What?  It’s almost Thanksgiving?!  Well, everyday ought to be a day of Thanksgiving, but yes, the DAY of Thanksgiving is a few weeks away.  It’ll be a time for families, for gathering, for eating, and for TURKEY.


And just think … if you burn your turkey there is still cause for thanksgiving.  According to Craig Boldman and Pete Matthews, authors of Every Excuse in the Book: 714 Ways to Say “It’s Not My Fault”, even if you burn the Thanksgiving turkey, there are several reasons to be thankful:


  1. No one will overeat.
  2. Uninvited guests will think twice next year.
  3. Your cheese-broccoli-lima-bean casserole will gain newly found appreciation.
  4. Pets won’t pester you for scraps.
  5. The smoke alarm was due for a test.
  6. Carving the bird will provide a good cardiovascular workout.
  7. After dinner, the guys can take the bird to the yard and play football.
  8. The less turkey Uncle George eats, the less likely he will be to walk around with his pants unbuttoned.
  9. You’ll get to the desserts quicker.
  10. You won’t have to face three weeks of turkey sandwiches.


I was raised in a family that was fairly simple.  We never celebrated Thanksgiving with a big meal. Yes.. we had our pumpkin or mincemeat pies, and we had our mashed potatoes and dressing.  We even had a turkey once in a while but for the most part our meals were anything elaborate. 


I do remember the  football games we played as kids outdoors.  The Colts were in Baltimore and the Bengals didn’t exist so we pretended we were Bart Star and the Green Bay Packers. And I can remember as a child taking a paper sack and making a Pilgrim or an Indian outfit at school and celebrating a reenactment of that first Thanksgiving.


Today, of course, revisionist historians have attempted to reinterpret those events as politically incorrect.  In light of that, one past president reminded us, “We’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important: Why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those thirty seconds over Tokyo meant.”


In our world when we live life so rushed, we tend to not reflect on the ordinary everyday blessings from God.


A hug from your kids going out the door to school.

A car that starts most of the time.

A bed to sleep in every night.

A furnace to warm us this time of the year.

A cup of water any time we want it.

For some of you, a cup of coffee and a newspaper. 

For freedom to gather in worship.


Why not take a few moments right now and read Psalm 16.


Psalm 16 is a prayer of thanksgiving. Notice the words David uses like “good,” “secure,” “pleasant,” “delightful,” and “glad.” He speaks of fullness of joy and unending pleasures. He relishes his present life, and he expects an even better future. And what’s the key to it all? His trust and delight in his God.


David sees God as the Giver of every good thing, and he overflows with a thankful and grateful heart.


Psalm 73 is the prayer of Asaph.  After a terrible inner struggle, he almost slipped into thinking he’d be better off without God but just when he was on the verge of giving up his faith, he went to the place of worship.


There the Lord straightened out his mind and refreshed his spirit. He confessed his struggle and bitterness, and then he prayed, “You hold me by my right hand … and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever… it is good to be near God” (Psalm 73:23-26).


The Lord’s presence brings not only delight but a sense of direction and of security.


In Psalm 16:7 David rejoices that God counsels and instructs him day and night. “Because he is at my right hand,” David declares in verse 8, “I will not be shaken.”


Just how unshakable is his confidence?


in the future can shake him, not even death itself.


As we approach Thanksgiving,  may God rest your heart and mind, may He bless and keep you and your family, and may He continue to extend His blessings upon our nation. May He grant us courage and wisdom to match the tests of our age. May He impress upon us the spirit of our forefathers, their soul-deep craving for freedom, expressed with acknowledgement of their debts to God, as we strive to meet the challenges of our day.


As our forebears remembered with every prayerful word of gratitude, even self-reliance is, at its root, reliance on Him. May we all say, “O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.”