In just a few days, we will be gathering with family and friends for this wonderful annual feast, enjoying turkey and dressing and all the “fixings” and being grateful, once again, for pants with elastic waistbands.
But what about the real reason for the celebration? It’s not uncommon for more Thanksgiving time and energy to be spent on the creation of Black Friday shopping lists than on thanking God for His many blessings.
I have a challenge for you. Actually, it’s more of a plea. Today, I’m asking you to do something countercultural and highly impactful.
All it will take is a few cents and a few minutes. Who, honestly, can’t spare that?
(And if your alarm bells are going off, please know that there is absolutely nothing in this for me.)
Here is my simple “ask”:
Today, we celebrate “Veterans Day” in America. I’m so thankful that our nation still affirms and highlights our Veterans on this day every year. Amazingly, we haven’t changed the actual day of remembrance to accommodate a three-day weekend, and we don’t merely associate Veterans Day with the reason to have a barbeque or mattress sale or to begin a season like we do with Memorial Day.
We stop and say “thank you” to those heroes who selflessly served or are still serving our nation, as well we should.
Have you ever met someone with a loving heart as big as the state of Texas? Well, that describes my dear friend, Sarah Harmeyer. She considers herself a “people gatherer” and has founded an amazing “businesstry” (business + ministry) called Neighbor’s Table. People all across America are experiencing the life-changing impact of her “love mission.” More on that in a future blog post.
Do you find yourself in a prayer rut? Here is a simple, refreshing idea based on the two vitally important concepts of appreciation and affirmation.
“Look Mom, you don’t even get to take your slippers with you.” That poignant observation was made a decade ago by my then 16-year old daughter right after her father had died and the undertakers had left our home with his body. A cozy pair of fleece-lined slippers sat alone beneath the hospital bed in our family room where my husband had spent his last days on earth.
Live long enough and it’s likely to happen: you will be asked to give a eulogy for someone you love. The immediate reaction is generally one of feeling honored, quickly followed by being gripped with terror. The enormity of the responsibility falls heavily on your shoulders. How can you possibly do justice to a person’s life in a few short minutes? Yet that’s the task assigned to you.
Have you ever seen this image? It’s called a Rubin Vase, designed in 1915 by a Danish psychologist named Edgar Rubin. It’s called an “ambiguous” form. Looked at from one perspective, you see a vase in the center. Looked at from another perspective and you see the profiles of two people facing each other on the sides. Can you see both views? Crazy, isn’t it?
In the midst of the Great Depression, attending college was not a possibility for most teenagers. And for the oldest son of a poor immigrant family, it wasn’t in his wildest dreams. The thought had literally never even crossed my father’s mind.
His plan was to finish high school and then to find a job doing manual labor. Perhaps he could join his beloved father shoveling coal on the railroad or find construction work and utilize his natural athletic abilities.
Every morning, I walk by a small, tranquil lake. And every morning, I see six ducks grouped closely together, either swimming or resting on the banks. Five are white Peking ducks, and the sixth is a lone, female mallard. Quite an odd combination.
I’ve often wondered why that solo mallard would choose to hang out with a completely different breed of duck, and I've been curious about what happened to Mr. Mallard.