Dear Friends,

This Thursday is my favorite holiday of the year.  It makes me excited even now thinking about Thanksgiving.  Kathy is already busy buying some of the food and supplies we will need to have a wonderful meal and a great time together.  She is the single most amazing hostess I have ever seen!

We have some special (to us) traditions with Thanksgiving.  Kathy and I get up early as she is usually putting the first turkey in the oven (yes, I said first, since we will have 33 for Thanksgiving this year).  Once that is done we put the Miracle on 34th Street into the DVD player to watch…it’s because this movie starts with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC in 1947.

Kathy continues getting ready for the arrival of the kids, as I begin carving the turkeys.  The kids and grandkids usually walk in while I have turkey all over my hands, and one after another want to taste the turkey.  We then share our Thanksgiving meal as we sit together at one table in our finished basement.  I look down that table at my family and tears fill my eyes as I realize how rich a man I am!!

We share a word of thanksgiving…there have been times when this will go on for well over an hour.  Sometimes we share the Lord’s Supper together.  The grandkids have usually been playing for a while by the time the adults get up from the table.

Mid-afternoon we bundle up to walk to CVS for a candy run.  The grandkids get so excited about this adventure together to grab some candy.  Football is always on in the background while the grandkids prepare their “talent” show.  Then they come out one at a time to entertain us with their skits and songs!  What a glorious day!  By the time the kids leave Kathy and I are exhausted, but filled to the brim with joy and thanksgiving!

I’m sure you have your own Thanksgiving traditions, and probably enjoy them to the fullest.  It’s not just the food, the football, or the fun, but there’s something very soul refreshing about giving thanks!  That’s why I would say that Thanksgiving may be the most important of all holidays.

HERE’S WHY THANKSGIVING MATTERS:

  1. Because We Acknowledge It’s Not About Us.  Much of the time we are so focused on our own needs, desires, stresses, problems, worries, and goals that we might miss all the ways God protects, provides, and guides.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3).

  1. Because We Turn Our Focus on God’s Provision Instead of Our Problems.  It’s a matter of focus. Thanksgiving gets us focused on all we have (instead of what we don’t have) and all the ways God has blessed us in spite of any struggle we are currently facing.

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father…Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (James 1:17a; 2 Cor. 9:15).

  1. Because It Brings Health To Our Hearts.  Thanksgiving is therapeutically healthy for us.  Thanksgiving lifts your spirits and brings encouragement to our soul.  You can’t be negative and thankful at the same time.  Genuine thanksgiving brings joy to our heart.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart” (Colossians 4:2).

  1. Because It Makes Us More Fun To Be Around.  Who wants to be around a grouchy, complaining, whiny person?  The more we give thanks to the Lord the more fun life becomes.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.  I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1–2).

  1. Because God Deserves Our Thanksgiving!  This is the most important reason why we should live a life of thanksgiving.  God has provided us with the gift of eternal life through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  If you have no other blessing in your entire life—and everyone has countless blessings no matter how bad their situation if the would only consider them—our salvation is reason enough to spend every moment of every day of the rest of our lives praising and thanking our Redeeming Father!

“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).

So how will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year?   Let’s let our thanksgiving overflow to the glory of God!

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15).

Onward with a thankful heart,

Pastor Gary