Thanksgiving Feast

With Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Feast


As Thanksgiving rolls around each year, one of my favorite life verses (yes, I have many) comes to the forefront of my thoughts. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17 NKJV). This year, I thank God for everyone following me on this writing journey. So many of you sent notes of encouragement and support, purchased books, and commented on the articles and devotionals I’ve published this past year. I am encouraged and emboldened by your support, kindness, and most of all your prayers. I hope you enjoy this devotional of Thanksgiving.

Giving Thanks

Another Thanksgiving is upon us; and for me, this day of celebration and thanksgiving invokes memories of my adopting family who opened their hearts and home—giving my faith a solid foundation. I shall always remember with great joy and unending gratitude my adoption into my forever family. My Dad was a “mountain of a man” with rough hands, only offset by his warm, inviting smile and peaceful nature. My Mom, a small, energy-filled woman, taught me through her example to greet the world with a smile and a kind word.

Among my favorite memories is my first Thanksgiving with my new family. Partly because of my anticipation for the fourteen different pies Mom prepared. Most of all, I remember the example my parents gave me—showing what it meant to be grateful. While I did not understand what it meant to be a Christian then, I remember to this day how my parents showed it through the way they lived their lives.

My folks often made charitable gestures to folks; like fixing an automobile on credit so someone could get to work and pay when they could (although sometimes repayment never came). They donated to those in need, even when it meant they had to go without because they purchased what someone else needed. My Mom and Dad showed by their examples how to care for others. Often, Dad would quietly pay a restaurant tab for a patron of our service station when he knew times were tough.

Among the favorite memories of my first Thanksgiving was how Mom and Dad sat the stage. Dad invited Charles Holland, a young black man who traded at my family’s station, to Thanksgiving dinner at our house. Mom made extra to take over to church to serve those less fortunate than us. When mom served Thanksgiving dinner, I saw what it meant to be thankful.

Mom and Dad moved to Florida less than a year earlier, and this was the first time I had ever eaten in a formal dining room. Mom put out her fine china; we had gold-plated utensils (passed down through generations), and fine goblets with gold trim. It reminded me of a Norman Rockwell painting. Then my Dad, sitting at the head of the table, asked us to hold hands and bow our heads. I am moved to this day by what happened next.

As we held hands, Dad prayed; giving thanks to God for the many blessings our family had received this year. While my oldest brother Richard was away at seminary with his wife; and my sister Sue in Massachusetts with her husband, Dad thanked God for his children, their health, and how much he loved each of them. When he included my name in that list, I knew of just how fortunate I was as my brother Paul squeezed my hand. Dad continued praising and thanking God for his wife, business, health, our guest, and on and on—listing the blessings of the past year. When he finished, Mom began.  And so it went, around the table, each of us giving praise and thanks to God for His blessings. Click To Tweet  I learned this was a family tradition passed down by his Dad; and one I continue to this day even if some years I offer it to myself and my God.

I pray each of you continue or start your own Thanksgiving traditions this year; and you remember to thank God for the most amazing blessing of all; His giving His Son to free us from sin and gain everlasting life through Him (John 3:16).



7 thoughts on “With Thanksgiving”

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your parents and your family. I enjoyed reading it and am now even more in the Thanksgiving mood myself.
    14 pies — oh my!
    Thanks for sharing. This was a joy to read.

  2. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story that exemplifies what Thanksgiving is all about. You are blessed with an amazing family. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with tradition and love.

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