Devotion in Motion: Thanksgiving in the Abbreviation Nation

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8 (NKJV)


By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

Have you noticed that the times devoted to God are getting shorter and shorter? Up until the 1960’s, country churches had two revivals a year, and there were two services each day, morning and evening. With more people going to the workplace, this gradually changed to one 14-day revival each year, with meetings only at night. When I was a child, revivals lasted 7-days, and by the time I was a grown man, most churches were having 3-day revivals.

Not too long ago I got a phone call from a church that wanted me to come and preach a “One-Day Revival.” I would speak for Sunday morning worship, we would have fellowship dinner, and then go home. We never used to call a situation like that a “One-Day Revival.”In the old days, that was called “Having a Guest Speaker”!

Is the same thing kind of abbreviation happening to Thanksgiving? When the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving in 1621 at Plymouth colony, their celebration lasted three whole days. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt issued declarations that said Americans should celebrate one whole day of Thanksgiving in gratitude to God. Sometimes our thanksgiving is not a day, but only one prayer offered before the evening meal. Sadder yet, some have forgotten “Thanks-giving” altogether, choosing instead to call the holiday “Turkey Day”.

The more I read the Scriptures, the more I see that even though we are often in a hurry with our thanksgiving to God, our Lord is never in a hurry with His children.I think you will appreciate God’s unhurried ways of teaching His people if you take a minute today to look up Psalm 107. The lesson verse for today is repeated four times word-for-word in this chapter! “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!”

So, let’s set aside a little time to give thanks to God for all He has done for us. We have so much to be thankful for, and He deserves our thanks and praise. And I have found that thanksgiving to God has an unexpected fringe benefit: Gratitude makes us happy. Look around this week and I think you’ll be surprised to see that the most thankful people are the happiest people.

Oh, that men (and mamas) would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness! Have a wonderful (and thankful) Thanksgiving!

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” * (Sing that to the tune of “Secret Agent Man.” ) He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 17) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Pin Oak trees are showing their colors in honor of the season).You should drop him a line at