Who Are You Serving This Thanksgiving?


Thanksgiving provides a great opportunity to serve others.

Rather than spending the whole day crashed out on the couch in a tryptophan-induced coma watching football games you don’t really care about, (not that it’s wrong to crash on the couch or watch football – I’ll probably spend some time in a tryptophan-induced coma myself) try reaching out to your family members, especially if they are unbelievers.? Thanksgiving is a great day to imitate Jesus who came not to be served but to serve.? Here are a few ideas:

Take a genuine interest in them. Ask them if they’ve read any good books or seen any good movies lately. Ask them how it’s going on their job. Ask them about their children. If your grandfather or grandmother is there, ask them to tell you funny stories about their childhood or if they have any good stories from when they were in the Army.

Taking an interest in people is fun. If you have a relative who’s a lawyer, asked her about her most difficult case. Ask her if she’s ever said ?I’ll see you in court? to someone. Ask her what she likes most and least about her job. Ask her what she does to try to persuade juries.? Ask her what the funniest thing that ever happened in court was.

Serve their children. Get down the floor with their kids and play with them. Do an art project or craft project with them. Play hide and seek or ?I spy? with them. Try to make a memorable Thanksgiving for the kids.

Take an interest in the teenagers. Ask them what movies they’ve seen lately or what music they’re listening to. Ask them if they’ve seen any funny YouTube videos. Ask them about any sports they’re playing.

Help set the table and clear the table.? Wash the dishes. Try to be the biggest servant in the house.

If you’re as selfish as I am, you’ll need lots of grace, so don’t forget to ask the Lord to give you the desire and the strength to serve.

I’d like to have some more ideas for how I can serve my relatives – any you can share with me?

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo by Chloe Dietz


  • thatsnotfunnymisskatie says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I've been struggling all morning, dreading spending time with my family today. Tryptophan-enduced comas, football games nobody cares about (BLASTED at full volume because they're all going deaf), zero legitimate conversation or even base level care for each other, while my mother works herself into a neurotic fit trying to be Martha Stewart– that's what the holidays are like at my house. Every year I dread them, every year I spend a significant amount of time crying in my room begging God for a different family– somewhere far away, like Australia… or Pluto… or Middle Earth. Thank you for challenging me. I have no idea how I'm going to be able to engage my family this year. I'd like to start by throwing the television out the window, but I have a feeling that's probably not the best way to be Christ to my family this year.

    Suppose I could hide the A/V cords though…

  • Mark Altrogge says:

    Hey thatsnotsofunny….

    (funny name by the way). Thanks for your comments – they're humorous, though it sounds like your family holidays are really tough for you. Yeah, probably don't want to toss the TV… I'm sure that if you pray the Lord will give you grace to show his love to your fam. Hope you have a good Thanksgiving and they don't play the TV too loud…

  • Elaine says:

    I try to always have at something special in the meal for each family member: some like Waldrof salad, some like homemade macaroni and cheese, and others look forward to the homemade pecan pie. And we set up one large table so everyone is sitting together and enjoying the meal and the company. Everyone is laughing, relaxed and enjoying the Lord's blessings. Simple but it's a blessing to all of us. And everyone helps with the cleanup which is a great blessing to me! Happy Thanksgiving, Mark, and thanks to you and Stephen for The Blazing Center; the Lord regularly uses it to draw me close to Him. Thanks again!

  • Mark Altrogge says:

    Thanks so much Lidia for your kind and encouraging words! I'm grateful you would even read the blog and that it could be an bencouragement to you. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving (tho do you celebrate it?). God bless you!

  • Mark Altrogge says:

    Hi Elaine,

    Sounds like thanksgiving is a joyful feast at your house. I like the individual treats you make for each person. Thank you for your regular kind encouragements. You and your family have been an incredible blessing to me personally and to our whole church. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I really enjoy this blog and God has spoken to me many times thru you guys. So thank you!
    Although Thanksgiving Day is not an official holiday like in the USA, some people do celebrate it. A couple of friends got together and we had a Thanksgiving dinner, dominican style! But we had turkey and sweet potatoes in the menu to keep up with the american tradition. We had a good time and it was a good opportunity to remember the mercies of the Lord. Hope you and your family had a blessed time! :)

  • MarkAltrogge says:

    Thanks Lidia,

    We had a great Thanksgiving, but bet our coffee wasn't as good as yours!

  • I really have to get you some of that coffee again!!!

  • Mark Altrogge says:

    Well if you ever do I certainly won’t turn it down

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