A church had gathered to pray for a needy family around Thanksgiving. The family needed food, and concerned folks from the church got together to pray for them. While the prayer meeting was going on, a young boy came and knocked on the door of the home where members had gathered, entered into the house and told them, “My father said to tell you that he can’t come tonight to pray because he is too busy unloading his prayers at the Jones’ house. He said to tell you that he is taking a side of beef, a sack of potatoes, a bushel of apples, and some jars of jam. He said he could not be here to pray, but that he has taken his prayers and unloaded them at their house.”

Thanksgiving by way of daily thanks-living demands that we pray, yes; but it also demands that we “unload” our prayers at the doorsteps of those who are hungry, lonely and just plain without.

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

A grandmother was showing her grandchildren one of those pictures of a Pilgrim family going to church on Thanksgiving Day. Thinking she might make a point, she said, “The Pilgrim children really enjoyed going to church with their mothers and fathers and praying to God.” Her youngest grandson looked at her and asked, “So, why is their dad carrying that rifle?”

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

A fourth-grader stood up in his public school class, giving a report concerning the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday. Here’s how he began:

“The pilgrims came here seeking freedom of you know what.
When they landed, they gave thanks to you know who.
Because of them, we can worship each Sunday, you know where.”

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

There once was a poor, rural family who were greatly concerned because their little boy had not started talking. The family didn’t have many resources to call upon, so the problem went on for a long time. One day, while the mother was making supper, she became overwhelmed and lost her concentration. She burned the meal. After she served the meal, the little boy tasted it and hollered, “I can’t eat this. It’s all burned.” Shocked but happy, the mother hugged the child and asked, “Why haven’t you been talking?” He said, “Up to now, everything has been OK.”

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Just about a year before he succumbed to cancer, Tony Snow, former political pundit, speech writer and White House press secretary, said the following to the 2007 graduating class at the Catholic University of America:
“Wherever you are and whatever you do, never forget at this moment, and every moment forward, you have a precious blessing. You’ve got the breath of life. No matter how lousy things may seem, you’ve got the breath of life. And while God doesn’t promise tomorrow, He does promise eternity.”
Maybe we should take Tony’s advice and look beyond our momentary troubles to see both this life and the life to come as precious gifts for which to be grateful.

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Have you read the story about the teacher who asked her pupils what they thought the Seven Wonders of the World were for today? The highest vote count was for the great pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Great Wall of China. As the teacher gathered the votes, she noticed one girl had not finished. The teacher asked if she was having trouble making up a list. She said, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.” The teacher said, “Tell us what you have and maybe we can help.” The little girl said, “I think the seven wonders of the world are to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh and to love.” Her response was truly “wonderful.”

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

“I recall, as a little barefoot boy with a cowlick of snow-white hair on my forehead, standing erect in my classroom and repeating the “Pledge of Allegiance” one Thanksgiving season. Our nation was at war and times were hard. My teacher had lost her husband on the blood washed shores of Normandy. As we later bowed our heads for prayer she wept aloud. I did too. All the class joined in. She stumbled through one of the most moving expressions of gratitude and praise that ever emerged from a soul plunged in pain. At that time in my young life, I fell strangely in love with Thanksgiving. Lost in sympathy and a boy’s pity for his teacher, I walked home very slowly that afternoon. Although only a child, I had profound feelings of gratitude for my country . . . my friends . . . my school . . . my church . . . my family. I swore before God that I would fight to the end to keep this land free from foes who would want to take away America’s distinctives and the joys of living in this good land. I have never forgotten my childhood promise. I never shall.”

Charles R. Swindoll, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

One Thanksgiving season a family was seated around their table, looking at the annual holiday bird. From the oldest to the youngest, they were to express their praise. When they came to the 5-year-old in the family, he began by looking at the turkey and expressing his thanks to the turkey, saying although he had not tasted it he knew it would be good. After that rather novel expression of thanksgiving, he began with a more predictable line of credits, thanking his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for buying the turkey. But then he went beyond that. He joined together a whole hidden multitude of benefactors, linking them with cause and effect.

He said, “I thank the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. I thank the grocery store people who put it on the shelf. I thank the farmer who made it fat. I thank the man who made the feed. I thank those who brought the turkey to the store.”

Using his Columbo-like little mind, he traced the turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. And then at the end he solemnly said “Did I leave anybody out?”

His 2-year-older brother, embarrassed by all those proceedings, said, “God.”

Solemnly and without being flustered at all, the 5-year-old said, “I was about to get to Him.”

Well, isn’t that the question about which we ought to think at Thanksgiving time? Are we really going to get to Him this Thanksgiving?

Citation: Joel Gregory, “The Unlikely Thanker,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 110.

 

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Many regard the Taj Mahal as the most beautiful building ever constructed. Most
visitors to India want to see it above all other sights. It was built by Shah
Jehan as both a mausoleum and also a monument to his beloved wife.

There is a legend about this famous building. The legend says that during the
long process of building the Taj Mahal the emperor often visited the site and
that he kept bumping into a dusty box which was constantly in his way. Finally
one day he ordered, “Get rid of it!” They did, and only later
discovered that the box contained the body of the very woman the building was
built to honor.

The story may not be true, but it is certainly instructive. Everyone knows the
purpose for Thanksgiving Day, but somehow in the very process of planning the
day its purpose gets lost. The God that the day was designed to honor is often
given only a courteous nod, and is sometimes ignored altogether.

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About The Author

Jimmy Gentry is the Senior Pastor of the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. He has served as a supply preacher in various congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.