Happy Thanksgiving

An oldie but a goodie: Mom and four year-old have finished grocery shopping and are checking out. Woman at the register holds out a piece of hard candy for the little girl. Mom prompts little girl, “What do you say?” Four year-old responds, “Charge it!”

What do you say? That question is listed in the parents’ hall of shame. We’ve all heard it or said it. When has prompting giving thanks ever been a way to force feeling thanks?

You cannot make someone be grateful. It’s been tried, many times. Being blessed should not come with an unhealthy dose of entitlement; it should engender a deeply-felt humility.

“Count your many blessings, name them one by one” – so goes the old hymn. That would be an interesting challenge this week. What would your list look like? It might start with the big ones –  family, faith, friends, health, prosperity, talent – but it might move to the less-noticed – eyes to see, ears to hear, tongue to speak. The list might wander over to inspiring music, a good book, a great recipe, beautiful flowers, breath-taking views … it’s your list!

Finish your list and post it somewhere. Put it in your Bible and refer to it each time you open the Scriptures. Share it with someone you care about. Use it as you pray. Grateful hearts find means to express what is deeply felt.

As I wish you a happy day of giving thanks, I urge you not to limit your expression of gratitude to a 24-hour time period. Gratitude can be a lifestyle.

Here’s my gift to you – some of the corniest thanksgiving jokes I could find. You don’t have to thank me. Really, don’t thank me. Read ‘em and you’ll understand.

  • Why did the guy cross-breed a turkey and a centipede? So everyone could have a turkey leg.
  • If the pilgrims were alive today, what would they be most famous for? Their age.
  • Which side of the turkey has the most feathers? The outside.
  • Name a country that doesn’t observe Thanksgiving: Turkey!

Happy Thanks Giving!!

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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.

One thought on “Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Mary Ellen Blount

    Mark, this is a very timely message for me. During this busy and hectic season, so often I do not take the time to feel grateful. Also, I especially was touched by your sharing with us about your grandfather this past Sunday in your sermon. Mary Ellen Blount


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