Sunday with these words:

Let us give thanks to the Lord.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

We should say it in the sanctuary, too, each week, when we come to worship together, to remember that it is right to offer thanks to God.

So often we come with our petitions and prayers, our hurts and burdens—and this is right, too—but I wonder if sometimes we forget how to say thank you to God, how to even see the good that God is doing in our midst so that we can give thanks.

The past several times I’ve led worship at my church, I’ve offered space for a time of thanksgiving before we move into a time of petition.

The silence has been deafening.

It gives me pause. I know I’m more in the habit of giving thanks than most people, and I know this habit helps me see the gifts I’ve been given. But it’s hard for me to imagine that other Christians, people in my own community, don’t give thanks. Not just hard; impossible.

So I wonder: is it that they’re embarrassed by the wealth of their lives? Do they feel guilty singing out their praise for all to hear? Are they afraid that some who hear will feel jealous? Do they worry that they will come off as boasting? That they will discourage the hearts of others whose lives are not as good? Or not good in the same way?

Or do they really not see how much they have to be thankful for?

I don’t know. But it puzzles me, and whatever the reason, it can’t possibly glorify God for us to remain silent when we’ve been so blessed. Ought not we who have been given so much be on the front lines when it comes to thanks and praise? We who have received the biggest and best Gift of all, ought we not live with praise ever on our lips?

After all, it is right to give thanks and praise.

Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights…

Praise him sun and moon,
praise him all you shining stars,
praise him highest heavens
and you waters above the heavens…

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you dragons and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping beasts and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
the old together with children!

Praise the Lord!

—Psalm 148

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”

—James 1:17

I exhort you to keep (or begin!) counting all those good and perfect gifts that remind us again and again of how much the Giver delights to give good gifts to His children because He delights in us.

2693. The Gift that all the other gifts point to.

2694. Safe travels on this mini-vacay we’re having.

2695. GPS

2696. Books on tape (er, CD), especially if they’re by Jim Weiss.

2697. More chances to delve into the Wilberforce biography I’ve been reading these past weeks. I am awed and amazed and inspired by this man—and so so so grateful for the Great Change that changed not just his life but the life of the world.

2698. Another amazing sentence from the often wickedly witty Eric Metaxas:

The erroneous term “Clapham Sect” was most likely coined after Wilberforce’s death, and it is misleading beacause a sect is a group whose theology is somehow deviant from the norm, while the Clapham folks were about as theologically deviant as the Nicene Creed.”

That just makes my heart happy.

2699. An afternoon all by myself at Powell’s Books.

2700. 4 hours, 34 books, and $178 later, I emerged into the balmy Portland afternoon as giddy as a schoolgirl in love.

2701. I am a schoolgirl in love: with books and learning and teaching my kids. Here’s to the start of another school year! Woot! (Those 34 books? All for school this year. What can I say? I was born for this.)

2702. The beautiful Oregon coast.

2703. Good food. And lots of it. How immeasurably blessed we are to have such an abundance of delicious, nutritious food at our fingertips everywhere we go!

2704. The most expensive half-gallon of organic milk I’ve ever purchased ($5.69!!!) makes me even more grateful than usual for my beloved PCC.

2705. A morning at the park, climbing trees and splashing in the fountain. (Okay, so I didn’t actually climb any trees or splash in any fountains. For which I am also grateful.)

2706. Two nights in a row of nine hours of sleep! Blessed, glorious sleep.

Your turn: What are you thankful for?

Please write three or four (or ten!) things for which you’re grateful down in the comment box. Let’s lift up a hymn of grateful praise to the Giver of all good and perfect gifts!

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Linking today with Ann Voskamp, who inspired the gift list in the first place.