Pause

Satisfied

Thriving

Filled Full

Abundant

Goodness

Pure Joy

More Than Enough

You Won’t Lack a Thing

These words, pulled from our readings for this week, describe life as God intended. A life overflowing with all the good things God longs to give us.

This week of Thanksgiving, let’s open our eyes to notice what God has given us, open our hands to receive God’s blessing, open our hearts to receive God’s love, and open our arms to share God’s abundance with others.

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Listen

But watch yourself! Don’t forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commands or his case laws or his regulations that I am commanding you right now. When you eat, get full, build nice houses, and settle down, and when your herds and your flocks are growing large, your silver and gold are multiplying, and everything you have is thriving, don’t become arrogant, forgetting the Lord your God:

the one who rescued you from Egypt, from the house of slavery;

the one who led you through this vast and terrifying desert of poisonous snakes and scorpions, of cracked ground with no water;

the one who made water flow for you out of a hard rock;

the one who fed you manna in the wilderness, which your ancestors had never experienced, in order to humble and test you, but in order to do good to you in the end.

Deuteronomy 8:6-10

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Think

This passage sounds like the goals I and most Americans have had for most of our lives: settling down, building a nice house, earning lots of money, and growing a family. I have spent many years working toward this. And, by accident of birth, I have been presented the opportunities and resources to achieve this. The problem is, no matter how much I have, it is never quite enough (even though by the world’s standards of wealth and poverty, I am among the wealthiest elites). Prosperity is no longer about having enough — it is about having bigger and better and more and more and more.

What if we reframed prosperity and abundance to be simply that we have what we need to live? What if prosperity is not about having the biggest and the best but rather defined as being loved and safe, eating until we are full, having a comfortable place to live, an education, a job? That is starting to sound like abundance to me!

Ann Whitfield Carter

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Pray

Thank you God, for this abundance that comes from your generous hand. Help me remember all I have is from you. Help me be content with what I have. Help me share what I have with others. Amen.

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Go

Notice all you have been given and thank the Giver.

Notice God at work and thank the Giver.

Notice God beside you and thank the Giver.

Notice God inside you and thank the Giver.

Notice God in others and thank the Giver.

Notice God in nature and thank the Giver.

Notice the need around you, open your arms to share, and thank the Giver.

Notice.

Just look around where you are right now.

And thank the Giver.

Ann Whitfield Carter

Ann Whitfield Carter serves at Richmond’s First Baptist Church in Virginia as their Associate Minister for Youth and Social Media. Wife to David for 24 adventure- and laughter-filled years and mother to three strong, generous, and always entertaining daughters, Ann’s life is full and rich. When she isn’t working, Ann is either traveling wherever she can to join the work God is doing in our world or taking classes at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond to earn her Master of Divinity. She relies on large doses of coffee and peaceful moments with God on her porch to fuel her lifestyle.

Wondrous Love: Jesus, Lover Of My Soul

Mark Hayes

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