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Butts: Give a Little Thanks
Andy Butts

I know you just finished with the trick or treaters, but we need to discuss something that is overlooked every year. You know what I am talking about, Thanksgiving. We go straight from Jack-o’lanterns and spooky things to Christmas trees and reindeer. That’s crazy. We need to take a step back from the Christmas carols and give a little thanks.

I love Christmas. I love the music, gifts, food and everything else associated with the season. But I really LOVE Thanksgiving! I enjoy the food, spending time with family and just thanking God for all he has given me. I know that sounds like a Sunday School answer, but it is 100 percent truth. I feel like we rush through this season of thankfulness. We go from “give me candy” to “give me gifts.” How about this year we take a month and just be thankful for what we already have?

I know some of you think I have lost my mind. I think if everyone in Newton County just took a month and was thankful for what we had maybe the gift giving season would mean a bit more. When is the last time you truly thanked God for the food you have to eat? Or the roof over your head? Probably not too often. We take a lot of that stuff for granted. A majority of us are not worried about where our next meal is coming from or where we are going to sleep each night. No, most of us go home to our warm houses, fill our bellies and never think twice about thanking our God for all of it.

I know this sounds harsh, but if this bothers you then maybe you need to look at how you thank God. I want my kids (family and youth group) to know that they are not owed anything. They need to be thanking God for everyday that they can lay in a bed and eat a warm meal. I believe that if they are thankful for these things that it will encourage them to be more generous. Scripture tells us that generosity is and overflow of thankfulness. 

Psalms 9:1 tells us, “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Our thankfulness will lead to telling others how awesome God is! What a great way to serve Him. 

So, take a step back from the Yule Log and be thankful. Teach your children to be thankful. Tell others how thankful you are. They will look at you like you have lost your mind, but it will be ok. 

Let us embrace the words of Henry David Thoreau, "I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual." 

Let our thanksgiving not just be one day a year; let it be daily. Now go tell everyone how thankful you are. 

On a side note, if you have a different way of cooking a turkey let me know. Because I love a good turkey and want to try something new. 

Be awesome.

Andy Butts was born and raised in Newton County. He is the youth pastor at Journey Church in Oxford. He loves God, his wife, his children, food, Ethiopia, and Star Wars.