Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you have an awesome day with good food, great friends and family, and time spent in giving thanks planned for today. 

I'm not sure, but I'm guessing this pair of birds I captured with my camera are still wandering around the U. W. Arboretum and not on someone's table.  If they are, I bet they are tasty!  :-)

Last year, I used an acrostic for my Thanksgiving blog.  So as you sit down with family and friends around the table of good food, whether its turkey and stuffing, ham, or a couple of pizzas... let's take a few moments to count our blessings.

Bountiful goodness is around us everyday.  Just look around your dinner table today.  Imagine how many people in our world don't see that much food in a week!  The common table prayer my Grandfather used started, "We thank you for thy bountiful goodness...."  that sounds like a most excellent idea.

Loved and cherished by our Lord is where I start.  It is helpful and reassuring to know that close friends and family love me too, but it was God's great love (bountiful love) that lead Him to send His son to earth as our Savior (John 3:16).  The love you and I experience enables us to do things we couldn't accomplish on our own - it takes knowing that someone else cares for us, has confidence in us, and is behind us no matter the outcome - that allows us to walk out the door each morning.

Enthusiasm for our vocation is a tremendous gift.  God gives us skills and talents for the work we are called to do, and through it we can help others.  That get up and go that kicks our fanny each day is a blessing to keep us in the game.

Satisfaction can be elusive for us, because with each tablespoon of mashed potatoes, candied yams, or pumpkin pie... we want more.  It's a blessing to recognize the things we have (not just today) and be satisfied without worrying that our neighbor may have one more thing in his garage.

Service to others through our vocations is good.  Service to others who can't pay us back is even better.  Maybe you have a family tradition of working at a community dinner today - that's awesome.  Whatever and wherever it is, seek out one of the many opportunities we have to really serve others.  If you don't see one, think of something.  You will not only be a light in someone's day; you will feel better too.

Example setting is a bit of pressure, isn't it?  As parents or as folks in the workplace, it falls to us to lead either verbally or through our actions so those around us might see the blessings we are thankful for through what we do for them or others.  Be aware, you are setting an example even if you don't know you are... your kids, your friends, your neighbors... they all are observing the person you are when you think no one is watching.

Dynamic forces are something we can become.  The Free Dictionary indicates dynamics are the social, intellectual, or moral forces that produce activity or change in a given sphere.  Your sphere is the place you live; where you work; and the people around you - in those communities you are a dynamic force capable of generating activity and change.  That's a blessing and a challenge - let's do our best to be a positive dynamic force.

It doesn't usually take much looking around to get a quick reality check to understand how blessed we are each day.

My uncle's family lived in Washington, Illinois for many years.  This year, folks from 1,000 homes are giving thanks that while a storm blew away memories and many things in their lives - they too, are stopping to give thanks to God for protection and the opportunity to keep going.

We don't generally think about our own health until something is wrong with it.  So, if today is one of many good days you enjoy... be sure to give an acknowledgement of gratitude.

The same can be said for family.  Many times we know our family members love us no matter what, so we put that to the test.  Today might be a good time to tell them how you feel about them.

Psalm 117
Praise the Lord, all you nations;
    extol him, all you peoples.
 For great is his love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Finally, thank you!  Thanks for reading this blog.  It means a lot to know there is a group who take a few minutes to read what I have to say each day.  The process of writing the blog has become important and a meaningful part of each day, if you weren't reading it... I would probably stop.

Thank you... thanks to my family, friends, co-workers, the people and places that provide material for the "they used to call me pointdexter" blog, and a special thank you this holiday to the men and women who serve our country as first responders and as members of our armed forces.  May our gracious God bless you all.