Thanksgiving: Remember These 4 Things

God has been faithful.  It’s that time of year.  It’s time to say thank you.  Not out of obligation, but out of pure gratitude.  So many people and so little time.  This past week I made the time to sit and walk through this past year remembering all the things that have happened since the last time we carved the turkey, and the list of God’s blessings are immeasurable.  No, really, I’m not just saying that.  2015 was a year of incredible provision and realization of God’s presence in my life.

give thanks

“God is faithful, and by Him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9  ESV

The Gospel gives clarity and calling to an otherwise purposeless life.  Jesus called us to live a certain way in 2015 so we look back and recount his blessings.  My family said goodbye to our father and hello to three new children adopted into our family from Uganda.  Our family changed drastically this year.  One word could be used to describe this past year for me:  Culmination – As we recount this year, here are four things to remember:

4 Things To Remember This Thanksgiving…

#1 Reflect – “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)  This time will fly by.  Life is short, don’t miss the moment.  I know you know that the Holidays are a great time to take time and reflect.  Breath it all in.  Enjoy the tastes, smells, hugs, smiles, feelings, everything.  Never let too much time pass by without reflecting and recounting what God has done.    One strategy that you can use is the half day reflection.  pray, read, plan and make a list of what God has provided.

#2 Respect –  “Honor your father and mother.” (Exodus 20:12)  There will no doubt be those you come in contact with who deserve your respect and honor.  Respect is a form of Thanksgiving.  A basic character formation requirement for being a disciple of Jesus is learning to respect and honor your family.  It’s why Thanksgiving can be so hard.  Show restraint and humility.  Arguing with a family member over a silly thing will create tension, not peace

#3 Repair – “Forgiving one another.”  (Colossians 3:13)  There is probably someone you will come in contact with over this weekend that deserves your forgiveness.  I know its hard, but it is worth it.  Don’t go to the grave with grievances, go with grace.  Bitterness only destroys your own heart.

#4 Repeat – “As for me and my house.”  (Joshua 24:15)  Remember the goodness of God through the traditions in your home.  As you do them, you proclaim who is the Lord of the house.  Traditions and repetition create familiarity and safety.  They connect the generations to each other.  Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.  Share the stories, dream the dreams and lean into all God has for you.

Finally, I just want to thank you church for being the church.  My church family.  You are amazing and incredible.  Here is a short video message I recorded for you.  I love you all and am so thankful God placed you in my life.  From the 8 of us in the Conn house to you, HAPPY THANKSGIVING.



It’s hard to believe, but we enter into year seven of 217church this Spring!  We are calling this the “RELAUNCH” of 217church.  This means developing a relaunch team.  I want you to be on our relaunch team.  Here are some ways to be involved in this historic moment:  Join one of these Relaunch teams:

  • Small group team – making disciples that make disciples
  • Weekend team – making our church the most hospitable place in Central New Jersey
  • Worship team – leading the church into the presence of God
  • Prayer team – interceding for the church
  • Administrative team – ensuring excellence in communication
  • Ministry fair team – helping people find their place and ultimate contribution
  • Youth & Kids team – investing in the next generation

E-MAIL to join one of these teams



We are officially #Relaunching @217church after 6 full years of ministry.  Our first Sunday services will be Sunday February 7, 2016  Don’t worry, we have regular weekend services leading up to this historic day for us as we prepare and build our teams!   Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit for more information. or watch a weekend message here

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