Thanksgiving and God’s Blessings

Thanksgiving and God’s Blessings

Thanksgiving week is upon us. Soon turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and so much more will fill the traditional Thanksgiving table. A friend of mine told me last week Thanksgiving was by far her favorite holiday because of the (relative) simplicity that it revolves around. There are no presents to buy, no costumes to make, no fireworks to gather or baskets to fill with candy. The simplicity of the Thanksgiving holiday seems a bit counter-cultural for America given we live in a culture that continually tells us “bigger is better” and the more you have the happier you’ll be.

For one day in the year, we stop and have the opportunity to relish in the simplicity of a holiday focused on giving thanks. Giving thanks for the life we have and the life we get to live. When a friend asked me the other day, “What are you most thankful for?” I found myself pausing for a minute. The pause didn’t happen because I couldn’t think of anything, but rather, so many things came to my mind, I couldn’t pinpoint just one.

Often our thankfulness may revolve around the people God has put in our life, such as family, close friends and trusted colleagues. I give thanks to God for the countless relationships I’ve formed in my years at Fresno Pacific. I’m especially thankful for our community and those who take to heart what it means to serve courageously. I’m reminded of FPU’s Strategic Map and the call for us to Serve Courageously as part of GEIST and as part of “Expanding the Possibilities.” In the book of Matthew, we’re reminded “whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve …” (Matthew 20:26-28).

I’m grateful for FPU’s missional charge to develop students for leadership and service. Courageous service is that which follows the teachings of Jesus in loving our neighbor and we have the opportunity to model service as a community. By being a part of a community that desires to serve intentionally, we can see how God provides us with true blessings in abundance. As followers of Jesus, we can experience true joy; we have courage in the face of fear, hope where there is doubt and comfort when we have tears and sadness.

As we enjoy a time of Thanksgiving this week, I encourage you to not only give thanks for but also pray for our community as we seek to strengthen and grow in Christ. Give thanks and pray for all those who make it possible for us to live out our mission and develop students for leadership and service. Pray for all the people who serve and provide the financial resources for ministry to take place in a myriad of ways at FPU. Pray for our community, including our students, staff, faculty, administration and board members as we continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

May we give thanks to the Lord with a grateful heart. I am thankful for all that God is doing among us as we pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to lead each of us, as members of the FPU community, into the future.


Rebecca Bradley

Executive Director of Public Relations and Community Engagement