Thanksgiving is a beautiful way to honor God.

Thanksgiving is also a great way to prepare our hearts for Christmas!

Our Guest: Mary Beth Gilbert

Mary Beth Gilbert is passionate about encouraging women to fulfill their destiny in the Lord. She desires to come along-side women to help them grow in different areas of their lives. Married for over 36 years, Mary Beth uses her knowledge and wisdom in helping other women walk through different seasons of their lives. She loves to encourage mothers in biblical and practical ways of caring for their children, including the balance of working and mothering. Mary Beth has served in the ministry for over 32 years and been a pastor’s wife for 20+ years, even as she has worked in the business and academic worlds.

Mary Beth is co-founder of EmPowered Living International Ministries and is a National and International Christian Women’s Speaker and Bible teacher ministering throughout the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Argentina and Kenya, Africa. She is a Contributing Author to Women Who Rock. She is married to Dr. Daniel Gilbert and has a daughter, Maria, who is a student at Virginia Tech. She currently lives in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

Key Thoughts and Scriptures about Thanksgiving:

  • Thanksgiving is a distinctly Christian and exclusively American holiday.
  • The Pilgrims were a people on a journey to a destiny because of their religious beliefs.
  • They believed God was leading them where they could worship freely.
  • When God calls us and we take that first step of obedience, we have no idea of the future that God has planned from that one step.
  • Whenever the Pilgrims had the first of a harvest, they would set aside a day of thanksgiving and they would invite the Native Americans to share in their bounty.
  • In the midst of a severe drought their first year, the Pilgrims called for a fast. God answered their prayers with a soft rain for 14 days.
  • They then called for a day of celebration and thanksgiving in response.
  • The Pilgrims did everything from coming to America to befriending the natives because of their faith.
  • Their uncompromising belief in His Word became the cornerstone of our nation.

“We have noted these things so that you might see their worth not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship.” – William Bradford

We, as Americans, need to remember our rich legacy.

  • Remembering why the Pilgrims came and what they fought for can add a richness to our own celebrations.
  • Thanksgiving is a beautiful way to go into the Christmas season.
  • Our heart attitude and gracious spirit can contribute much to our holidays.
  • Thanksgiving should be an everyday thing.
  • We can thank God for the ordinary and for the magnificent and for everything in between.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

  • Thank the Lord in the midst of difficulties.
  • There’s a deep abiding joy when you know that God is in control and that He is good.

Romans 8:28 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

  • Keep conversations in a safe zone.
  • Focus on keeping an element of peace throughout your time together with family and friends.
  • Ideas for around the table:
    • Say what you’re thankful for
    • Tell someone at the table how you’re thankful for them
    • For families with young children: Cut turkey feathers out of construction paper, have each person write down something they are thankful for onto a feather, then attach to a turkey head and use as a decoration
  • Learn to roll with the punches.

So That…Thanksgiving

By Jodie Chiricosta

Safe shelter, plenty to eat,

A choice of clothes, shoes on my feet,

A loving family, a comfortable bed,

Friends to laugh with, pillows for my head,

There’s simple things that I’m grateful for,

And each year I appreciate them more.

Eyesight to see, books I can read,

Doctors close by to help when in need,

Ability to smile, 

the freedom to choose who to vote for, win or lose

Strength for any task, money to give,

A Savior who died so that I could live.

The blessings go on too numerous to mention.

God is so good, He deserves my attention.

When I think of all He’s done and how He first loved me, 

I want to bless Him back with a life lived generously.

The beginning of Mary’s story

Luke 1:26-56 NIV 

  • Even if you’d been the only one, Christ would still have died for you.

Matthew 10:29-31 NIV Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

  • God’s eye is on you. You are valuable and worthy.

Ephesians 5:15-20 NIV Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:6-7 NIV So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.



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