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JASON DEES: At its core, Thanksgiving is a simple day of gratitude to God

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

I love gratitude, and being grateful for all that you have been given. Gratitude, real gratitude, is at the pinnacle of existence. I believe that to be grateful for something is one of the best feelings you can have in this life.This month we celebrate my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I know as a pastor my favorite holiday ought to be Christmas or Easter, and I love those holidays as in them we celebrate the advent and the resurrection.

But Thanksgiving is so simple; at its core it is just a day of gratitude, and particularly gratitude to God. It is a day to recognize God's supremacy and sovereign rule of the world. It is a day to recognize that God has been good to us, and that God has blessed us.

Whenever I speak with someone seeking advice the one bit that I believe is most valuable is simple gratitude. Have you taken time today to be grateful? When you wake up in the morning do you pause just for a moment and thank God for another day?

When someone is kind to you, do you take the time to stop and thank them for thinking about you? Do you find yourself bitter about the stuff that didn't work out for you or grateful for the things that did? Gratitude is the best of things.

So this Thanksgiving, don't waste the day. Even if you have to sit next to that uncle that you really don't like, or even if all the good pieces of turkey have been taken by your time to go through the line, be grateful. Take the time to thank.

Ultimately, my hope is that you would take time to thank the Lord, the Great Provider. His hand of grace and provision we do not deserve, but nonetheless He continually extends it.

My prayer is that the spirit of gratitude that we all enjoy around a dinner table on the fourth Thursday of November would not stop there, but that it would continue on to Friday and Saturday, and every day.

My prayer is that we would be a grateful people. If we would but stay focused on this, it would give us renewed joy and great peace.

May God bless your family this Thanksgiving and all through the holiday season; I am grateful for you.

Jason Dees is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Covington. He can be reached at 770-786-9031 or www.firstbaptistcovington.com or www.facebook.com/jasondees.