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Its Thanksgiving Day, not turkey day! — Jim Bell

Special Photo: Jim Bell

Special Photo: Jim Bell

I love the fall of the year when the high temperatures of summer begin to cool down and the leaves of trees start turning shades of yellow and brown and red; it’s a beautiful sight to see. There are many enjoyable things to do in the fall and one of my favorites is celebrating Thanksgiving, a national holiday set aside by our government for all citizens to pause and reflect on how fortunate we are to live in our great country, and to thank God for our freedom and many blessings.

I know we are going through an economic downturn now, and many are out of work. Times are hard on many families and many will not have an abundance to be thankful for, but we do have our freedom of thought and action. Let us all be thankful we live in a free country and try to do all we can to encourage our government to create an economic environment that will bring back full-employment and prosperity to all.

I am old enough to remember the hard times of the Great Depression, when there were hardly any jobs to be had. I don’t recall the unemployment percentage, but it seemed almost everyone was out of work. Even though we had very little food and clothing, we still got along somehow and were a happy family.

I guess we were poor, but didn’t know it! I do remember our family celebrating Thanksgiving and that we always had a family prayer to thank God for what we had, and to ask for better times ahead.

I firmly believe that this is what we as a nation should do at this time in our lives. We need to strengthen our family relationships by loving each other more, and telling our mother and father, our sons and daughters and all other members of our families, we love them and will be there for them in times of trouble and sorrow.

I do know this: Families that love each other and play together stick together! To take this a step further, families that love the Lord and pray together — stay together! So if we have nothing more than our families to be thankful for, then we should consider ourselves fortunate.

Our great God gave us a marvelous promise in 2nd Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

If there was ever a time in the great history of our country when we should follow the advice of this verse, it is now. We should praise God for His great mercy toward us and return to following His teaching, His way of life for us to live by. This includes loving our family and being true to them; it includes loving and respecting our neighbors and treating them as we want to be treated.

It includes being honest in all our business transactions — our work for our employer, giving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. It includes those who represent us in all levels of government being honest and frugal in all their dealings. We simply must have members of Congress, who seek to cut deficit-spending to the point of near balancing the budget to get us back to prosperity in this country.

We do have plenty to be thankful for this year, and we also have a lot of problems to solve for the benefit of our people. We have plenty to pray about as well — for our country, our government, our representatives, our business community, our neighbors and our family.

We must, as Christians, share our faith with those who do not follow the Lord, but are listening to the lies of the devil, as he leads them to destruction. They are blinded to the truth of God and need to hear the truth of Jesus Christ from us.

Pray for those you know are lost, and ask God to lead you to say a word about Jesus to them. Sometimes, this is all they need to cause them to realize God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them. If you cannot share the Gospel with them, then invite them to come to church with you, and then introduce them to the preacher or a soul winner you know who can share with them. Wouldn’t it be great to know you had a part in some lost soul coming to Jesus!

This Thanksgiving, please observe it as a day of being thankful for all you have, especially your loved ones. And please don’t call it turkey day!