Summary: A Thanksgiving message about filling up on food, fun, and other good things

I have entitled this morning’s message “Fill ‘Er Up” because that is what many us will be doing this week. We will not only fill up our bellies with Turkey but we will also fill up several other things with something other than food.

Many of us will begin this week by filling up Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday with all of the things that we won’t be getting done over the 4 day weekend. We will fill up our time with tasks like filling up our cars with groceries and then our fridges with milk and pop and potatoes and thawing turkeys.

Maybe some of us will be filling up our cars with gas and our suitcases with clothes to spend the 4 day weekend with our families that are several hours away. (If that’s the case, don’t forget to pack your fat pants).

On Thanksgiving Day we will either fill our families homes with our presence or our families will fill our homes with their presence. We will fill our plates and then our bellies with all that wonderful food. We will also fill the fridge back up with left overs and the sink and dishwasher with dirty dishes.

I am sure there will be many of us here this morning that will stand in our kitchen after Thanksgiving dinner and thank God for our sink full of dirty dishes! AMEN? And why not? A sink full of dirty dishes usually means that we have been blessed by God with lots of good food & lots of friends and family eating it with us. When you realize that two thirds of the world goes to bed hungry every night, a sink full of dirty dishes looks wonderful!

The day after thanksgiving many of us may be going through the aisles filling up our shopping carts full of toys and other Christmas presents. Then we will fill those cars up again, not with groceries or suitcases, but with the rest of our life savings in purchases from the greatest shopping day in history.

This week is such a special time to fill up on food and shopping. It is also a great time to fill our mouths with thanksgiving. It is a wonderful time to extend our thanks to our friends and families, those nice clerks who are frazzled from all that hard work, and to God for the many blessings we have had throughout the year. Filling our mouths with thanksgivings is worth more than a thousand other words.

Rudyard Kipling, as some of you might know, was a great writer and poet. Unlike many old writers, Kipling was one of the few who had opportunity to enjoy his success while he lived. He made a great deal of money.

One time a newspaper reporter came up to him and said, "Mr. Kipling, I just read that somebody calculated that the money you make from your writings amounts to over a hundred dollars a word. Mr. Kipling raised his eyebrows and said, "Really, I wasn’t aware of that."

The reporter cynically reached down into his pocket and pulled out a one hundred dollar bill and gave it to Kipling and said, "Here’s a hundred dollar bill, Mr. Kipling. Now, you give me one of your hundred dollar words." Mr. Kipling looked at that hundred dollar bill for a moment, took it and folded it up and put it in his pocket and said, "Thanks."

While filling up on so many things at once, like food and fun, I hope none of you forget to fill up on the word of God and the peace that comes with spending time in prayer with the Lord.

I also hope that while you are filling yourselves up, I hope you remember to fill up something for someone else, (and not just their houses or chairs at their tables or their sinks with your dirty dishes).

It was gratitude that prompted an old man to visit the pier on the coast of Florida. Every Friday night, until his death, he would return, walking slowly with a large bucket of shrimp. The seagulls would flock to this old man, and he would feed them from his bucket.

In October of 1942, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was on a mission in a B-17 to deliver an important message to General Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea.

Somewhere over the South Pacific the Flying Fortress was lost beyond the reach of radio. For nearly a month Captain Eddie and his companions would fight water, weather, and sun. They spent many sleepless nights as giant sharks rammed their rafts.

But of all their enemies at sea, one proved most formidable—starvation. Only 8 days after crashing into the ocean, their rations were long gone. It would take a miracle to sustain them.

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