Merriam Websters definition of thanksgiving is defined as such:

the act of giving thanks

Thankfulness is an attitude of gratitude stemming from the heart. It is a response to some kind of good gesture experienced; conversely, the “act” of giving is service toward others as an extension of one’s self. To me, thankfulness is a powerful expression of selflessness because it requires humility on behalf of the one giving it; and, it causes a vulnerability because it may humble the receiver of what’s being given. Or, the receiver may have feelings of resentment and despair.

I say this because of the countless men I minister to on a daily bases that often share their heart wrenching stories with me. They are men of brokenness and isolation who have never shared a Thanksgiving meal with jubilant family and friends.

Through every priceless moment, I’ve been blessed to share with the lives of all God has called me to touch. I’ve come to understand that thanksgiving goes well beyond a particular holiday; it is cultivated in every situation we encounter throughout the year! I’ve learned that it’s not the day that inspires thanksgiving, it’s the selfless acts of service rendered moment by moment. It is the willing heart and helping hand in tough times that builds thanks and inspires giving. If the celebration of each life is appreciated all year, without regard of self, or expectation of reward (personal gain), then these selfless acts of service can change a life; because, it’s the giving of self. In return - it incites thanks. It’s the same with God and us. We give thanks because God gave first. 


Kevin Johnson - Chaplain