Doug Creamer: Happy Thanksgiving
I love my church. We are a close-knit family. We have people from the age of one to one hundred, and everything in between. We have people from different ethnic backgrounds. We have young families and retired older folks. It’s a good, fun mix of people.
My pastor is a very creative person. He comes up with great objects that we can take home to remind us during the week about his sermon. For example, sitting on my night stand is a plastic cup with the phrase on it: “I’m stirred, not shaken.” It was to remind us that sometimes things come along that could shake our faith, but we are not going to be shaken. We are going to allow those things to stir our faith.
He is also good at creating new words. I’ve lost count of how many new words he has created. Last Sunday he created a new word for Thanksgiving. His new word was Thaithfulness. He was trying to teach us to be thankful for God’s faithfulness. If we stop and think about all the ways God has been faithful to us, we would create a long list.
All of us can point to ways He has been faithful to our churches. He has blessed us with good leaders, good worship, good Sunday school teachers…and the list goes on. We can also list the ways God has been faithful to our families. Think of the times He has protected you or a family member. He has provided for our families in many ways.
We all know that God has helped us to grow and mature in our faith. God has helped us all with relationships, meeting our financial obligations, and providing the basics of life. I know that families aren’t perfect, but certainly there have been some family members who have stood with you and supported you through the ups and downs of life. Do you remember a time when God really came through for you in a big way? He is faithful.
When I think about my family, I am very thankful for them. We just celebrated my mother and father’s 87th birthdays. We are lucky and blessed to still have them with us. I have missed some of their birthday celebrations in the past, but this year I was able to participate in the fun. It’s nice to have the opportunity to be with your parents and to thank them for all they have done in your life.
As I sit here thinking about my family, I realize one thing I am thankful for is the laughter we all share. All of us have a prankster side. None of us want to hurt anyone, but bring laughter and fun. I know that signs were put in family member’s yards for milestone birthdays. Prank calls have been made. And surprise parties have been planned. Laughter is loud and runs deep in my family.
I know the main focus of Thanksgiving is the food. My family gathers often throughout the year and you can be sure that food is part of the gathering. Everyone brings something to a family get-together so no one has to do too much work. My brother or sister will host the event, and whatever family is in town gathers to share the food, laughter, and plenty of fun. We have created a lifetime of special memories.
This Thanksgiving season I find myself reflecting on how blessed I am to have a good, loving, and supportive family. I am also grateful for those same qualities in my church family. I am surrounded by people who love and care about me, why wouldn’t I be thankful? Then when I look up to express that thanks I realize how absolutely thankful I am for Jesus and all He has done for me. He laid His life down so I could live free. He bought and paid for the relationship with my Father in heaven. He’s cleansed and forgiven me for everything.
I want to encourage you to take a few minutes and reflect on your life. I know that life isn’t perfect and that we all have bad days, but if we can nurture a thankful heart I believe we can help to change our entire outlook on life. It’s easy to be thankful for the big things, but don’t forget the little things, the special people in your life, and the hope that springs from a life connected to your loving heavenly Father. Happy Thanksgiving! I pray that you and your family will be safe and blessed.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org