THANKSGIVING SERVICE: THE STORY OF THE TREES & LEAVES 

by Christine Sine

by June Friesen 

Oasis for the Nations Ministry        3822 West Ocotillo Road    Phoenix, AZ. 85027

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CALL TO WORSHIP

PSALM 100

 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.  Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

OPENING THANKSGIVING PRAISE

COME YE THANKFUL PEOPLE COME

PRAISE HIM, PRAISE HIM, ALL YE LITTLE CHILDREN

WE ARE SO BLESSED

LITANTY OF PRAISE

LEADER: God Almighty: we enter Your presence with humble hearts and spirits

                today. We come today with hearts of gratefulness for the abundance 

                we have enjoyed over the past year especially and we say ‘thank you,

                God.’

PEOPLE: THANK YOU GOD FOR YOUR GIFTS THIS YEAR, 2019.

LEADER: We come today with thankful hearts for your bounty and variety of

               food and harvests that have gifted us with a variety of flavors, 

               textures, nutrition, and color over this year and our lifetime. 

 PEOPLE: THANK YOU GOD FOR OUR FOOD AND THE ABILITY TO PREPARE AND 

                TASTE IT AS WE EAT IT.

LEADER: We come today with thankful hearts for our abilities to work to make

               the world a better place for ourselves and others. We thank you for 

               providing jobs for us and monetary reimbursements to enable us to 

               care for ourselves as well as provide for our families and also some 

               others from time to time. 

PEOPLE: THANK YOU GOD FOR THE STRENGTH TO WORK, ESPECIALLY WHEN 

               WE FIND OURSELVES HAVING TOO MUCH ON OUR SCHEDULES AND 

               WE ARE TIRED.

LEADER: Thank you God for our homes where we can be protected from the

               elements of nature such as severe weather, bugs, animals that may 

               choose to harm us, as well as people who may not have our best 

               interests at heart. 

PEOPLE: THANK YOU GOD FOR A WARM PLACE IN WINTER, A COOL PLACE IN

               SUMMER, A SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP, A PLACE WHERE WE CAN BE A 

               FAMILY THAT BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS OF LOVE AND CARE.

LEADER: Thank you God for our church family and for You being our One and

               only Father. Thank you for giving us love and care for each other here

               on this earth. Thank you for helping us appreciate each other in our 

               uniquenesses, our special abilities, our favorite foods, our brokenness,

               in our pain and in our joy.   

PEOPLE: THANK YOU GOD FOR OUR COMMUNITY OF OASIS FOR THE NATIONS. 

               THANK YOU FOR CHALLENGING US TO LEARN HOW TO BE BETTER 

               REPRESENTATIVES FOR YOU HERE ON THIS EARTH BY LEARNING 

               HOW TO LOVE, CARE, HELP, SHARE AND MOST OF ALL TO FORGIVE 

               EACH OTHER. HELP US TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO COME AND JOIN 

               YOUR FAMILY THROUGH OUR FAMILY INVITING THEM TO KNOW YOU.

WORSHIP IN SONG

GETTING USED TO THE FAMILY OF GOD

I’M SO GLAD I’M A PART OF THE FAMILY OF GOD

PLENTY OF ROOM IN THE FAMILY

Psalm 1:2-4 

But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

GOD’S HUMAN TREES

How can one be like a tree?

How can one imagine having leaves?

And if one imagines that they have leaves – 

What kind of leaves would they be – 

Exactly what color of green, or maybe another color would these leaves be – 

How efficiently would these leaves serve their purpose – 

Just what would life really be like – if I were a tree?

If I were a tree, I would choose to stand tall and strong,

I would do my best to grow strong roots down to the deep waters

To keep my branches and all of my leaves in good health.

If I were a tree I would embrace the painful growth of buds – 

Buds that will provide more and new branches to reach even greater heights,

Buds that will provide more leaves to enable my feeding process for good health,

And hopefully some buds that will provide flowers to nourish and attract others

So seeds will be formed, scattered and sprouted new lives to grow;

Yes, a tree O God my Father – 

A tree that allows You to provide food, water and care – 

A tree that allows You to take it through the storms and survive – 

A tree that remains rooted in You – growing deeper and deeper – 

A tree healthy and productive – because it grows deep, strong and healthy roots in You.

