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Thanking God for Everything

Nov 20, 2022 Ephesians 5:20

Ephesians 5:20 says we should be, “…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Is it possible to give thanks for all things?

To pretend that all things are good would mock God. Murder, cancer, and divorce are not good. So how can we thank God for these things? Because God is good. (See James 1:172 Samuel 22:31.) It’s all right to ask questions, but always assume the goodness of God.

“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). God is sovereign, and causes all things—bad or good—to work for good, for those who love Him.

Here are seven good things that trouble may bring for you. You can thank God for them:

Correction

“For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives….No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:611).

God loves us enough to correct us. King David wrote, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Psalm 119:67). If trouble brings correction, should you not thank God?

Dependence on God

The Apostle Paul was highly gifted with grace, as well as intellect and influence. Paul’s temptation was to depend on himself.

God blessed Paul with a vision. He was caught up into the third Heaven and saw things not lawful for a man to utter. But then, Paul said, “Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me…I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

Your greatest strength is God. But when we sail through life without difficulties, we tend not to depend upon Him. Blessings can become a curse unless God allows us to have trouble that brings us to Him. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). If your anguish causes you to depend upon God, can’t you thank Him for it?

Testimony

It may be that deep sorrow gives you the greatest testimony.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

God is the source of comfort, God comforts us in all tribulation, and God allows us to comfort others with the same comfort we received from Him.

The Apostle Paul, sitting in a dank, miserable prison, waiting to be executed, said, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).

Satan once said something like this to God, “The only reason Job serves you is because he has never had trouble.” (Read Job 1:9-11.)

God replied, in effect, “You don’t know my servant, Job. He loves me not because of what I’ve done for him, but because of who I am.” (Read Job 1:12-22.)

If trouble and pain cause you to have a stronger testimony, if trouble is a platform for God’s grace, can’t you thank Him?

Maturity

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

“…His purpose.” What is God’s plan for you?

Health and wealth? Sorry—no.

Service and usefulness? Yes, God wants that, but that is not His highest plan for you.

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29a). God’s plan is to make His children like Christ Jesus. Christ-likeness is maturity.

In difficulty, we learn patience. You won’t be a mature child of God until you learn patience. (See James 1:4.) And the only way to learn patience, or endurance, is to have something to endure.

So if God is using trouble to make you more like Jesus, can’t you thank Him?

Glory

Most of us ask, Why me, Lord? The Apostle Peter said, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified (1 Peter 4:12-14).

Do you want the Spirit of glory and of God to rest on you? Do you want a fiery trial? Peter says it is the fiery trial that brings the Spirit of glory upon us. If your trouble and pain cause you to know this glory, then for God’s glory, can you not thank Him for it?

Mystery

Maybe you are thinking, these reasons all sound good, but they don’t fit my case. Here is one that will: mystery. Some things, you will never know. Preachers may never be able to explain it to you. Why?

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

God lets you know enough to obey Him.

Job said, in effect, “God, I wish there were somebody to argue my case to you. I don’t understand!” (Read Job 23:3-5.) But Job still obeyed. Even when Job’s wife said, “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9), Job said, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 10). Ultimately, Job concluded about God, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).

We don’t have to understand all things in order to thank God. Not all things are good, but God is good.

Eternal Victory

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

Paul is saying in this passage that the glory offsets the suffering. He is not saying that the glory will be just as good as the suffering is bad. He says the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory.

If these seven things are true—and every one is—then can we not, in everything, give thanks?

https://www.lwf.org/articles/thanking-god-for-everything

VIDEO ‘Devotion’ highlights sacrifice of Christian Naval pilot Jesse Brown, seeks to ‘honor’ today’s military

By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Assistant Editor

Jonathan Majors, left, and Glen Powell in a scene from “Devotion.” | Columbia Pictures

This article contains spoilers about “Devotion.”

“Devotion,” the stunning aerial drama starring “Top Gun” actor Glen Powell, singer Joe Jonas and more, tells the true story of Jesse Brown, a Christian naval aviator who lost his life in service to his country, and seeks to honor the men and women serving in the armed forces, the film’s cast and crew has said. 

Based on the book by Adam Makos, “Devotion” follows the true, yet little-known story of Brown (Jonathan Majors) and Thomas Hudner (Powell), two elite Navy pilots during the Korean War. 

Brown, a devoted husband and father, was the first African American aviator to complete the U.S. Navy’s basic flight training program and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. While serving in the Korean War, Brown and Hudner developed a close friendship — a bond that would prove to be stronger than the class and racial divides of early 20th century America. 

