Thanksgiving Is Not Cancelled


This Thanksgiving is not quite how any of us were imagining it, in fact it seems that is the case for most things. However, let’s be clear, Thanksgiving is NOT cancelled. Nor will it ever be. Yes, it seems that our traditional Thanksgiving may have to be modified on different fronts. Despite our day-of plans and efforts possibly in limbo, let’s focus on what is not changing. Thanksgiving is in essence, exactly what its name implies. We give THANKS! It is not about how many hours we spend in the kitchen or what floats are in a parade or placing bets on who falls asleep on the couch first. Granted, those are so much and part of many families’ tradition, we need to return our thoughts to why we are giving thanks in the first place. Here is a list, though I am sure we could add so much more, I wanted to start with a few to help us look up during this time.

Dear Father, we want to thank you for the following:

  • Jesus and for everything He did out of love
  • For being forgiven
  • For having an eternal home where we can worship you
  • For welcoming those with loving arms whose time on Earth has ended
  • For sending the Holy Spirit to guide our ways
  • A church home where you are still allowing miracles to happen
  • For Church leadership that continues to seek new ways to help the community
  • For the many people who have stepped out in faith to help those during these past months
  • For holding us tight when we are afraid
  • For putting your healing hands on those who are hurt or ill
  • For giving us things to smile about, even if for a fleeting moment
  • For the blue skies
  • For the water to keep the plants growing
  • For the stars that we can gaze upon in wonder
  • For the sweet laughter of a child
  • For the bond of a family
  • For those that will step out and welcome children into their home who are in need
  • For those that seek out those without homes and offer them hope
  • For saving those who are being abused, trafficked or trapped
  • For giving those struggling with addictions a way to connect with other believers to conquer their habits
  • For food on the table
  • For a job or the hope of finding a job
  • For the love that binds us all together as brothers and sisters in Christ
  • For empathy, kindness and understanding
  • For creating us and putting us into your world so that we may make a difference in your name
  • For dogs, cats and all animals
  • For instilling in us a constant desire to love you and work towards being more Christlike in our actions to others.

Please hear our prayer of Thanksgiving Father. We would be without hope and understanding if not for your loving guidance. Please continue to protect our nation, heal our people and love our Country. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.


  • Jennifer Norton | Missions Team Minister | Saddleback Church

    Jennifer married her Prince Charming, Brandon in 2004. They currently have one amazing daughter, Madi, who was born in 2011 and they were blessed to adopt her from birth. God has also called them to adopt a lovely 15-year-old from Colombia and they are hoping to bring her home in the summer of 2023. Loki is their 4-year-old lab/shepherd/snuggle bug mix who keeps them very entertained and well hugged. She graduated with a BA in Public Relations with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management from Chapman University. Jennifer is currently in her last semester at Gateway Seminary and will be graduating in May 2023 with a Masters in Theological Essentials. She is on the Lake Forest Mission Team focusing on refugee care and other local outreach efforts. Her heart is for those that are hurting and feel that they are in the margins. She wants them to know that they are seen and loved by their Creator. In her spare time, when not studying, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and writing. A little-known fact about Jennifer, is that she was on an Improv Comedy Troupe and misses being on stage, but hopes to combine her love of the stage and Jesus in some creative way.

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