Don’t Forget Thanksgiving


Have you noticed? We seem to have rushed from Halloween to Christmas, right past Thanksgiving. Turn on the television and you’ll see snow-covered landscapes with brand new cars that-you-have-to-buy-if-you’re cool and people wearing clothes-you-have-to-have-if-you-go-out-in-public. Lots of money will help, too.

I love Christmas, but it’s not time yet. For the people who have already finished their Christmas shopping, I think you are missing the point.

Thanksgiving means different things to different folks. Even with Black Friday looming, perhaps we should slow down and think about it. We should take the time to count blessings that we often take for granted. This may be the only time in months that you will be able to spend with family and friends without having to rush to the next appointment.

Giving thanks means expressing love and gratitude. Giving thanks flows from a grateful heart. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to be thankful. Think about it the next time you let someone in to your lane in heavy traffic and you don’t even get a wave!

Giving thanks is very practical. Being able to get up in the morning. Taking a breath. Opening your eyes. Having a job. Loving and being loved by people. These and many others are gifts to be celebrated.

I hope you sit down to a table of fellowship during Thanksgiving. Whether you have a more traditional meal or something less grandiose, I pray you will be thankful for the people in your lives.

Most Thanksgiving meals come with rules. One six year-old boy was asked if there were rules he had to follow at such special occasions. He answered, “Yep, don’t throw rolls at your sister.” Makes perfect sense. If you start throwing rolls, what’s next? He had an answer for that, too. “If you can’t throw rolls, throw peas – they’re harder to see and there’s a lot more of ‘em.”

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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