As a child growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, I will never forget the Thanksgiving when my father walked in with complete strangers to join us in a meager Thanksgiving meal. He announced their incoming as if they were part of the family, and after the surprised look on my mother’s face, she quietly started setting the table for the extra guests and trying to figure out if she needed to put one more potato in the pot.

We knew nothing about the family other than they needed a place to eat. Thanksgiving was figured into the budget weeks ahead of time and we thought chicken and dressing, vegetables and a pie was just the thing. Oh, and you can forget all the fancy fruit salads as that can of cranberry sauce was pure delight. Nonetheless, that particular Thanksgiving made an indelible impression on my life. And whether we had all the fixin’s or not, the day was always set aside to be thankful for the bounty we did have.

In today’s fast-paced living, our holidays have taken on a fast forward mode. So much so, the question of “Where’s the turkey?” was asked at one of our nursing facilities recently. The yard was already decorated in candy canes and Mr. and Mrs. Santa yard ornaments. And though it looked very nice and inviting there was something amiss. Even the staff knew that question posed about the turkey really meant to ask – what has happened to Thanksgiving.

Helping to put a proper perspective on things, Pastor Riley Pippen said, “There is no doubt that our lives are usually in a rush during this time of year.”

For some reason, it seems like we are going from Halloween to Christmas while rushing by one of the most important days of the year – Thanksgiving. I am fully aware that we can and should be thankful every day of the year and not just one day out of the year. In 1789, George Washington became the first President to proclaim a “Thanksgiving Holiday.” It was designed for the country to give thanks to God for the blessings He bestowed upon this young nation.

230 years later, let us not be in such a rush to get to Christmas that we don’t take time to be thankful for the many blessings that God has so graciously bestowed upon all of us.

In the gospel of Luke 17:11-19, we read the story of 10 lepers being healed by the Lord Jesus. Unfortunately, as all 10 lepers were running right by Jesus to show the good news to their families, only one stopped to give thanks to the Lord for His healing. Jesus noticed and asked, “Where are nine?”

As Pippen notes, “The lesson for us is that God notices when we are not thankful to Him for the blessings He bestows upon us. Let’s all slow down just a bit and remember and be thankful for a loving and caring God.”

Pippen is the author of a devotional called “Manna For the Morning.” A new shipment has just arrived. He can be reached at 903-987-2432.

I stepped out on my deck at dawn last Sunday morning. The ground was covered in frost and the red leaves of a nearby oak tree glistened with the moisture. It was a beautiful sight, and I was thankful for quiet moments before the day began. It was not something I had to make or take or decorate. The landscape was already decorated for me. Thanksgiving Day is almost here. That is plenty of time to put a slow-down in the midst of a rush season and our wish to you. Happy Thanksgiving to all. May His Love and Laughter fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. We may be reached at 903-984-2593 or chitchatlinda@aol.com.

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