ON THE RADAR: Thanksgiving amid the distractions

by Shawn Hendricks, posted Monday, November 21, 2016 (5 years ago)

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Get a sneak peek of a few of the stories Baptist Press is working on this Thanksgiving week.

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Shoppers probably wouldn't know that Thanksgiving is this week judging by all of the Christmas decorations already up in most stores. Many retailers rolled out the jingle bells and strings of lights before trick-or-treaters barely had an opportunity to try on their costumes.

It almost seems like society doesn't have much time for giving thanks these days.

But a new study released Nov. 15 by LifeWay Research shows that most Americans are thankful for family and God -- 88 percent are thankful for their family and nearly two-thirds of those surveyed give thanks to God on Thanksgiving. This week, Baptist Press will run a variety of feature articles spotlighting the holiday and Southern Baptists sharing their stories of thankfulness.

"The blessings that matter most are the ones money can't buy," noted Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, in the report.

Stories to watch for

Following is a list of Thanksgiving-related stories that are on the Baptist Press radar this week:

-- A closer look at the roots of the Thanksgiving holiday and whether those pictures of smiling pilgrims and Native Americans sitting around a table filled with food are more myth than reality.

-- The impact of Baptist children's homes across the U.S. and how they are helping families and those among the most vulnerable. As a foster parent who is working with the Tennessee Baptist Children's Home, I have a personal appreciation for these ministries. My wife and I have seen firsthand how they are working hard to make a difference in the lives of children and families every day.

-- Pastor's wife Lauren Chandler shares why she remains thankful after overcoming the pain and anxiety of two miscarriages and the struggles that came when her husband, Matt Chandler, discovered in 2009 he had a brain tumor. Chandler leads The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas.

-- Read about the stories of immigrants and refugees who have fled oppressive regimes. And hear why they embrace the tradition of Thanksgiving and are grateful to live in freedom.

-- And Baptist Press will continue its ongoing coverage of state Baptist annual meetings. For those who have attended these meetings, most will tell you that these gatherings are often like large family reunions where Southern Baptists around the state get together each year to hear reports of missions and ministry.

According to the reports we've published so far, it appears Southern Baptists continue to have a lot to be thankful for. These conventions -- despite a variety of financial challenges -- continue to sacrifice and find a way to use the resources they have to start new ministries and church plants throughout their states and around the world.

We hope you find all of these stories a refreshing slice of what's happening around the country. It truly is something to be thankful for.

Shawn Hendricks is editor of Baptist Press. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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