Giving Thanks in a Black Friday World


Dear Friends and Partners,

William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony called for the first Thanksgiving celebration to thank God for the freedoms, blessings, and protection the settlers had experienced.

Like many other holidays, our culture has hijacked Thanksgiving—shifting the focus to food, family, football, and the unofficial start of the Christmas season. Thanking God is largely lost.

How ironic, and yet how tragic, that Black Friday—known for being the biggest consumption day of the year—is the day that directly follows a day we are to thank God for what we have!

But there is some good news: many have realized this problem, and in 2012, a new holiday about giving back was birthed: #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday takes place the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (this year is December 1st). #GivingTuesday encourages generosity toward many charities to fight disease, dig wells for those without access to water, and care for the environment.

But as believers, we long to give toward work that will do great things in Christ’s name for a Kingdom impact. We don’t want only diseases cured; we want Christ’s healing for the nations (Revelation 22:2). We want God’s Word and Spirit to dig wells in people’s souls so that the living water will satisfy their deepest thirsts (John 4:14). We want to build up Christ’s church and put His glory on display.

To do that, we would like to offer you a chance to give back in the spirit of #GivingTuesday and help us with a very real need. We’re on the verge of postponing a pastor training session because of a lack of funds. We had to do so last year in Ecuador, so this is a very real concern. Your generous gift this Thanksgiving will allow us to continue to build up this group of pastors in the Scriptures. In addition, it will be a great way to give thanks to God for His abundant blessing!

Cover_Concern for the Heart of GodTo thank you for your gift, we would love to send you a booklet Todd Kelly, our International Director, wrote called Concern for the Heart of God, which reminds us that the heart with which we serve is far more important to our Father than what we accomplish in ministry.

This Thanksgiving (and every other day of the year!) with all of our hearts, we thank God for you and your partnership in His amazing work.

With much thanksgiving in Christ,


Craig Parro





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Craig Parro

Since joining Leadership Resources International in 1989, Craig directed its international ministry, and as of January 2010, he now serves as President. A graduate of TEDS (M.A., Mission), Craig is a stimulating teacher and has equipped and encouraged pastors and churches throughout the U.S., Latin America and Asia. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors of TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition), an association of pastoral training organizations focused on accelerating pastoral training worldwide. Craig has authored articles appearing in several magazines. His first book, Unlikely Warriors, was published in 1992. He is also co-author of Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout.