Thanksgiving 2021 seemed to happen so fast,
I wonder, did you think about the year that has passed?
Did you ponder your blessings as you sat down to feast?
Were there so very many - one hundred at least?
Are you thankful for your health and the weather this year?
Did you shoot a big buck … a twelve-point deer?
Maybe the birth of a child or the wedding of your dreams?
Perhaps you won a big trophy with an extraordinary team?
How about a promotion that you received at work?
Have you secured a great job with a whole lot of perks?
Did you get a new car or go on a vacation?
Maybe you finished school and celebrated graduation?
Could it be that you sold or bought a new house?
Or maybe you got a thoughtful gift from your spouse?
Were you successful at more things this past year?
Perhaps you overcame a really big fear?
I’ve listed many things that we might be grateful for
But if we dig deep can we find just a few more?
What about all the ways we can serve others?
Did you bless strangers, friends, and all of your brothers?
Our hearts become full as we serve others well.
Instead of thinking of ourselves and selfishly dwell.
Others-focused is the very best place we can be—
Give it a good try and I know you’ll agree!
So often we skip the “give” in Thanksgiving,
Or the other give that we give when we are forgiving.
Give isn’t always thought about in November,
But it comes in giant waves as we get to December.
Now the hustle and bustle is well underway,
With lines at the stores and hurried hours each day.
We want to give, and to give, and to give a ton more.
We want to buy all the things that we see at the store.
Then we wrap them all up with a tidy red bow.
Do we secretly want to reap what we sow?
Perhaps we feel good when we get the most gifts—
All of the things that were on our Christmas list.
Or maybe we want to give the biggest and best
So we can get our joy from outgiving the rest.
Where do you fall - do you like to give or to get?
Is it working for you - the gifts or the debt?
What joy we should have in this season of glee,
But does it all come from what’s under the tree?
Is it about all the gifts that we buy at the store?
Oh, my friends, it is about SO MUCH MORE!
Do you wonder what I might be ready to say?
Could it be about an old man on a red shiny sleigh?
Or the goodness of traveling to be with loved ones,
And celebrating with endless parties and fun?
Maybe it’s about all of the candy and treats,
Or the lights that light up our cities and streets?
Does it come from the glitzy and glamorous décor?
I’m telling you it is about SO MUCH MORE!
There’s the Hallmark movies and music we hear,
And the ringing of bells that bring smiles and cheer.
It might be about the cakes and cookies we bake,
Or the time that we spend sending cards that we make.
It could be about all the gatherings and the games,
Or the candles we light with the flickering flames.
How about gingerbread houses we frost and decorate,
And the special meals we take so much time to create?
Nope, it’s nothing about the things mentioned above—
It is fully about the biggest heart of love.
God so loved our world that He sent His only son.
He did it for all of us—we have surely won!
There’s so much more but before I share it with you,
I have a poem about cars and repairs that are due.
Not only that, but I have some good little tips
Of what you should do when going on trips.
Pay attention to things that help you to see
While you’re driving around in this season of glee.
Replace burnt-out bulbs and faulty wiper blades
So you can see best when the sunshine fades.
Headlight lenses get hazy and dull with time.
It’s hard to see through all of that grime.
Restoration can make them shiny like new—
Schedule an appointment and you’ll see that it’s true!
Does your car heat blow all nice and warm,
To keep you cozy during a winter storm?
Your warmth is important but that is not all,
Defrosting is needed when you get past the fall.
Fresh fluids are key to keeping your car running best.
Many get oil changes but forget all the rest:
Power steering, transmission, brake, and coolant too—
These fluids need replacement so gunk doesn’t accrue.
A maintenance program of flushing is really quite smart.
It keeps systems clean extending the life of the parts.
Many shops have a fluid warranty plan
That gives peace of mind for quite a long span.
What about noises or cars running rough?
With winter approaching, enough is enough.
The cold weather may make problems much worse—
It can cost much more and lighten your purse.
Address concerns now and don’t procrastinate;
You might just be sorry if you continue to wait.
