Thankful for turkeys who prompt us to give thanks


It was Thanksgiving week, and a co-worker gave John a parrot as a Thanksgiving gift. Just what he always wanted. This parrot evidently was previously owned. He had a terrible attitude, was horribly obnoxious, and used a very crude vocabulary. Everything he said was laced with profanity.

John was having company over for Thanksgiving, so he started working on shaping up his parrot’s attitude and cleaning up his speech. He spoke only polite words, played soft music, and tried to show his parrot how to be nice and gentle.

But the parrot pushed him too far, and John finally got fed up, lost his cool and shouted at his parrot. The parrot cussed him out, so John grabbed the parrot, shook him, and threw him in the freezer.

The parrot squawked and kicked and screamed, and suddenly grew quiet. John opened the door and the bird walked out, was very calm and serene, and immediately said in a different tone, “I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I am sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate behavior and I will do everything I can to conduct myself to shape up and correct my conduct.

“May I ask you just one question?”

John said, “Sure.”

“What did that turkey in there do to end up like that?”

I’m thankful for turkeys, aren’t you? And for special holidays that cause us to take stock and count our blessings.

We should be grateful every day, but at least the turkey prompts us to stop annually and think about how good we have it.

Like the Psalmist, “we should bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2). God is the Source of our many blessings that we must be careful not to take for granted.

Here are some of my many blessings. This year, I’m thankful for:

• A new granddaughter born July 2;

• Her older sister who loves to play with me, and looks me in the eye and says, “Granddaddy, don’t go.”

• No cavities, even with one of the world’s biggest sweet-tooths;

• Boiled peanuts to eat while watching college football;

• A strong heart. You need it to watch this season’s Georgia Bulldogs.

• Faithful people who love the Lord and love our church;

• The sound of pages rustling when I ask our worshippers to open their Bibles to various scriptures as I preach;

• Social media and gifted people to help us use it as a ministry tool;

• The power of the gospel that still transforms lives;

• Great worship during each Christmas season;

• My mom who’s still with us and is in pretty good health;

• A Godly mother-in-law and father-in-law who still amaze us;

• Four super children who are doing great things;

• God’s providing my youngest daughter a super job;

• A once-in-a-lifetime vacation this Spring;

• You readers who compliment this column, an extension of my ministry;

• The sound of birds singing in the Spring morning;

• The sweet, juicy strawberries I hand-pick at the field on Ellis Road. We’ll miss that Springtime treasure.

• Country cooking buffets, and special friends that enjoy a plate load as much as I do;

• A great season for the Braves … and the eternal optimism of “maybe next year.”

• Being able to run;

• My wife;

•Reconnecting with old friends via Facebook;

• God’s amazing love and grace;

• An improving economy;

• My church family;

• Fall colors and the chill in the air;

• A kiss from my granddaughter.

Eric Hoffer said, “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” What is on your blessing list? Have you given thanks lately?


[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church,Fayetteville, Georgia. The church is located at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at and “Like” them on Facebook.]