‘Fixer Upper’ changes Waco and beyond


Note: Our office is closed today, but I hope this reflection will help you celebrate Thanksgiving every day.

The last season of Fixer Upper started Tuesday. But Chip and Joanna Gaines’s lifestyle empire will continue long after they leave their incredibly successful television show.

Remarkably, their Magnolia Market at the Silos is even more popular than the Alamo.

When they bought the property that is now the heart of their amazing business, few would have imagined that it would become what it is. But they engaged in “reframing,” a psychological technique by which we choose to view circumstances in a different light. Chip and Joanna do this with each house they transform, turning what it is into what it could be.

Reframing is essential for every dimension of life in this fallen world. Consider the biblical injunction to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). How can we be grateful in all circumstances, both challenging and joyful?

Note that the text does not call us to give thanks for all circumstances. Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus; he sweat blood in Gethsemane; he cried out in lonely agony on the cross.

Rather, it calls us to give thanks in all circumstances. We can reframe any challenge, no matter how difficult, to find a reason for gratitude.

Consider three examples.

North Korea

On Monday, the Trump administration designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. The Treasury Department then announced new sanctions against the Communist regime. Experts continue to warn that the rogue nation could soon develop the ability to strike the continental US with a nuclear warhead.

We can be frightened by this escalating crisis. Or we can choose to be grateful for those who are working on ways to understand the threat and stop North Korean missiles.

Political angst

Rancor in American politics is more heated than I can ever remember. One study reports that politically divided families cut their Thanksgiving celebrations…

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