Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

I’m sitting on a red couch watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade with my daughter and her family. I don’t feel the best as I’m trying to avoid the full fledged flu. One of our sons and his family will be arriving soon to add to all the noise and excitement. I think it will turn out to be a full day and lots of fun, noise and great food.

Throughout all this I’m thankful for more things than I can list in a short note. There is God at the top of the list followed closely by my loving wife and our children, children in-laws and beautiful grandchildren. I think of all the years God has provided all our needs. I think of the years of bringing God’s message of grace and love to the world in ways I never imagined.

It’s easy to get bogged down in illness, busy schedules or a plethora of other annoyances in life. I’m reminded of a phrase from a chorus which says,  “Give thanks with a grateful heart.” it always makes me think, “Can you give thanks if your heart is ungrateful?” I don’t think so. To give thanks, not just say thanks, requires a sense of gratefulness. We can give lip service regardless of the state of our heart but we can’t give true thanks unless or heart is grateful. Anything else is hypocritical.

Hypocrisy is just lying with fancy words. I don’t know about you but I’m guilty of saying thanks when that’s the last thing on my mind or in my heart. As I think of the pending turkey dinner, for which I suspect I will be truly grateful, I’m thinking I should be careful at other times to insure my thanks are real and not just hypocritical lip service. I don’t want to be impolite but I don’t want to be a politically correct liar.

All that said I thank God for his grace, love and salvation which has guided my life. I thank him for family, friends, beautiful days and good food. I could go on but I can smell the turkey and it’s distracting me from writing. I hope we can all be thankful from a grateful heart and praise God for his provision.


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