Thanks and Giving at FPC

Thanks and giving are two separate words.  The word “thanks” is used frequently for a variety of reasons.  However, when put together the words have a wonderful meaning.

Many people think thanksgiving, a time to give thanks to God for His blessings, originated with the pilgrims and was created as a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln.  Children are taught (or used to be taught) this in public school.  Certainly, the first “American” Thanksgiving originated with the pilgrims.  Remember… Plymouth, the Mayflower Compact, William Bradford, Squanto, Massasoit?   However, thanksgiving occurred long before the pilgrims. 

There are many examples of thanksgiving in the Bible, beginning with Abraham.  The Book of Genesis tells how Abraham’s nephew, Lot, had been captured by area kings.  Abraham and 318 of his trained men pursued, defeated the kings, and rescued Lot.  Upon Abraham’s return, Melchizedek, the King of Salem and Priest of the Most High God, came out to meet Abraham and blessed Abraham.   Although the term “thanksgiving” is not used, Abraham ended up giving Melchizedek a tenth of the spoils because Abraham was thankful for the victory and blessing from Melchizedek.

The actual term “thanksgiving” is first used in Leviticus (one of those books rarely read) chapter 7.   Another example of giving thanks is found in 1 Chronicles from King David when the Israelites brought the ark of the covenant to Israel.  There are many other examples, but the point is thanksgiving is a part of who we are….. or should be.  One may say that they have little for which to be thankful.  The Apostle Paul even gave thanks while in prison.  He reminded the Corinthians he was given lashes five times, beaten three times, stoned once, shipwrecked three times, faced many other dangers, and endured some type of physical ailment.  Yet, through all these tribulations, Paul still gave thanks.

How does Frank Phillips College exhibit thanks and giving?

Every year, and even more so this year, many FPC students have shown their thanks by giving back to the community through volunteer service at many community events.   It is very heartwarming to hear community members praise FPC students for welcoming elementary students back to school, setting up for the HOPE Gala, hosting the annual FPC Fall Festival, serving at BISD and other events.  Indeed, part of a well-rounded education is to convey the importance of community service. 

Some of these students are able to attend FPC because of the giving from generous area businesses and individuals.  This year, FPC is participating in The Panhandle Gives program.  The Panhandle Gives program is an annual event to help organizations like FPC raise funds.  FPC set a goal to raise $50,000 this year, enough to fund 2 to 3 scholarships in perpetuity.  The donations are matched from foundations, corporate sponsors, and other donors.  The event begins the Monday before Thanksgiving, November 21st, and ends on the global day of giving known as Giving Tuesday, November 29th

Luke 12:48 reminds us that to whom much is given, much is required.  This admonition is in the same chapter in which Jesus relates the parable of the man whose crops yielded an abundant harvest.  Instead of sharing the blessing of the harvest, the man decided to tear down his barns to build bigger barns to store the surplus grain, then to take life easy.  Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way the man planned. 

We all have been blessed to live in a great nation in spite of its faults and we should be thankful.  If you have been blessed in such a way that you can help others, please consider visiting and make a donation to help FPC reach its goal.

Remember, having the feeling of thanks and not sharing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it.

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Dr. Glendon Forgey