Thankful kids are happy kids! Thankful people make happy families. Thankful people turn a house into a home.


Thanksgiving, turkey and dressing, family, friends and food are great reminders of just how important an “attitude of gratitude” is to make life so much more fun, more meaningful and more enjoyable.


A dear, old friend of mine named Frank Peretti tells a story of gratitude that I have cherished for years called “All is well.” The story is about Ruth Preston and her young daughter, Jenny, who live in a tiny “single mom” home enduring great poverty in a small, American village. The Prestons’ kitchen is scanned, and no cheerios, no ice cream, and no popcorn were to be found. All Jenny and her mom owned was hope…and a family slogan: “All is well.”

This Thanksgiving, you can listen to the story and shed tears of gratitude as I do every time I hear it.


My favorite story on the gift of gratitude, which you can also share this Thanksgiving season with your family, comes from Luke 21:1-4. The familiar parable is Jesus’ treatise on Thanksgiving and His heart of admiration for those who are truly thankful and willing to give God “all that they have.”

After you read the parable with your family during a mealtime or bedtime devotion, ask each family member the following questions to stimulate discussion and intrinsically motivate an enthusiastic response:


  1. Why did the widow, who gave so little, receive God’s blessing over those who gave so much?
  2. How did God’s great love motivate the woman to give “all that she had” in the temple that day?
  3. Why is giving thanks in very tangible ways so admirable?
  4. What is your “widow’s mite” that you want to give God today?
  5. How will our family relationships improve if each of us are more grateful to God and sacrificial to each other?


For Debbie-Jo and I this Thanksgiving, we are truly grateful to you, our dearly beloved Kanakuk family, for our 44 years of Thanksgiving as we have seen God’s hand of blessing build Kanakuk and our family of ministries which are now blessed to serve 800,000 kids from 40 nations around the world. Because you believe in our mission to build next generation leaders worldwide, the world will smile brighter, the love of Jesus will spread further, and our nation will be stronger in the biblical values upon which we were founded.

Written by Joe White
Joe has been awarded two honorary Doctoral degrees and has written more than 20 books for teenagers and parents alike. Dr. James Dobson says "Joe White knows more about teenagers than anyone in North America." Joe and his wife, Debbie-Jo, reside in Branson, MO where they oversee Kanakuk Ministries.

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