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Wow, what an interesting topic, especially around a season built upon and geared toward being thankful. If most of you were like me, you had to take a second look. I thought it said the top five things to be thankful for and my mind was running, then I read it again and had to pause and think about it for a minute and change gears. But it didn’t take long to come up with my top five things I’m not thankful for.

1 – The first thing I’m not thankful for is the great divide of our nation on matters of great importance. One such matter that was exposed during the recent presidential election, is abortion. How can we be so divided on when life begins? The Bible says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…” But then maybe it’s not so hard to understand: when a nation chooses to forget the origin of its foundation, how can it have a vision of where it’s going? Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

2 – The second thing I’m not thankful for is that Christians are being killed, simply for believing in Christ. Sometimes here in America it’s easy to get disconnected from the reality of events happening around the world. Islamic state terrorist are killing Christians in Mosul, starting with children and putting their heads on poles in the city park, spreading their ideology and spreading fear. Why isn’t this injustice being shown on the news? Let it not be out of sight out of mind. Let us always be mindful of the atrocities happening even now and pray and intercede on behalf of those who have no power to defend themselves.

3 – The third thing I’n not thankful for is so many people out of work struggling to make ends meet. Even here in south Louisiana where I live, many people by the thousands have lost their jobs due to the drop in oil prices. Losing jobs can leave people feeling hopeless and helpless, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Not being able to provide especially during the holiday season can be even more difficult. Not many years ago our nations suffered through an economic down turn, many lost their entire savings and many took their lives not knowing how to cope without money as security of a prosperous future. It’s called hopelessness. Let’s remember all those who are without jobs. And remember Matthew 6:25 and Philippians 4:19 both speak about not worrying about anything but trusting God for everything, God shall supply all your needs…

4 – The fourth thing I’m not thankful for is the loss of a loved one and its effects upon families, especially during the holiday season. This is something that is personal to me and my family: this will be the 6th year we endure the holiday season with heavy hearts and minds at the loss of our youngest son in 2010. Every year we watch so many families celebrate being together, and rightfully so. It’s not that you would want anybody else to feel and go through what you are going through. It’s just for so many other families it’s a season of celebration, but for you it’s a time of loneliness and depression. You put on the best smile you can, and try to make like everything is great, but inside your broken. As you see others celebrate the joy of family it serves as a constant reminder of what you have lost, and what cannot be for you. Always remember those who even in this joyous season find it difficult to be joyful. Thank God for His Grace! By Grace we endure.

5 – The fifth thing I’m not thankful for is God not giving me two stomachs. I thought I’d end on a lighter note after dealing with difficult topics previously! Who at looking upon all the delicious food and deserts around the holiday season wouldn’t wish for a second stomach – either for a second or third helping, or just for putting away deserts? My dad would tell me even as a child when we would frequent a buffet-style restaurant and it would almost impossible just to choose one thing as it all looks delicious, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” But even without that second stomach, I’ve lived by a motto that has served me well, no pun intended, there is always room for desert.

God bless, and happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor Nathan M. Parfait is the Senior Pastor at New Beginning Church for the past 15 years. NBC is a place where lives can begin again – 2 Corinthians 5:17.

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Nathan Parfait on Twitter: @pastorparfait

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