Directed by J.D. Dillard, “Devotion” highlights themes of sacrifice, loyalty and honor — traits that Brown, who was the first African American naval officer killed in the Korean War, exhibited throughout his life.

“Jesse Brown, for multiple reasons, has come to be my hero,” Majors told The Christian Post. “He offered me an opportunity of a lifetime to really strive for excellence, and to really push through adversity in an art form that I love and cherish and am extremely devoted to. And to bring them to the screen, and to tell his story and to be the mouthpiece for this brief time — his legacy is extremely important to me.”

“Each step of building Jesse was a learning experience for me: Jesse’s a father, Jesse’s a husband, he’s an American, he’s a Christian. He’s all these things, but ultimately, he’s a teacher, And so to bring his story, along with Thomas Hudner’s legacy, to the screen is just monumental.”

By highlighting the heroic sacrifices made by those in the Korean War, often called the “Forgotten War,” “Devotion” seeks to make today’s service members feel “seen and valued,” Powell, who also served as an executive producer on the film, told CP.

“I’ve always loved what the military means because it’s service for a higher call; it’s a sacrifice for something greater than yourself,” the “Top Gun” actor said, adding that “devotion” means “endless sacrifice; doing something that’s not necessarily in your best interest, but something that’s right, something that represents your ideals, and what you want to leave.”

“The military members that we’ve shown this movie to have been overwhelmed by it because I really do feel like it embodies what it is to be a naval aviator, what it means to be a service member at large, and what that sacrifice actually is, and how to vocalize it in a very nuanced, complex and very truthful way,” he said. 

Rated PG-13 for strong language, some war action/violence, and smoking, the “Devotion”  cast additionally includes Christina Jackson, Joe Jonas, Thomas Sadoski, Daren Kagasoff, Nick Hargrove and Spencer Neville.

Jonas, whose song “Not Alone” is featured in the film, told CP that while the film has plenty of incredible aerial footage and suspenseful war scenes, it’s full of relatable human emotion, highlighted in the tender relationship between Brown and his wife, Daisy, and their young daughter. 

“We all can think of people in our lives that serve or have served or grandparents, and it really hits home for a lot of us,” he said. “There’s also a lot of emotion. There’s a lot of time with Jesse Brown and Daisy in their house and the conversations they had, and I think it could be a bit reflective of what conversations would go on at home before somebody would go out and you go, OK, ‘I’ll see you later, I’ll see you tomorrow, I’ll see you when I see you.’ And I think that’s relatable.”

For Dillard, “Devotion” felt like a personal story: His own father was an African American naval aviator, and the film follows some of the challenges Brown experienced as the first Black man to complete the U.S. Navy’s basic flight training program. For example, he shares, his commanding officer refused to pin his lapel wings at graduation. 

“My dad was 30 years behind Jesse, and maybe there would be no story of my dad without Jesse’s first,” Dillard said. “But even with that time difference, they shared a lot of commonalities, they had a lot of the same experiences. So you know, it’s so rare that you get to reach into your life so specifically when you are making something, when you are writing or directing something, but to have a tie … I’ve never cried more on a movie set. It definitely hit deep.”

Sadoski, who plays Hudner and Brown’s commanding officer, stressed that while “Devotion” is centered on the Korean War, it’s a film about people, rather than about “events or war.” That, he said, is a “really important distinction that too often gets overlooked.”

“I think that outside of the service community, as a society, we accidentally tend to fetishize our service members, and we fetishize conflict, and we forget the human toll,” he contended. “It’s why you see so many issues with homeless veterans when we live in a society that has so much to give. To be able to be a part of a movie where the humanity of the people involved is not just recognized, but is the highlighting point of the story is it’s important, it’s worthwhile, and it makes this project very special.”

While fighting, Brown’s aircraft was shot down by Chinese infantry, landing him in deep snow behind enemy lines. Despite the advice of those around him, Hudner intentionally crash-landed his plane next to Brown’s, risking his own life to save his friend. 

Despite his best efforts, Hudner was unable to save Brown, and a navy helicopter was forced to take Hudner away, leaving behind Brown’s body. Neither Brown’s body or his airplane were ever recovered, despite Hudner’s efforts to bring them home. 

The cast hopes that “Devotion” will re-ignite efforts to bring Brown home and honors members of the military, reminding them that the sacrifices they and their family members make are not forgotten.

“We see you, we honor you, and we thank you,” Sadoski said. “We see you as people, not just as your job, and understand the service and the sacrifice, and what it meant for the Brown family to have to say goodbye to Jesse and what it means … for us to try to get him back … Jesse has not been repatriated. So what it means for us as a society to continue to work to bring Jesse home.”

