Thanksgiving

Peace of mind

This just in… Thanksgiving is staging a comeback.  After several years of retail retreat from Black Friday, creeping into stores opening sometime on Thanksgiving Day, retailers seem to have gotten the message either from employees or the public.  More and more are again choosing to close on Turkey Day.

Oh. I mean Thanksgiving.

But this isn’t about retail habits or family traditions. In fact, it isn’t about holidays – American or otherwise – at all.

It’s about giving thanks. [click to continue…]

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Leading the Team Out of a Maze

Nobody talks about the life-changing leader who helped them raise their umbrella at the beach.  Influence happens only rarely in comfort zones or times of ease. Vision is not the starry-eyed product of Monday morning quarterbacks or couch potatoes. Adversity was made for leadership.  And leaders were made for adversity.

Seth Godin puts it this way: [click to continue…]

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(A Conversation)

Crossroads

You’d think by now I’d have this down.

Have what?

Making decisions and finding God’s will.

Is that what you mean by “being at a crossroads?”

Yeah, I have some decisions to make, and it’s kind of a mixed bag.  Some really good things and some really challenging things, either way I go.

Okay…

But I don’t want to just do what I want to do. I want to do God’s will.

As opposed to your will?

Yes.  I know that he speaks through my desires.  But even that’s mixed up right now.

And you need Him to sort all that out for you?

Yeah.

Sorta like those neon arrows on the highway at night that say, “Stop here?”

Boy, wouldn’t that be awesome? [click to continue…]

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Uninhibited

I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to You before the gods (Psalm 138:1)

Gratitude is not for the half-hearted.

It’s all-in…mind, will, and emotions.

And it’s a choice, regardless of our current state. [click to continue…]

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It was Christmas Eve morning, I don’t know, about 12 years ago, I guess.  I got up way ahead of everybody else, and for some reason had to go to the grocery store.  And for some other reason I can’t remember, it wasn’t our regular grocery store.

When I walked in, I noticed that the supermarket had a case of 24 Christmas gel candles marked down to a buck apiece.  On a whim, I bought an entire case of them and hauled them home.

I was inspired.

(By the way, completely irrelevant side note, but that’s just one more reason to do your Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve.  Black Friday’s got nuthin’ on the bargains you can find the day before Christmas.  More here.)

I got back home and everybody was still settled in to their long winter’s nap.  So I went to work.  I sat down at the computer, grabbed a sheet of labels, and printed 24 that read, “Thanks for the light you bring to our lives every day.  Merry Christmas, The Wood Family.”

Boy, was I inspired. Click here to see what happened

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A Warm Embrace

by Andy Wood on November 25, 2012

in Half-baked Ideas, Life Currency, Love, Photos

Sort-of-random thoughts from going over the river and through those woods for Thanksgiving…

When the weather report is rain-free and the only wind that is blowing is in your face as you’re roaming through the pasture on a hayless hay ride, that’s a sign you’re having a good week.

I wonder what would happen if there was a new global holiday and the whole world got to swing as high as they could on a swing that is big enough to hold lots of different people.  Maybe people would be less on your case and more at your side.  It works for little kids – why not big ones?

[click to continue…]

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When the Son of man comes will he find faith on the earth?

-Jesus Christ (Luke 18:8)

Welcome to the waterdown season.

Welcome to the days when we’re thankful, but not really sure Who to thank.

Where we count our blessings, but choke on the Name of the Blesser.

Welcome to the days where we deck the halls and hang the balls,

And sing wistful songs about traffic jams and bells and chestnuts.

When the world becomes a Winter Wonderland without a Wonderful Counselor –

And seeks peace on earth without the Prince of Peace.

But I’m not whining or pining away for the days of Rockwell or Currier and Ives,

Because God has always had a remnant of believing hearts and transformed lives.

And I’m still hopeful and expectant that in the city sidewalks or crowded stores,

In festive churches or feastful tables, someone out there still believes. [click to continue…]

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A Psalm Symphony of Gratitude

by Andy Wood on November 25, 2010

in Esteem, Life Currency

Give thanks to the Lord, the God of gods, the Lord of Lords, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.  The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, righteous in all His ways, kind in all His deeds, and His mercies are over all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in truth. 

I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.  For Your name is near; You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.    [click to continue…]

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Bobo Brown Saves Thanksgiving

by Andy Wood on November 22, 2010

in Insight, Spoofs

If you know my oldest-by-five-minutes daughter at all, you will eventually have the ex-Thanksgiving Conversation (XTC for short).  Carrie’s growing frustration is that in the rush to jump from Halloween to Christmas, the world has turned on Thanksgiving 

If you decide to hang your holly before you’ve baked your turkey, it may be a good idea to keep it to yourself.  Otherwise, if “Baby A” finds out about it, you may get The Look.  Or worse, execution-by-XTC.

So when we caravanned from Texas to Alabama this weekend for Thanksgiving, to Carrie, it was all about giving thanks.  And when we attended the Baptist church in Millry Sunday morning, Carrie became a shouting Baptist when Brother Billy talked about Thanksgiving being the Forgotten Holiday.

“Amen!  It’s about time!” she shouted.

Yes, I mean shouted (though she may take issue with my choice of terms).

Still a bit edgy and armed for early-Christmas bear, this led to more conversation.  How can we teach people to value Thanksgiving?  How can we turn the tide of obscene Christmas shopping, at least until the cranberry sauce is back in the fridge?  What can we do to capture the true meaning of what may be America’s most important holiday?

Deep stuff, friends.  Insight needed beyond my little pea brain.  This calls for the wisdom of Solomon, the intelligence of Einstein, and the people skills of Bill Clinton. 

“You’re in luck,” I proclaimed to the fam.  “It’s time to go over the river and through the woods!”

“But we’re already at Grandmother’s house,” said Cassie.

“Different river, different woods!” I exclaimed triumphantly.  “It’s time you met Bobo Brown.”  [click to continue…]

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This just in… modern newlyweds are increasingly dealing with “the bridal blues.”  Doctors report that the expectations of newlyweds are so high, and married life such a letdown after all the planning and excitement of the big day, that an increasing number of brides are suffering post-nuptial depression.  The feelgood factor fades so fast that up to 10 per cent of couples suffer enough remorse, sadness or frustration to seek counseling.

Wow.  You mean it wasn’t whispy clouds and fairy dust as you lived happily ever after?  And Franck Eggelhoffer isn’t there to plan the details of your marriage like he did your wedding?  And Daddy’s not there to pay your bills?  And sex doesn’t cure everything, or come with an orchestra in your bedroom?  And to add insult to injury, you find yourself married to a sometimes-sweaty, stinky boy, who leaves socks and underwear on the floor?  Or to a woman, who – get this – ain’t yo’ mamma, your maid, or your madame?  She’s no Cinderella, and you’re not exactly Prince Charming.

Those expectations take you for a ride sometimes, don’t they?

Dr. Terry Eagan has a name for post-wedding depression. He calls it the secret sadness.  Why? Because the women who suffer from it are often too embarrassed to tell anybody. And men simply bottle up their feelings.

The Secret Sadness is real.  And it isn’t limited to newlyweds. [click to continue…]

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