Hamburgers, freedom, and the uniquely American flavor of Thanksgiving

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
– “the other” Thanksgiving food

It is Thanksgiving morning. I pray that your day will be defined by love, light, grace, joy, promise, good food, and – most importantly – hearts filled to overflowing with gratitude.

Why the hamburger photo? Because this holiday – like the hamburger – is an American original! Thanksgiving celebrates the uniquely American experience while at the same time insisting we cannot fully enjoy such plenty without being truly grateful for the bounty that is ours daily.

Or rather we should not enjoy the cornucopia that is America without pause, without gratitude, without generosity, without a sense of responsibility….

So today I am simply listing ten of the things that I am grateful for:

  1. God: I live in the knowledge and assurance of God’s providential love. I know that my life is purposeful and blessed and consequential. This gives me inspiration, encouragement, and confidence.
  2. Rebekah: the remarkable story of being married to one of the shining stars of her generation.
  3. Our children and their spouses: Andrew, Alicia, Naomi, and Craig are living their best lives and making the world a better place right where they are.
  4. Our grandchildren: Words cannot begin to express. David (10), Beks (8), Mr. T. (2), Geoffrey (12 months).
  5. Freedom: the day-to-day experience of living in a country where the delicate balance between individual freedoms (liberty) and our mutual responsibility (law) is so beautifully calibrated. Wow! What a privilege.
  6. Being able to care for my parents.
  7. The churches we have served: Trinity, First Brandon, Wake Forest – so much life and light and passion for Jesus.
  8. Our home: we live in a charming home on a quiet cul-de-sac in an idyllic neighborhood in a lovely community in a beautiful state. So many reasons to be grateful.
  9. Daily life: I wake up every day in safety and comfort and confidence; I walk the dog and share that first cup of coffee with Rebekah; and then I set out to use the gifts God has entrusted me with to do so many creative, fulfilling, beneficial things. Life is good!
  10. My work: I love my work, I enjoy everything about the opportunity I have to communicate through the written word. I pray that I am able to create until the very end of my life.

Thank you.

Thank you God.

Thank you America.

Thank you to those who sacrificed so much.

– Rebekah and Derek Maul

Thank you to everyone who continues to work so hard.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. 

Gratitude is God’s will for us all. And, today, gratitude is my song – DEREK

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