WORD TO THE WISE: Thanksgiving, Santa, & I Am Second

Well…it has indeed been a while.  I haven’t written a Word to the Wise post in quite some time.  But now they’re back!  Sundays will bring with them copious amounts of coffee, church services, and my weirdly named three object blog posts.  Let’s get started this Sunday, November 27th with a lovely post about three things that have majorly affected my week.

Thanksgiving

This one is rather self-explanatory.  This past Thursday was Thanksgiving.  And not just any Thanksgiving…it was my family’s first Thanksgiving without my father.  It was actually easier than I had expected on Thursday.  We went to my dad’s sister’s house.  We watched the Macy’s parade, the National Dog Show, and ate turkey sandwiches.  (My dad LOVED turkey sandwiches.  Turkey, cranberry sauce, and dressing right there on the sandwich!)  We had a great time and really enjoyed the company, the entertainment and especially the food.  That was Thursday.  Then there was Saturday.  Saturday was the day my mom’s family celebrates Thanksgiving.  We got together at a local events barn and had a good time.  After we met up for our family’s first fifth annual turkey trot.  (The official name is “The Norman Family Fifth Annual Turkey Trot”.  Since this was the first one…it was the first fifth annual.)  Saturday was when it really hit me.  You see, in the past, I had always spent the day sticking pretty close to dad.  In my early years, we celebrated in Dobson, NC and he and I would always sneak off to Freeman’s Western Store.  Then we moved to North Wilkesboro and I would sit with him while he sowed his leather work and we would talk about…everything really.  And this Saturday…he just wasn’t there.  It was definitely harder than I expected.  But now it’s Monday.  So apparently…I survived.  And I guess that means I’ll survive today.  Bahora bahora.  Am I right?

Santa

The official winner of best commercial during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade goes to…Macy’s.  As a matter of fact, their big holiday campaign wins best holiday campaign!  Here is the commercial that I’m talking about which will also clue you in on their holiday campaign.

I love that in this day and age, such a major retail chain has chosen to put an emphasis on childhood and imagination during the one time of year they should be putting an emphasis on materialism.  I acknowledge that this is encouraging you to shop at Macy’s but it at least has the decency to do it through a different avenue than the whole “He who has the most toys in the end” thing.  Well played Macy’s.  I believe.

I Am Second.

For the first time in my life…I am going to complete a daily devotion this year.  I have tried in the past, but I have never made it.  And this year has not been without it’s difficulties.  I have spent more time catching up than I have actually doing it as a daily routine.  But finishing one is going to be a great accomplishment!  My first completed one is going to be Live Second: An I Am Second Daily Reader.  If you don’t know anything about the I Am Second movement…let me know what rock you’re living under and I’ll send you a copy of the book.  Just kidding.  But seriously, if you aren’t too familiar with it, I would suggest this devotion to ANYONE that loves Jesus and wants to put Him first in their life!  But let me get to it…so we can move on from it.  I have been catching up after being stuck in late October for the past couple weeks and I am finally only ten days behind!  And yesterday, I decided to look back through these days I’ve flown through and see what the message was the day my daddy died.  Let me interrupt myself here to say that I have had several conversations with a couple dear friends of mine about my…bereavements with worship.  I know some folks who want congregations to get as worked up over worship as they would a football game.  To them I suggest: Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman.  But here is the thing: it’s not about acting like you would at a football game…it is about being amazed and excited over the free gifts of God.  My favorite author, Brennan Manning put it best.  In one of his books he highlights the fact that there remains an “awesome absence of amazement”.  Our worship should be passionate…not because it should be…but because we are so on fire from the free gifts of God and His no-strings-attached friendship that we can’t help but scream and clap and dance and sway.  So when I opened to November the 7th and I read this line…I was touched.

“We are not mere residents in a strange world but REVOLUTIONARIES READY TO TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN.”

Father,

I would ask you that you would let this penetrate our very existence over this next week.  You have not prepared us for a life.  You have prepared us for victorious living.  You have not saved us for a full life.  You have saved us for life to the full.  These things are only found in You sweet Jesus.  Keep us from sitting idly by as your worship puts souls to sleep.  Make us revolutionaries you worship in a way that sets souls on fire.  We love You.  Thank You for loving us.  Amen.

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