There’s only so long you can lean on your luck—
Is it time to service your car, SUV, or your truck?
Perhaps you have waited for months to get tires,
Though they are bald and show a few wires.
Tires like these are dangerous indeed—
For you and for others, replace them I plead!
With cold days a-comin' it’s important to know
If your battery is new or replaced years ago.
Four years is the average when replacement is due.
Perhaps now is the time to purchase one new.
What about corrosion and battery connections,
Have you checked these for the best winter protection?
You can attempt to service it all on your own,
Or leave it to professionals and pick up the phone.
No matter the model, no matter the make,
It’s important to remember to service your brakes.
With slippery roads and motorists a many,
You’ll be relying on your braking system for plenty.
Here’s some advice you may need to hear—
Pumping Anti-lock brakes will likely cause fear.
You’ll be slipping and sliding all over the place,
Frantically pumping as your heart starts to race.
Instead, what you do when you have ABS
Is apply steady pressure and don’t get all stressed.
There are no guarantees when there’s snow and some ice,
But you’ll be better off if you take my advice.
Now your brakes may be safe but there’s so much more
Do you shake, bounce, or shimmy—is your suspension worn?
The parts of this system can get rusty and break—
Terrible things can then happen, a bad day it will make.
Not only that, these parts are safety concerns—
They can cause many troubles, especially on turns.
So don’t let this happen now or any time,
Your life is important and so is mine.
Therefore, remember when you are driving about
There are so many others that are also en route.
Your decisions of timely repairs affect you,
But have you considered how they affect others too?
As we approach Christmas, a good gift to bestow
Is to keep everyone safe as you drive in the snow.
This can happen better with timely repairs—
It will let everyone know that you really do care.
But wait, there is just a little bit more
Perhaps you’ll remember what I’ve mentioned before—
It’s not just about what you’re driving around,
It’s how you adhere to the road rules of the town.
You must limit distractions and put your cell phone away.
Whoever is texting won’t mind your delay.
And as you are celebrating this great time of year
Make sure you don’t drive if you drink any beer.
Since others may not drive as safely as you,
It’s good to use caution and scan your full view,
Buckle your seat belt no matter how far you go
And make sure you drive with more care in the snow.
Be kind to others—you know, the Golden Rule
And make sure your car has always got fuel.
An emergency kit is a good rule of thumb—
This is for all, not just for some.
These are the tips I’ve prepared just for you,
I realize that there are more than a few!
As you ponder them now and in the coming days
Let’s return to the other things I wanted to say.
Here’s how started - the virgin Mary gave birth
To God as a man who came to down to earth.
He was named Jesus but has many more names—
If you believe all of this you’ll buy into His claims!
Jesus is the True Vine and the Great Bread of Life;
He shows us how to live without anger and strife.
He is our Savior, Lamb of God, and Prince of Peace.
He is our Redeemer, Our Hope, and our Great High Priest.
He’s our Messiah—who forgives and makes us new;
Showing us how to forgive and have a heart that is true.
He is the Good Shepherd and the Bright Morning Star
His love, mercy, and grace are the best gifts by far.
He is the Light of the World and God with us—Immanuel
He invites us to drink from His Word—the Living Well.
He is the Great “I Am” and is so Faithful and True
He came to this world to save me and you!
He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords,
It is eternity in heaven that He points towards.
God gave us His Son years ago on Christmas Day,
So that in human form He could show His good way.
He shows us to love all and do what is right;
He teaches us what complete joy is like.
When we give of ourselves with generous hearts,
The goodness we give will set us apart!
Other people will see the kindness in us—
I wonder if they’ll know it comes from Jesus?
Perhaps when they begin to reflect on all of this,
They will wonder how they can be filled with such bliss.
So, as we hustle and bustle all over the town,
Let us share Jesus with those all around!
We can rejoice with all who are already His;
And tell everyone else what the Good News is!
I wish you a glorious Christmas and New Year!
I pray that hope reigns and you’ll be full of good cheer.
May you count all your blessings and praise the Great One
Who gives life to us all through His Holy Spirit and Son.