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Summary: A message about thanksgiving 1. Don't forget to 2. Sometimes it's a sacrifice 3.Make it a lifestyle

Thanksgiving:

Analysing data from over 3.7 million reviews for 13 400 hotels in 70 countries, RewardExpert has set out to answer where the grumpiest and happiest travellers in the world come from.

Grumpiest: 1. Spain 2. Ireland 3. Iceland 4. Italy

Happiest: 1. Russia 2. Serbia 3. Lebanon 4. Australia – USA gets a top 10

A study done by UCLA Neuroscience dept found out that the #1 choice that allowed people to live happy was to have a grateful / thankful attitude. As we are continually thanking it releases 2 'happy chemicals' (Serotonin & Dopamine) into our brains.

As a matter of interest that same study found that 1. labelling negative feelings, 2. making decisions when faced with choices, 3. helping others and 4. human touch also made people happier and able to go through hardship.

In Thanksgiving:

1. Don’t forget to thank God

It’s easy to ask for things when we have needs but what do we teach our kids when they receive something – Say thank you. Why? The need has been met and we’re happy for a (short) while, until the next crisis happens.

Luke 17: 11-19 Tells the story of 10 Lepers …

*Leprosy is a contagious skin disease. Leviticus (13:45,46) says, 'the the leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp. Many believed that Leprosy was a punishment from God as it was incurable at that time.

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

If you think back over the last year, what’s the greatest thing God has done in your life? Job – moved to Suzhou, new baby, married, opportunity to study in China, etc. Today is a good day to thank God for what He has done.

Ps 100:4,5 - 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

The Message says, “Enter with the password “Thank you”.

2. Sometimes giving thanks is a sacrifice.

You may not have your healing, still be financially tight, have loads of pressure. It’s easy to focus on what we need next, what we don’t have rather than focus on what we do have.

Acts 16: tells us how Paul and his companions were on a mission trip, they are forbidden by God to go into NE Turkey area around Istanbul so head west towards the coast, later Paul has a vision of a man from Macedonia (Greece) who is asking them to come and help them, they preach and there’s a salvation, a wealthy lady called Lydia, she invites them to stay with her family and things are really looking up except for there’s this one slave girl who keeps bothering them, then things really get bad …

16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”

18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

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