That not-as-commercialized holiday that rests between Halloween and Christmas is almost here. Thanksgiving is rooted in four things: food, family, football and food! I’m a big fan of all four.

I’m thankful, thankful for big things like God’s grace and small things like the leaves that still cling to the tree outside my window right now. When I count my blessings, people come to mind - lots of people:  family, friends, co-workers, and co-laborers. Like Paul, as he paused to give thanks in Philippians 1:3-4, “I thank God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”

Unfortunately, such gratitude smacks against the wall of self-reliance raised in our American culture. Messages about doing it all on our own, and being strong and tough and persevering abound, not only for men, but also for women. When a woman finds herself in the position of being a single mom raising a son on her own, most people look the other way and tell her to just carry on.

Young boys learn a lot from their mom, but the value of a male model can’t be understated. After my father died, my mom, no matter how well intentioned and hard she tried, could not fill the void on her own. A teenage boy looks to men in his quest to determine what it means to be a man. A teenage boy needs to hear the story of other men’s journey to manhood. 

It takes a village – all of God’s family – to turn boys into great men. If you’re a man who cares about boys in their transition to manhood, become a mentor with Young Knights. There are many boys on the South Side of Chicago counting on you. Sign up here to learn more or start the process.

And if being a mentor isn’t where God is leading you right now, that doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sideline. For just $25/month you can play a significant role in a boy’s life by becoming a Turn One sponsor. In the coming weeks watch for more information and a special invitation!

Like many of you, I will fully enjoy food, family, and football this Thanksgiving! But I sincerely pray for more for all of us, for a day filled with thanks and for gratitude to naturally express itself in our giving back to God and others.

Thanking God for you and your partnership in the gospel,