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My First Real Thanksgiving

By Kathy Schultz

Once again, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. I have a mental image of that first Thanksgiving. What a sight it must have been -- the Indians and Pilgrims eating a festive meal together! I doubt they knew a tradition was being born.

One of my most memorable Thanksgivings was when I was sixteen. It was to me my very "first thanksgiving". At my home Thanksgiving was just another day. That year I went to the high school football game and then to dinner at my boyfriend's home. I saved my babysitting money to buy a pretty magenta plaid suit for the occasion. I felt like Cinderella at the ball. The day was wonderful! My boyfriend and his family were so gracious, loving and kind. God gave me a wonderful family beginning that Thanksgiving. God arranged my "first Thanksgiving" just as he arranged the first Thanksgiving so many years ago for the Pilgrims and the Indians.

This was the first of many Thanksgivings we would share, as I married their son. I realized they shared just as the Pilgrims and the Indians did long ago.

What are we sharing? Do we share God's love, His Word, a smile, warmth, encouragement, a meal or anything else He gives us?

Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Romans 12:11-13).

All eyes look to you for help; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing (Psalm 145:15-16 NLT).

I pray that not only during the Thanksgiving season will I be grateful, but that I also will share what I have with others as that wonderful family did with me long ago. What a difference their love has made in my life! You may never know the difference you may make in someone's life, but God knows. Let us each show God's love in action just as these wonderful people did and as the pilgrims did.

Thanksgivings have come and gone. Some were not as exciting as that one, but I have never forgotten the love that God showed me that day. A lot of changes in this country have taken place, some good, and others not. Still, we all have reason to be thankful, even though this year we experienced Sept. 11, anthrax scares, and the terrors of a sniper.

Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Hebrews 13:15 NKJV).

Christians share those same concerns and sadness. It is difficult to lose those we love. My wonderful "first thanksgiving" family is in heaven now. But God has given me others to love. Jesus taught me to be thankful and to share with others. We are like the pilgrims and this world is not our final destination. Let's be thankful for God's love!

Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2).

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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