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22 Ways to Have Your Best Thanksgiving Ever!


November is here. Welcome Back! Last year, responses came all the way from the Middle East to the Mississippi, from Baltimore to Baton Rouge. You enthusiastically shared the joy of learning Psalm 103. For that reason, I decided to offer here the Encore Post from 2016. If you previously memorized Psalm 103, I suggest you make this your annual Thanksgiving Psalm and meditate afresh on the 22 verses you already committed to memory.

If you are new, welcome to 22 Ways to Make This Your Best Thanksgiving Ever. Read on...

Make a list, make a plan, make ahead…
Make a mess, clean the mess, make sure… 
Extend the table, cover the table, decorate the table…
Race the clock, race back to the store; race to be ready to relax.


Hold on; stop! No more. It is now November, and I want this to be your best Thanksgiving ever. But you need to begin early; you need to begin today.

Disclaimer—not all of my ideas are good ideas, they are just ideas. Yet this one is stellar, I promise. Long after the guests are gone and the melting ice cream is placed back into the freezer, you will thank me. 

The Suggestion: 
Memorize Psalm 103. 
Don’t panic. I am not adding one more thing to your to do list. Stay with me here. Easier than taking your turkey out of the oven, these benefits will outlast the leftovers.

The Context:
I deem Psalm 103 My Thanksgiving Psalm. Each November, I return to savor the soul nourishing words contained in these 22 verses. I look forward to this annual revisit more than I look forward to the sweet potato soufflé.

The Plan: 
In Psalm 103 a verse corresponds with each calendar day of November. By committing one verse per day to memory, you will finish on November 22nd, one day before the guests arrive on November 23, 2017. 

The Hack: 
You might ask, “How do I go about this?” Great question.
Rick Warren proposes a scripture memory method that actually works. 

Begin with the first verse. Emphasize the first word in the verse and then repeat all the words that follow. Follow by emphasizing the second word and recite all the words that follow. And so on. 
Repeat the one sentence over and over emphasizing a different word with each repetition, until you have completed the one verse. Surprisingly, the verse will now be yours, hidden in your heart.

Verse one would go like this:
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. (continue with each word)

On November 2nd you proceed to committing verse 2 to memory. 

The Why: 
Hiding God’s Word in your heart infuses peace and perspective into your holiday celebration. You literally prepare a feast for your soul as you prepare a feast for your family. If you like this idea, embark on a new tradition. These 22 rich and delicious verses are waiting for you, served below.

Psalm 103
Of David.
1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The LORD works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, my soul.

Living With Eternal Intentionality™: How will this opportunity influence your holiday preparation?