Ok, I promised my wife that I wouldn’t freak out her whole family this Thanksgiving and start talking about all the things going on in the country. But I never said anything about talking to all of you… so brace yourself for my Thanksgiving message.

Ok, yes there are a lot of problems in our country, but today isn’t about bad news. It’s so easy, especially with how things are, to get tunnel vision and focus only on the bad. Politicians have lied to us again and again leading to the highest levels of distrust in history. The economy is a rollercoaster. Friends and family are out of work and the cost of living just seems to go higher and higher. Are you beginning to see why the family put the ‘downer’ ban on me this year? Life is hard, it’s a struggle – but there’s also hope.

There is good news, positive news, and on a day of thanks I think it’s important we talk about those things. Start in your own home. Take a look around and take stock of the things that really matter: Faith. Family. Friends. I’m so excited about Thanksgiving because it gives me time to reconnect with these three critical pieces of my life. While I try and keep things in perspective all year it’s easy to get lost in the bad and forget these three good things.

Faith. Take a moment to look at the role that God plays in your life. I don’t care what church you go to, but I do think that God is an important piece of everyone’s life. This Thanksgiving, get down on your knees and pray. Invite your family to join you. Just turn off the football, step away from the turkey, and give thanks for God’s forgiveness. While in this quiet reflection, take the opportunity to find clarity as well. Now, more than ever, it is important to know what God has planned for you and your life. He did not create you to sit around and eat Doritos all day – so what is it He wants you to do?

Family. Ok, I know not everyone loves being around their relatives during the holidays. You’ve got the crazy uncle telling nonsensical stories or an annoying in-law bugging you about how you’re holding the carving knife the wrong way. Everyone has to deal with this. Just close your eyes, take a breath, and when you open your eyes again realize how much these people shape your life and the lives of those that matter most to you. Your family will be there with you through think and thin – no matter what happens. No matter how crazy things get during the holidays, know that these are the people that have your back. Step back and enjoy their fellowship during the holidays.

Friends. Anyone else out there have a friend they haven’t spoken to in a while? I know I do. This one may sound a little odd, after all faith and family are easier to reconnect with during the holidays than old friends. But I would ask that you call an old friend that you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Touch base, see how they are. The holidays can be tough, many of us have lost family and are going through tough times. Connect with someone who you haven’t spoken with in a while – you never know what difference you may make in a person’s life with just a phone call.

Faith. Family. Friends. These are the connections that sustain us in our life, no matter what may be going on in the world. I’m going to be announcing some things to help bring us all together over the next year – but the first steps begin at home.

Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

Laos Deo,