Thanksgiving is wonderful and for all kinds of reasons.  To begin with, it has the commendable effect of staving off Christmas. Whereas in Britain the Christmas shopping season seems nowadays to kick off around about the August bank holiday, Christmas mania doesn’t traditionally begin in America until the last weekend in November.

Moreover, Thanksgiving remains a pure holiday, largely unsullied by commercialization.  It involves no greeting cards, no trees to trim, no perplexed hunt through drawers and cupboards for decorations.  I love the fact that at Thanksgiving all you do is sit at a table and try to get your stomach into the approximate shape of a beach ball and then go and watch a game of football on TV.  This is my kind of holiday.

But perhaps the nicest, and certainly the noblest, aspect of Thanksgiving is that it gives you a formal, official occasion to give thanks for all those things for which you should be grateful.  I think this is a wonderful idea, and I can’t believe that it hasn’t been picked up by more countries.  Speaking personally, I have a great deal to be thankful for.  I have a wife and children I am crazy about.  I have my health and retain full command of most of my faculties (albeit not always simultaneously).  I live in a time of peace and prosperity.  These are all things for which I am grateful, and I am pleased to let the record show it.

~ Bill Bryson, I’m a Stranger Here Myself

 Thanksgiving is indeed a wonderful idea.  It would be fitting for all of us to count our many blessings and name them one by one.  There isn’t room here for all of mine, but here are a few which come to mind:

  • A wife who is as good a person as there is.
  • Two sons who are a source of pride to their father. And a lovely daughter-in-law.  And their dogs.
  • A dog who is genuinely happy to see me at the end of the day.
  • Two parents who are righteous, generous and loving.
  • In-laws who are outstanding Christian examples.
  • Football, especially since the arrival of James Joseph Harbaugh in Ann Arbor.
  • Music, particularly Elbow, U2, Wilco, Muse, Bruce Springsteen, and Noel Gallagher.
  • The new PV Learning Communities.
  • The Seniors class.
  • Working with dedicated ministers on a very good PV staff.
  • Having so many great friends that it is difficult to find time to spend with all of them.
  • All of them, great and small.  Especially the great ones.
  • The Restoration Plea that is alive and well in Churches of Christ.
  • The coffee-swilling brethren that are everywhere at PV, who make for great Koffeeklatches.
  • Lex Owens’ mixtapes.
  • An outstanding young intern in Jackson House.
  • Joe Summitt crushing it on “She Sells Sanctuary.”
  • Our PV office staff that saves the day too many times to count.
  • The heart and friendship of Jim Dockery.
  • The insight and honesty of John Reese.
  • The anticipation of seeing what Curtis Norwood’s Sunday ensemble will be.
  • Road trips.
  • Reading Steve Warmack’s intelligent and impassioned rants.
  • Listening to the homespun wisdom of the legendary Lewis Starling.
  • Being the Pigskin Preacher during football season on Fridays on 103.7 The Buzz.
  • Seeing PV take on a different “complexion” as this church starts to look more like with the church ought to look like.
  • The bubbly, encouraging can-do spirit of Lisa Dicus.
  • A great medical community here in Little Rock that blesses thousands of people.
  • Freshly mowed lawns and freshly washed cars.
  • Witnessing the power of God unleashes when people are willing to serve our community.
  • The monks I have befriended at Subiaco.
  • Great Middle Eastern food at Al-Seraj.
  • Terrific Indian food at the Taj Mahal.
  • Mild, pleasant winters.
  • Watching the birds feast on the seeds I put in the bird feeders.
  • The amazing power of God’s word to seek out the human heart and speak directly to it, even in the midst of thousands of people.
  • So many brothers and sisters at PV who have been so good to me and my family.
  • A Savior who died for us while we were yet sinners.
  • The power of the promise of resurrection.

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