Greetings go out with the spirit of “thanks giving” from one of the finest and best cities in Oklahoma, with a “big heart.” As I went around seeing and visiting within Shawnee, this past week, the “Spirit” of thanksgiving was in the air. Everyone was wanting to make sure “no one was left behind” without a delicious dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

Greetings go out with the spirit of “thanks giving” from one of the finest and best cities in Oklahoma, with a “big heart.” As I went around seeing and visiting within Shawnee, this past week, the “Spirit” of thanksgiving was in the air. Everyone was wanting to make sure “no one was left behind” without a delicious dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

But, let me relate to all you newcomers to our city, where love, compassion, friendliness and sharing, abides, on a daily basis. As you go to the various churches, community organizations, civic events, and to shopping centers, you will see and hear about all the preparations and even be invited to one of these events.

I am sure the same scene is replayed in every city across America, because the USA stands for united we stand, all together, with the love of God in our hearts, which correlates what Christianity means.

While I am speaking on being thankful, how about some more good news in relation to the education system in Oklahoma. This past week an announcement went forth that “The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a think tank that provides research and analysis on education policy in the U.S., has rated Oklahoma’s school accountability system, included in the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, (a plan among highest in the nation) as ‘strong’ in a report released on November 14, 2017.

Now, Folks, that’s just another reason that all parents, grandparents and every other citizen in Oklahoma, that is interested in the education efforts in Oklahoma is providing what each student needs and receives. I think I will just stop, now, and say: “Praise the Lord for Oklahoma’s education system and educators.”

Let me ask you a personal question: “Are you going to be alone this thanksgiving? Are you involved in any church or organization? Do you have any family or friends in Shawnee that may invite you to come to their home and share their thankfulness and blessings with you?

Well, if you or someone you know are alone, with no family, or with no family living in this area, or if you know someone in that status, then make sure you go by the Salvation Army’s office, find out exactly when preparations will be in full force for their FREE community wide dinner. There is always a spot for more help in rolling the plastic ware eating utensils, or baking a pie or cake. For more information, you can call their office, 405-275-2243 or contact Officer Jamie by e-mail: JAMIE.CLAY@USS.SALVATIONARMY.ORG or go by their office, 200 East 9th Street, Shawnee.

Now, it is with concern for any of you that are living alone, and are lonely, to not sit there another minute, being depressed or crying because all of your family lives somewhere spread out across the USA! Have you ever met a beautiful, smiling, lovable red head, and I mean natural red head, named Kate Joyce. Well, if you have, you’ll never forget her warm personality or laughter! She is the director of the Shawnee Senior Citizens’ Center, and what a blessing for Shawnee.

You can contact Kate at the Senior’s Center, 401 North Bell Street, and if you are like I am, at our youthful ages, and new to this city, and can only recall your former address where you had lived for fifty years, well, it is just a block behind the Court House. If you want more information, you can contact Kate by Email: kate@shawneeseniors.org. or pick up the phone and call: 405-878-1528.

If none of the suggestions above grab you, well find out which church you want to attend, and I know nearly every church in Shawnee will be serving their church family with a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, with smiling faces everywhere greeting you and probably you would receive a lot of smiles and a few hugs, too! (Wow, some of us need a hug or two and definitely some smiling faces to warm our hearts and revive the joy years of maturity and loss of loved ones has caused to evaporate!)

Goodness gracious! Here I have just about shared everything I know about, well, not everything, but just enough to whip up your interest in knowing “someone cares!” So, all I can say is: “Don’t be lonely, come on down to the Senior Citizens Center and if the men want to play pool, dominoes or just sit and have a cup of coffee, chat or observe others, in a nice friendly, warm atmosphere, well come on down! Ladies, don’t forget, there’s card games and dominoes for you, too. Or if some of you don’t want to eat alone or don’t want to fix your own breakfast or lunch, or want to listen to some boot-scooting music on Tuesday and Thursday, 1-2:30 afternoons, well what in the world are you waiting on, COME ON DOWN!” Also, there’s good gospel music on Tuesday and Friday mornings at 10:30 am.

Well, I know there’s things for you to do and places to go, so get up and get busy and go do “your things,” ‘cause we’ll still be here when you are through, ‘cause I am just waiting to see you, meet all you newcomers and there will be someone ready to give you a whirl on the dance floor to some boot-scooting boogie-woogie; of course, if that’s your cup of tea!

Enjoy this week, I pray we all give “thanks” for our many freedoms and blessings, often in disguise, which we often forget about or overlook. Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!

Psalms 98:1a - “O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things.”