What Am I Grateful For Today… Thanksgiving Traditions

12 Brothers and sisters, we ask you to respect those who are working with you, leading you, and instructing you. 13 Think of them highly with love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are disorderly. Comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure no one repays a wrong with a wrong, but always pursue the good for each other and everyone else. 16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray continually. 18 Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t suppress the Spirit. 20 Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages, 21 but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil. 23 Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming. 24 The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this (1 Thessalonians 5:12-24, Common English Bible).

I love Thanksgiving. And, I don’t just love it for the food. I don’t just love it for the football. I don’t just love the parades. Don’t get me wrong, I will enjoy the food and I feel pretty certain I will at least watch the Houston HEB Parade. They are all important traditions in my family with the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Some years ago, when we had a Thanksgiving that was just Cindy, Wayne, Christopher and me, we started a new family tradition, well, it is a semi-tradition. When it has just been us we don’t have turkey and the trimmings. We have beef ribs and all those trimmings. We reasoned back in those days that there was a pretty good chance that the first Thanksgiving was a cookout. If it was a cookout, it is only another step to a barbecue and what is a barbecue without ribs. That was our logic anyway. And, as the comedian used to say, “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

In truth, we have probably had more of the stereotypical, traditional Thanksgiving dinners over the years than the dinner we have celebrated as “our traditional Thanksgiving dinner.”  Last Sunday I ate the “traditional Thanksgiving dinner,” when I attended the “Sweeny Community Thanksgiving Feast.” Tomorrow, it’s rib time!!!

I do have one suggestion for a Thanksgiving tradition that is bigger than food, football, parades and such. How about this for a Thanksgiving tradition? BE THANKFUL!!! We need to stop and think about how blessed we are.

Several years ago I read somewhere, I don’t remember who said it or where I read it, so this is a paraphrase. Thanksgiving should be among the most important holidays in American society. Here is the reasoning. No matter who we are, regardless of whether we are rich or poor, no matter our faith (Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.), or no faith at all, we always have something for which we should be thankful to someone.

Just think about it this way, as an American, we have our “founding fathers” and the men and women of our military we can thank for our freedom. We can be thankful to Aunt Connie for bringing those great yeast rolls to Thanksgiving dinner.

For we who believe, our traditions should always include being thankful to God for all we are and all we have. “Give thanks in every situation.”

That is what I am grateful for today? What are you grateful for today? Write it in your journal and tell someone else, perhaps at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Friends, have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your dinner, whatever your Thanksgiving tradition might be. Just know, while you eat your turkey, I will be eating ribs.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thanksgiving,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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