Thanksgiving Thoughts

Written in November, 2000

What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Most of our minds conjure up images of delicious turkey dinners with all the trimmings: potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, fruit salad, dinner rolls with butter… my mouth is watering already! But is that what Thanksgiving is all about?


Of course not! The word itself means “giving thanks.” But that’s something we should do more often than one day each year.

This year, I decided to post a Web page with some of the things I am thankful for. The list is by no means complete; there’s only so much space on the server! But perhaps the reader will be inspired by this page to take personal inventory of his or her own thankfulness. And if that happens, you may find yourself more apt to treat others in a kind, considerate and thoughtful manner. After all, kindness, thoughtfulness and consideration are all by-products of heartfelt thanksgiving.

Well then, here we go! And see if you can think of some more after I’m done (there are tons of things we can be thankful for!).

I am thankful for my family: my wife Wendi and my son Joe. They are a major source of love and comfort for me. As a family, we thrive on togetherness, and I believe God made all of that possible.

I am thankful that we live in America, a land of freedom. We often talk or joke about government interference in our lives, but if our freedoms were ever taken away (I mean the ones we take for granted), we would experience what much of the world goes through all the time. Our leaders aren’t perfect, but then, neither are we.

I am thankful that we can worship God freely, at church and in our daily lives. Not everyone in the world is free to do that without persecution. Christians in Arab countries are subject to horrendous persecution.

I am thankful for our wealth. I say that when, by American standards, our family is poor. We make less than $20,000 per year! But we still have a comfortable (if tiny) apartment, nice (if used) furniture, and lots of amenities: running water, flush toilets, a shower; also lots of modern devices: a computer (how else would I be doing this), a cell phone, a CD player, a TV, a VCR, a microwave oven, several radios, and the list goes on and on. Now granted, most of us have these things, but many people in the world don’t. And we didn’t have some of these things only a few years ago; they weren’t invented yet!

I am thankful to be living in such an exciting time as this! Over 6 billion people populate this planet, and with instant communication at our fingertips, it’s easy to see what many of them are doing with their lives and time. Much of this is fascinating (though some of it is sickening).

I am thankful that God created us with remarkable bodies that modern medical science still does not fully understand, and minds that can comprehend ideas, issues and emotions the way no computer ever will. An old Welsh proverb says that “a spoon does not know the taste of soup, nor a learned fool the taste of wisdom.” But God gave us the ability to grasp the abstract. Who, or what, would we be without emotions? Wouldn’t we be just like robots?

I am thankful that God sent His Son to earth to be born of a virgin, then to live, walk, talk, and teach; then to be betrayed, crucified, and buried; then to rise again; then to ascend into Heaven, from where He will someday return, just for sinners like me! I was once lost in sin, but was found by Him who “came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

I am thankful for a holiday such as the one we celebrate on the fourth Thursday of every November in the U.S. (or the second Monday in October in Canada). It reminds us that we need to be thankful in all things… and that means every day of the year!

Check out our Sweet Potato Pie recipe from The Oo Kingdom.

If you feel very sleepy after the big holiday feast, don’t blame the turkey. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey but also in other common foods like eggs, milk and bananas, is often blamed for this. More likely, the culprit is simply eating too much, sleeping too little, or just plain boredom.