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Dear Reader,

Welcome to the sixth month of the year. I trust you have been tremendously blessed by all my teaching series since the year began. This month, I will be examining Family Retreat.

Let us begin by understanding what a family retreat is. A family retreat is the coming together of every member of the family to evaluate the family’s progress so far within a stipulated period and set a goal(s) for the next phase. This is called a family retreat, but it has to be done individually by every grown-up member of the family.

In this series, I will be sharing activities that should take place in your retreat as a family. This week, we will consider Thanksgiving. The Bible says: In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Thanksgiving is appreciating God for all of His good hands on your family. It is acknowledging the finger of God at work. The Scripture says: Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:1-5).

Take out time to thank God intentionally for what He has done since the year began till now. If you know how to list your prayer points, you should also make a list of the things He has done for you and your family specifically. A wise man once said, “If you know how to think well, you will know how to thank well.”

You and your family members have all the reason to give God thanks. You may say you have lost some things in the last five months, but He is the reason you have not lost everything. The Bible says:  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

You may ask, “Why should thanksgiving be first in a retreat?” Thanksgiving multiples your blessings. Concerning Jesus, after He gave thanks over the five barley loaves and two small fishes, which should feed five thousand men, He gave thanks, and God multiplied them, and there was remaining left (John 6:8-13). So, giving thanks for what God has done for your family is necessary for multiplication.

Also, thanksgiving perfects your blessings. When you give thanks, you provoke God to perfect whatever He has started. I heard one of my sons say, “What God gives you first is not his best; He wants you to thank so He can deliver the rest.”

Thanksgiving is the best way to end a season in preparation for the next. I encourage you as a family to make a list of what God has done for you and give Him thanks with an attitude of gratitude. I pray that the grace to make thanksgiving a way of life is released on you in Jesus’ name!

You cannot be thankful without being joyful, and joy is a fruit of the spirit, which can be received only by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. So, if you have not made this decision, you can say this prayer of faith:Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner, and I cannot help myself. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your Precious Blood. Deliver me from sin and satan to serve the Living God. From today, Lord Jesus, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You Jesus for saving me! Now, I am Born Again.

Congratulations! You are now born again and a child of God. He loves you and will never leave or forsake you. Read your Bible daily, obey God’s Word and seek Christian fellowship (John 14:21). With this, you are guaranteed all-round rest and peace, in Jesus’ name! Please write or call to share your testimonies with me through OR 08141320204 and 07026385437.

For more insight, these books, authored by me, are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian Bookstores: Cultivating the Garden of Your Home, Experiencing the Best of Marriage, Family, and Parenting, Marriage Covenant, and Making Marriage Work.

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