Sweet potato fluff, you cats are spoilt for content this week! I hope it didn’t just grate you that I used the British spelling of “spoiled.” It sure does roll of the tongue, and the fingertips nicely. As our week of {Thanks}giving, ahem, with a capital T, continues, I thought you might appreciate at least one voice in the chorus that has a little more bass. Or at least baritone.

{Happy Thanksgiving, by the way!!!}

It feels kind of wrong to add the week’s sassy advert to this post, since it is pink and looks like it got hit with an elvish bedazzler, but humour me, will ya?

Neal Alligood, among other things, is a delightful joker and a lover of basketball and Jesus. And, at the top of the list of his credentials, in my opinion, besides loving Jesus, is the fact that he has been on the Price is Right. I just think that’s awesome. Neal keeps the jokes, and the deep thoughts, rolling at Serving Him With Shaky Hands. Don’t ya love that name?

Without further ado, here are a few thoughts about thankfulness, for the first time this week from someone who has never considered whether his handbag and shoes match.


True Thanks?

So often in our lives, especially at this time of year, we almost feel a tad obliged to spend time “giving thanks” for our things.  My fear is that even during this practice of positive intentions, we often fail to focus on the factors in our lives that should bring “TRUE THANKS”.

My hope/intent/desire is to share a small sampling of these from my own life with you today.

In a shameful personal plug, I invite you to check out another recent post, which included a glimpse of “TRUE THANKS” for the financial freedom found in God’s Economy.

Now back to the task at hand – TRUE THANKS!

I am truly thankful for parents who raised my sister and I in not just simply a “loving” home, but more importantly a GOD-loving home.  For two people who have impressively displayed exactly what it means to live in full reliance upon His will and trust of His ways.  How they powerfully embodied the words found in Proverbs 22:6 of “The Message”: “Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost.”

I am truly thankful that they realized the importance of not MAKING every decision for us, but instead showed us the way in which TO MAKE DECISIONS for ourselves.  How to properly weigh the risks & rewards and to contemplate consequences.  Then to be man and woman enough to live with those choices and not be “rescued” from the pain that might be involved.

I am truly thankful for parents who did not spend so much time PROTECTING that they failed in PREPARING us for the journey that would lie ahead.  Indeed I’m even thankful for the punishments (although not so much at the time) that were doled out in efforts to teach those aforementioned truths, that there is pain and consequences sometimes involved with poor decisions made.

I am truly thankful for the lessons I learned about “lightening the load”, living more simply, upon my move from Raleigh to Atlanta.  For being nudged that it was time to sell much of my earthly possessions to free my time, talents, and treasures to be used investing in things of more eternal value.

I am truly thankful for friends and family that helped make my moves, transitions and ministry so much more effective and efficient.  Thankful for new friends who have provided housing, fixed vehicles, cooked meals, welcomed me into their homes to provide for all of my needs in keeping with the promises of my Savior to “ALWAYS BE WITH ME – TO THE VERY END OF THE AGE!”

I am truly thankful to have been blessed through partnerships with awesome organizations here in Atlanta, who have opened my eyes and awakened my senses to the dire needs and concerns of this world, which to this point, I never realized existed.  The plight of pregnant, homeless women; the poverty and destitution of world hunger; the horrific exploitation of children in the sex slave industry, to name a few.  While I am NOT thankful that these evils are taking place in this world – I am most deeply and truly thankful to be shown the HOPE that can be found through the Love of Christ in the midst of despair.

I am truly thankful for the men and women who are tireless servants – who give of their time, talents, energy, efforts, hearts, hurts, family and faith.  These people who have shown me a new way in which it means to live and to love as the Body of Christ.

Which brings me to the factor that I AM MOST TRULY THANKFUL for; the physical BODY OF CHRIST – the body that was formed in the womb of a teenage girl who had been found faithful in following her God, much like my own parents have been.  She would be the one to bring this baby into our world in a manner that we could have never conceived.

It is this exact season of the year that reminds us what TRUE THANKSGIVING is all about – the FREEDOM OF A FAITH IN A FATHER that loved each of us enough to send the gift of His One & Only Son.  This freedom that led pilgrims to a new land, and sustains spiritual aliens who now live in a land not their own – waiting patiently for the day that they raise a song of TRUE THANKS for their eternal, Heavenly Home.

I remain hopeful and prayerful – that we will take this time – these few weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas, to set the tone for the rest of our years, to understand and be reminded of that for which I, you, WE can and should be TRULY THANKFUL!

What are your causes of TRUE THANKS?


Neal is probably the coolest guy you will never see on Dancing With the Stars, but that’s okay since back in ’99 he made his debut on The Price is Right. Too bad he was foiled by the price of flatware…oh what could have been! Join Neal’s blogging adventure, Shakyhands, and find out why those hands quake while he strives to serve and speak all around this great globe!


Thanks so much, Neal, that was really encouraging! Glad you braved the pink-bedazzled advertisement to join us this week! I hope you, dear readers, will take a moment to respond (in your heart, in your head, and with your fingertips in the comments section below!)