Thank you, O God for hearing my prayer. Amen. 

RESPONSE IN SONG:

FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD

Jeremiah 17:7-9

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

A FLOURISHING, FRUITFUL TREE

What is that I see within the forest of trees?

It is a tree full of luscious green leaves – 

But there is some wonderful color among the leaves of green – 

What might that be – I can hardly wait to see.

I continue to walk towards that tree – 

Sincerely trusting that when I reach it 

There will be some luscious fruit to nourish my hungry soul.

Finally, I arrive at the foot of the tree – 

I stop, I gaze upwards and oh what beauty and peace I feel – 

I first choose to rest back upon its great trunk – 

It accepts me, and somehow it seems to know just the energy I need

And it lets me just feel its strength – ahhhh……

Now then….I look up – 

Up into the thickness of the leaves and O the beauty I see – 

Of luscious fruit – so full of ripeness – 

I reach up….. I touch……. So soft but just the right softness…..

Already my taste buds are active in my mouth – 

Almost as if they are screaming, “We want to taste!”

And so I pluck it from the branch – 

The branch is a bit reluctant to let it go – 

But finally it is released and I gently hold it, 

I lift it to my nose and take a deep breath – 

O how delightful, how sweet it does smell – 

And then I take that first bite – and the sweetness – oh the sweetness..

I savor…I slowly chew…..and so enjoy my delicious fruit.

The tree seems to invite me to stop and rest a while – 

There is a special space I see at its base that somehow it just my sitting size,

I sit down, I nestle in, I relax…..

And then I close my eyes – breathe deeply – and….

I seem to be transported into God’s presence – 

Sitting at His feet, enfolded in His robe of healing, forgiveness and righteousness,

I look up…..up into His face…..

I see there is a beauty there in His face that holds healing – 

Could this healing be for me I wonder – it looks so satisfying and I know I need healing for all of my hurts and my brokenness – 

And then He looks down into my eyes – 

And in His eyes I see the beauty of healthy spiritual nourishment

That is ripe and ready and available for me to receive – 

I slowly extend my hand upwards – opening it to receive – 

He gently takes my hand, and gives to me – 

Not only a taste, but offers me enough to give me total spiritual healing and health –   

And then I realize how different I feel – 

That place deep inside of me where there has been an emptiness, a loneliness, a feeling I could not understand or describe – 

It is somehow different now – I …. I … feel fresh and new somehow – 

Is this what it feels like God to really be not only your child, but one who also eats at your spiritual table regularly? 

And suddenly I once again realize where it is that I am – nestled at the base of this beautiful tree – 

I look around and wonder – where was I and how long was I here (or was it how long was I there) – 

Has anyone missed me – or can I just stay here – 

Can I take this feeling with me, this new kind of fruit – can I pick a supply and take it with me? 

It is now that I realize that at the base of this incredible tree – 

God met me with His presence and fed me with His food. 

As I prepare to leave this holy space I hear an inner voice saying to me:

Thank you my friend for coming to spend some time with me today. Thank you for picking some of my fruit and not just looking at it but really tasting and eating it. It will nourish you in a special way – a way that will change how you perceive the world in which you live your human, earthly life. Please come back often, daily would be good, to pick and eat some fruit to stay well nourished. And also may I invite you to take some fruit with you and offer it to others who may not find my tree on their own. When they taste my fruit you share with them they too will be ready to come and pick their own. But let me also remind you once again my new friend, you must also remember to come often. I will always have an abundant supply of tasty, nourishing fruit just for you. I will miss you and be sad each day you forget to come by and get your special treat because I love you more than you realize – I gave my life for you. 

Signed, Jesus

RESPONSE IN SONG

THE OLD RUGGED CROSS

JESUS, I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU

HOW GREAT THOU ART

This service was prepared and written by June Friesen – 2019

Revelation 22:1-3

22 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,[a] with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.

I AM THE FATHER’S CHILD – O LET ME NE’ER FORGET – 

THAT THOUGH SOMETIMES I STILL WILL FAIL – HE IS MY FATHER STILL – 

I AM MY FATHER’S CHILD – MY LIFE FOR HIM I’LL LIVE – 

E’EN THOUGH I STRAY AND SOMETIMES SIN – 

HE LOVES AND CARES FOR ME.

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