I remember getting one the greatest gifts ever when I was 8 years old.  It was a Star Wars laser game. It came with a real laser gun and a motorized spinning wheel of storm trooper targets.  I could not believe it when I saw it. I ripped open the box and started putting it together. I cannot remember if I even said, “Thanks,” but I knew my parents were pretty happy with my response.  As a parent, nothing gives me more joy than to see my kids play and use presents I get them.  I do not need any elaborate thanks.  Or, another example is when my wife makes her usual wonderful meals, nothing thrills her more than the guests gobbling it down.

By Hillary Asbury

People are sometimes very surprised to find out that my church has a service on Thanksgiving. I love it though; I grew up with it being a normal thing and for whatever reason I find it to be a very comforting service. There’s something grounding about celebrating a Christ-centered Thanksgiving. Its about something more than gorging ourselves with food, about more than time with family, and even about more than expressing gratitude for the many blessings we have enjoyed that year.

By Paul Koch

Gathering in our Lord’s house on Thanksgiving Day is an easy thing to do. It is, after all, a national Day of Thanksgiving. And so, if you are to give thanks this is the place to do it. This is a place where you worship our Lord, a place where he gives to you his great gifts over and over again. If we are to take a day to stop working and shopping and running here and there to say, “Thank you” it is good to begin such a day here. In fact, I think it is a wonderful tradition that our country observes such a day as this. In the midst of all the political pandering and fearmongering and finger pointing, it is worth our time to stop and marvel at the blessings that we have in our lives.

By Paul Koch

This day is truly a wonderful day. It is a day of family and friends, a day of food and football, a day where everyone gets a little time off from their usual grind and just stops in order to give thanks. And though our days of innocent bliss from our childhood have grown cold, though we no longer want to dress up like puritan settlers or native Americans, we still find value in a holiday like this one. We may have grown more cynical and skeptical about family and our traditions but still there is something that we think is good about taking time to simply give thanks. It is good to give thanks for this great country we live in, to give thanks for those who make our lives better, richer and more exciting, to give thanks for the many gifts we’ve received for our heavenly Father.

By Paul Nelson

Christians have the Bible. Aspiring singers have The Great American Songbook. Bartenders have a cluster of drinks that never go out of style. Being able to offer one effortlessly and quickly demonstrates that you’ve done your homework. You can do more than just pour Coca Cola and Jack Daniels into a glass over ice. There’s nothing wrong with a Jack and Coke, mind you, but some occasions call for a bit of class, a bit of savoir faire.

Enter the Manhattan. Simple. Classy. Timeless.

By Ross Engel

As a kid, summer family vacations almost always took us to the mountains. More often than not, we’d load up the station wagon and head for the Smoky Mountains, though there were a few summers when we made the long drive out to the Rockies. I’ve always enjoyed the thin air, hiking, and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.