by Carlton Pruitt
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Do you remember those wonderful Thanksgiving gatherings at grandmother's home when you and your loved ones sat around talking about small matters of seeming importance? Perhaps a cousin broached the subject of sports or his latest business venture. Maybe grandfather was arguing his viewpoint on an issue with his son-in law to the entertainment or the embarrasment of other family members. Regardless, I'm sure you might recall over the years some engaging dialogue during this momentous event. In the other rooms you might find the younger ones playing their favorite board game or one of dozens of popular children sports in the backyard. Finally dinner was served and everybody took a seat to enjoy what looked to be a mouth watering meal.
Looking back to history we can see that Thanksgiving was originally celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"ódays of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.
Now days Thanksgiving is often just an excuse to gather together for a great meal to satisfy our appetites and engage in family fun and entertainment but Thanksgiving should be much more that this shouldn't it?
I remember the many times our family got together on Thanksgiving to enjoy the delicious food prepared by devoted family members. That taste of turkey and dressing, and sometimes ham served with mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, and my great grandmother's freshly baked hot rolls can never be forgotten as it made an indelible impression on me. I made haste to devour at least two or three buttery filled hot rolls coated with my favorite jam or honey.
Those were the days when I could care less about counting calories. Now that I'm a bit older I am more moderate with my appetite as I dare not develop Dunlaps disease. You'll remember Dunlaps disease is when your belly has done lapped over your belt and your pants pinch your waist just a tad too much. If this begins to happen then you know it's time to change your eating habits or start exercising more or cut back on the sweet desserts. Yeah, right! Try telling that to the children who have a predilection for such sweet and savory delights.
Of course what would Thanksgiving be without some scrumptious dessert to satisfy our sweet tooth. I like pecan pie (although my great grandmother use to make walnut pies instead which are the same except you use walnuts in place of pecans) and apple pie. For me it is a toss up as to which is better because I like them equally well. Pumpkin pie as well as lemon maranade were usually served at most of the Thanksgiving celebrations in my family.
Thanksgiving is really a time to be thankful for all the mercies the Lord has shown us and to be especially thankful for His gift of salvation through His son the Lord Jesus Christ who came to give life to all who put their trust in Him.
The apostle Paul reminds us "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.," 1 Thess 5:17
Next time you gather together for Thanksgivings remember to count your many blessings and to think of all the reasons you have to be thankful to God. Perhaps you still have your health, your wealth, your youth, your beauty and your intelligence for starters as something to be thankful for. If most of these have left you then you probably have most of your friends and family and many acquaintances to be thankful for. As we get older many of our friends and family die. This has been my experience in just the last 5-7 years. Such losses can bring sadness and disappointment but in the midst of such circumstances it is important to trust in the Lord and make His joy our strength and make sure we are following the His counsel, keeping His commandments and trying to remain thankful and humble in the midst of our trials and blessings.
We should pray for much grace to avoid bitterness during such times of affliction when terminal losses, personal health issues or loss of wealth can disrupt our lives.
It is easy to become bitter when things don't go our way and when God doesn't seem to be smiling on us so frequently. However, let us be refreshed with a spirit of thanksgiving during Thanksgiving and throughout the year.
We all have many reasons to be thankful so look upon your next Thanksgiving day as a time of joy for what you have been given.
Think more upon what you have than what you do not have and reach out with an attitude of gratitude and thanks to others less fortunate than you and offer them some comfort both in acceptable speech as well as in good deeds. May God be pleased in all that we say and do.
Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area. Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member)and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching.
See his videos on http://www.youtube.com Type LAStreetPreacher in the search bar. CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.
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