Articles by Stan Dean

Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Generally speaking, after I have eaten something twice in a row, I am ready to say a few words over anything left and move on. However, with a typical Thanksgiving meal most all of us have to deal with leftovers for several days to come. Thus, by now, you too may be wondering if you can ever face another pan of dressing on your life!

Don’t get me wrong, I do like Thanksgiving. In fact, I just like the idea of “giving thanks” any time because it is a disposition that God desires in us all. Note these words: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Question: “Did you take the time to express thanksgiving for anything in the last few days?” Maybe a better question is: “When is the last time you paused to genuinely count your blessings and express gratitude for them?” You see, we all have a lot to be thankful for, but a lot of us are lax when it comes to doing it. Why do you suppose that is?

Maybe some folks do not want to reach that far into their emotions. So instead, they skirt the issue with humor. For example, here is a “thanksgiving list” I ran across a few days ago that was compiled by housewives. They were thankful: 1) For automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for them to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after dinner snacks; 2) For husbands who attack small jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals; 3) For children who put away their things and clean up after themselves. They are such a joy we hate to see them go home to their own parents; 4) For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language; and 5) For smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey is done.

There is nothing wrong with humor, but authentic thanksgiving lays humor aside for a moment. So, when you think about the things that are left to eat, also consider whether or not there is something left for you to do. Remember, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). He deserves our thanksgiving!

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