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Summary: We have been blessed in so many ways that we too often never truly give thanks to God for His blessings.

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Are You Giving Thanks?

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November 20, 2005

Thanksgiving Message

Introduction

Can you believe that this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day? Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

Lou Whitmire, a reporter in Mansfield, Ohio, asked the all important question "Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?" to students at Sherman Elementary school. Here are a few of the answers he got:

Jamie Copley, 7, said people celebrate Thanksgiving because it’s the season where everyone joins together.

Christina McGuire, 7, said, "It’s a good month."

Kamozye Bowles, 6, said people celebrate Thanksgiving because "it’s a happy day."

"My granny cooks and it’s good," she said.

Bradley Ernsberger, 6, said he celebrates Thanksgiving because he is thankful for a lot of things. "I’m thankful for my friends, my limo ride for selling the most candy, my Superman costume I got to wear at Halloween and my little pumpkin I got," he said.

Selina McGregor, 6, said she knows why people all get together to celebrate on Thanksgiving Day. "It’s a wonderful year and a good time to share all that food," she said. "I love pumpkin pie," she added.

We make Thanksgiving Day about history. We get this wonderful image of pilgrims and Indians gathered around this massive table, covered with food, enjoying a meal together. We make something that is as American as Apple pie and baseball.

We make Thanksgiving Day about family. How many of you are planning to travel to spend time with family? How many of you are having family come in? Either we travel to the family or the family is invited to come join us. We get together with those we love and maybe those we haven’t seen in a long time.

We make Thanksgiving Day about food. We spend large amounts of time preparing food and our special items that make the meal special. The world might come to an end if the meal was missing our favorite cranberry sauce or casserole that we love. Then we sit down to a big meal and gorge ourselves with turkey and Pumpkin pie.

We make Thanksgiving Day about entertainment. We turn on the television early so we can watch those wonderful parades in New York, Philadelphia or Chicago. We then are ready to spend the afternoon watching football or some other sporting event. We might have a heart attack if we missed that all important football game. Then when evening comes we watch some concert or some television special.

Is this what Thanksgiving is all about?

One Thanksgiving season a family was seated around their table, looking at the annual holiday bird. From the oldest to the youngest, they were to express their praise. When they came to the 5-year-old in the family, he began by looking at the turkey and expressing his thanks to the turkey, saying although he had not tasted it he knew it would be good. After that rather novel expression of thanksgiving, he began with a more predictable line of credits, thanking his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for buying the turkey. But then he went beyond that. He joined together a whole hidden multitude of benefactors, linking them with cause and effect.

He said, "I thank you for the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. I thank you for the grocery store people who put it on the shelf. I thank you for the farmer who made it fat. I thank you for the man who made the feed. I thank you for those who brought the turkey to the store."

Using his Columbo-like little mind, he traced the turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. And then at the end he solemnly said "Did I leave anybody out?"

His 2-year-older brother, embarrassed by all those proceedings, said, "God."

Solemnly and without being flustered at all, the 5-year-old said, "I was about to get to him."

The word thanksgiving literally means to give thanks. This means that we show our gratitude for the things that we are blessed with. The real question on our minds is not whether we should be thankful but who we need to be thankful to. The Hebrew word for thanks means to make public. When was the last time that you publically thanked God for His blessings?

Thank You Lord - Don Moen

I came before you today? And there’s just one thing I want to say/ Thank you Lord, Thank you Lord/ For all you’ve done in my life/ For all the blessings that I cannot see/ Thank you Lord, Thank you Lord

With a grateful heart? With a song of praise/ with an outstretched arm/ I will bless your name

Thank you Lord, Thank you Lord? I just want to Thank you Lord/ Thank you Lord/ I just want to thank you Lord/ Thank you Lord

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