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Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Reflection from My Son-in-Law

Thanksgiving 2009

Tony Cassels

So, Thanksgiving is almost over. It’s 6:30 p.m. and so far I have changed the oil in my daughters car, gone to my Brother-in-law’s house for dinner, eaten until I can’t eat any more, watched a football game, gone to my Uncle’s house ( other side of the family), watched another football game, talked to tons of people I don’t know, came back home, visited with my daughter and her boyfriend who came by, and now I am getting ready to watch a third football. One thing that I feel I have not done sufficiently is to remember the reason for this day.

It is so easy isn’t it? We get so involved with the event, we forget why the event exist. Our country and it’s traditions are historically tied to God (our Creator) Jesus Christ his Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thanksgiving is thought of as “Turkey Day”, but it is so much more. The Pilgrims who celebrated what we know as the 1st Thanksgiving were actually carrying out a Puritan tradition of giving thanks to God for his protective hand and for all that he had provided. These Pilgrims who left England in 1620 were headed to Virginia when they encountered a severe storm. A main beam of the ship cracked but was repaired, someone was thrown overboard but was saved. When they arrived at Cape Cod and eventually moved to Plimoth, they encountered the helpful Wampanoug Indians who were crucial to their survival. The Pilgrims truly were thankful to God for his blessings even through such great trials. In the autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims thanked God for his blessings and they celebrated with venison, duck, seafood ( probably lobster), and vegetables which came from their harvest. ( history does not mention turkey at this time).

As I think about the Pilgrims, I feel great humility. My trials in life have been much less severe, but I must follow their example. All of my trials have been faced with much prayer, and a definite awareness that I am a weak man incapable of correcting my problems without God. In writing this note, I remember how he has been with me in more examples than I can list. He hasn’t always answered my prayers the way I wanted, but he has always been there. My heart is truly full of gratitude, when I will simply take a moment to count my many blessings.

Don’t get me wrong! I am fully aware of my self-centered side and I don’t pretend that its not one of my struggles. I simply feel compelled to encourage you as I remind myself to give praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father.

So, as you go to the frig for that leftover piece of pie, remember that God is with you. He loves us more than we can understand and he wants to be praised and thanked. I’m convinced that this is not for his benefit, but for ours. A heart of gratitude is also a heart of compassion, understanding, honor and integrity. These characteristics have always been invaluable to man as we struggle through this life. Worldly selfishness leads us to live our lives among similar people, which always leads to disappointment and hurt. Praise God and he will honor you with so much better.

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