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Making the Most of Thanksgiving This Year

By Pastor Jerry Waugh

Northcliffe Baptist Church, Spring Hill

I read that 91 percent of Americans have turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. Are you in the 91 percent category or the 9 percent category? It’s hard to think about turkey without thinking about “Butterball Turkeys.” I came across an article that shared some of the calls they have received at the Butterball hotline for people having problems cooking their turkey. I will share only three of the calls with you.

A woman in her 70s was cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. She called for help because her mother (yes, her mother), said it was time she learned how to prepare the Thanksgiving meal.

A man called to tell the operator that he cut his turkey in half with his chainsaw so it would fit in the pan and wanted to know if the oil from the chainsaw would adversely affect the taste of the turkey. To me, I would be wondering if the turkey was still safe to eat! Nothing creates a memorial Thanksgiving night like being at the hospital from Thanksgiving Day food poisoning!

And lastly, when a Talk-Line staffer asked a caller: “What state is your turkey in?” (meaning how thawed was it), the caller answered, “Florida.”

According to Erma Bombeck, “Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Football half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.” We know that part of Thanksgiving Day is about the great spread of delicious food and the watching of non-stop football games (sometimes after the big meal, even with our eyes closed). But long before Thanksgiving Day became about food and football, and Black Friday Eve was created for Christmas shoppers, it started as a day to give thanks to God for our blessings. Few Americans have had more setbacks than the pilgrims who made seven times more graves than huts. Yet, they still set aside a day for giving thanks to God.

To make the most of Thanksgiving Day this year, why don’t we take the time to count our blessings? Sometimes, we can be tempted to be unthankful. But, if we pause to count our blessings, our hearts cannot help but overflow with gratitude.

For example, after World War II, two different families spoke to the pastor after the church service. The church was having a fundraising program for a children’s building. The first family said, “Pastor, as you know, our son was killed in the war. We would like to give $200 as a memorial gift.” The gift was greatly appreciated. In a few moments, a second family came to the pastor and said, “Pastor, we were prepared to give a memorial gift for our son. But, thankfully, our son came home. So we’re giving a $500 Thanksgiving gift.”

Thanksgiving Day is not just about being thankful, but being thankful to God. Someone has said, “It is difficult to be an atheist on Thanksgiving. You feel grateful but have no one to thank.”

This month, I hope you will join me in counting your blessings and giving thanks to God from whom all blessings flow.

Pastor Jerry Waugh

Northcliffe Baptist Church, Spring Hill

Temple Beth David September Events


The Sisterhood of Temple Beth David is sponsoring an Italian Dinner featuring spaghetti, meat balls, Italian sausage, garlic bread, full Salad Bar, and assorted desserts.  The event is on Sun., Nov. 12, at 4:00 p.m.

Cost for Temple members $15 per person, or $25 per couple. Non-members $20 per person, or $35 per couple. To make reservations, send your check payable to Sisterhood of TBD, 13158 Antelope St., Spring Hill. All reservations must be received no later than Mon., Nov. 6. Questions - call 352-592-4930 or 352-686-5754.