Thanksgiving more than a holiday, but a way of life

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

A Baptist minister was summoned to the bedside of a Presbyterian woman who was quite ill. As he went up the walk towards the house, he met the little daughter running toward him and said, “I’m glad your mother remembered me in her time of illness. Is your minister out of town?”

The little girl replied, “No, he’s at home, but we thought it was something contagious and we didn’t want to expose him to it so we called you.”

The Thanksgiving holiday exposes us to something that should be contagious, and that’s a heart of gratitude.

Too often we’re like the little boy who came home from a birthday party. His mom met him at the door, and asked, “How was it?”

He showed her all of his goodies, and she said, “Wow! Did you say ‘thank you?’”

“Well, I was going to, but when I was in line at the door and the girl ahead of me said ‘thank you’ to the woman, the woman said, ‘don’t mention it,’ so I didn’t.”

Does that sound familiar? Do we take our blessings for granted? Are we people who don’t say thank you enough?

The calendar gives us a built in reminder that we need to pause and express praise and thanksgiving to an awesome God who is a wonderful provider.

What is on your thanksgiving list this year? Here are a few of my many blessings for which I give thanks this year. I’m thankful for:

• Thirty years of marriage to a wonderful wife;

• Gaining a second son-in-law while having the sweet privilege of officiating my daughter’s wedding;

• Four sharp children that really make us proud;

• Our first grandchild on the way;

• My mom’s fried chicken;

• Having jobs that we both enjoy;

• Getting to work with people that we like;

• A ministry staff that totals roughly 56 years of serving the Lord at McDonough Road Baptist Church;

• Orange slices, Tootsie rolls and York Peppermint Patties;

• A solid power hitter in the middle of the Braves’ line up;

• The consistency of Brian McCann;

• A bright future for Aaron Murray and hopefully for next year’s Georgia Bulldogs;

• A church family that loves her pastor and whose pastor loves her;

• Church members who are memorizing scripture;

• Running another Peachtree Road Race;

• Another family vacation to the beach;

• A second trip to Israel, this time with a group from my church.

One of the blessings on this Israel trip had nothing to do with visiting one of the many meaningful sites. After ten rigorous days of touring, we weary travelers were on the bus riding back to Tel Aviv to catch a midnight flight home. Some of our group was singing, and one of the men began to sing a song entitled “Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me.” As I listened to the words, I was reminded again that we should give thanks all year long, for we are truly blessed.

“As the world looks upon me, As I struggle along

“They say I have nothing, but they are so wrong.

“In my heart I’m rejoicing, how I wish they could see

“Thank you lord, for your blessings on me.

“There’s a roof up above me, I have a good place to sleep,

“There’s food on my table and shoes on my feet;

“You gave me your love, Lord, and a fine family

“Thank you Lord for your blessings on me.

“Now I know I’m not wealthy, and these clothes, they’re not new,

“ I don’t have much money, but Lord I have you;

“And to me that’s all that matters, Though the World cannot see

“Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me.”

Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.