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  • marykayliston

Season of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in the U.S., November 23, 2023. Thanksgiving in Canada, October 9, 2023. Thanksgiving in Liberia, November 2, 2023.

These are the only three countries in the world that officially celebrate Thanksgiving. I’ll bet most Americans haven’t a clue about this.

Maybe because we think we are special. I think we are. I’m not trying to compare us to Israel or Palestine. Nor am I trying to compare us to the folks in Ukraine.

Sure, we have bombs in America. Usually pipe bombs. Worse yet is just the killings. The Chicago Sun Times reveals that 540 victims have been killed in Chicago in 2023 and ranks as the worst city in the U.S. for murders. Sad.

Still, we have so much to be thankful for.

On a recent AARP Bulletin there was a section entitled, “Special Report – Fraud Survival Guide” . . . in your home, on your phone, in the store, on your computer.” The article discusses what scammers are doing to senior citizens. When you hear these stories, you might think these people are all ignorant. A month ago, it almost happened to me. I got an email from our Pastor requesting 3 $100 visa cards to help congregation people in the hospital. When I showed MK she said, “This is a scam!” She was correct.

Still, we have so much to be thankful for.

There are business owners I know across the country who are very honorable and treat their customers like gold. The friends we have around the world are all great people. The devotions we read each day remind us of what it was like in King David’s day – 28 generations before Christ was born.

Reminding us we have so much to be thankful for.

We watched the funeral of Rosalynn Carter, President Jimmy Carter’s wife who did so many wonderful things for America. Married 77 years. Jimmy is now 99. As the First Lady of Georgia and First Lady of the United States she advocated for mental health. In retirement, they performed admirable for work Habitat for Humanity – something MK and I have been very involved with in the past.

We have so much to be thankful for.

I love this holiday season. People will see family they haven’t seen in a year. Be surprised how much their grandchildren have grown. Many will even go to church together.

We have so much to be thankful for.

If you haven’t read the book of Psalms in the Bible, I suggest it. Most of it was written by King David. 28 Generations before Jesus – in the same lineage. Although I’ve read the Bible a couple times, I never focused on King David’s words. His Psalms are similar to what most of us experience. Desperate one day and extremely the next. Let me share some of Psalm 30:

V1 & 2: To you, Lord, I call: you are by Rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. V 6: Praise be to the Lord for he has heard my cry for mercy. V8. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

At the beginning of this Psalm David is begging for help. Sound like us? For our jobs? Our marriage? Issues with our kids? Our financial woes? We cry to God to help us in the morning not knowing how we are going to get out of the mess we are in. Just like David.

David, however, a short time later realizes he has so much to be thankful for. Just like us!

MK and I recently learned of someone who starts every morning sharing something they are thankful for with their family.

What a great idea. Perhaps that simple task will remind us, every day, that we do have so much to be thankful for. MK and I hope that you have a blessed holiday season – regardless of your circumstances.

You do have so much to be thankful for!

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