Happy Thanksgiving North America! It’s that time of the year where we celebrate the holiday known as Thanksgiving.
Over the last month or so the kids have been learning about American history, touching on the origins of the holiday. Retail stores and other businesses have been getting ready for the best sales season they will have all year. Consumers have been preparing to…consume as the name suggests. Others have been preparing to either travel for Thanksgiving or hosting family and friends at their own home, with a little trepidation added for good measure. In The Salvation Army, we are already knee deep in the Red Kettle season. It’s Thanksgiving!
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever” – 1 Chronicles 16:34
I have been telling people that our Thanksgiving is going to be “low key” this year as we are gathering together with a small group of friends. Anyway, I must get to the point of this piece. I just wanted to share a few thoughts I have about this year’s Thanksgiving. Here is what I am thankful for:
- Life – I am thankful for God’s gift of life. So many times, we take good health and life for granted – until it’s no longer there. I consider these to be gifts from God, therefore I am thankful.
- Family – I am grateful for the family that God has given me. A loving wife who is a real friend, ministry partner and more than I ever imagined. Our adorable sons are so full of questions, energy and general wonder about life. Beyond this, we have a whole clan of family and friends who love us, encourage and cheer us on.
- Ministry – I appreciate the ministry that God has called me to. When I was a lot younger, I never imagined being a minister of the Gospel, but here we are in our 11th year as officers. The year has not been without its challenges, but God has brought us through it all, provided some very prayerful, encouraging and supportive people.
- Zimbabwe – This is the highlight of the year for me. The long and the short of it is that my mom has been ill for a while and was hospitalized a couple of times earlier this year. It was scary. So, my brother’s family and I went over to see my mom. It had been SEVEN years since my last trip, so this was a real blessing! My mom was still a little weak when we got there, but she was happy to see us. I got to spend time with my sister’s family and got to know the niece and nephew that I had never met. Getting to see brothers and their families was also very refreshing. We also visited with lots of other family and friends.
- A visit to Zimbabwe is not complete until we go to our home Church – Highfield Temple. Seeing saints that have been there since I was a kid and others who were my Sunday school classes, now grown up and with families of their own.
Because of this trip, my soul was refreshed, my heart felt contented, the homesickness subsided – at least for now. The only sad thing was not having Jennifer and the boys join me on the trip. That would have been the icing on the cake.
For these and many other reasons, I give thanks to the God who gives and makes it all possible!