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OUT TO PASTOR: Another turkey in the oven

Thanksgiving is always my favorite time because the focus of Thanksgiving is food.

Nobody loves food more than I do. I am always anxious for our Thanksgiving dinner to come.

This year I had a bit of apprehension before Thanksgiving.

The kitchen is just next to the living room, and I was in the living room taking a little snooze, and just as I was waking up, I heard from the kitchen, “I’m going to put that turkey in the oven today.”

I didn’t hear the conversation leading up to that phrase, but it was a little troublesome. Was I in trouble? What did I do to get in this kind of trouble?

My goal for the day was to find out why she would stuff me in the oven. Then, maybe I could figure out how to avoid that kind of a encounter.

Throughout the years, I know I have been somewhat of a turkey. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it has been referred to me quite often by The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. But the resemblance I have with the turkey is above my pay scale.

Cautiously, I got up and tiptoed out to the kitchen, and looking at my wife, I said, “Is there anything I can do to help you?”

Looking at me suspiciously, she asked, “What did you have in mind?”

“Anything,” I said, “that would help you getting our turkey ready for Thanksgiving.”

Looking at me for a moment she burst out laughing. Then she said something that has troubled me to this very day.

“You want one turkey to help another turkey?”

I had no idea what she was talking about, and for the life of me, I refused to ask her what she meant. If I would’ve asked her what she meant, the chances are pretty good she would’ve told me. If I had known what she meant, I probably would have been in deep trouble.

Slowly, I went back into the living room and set in my chair to ponder what had just happened.

I then heard from the kitchen, “Yes, he said that.” Then, there was a burst of laughter.

I wished I knew who she was talking to.

Despite this negativity, I decided I would live this Thanksgiving time with a great deal of positivity.

After all, it might be my last Thanksgiving.

It’s easy to get down about something, particularly if you don’t have all the facts. I often hear somebody say something and misinterpret it because I don’t hear everything they say. That can get a person like me into trouble.

I can’t recall all the times I got in trouble with The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage because I didn’t hear everything she said. She often tells me, “I know, my dear, you can hear but can’t listen.”

She’s right on that one. 

It has cost me a lot down the years not being able to listen. I can hear words, but sometimes I misinterpret them to mean something altogether different and what they mean.

That was a little over a week ago, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the family. The turkey on the table was very delicious. I don’t think I’ve had a better turkey all my life.

Cautiously, as I took a bite of that turkey, I glanced over at The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. I was trying to find out a clue as to what I heard on the telephone this past week. She was paying me no attention and just enjoying the family around the table.

The next day, after it was all over and all the family had gone home, I sat in the living room relaxing and watching a little TV. On my mind was that turkey we had yesterday. Then, a thought just got a hold of me at that time.

I thought that the center of our Thanksgiving dinner was the turkey. Everybody was talking about the turkey and how delicious it was. That got me thinking about my situation.

If the Thanksgiving turkey is the center of our family get-together, perhaps when my wife refers to me as a turkey, it means I’m the center of our family. That never occurred to me before. I didn’t want to test it with The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, I thought better.

Sometimes, what you don’t hear can be a blessing.

Thinking about this later that day I was reminded of what Jesus said. “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given” (Mark 4:23-24).

I have an obligation to listen to what I am hearing. This has a degree of obedience that is important in my Christian life. I will be held accountable to what I am hearing. That means it is important to hear everything. If I miss a word I could get the whole thing wrong which would have consequences in my life.


Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone is (352) 216-3025, e-mail is, and website is

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