When Thanksgiving Was About Gratitude

Sunset on Bass Lake. Copyright © 2016, Charles E. McCracken Archives_HEADERThe most memorable Thanksgiving during my childhood was spent in northern Minnesota with maternal grandparents. That year, Grandma and Grandpa decided our dinner would consist only of foods grown on their land along with wild game and fish.

In my recollection there was no turkey. Chum—which was my nickname for my grandfather—and the uncles’ hunting pursuits yielded duck, pheasant, quail and venison. They were not only expert fishermen, but had pickled the Walleye and Northern Pike and hardwood-smoked the white fish that graced our table.

Grandma’s garden bounty was on full display with corn on the cob, a variety of squashes, mashed potatoes and her famous hot dish made of wild rice harvested from the lakeshore in front of their tiny house. We devoured her highbush cranberry preserves and apple jelly on freshly baked breads with great gusto. The counter was full of homemade pies and donuts made from scratch by Mom and the aunts.

While the food featured prominently in our celebration, the realization that God was our Provider and the recipient of our thanksgiving was etched into my consciousness in a way I never forgot. And, that of course was my grandparent’s objective.

This year, couple your memories of Thanksgiving past with an acknowledgement of the blessings we so often take for granted. The psalmist directs our focus to the Source of all that is good in life.

PSALM 136:1-3

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever.

Feasting with or without family is not the most important part of our Thanksgiving celebration. We must refresh our attitude with gratitude for the great God we serve. Memories may last a lifetime. God’s mercy, however, endures forever. Praise the Lord!

1) Sunset on Bass Lake. Copyright © 2016, Charles E. McCracken Archives.

Copyright © 2016 Charles E. McCracken, updated 2020. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Rev. Charles E. McCracken. Biblically Authentic - Standing with Israel.


Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken authentically communicates biblical truth making his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.

3 replies »

  1. Those were never-to-be forgotten celebrations at that little home on Bass Lake.