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A typical Thanksgiving day meal consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, yams (sweet potatoes) stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn, green beans, rolls, butter, salad, some kind of pumpkin pie, and refreshments which can completely vary from home to home. I could add 5 things to this list which the Dokken’s/Kirkpatrick’s have added to our traditional gathering meal. Frog-eyed salad has become part of our tradition in the last 25 years. A dear family from our days of youth ministry in Colorado introduced us to this yummy dessert made from Acini di Pepe. You will have to ask Janet for the recipe. Let your heart not be troubled; a traditional Thanksgiving day meal may not even consist of turkey. I heard this week on the radio of one family which enjoys eating lobster tails; I’m all in on this option. There’s so much more to Thanksgiving than just a meal. Now the meal is very important, a matter of fact, so is the nap after the meal, very traditional and very important! Scientists tell us turkey is loaded with L-tryptophan which affects our serotonin levels, helping create a greater sense of rest and relaxation. News Alert! Scientists are now telling us it’s probably the three or four platefuls of food causing sugar overload resulting in wanting to take a nap. Sadly, I think the latter is probably more accurate. I’m just looking forward to the imagery of the table filled food and family gathered around. These snapshots become rare and having the opportunity to share a sacred moment together is priceless.

We all should learn to appreciate these special moments throughout the year where we gather with family and friends and celebrate with a meal. Breaking bread is very Biblical and we should do whatever we can to celebrate with those who are close to us. Acts 2:46 “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.” Additionally, based on this entire passage in Acts 2, be brave and share what God is doing in your life. Here is a good suggestion -- reflect upon where your life in Christ has been, where your life is now, and where your life in Christ is leading you.

Janet and I will be spending Thanksgiving in Willmar, Minnesota with my whole family and most of our children. My parents are both in their 80’s so this is a special time to gather never knowing how many more Thanksgivings the Lord will give us to celebrate together. Make sure you pray before you gather with your family. Ask the Lord to give you some nugget of truth; a positive affirmation to encourage all listeners or some story about a previous God moment in your life. I’m not saying we should avoid talking about whether the Vikings or the Packers are going to beat their opponent. Rather I’m suggesting we expand our conversation beyond sports, weather, hunting, etc. There is nothing wrong with these talking points, let’s just take advantage of these rare moments when we gather and open the discussion to eternal things. This would be a good time to share your “one word”! That’s right, many of us have a “one word” and it’s probably been a while since you shared with anyone, other than the Lord, its impact upon your life. Here is one more idea -- share your testimony using the “One Minute Witness”. You can blame it on Pastor Joe, tell your family “Our pastor is encouraging us to fine-tune our testimony and we are learning how to share it in less than one minute.” And…if the crowd seems receptive, maybe move onto the next phase called the Roman Road to Freedom. Once again blame your pastor, explain he is helping us develop a very simple witnessing plan of salvation based on four scriptures out of the book of Romans. Thanksgiving Day is absolutely a perfect occasion to share these great scriptures. They’re very simple to remember: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, and Romans 10: 9-10. In less than 5 minutes you can share all 4 verses and you just might help someone from burning their lips because the casserole was still too hot! Happy Thanksgiving!

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