“And if the film does that, then that’s enough for us to be proud of,” Jonas added.

​​”Devotion” hits theaters Nov 23. 

DEVOTION – Official Trailer (HD)

‘Devotion’ Cast on How Film Tells the “Story of People, Not Events” | TIFF 2022

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: leah.klett@christianpost.com

https://www.christianpost.com/news/devotion-highlights-sacrifice-of-christian-pilot-jesse-brown.html

VIDEO “I Wonder What Would Happen If”… – Hobbs Ties To FTX – AZ County Chairs Object To Certification – Call To Action

Neil Oliver asks “I Wonder What Would Happen If”…

November 26, 2022 | Sundance 

Jumpin’ ju-ju bones, Neil Oliver is going to that place publicly and loudly, that many of us have contemplated and discussed quietly with hushed tones and knowing nods.

What Oliver outlines in this monologue does not need much discussion amid the audience awaiting its arrival.  After all, he is basically discussing the logical consequence to the current state of political affairs not only in the U.K but also in the United States.  However, that said, it is rather remarkable in the era of government sponsored fear of rebellion, complete with labels of domestic extremism attached, to see Oliver’s voice bravely citing the outcome.

With 87,000 new IRS agents authorized by the regime quietly assembling for their assault, as Oliver notes, “there is nothing to fear if we have each other” and are willing to stand the gap as an ally for our fellow man.  What Oliver is saying is profound, true and could – in the most significant of ways, lead to a new beginning.  Yes, it is talk of a united rebellion, and that’s exactly what we need.  WATCH: 

[Transcript] – People write to me every day to tell me they fear the future. People from all over the world, all ages, all walks of life. I say this: we should not be afraid. If anyone should be afraid it is our government, the whole of parliament, the State and the Establishment. They should be afraid because they are in the wrong – doing wrong things and behaving unforgivably.

You can tell they are afraid by the way they keep doing more and more, faster and faster, to make the people poor, cold and hungry – also demoralised, anxious and fearful about the present, never mind the future. The fear felt by people around the world is the deliberate consequence of the actions of so-called leaders all across the West and beyond.

I say again, we should not be afraid. Those plotting and working against us, against our interests both as individuals and as sovereign states, have no power and no money other than that which we, the people grant them. They are supposed to use that power and money to protect us, to keep us free and to provide opportunities for those hard working, free people to make happy and successful lives for themselves. Instead, they are working night and day to have us welcome a state of being that is nothing less than digital enslavement.

Many of the people who contact me ask:

What should we do? How can we fight back?

I think about the answers to those questions all the time. Right now, I wonder what would happen if those who are cold in their homes – millions of people – just turned on their heating and turned off their direct debits and standing orders. What would happen if, when the bills came, we all just agreed to toss them on the fire? All of us together? What would happen, if millions of us, peacefully acting as one just stood together in quiet defiance? I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s enough cells in the prisons, enough judges to hear the cases. If the system wasn’t already broken – by them – such actions would break it.

What would happen if we all withdrew our money from the banks on the same day? What would happen if we all asked, as we are entitled to, for the cash? The banks don’t have the money to meet all those demands and so presumably they would close their doors. Then what? Would their inability to pay out all that cash be evidence of the fraud that is fiat money? I wonder.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the social contract – that notion by which we surrender power to the state in return for services and safety – is broken beyond repair. They broke it, not us. Successive governments – not just the present bunch of cardboard cut-outs … have, over decades, knowingly and deliberately betrayed every aspect of that contract. It is null and void and we, the blameless party, are no longer bound by its conditions.

We the people – the sovereign people of this country – don’t just hold the power: we ARE the power. We loan some of it – a short-term loan – to governments. And those governments are supposed to serve us, do our bidding. NEVER the other way round. We tell them what to do.

Hundreds of years’ worth of governments has quietly and secretively presided over a financial system that is no more than state-sanctioned fraud. Power to create money out of thin air was put in the hands of an entirely private, unelected, unaccountable business and this power has been abused to make a tiny group unimaginably rich by enslaving all of US with debt. That system is now on the point of collapse. The West is bankrupt, and governments and bankers are scrambling to solve a problem: how to subtract every last shekel from the people while still having a handful of wealthy bankers, and their enablers, left over.

Britain has no functioning border against the rest of the world. Hundreds are arriving in this country every day and night, many ferried across the Channel by agencies paid for by British taxpayers. British people have to wait longer for health and social care and accommodation – to make way for economic migrants with their eyes on a soft touch, who have paid illegal gangs thousands of pounds a head to get here. They send their luggage on ahead and collect it at their hotels. We are at the back of the queue while anyone else, from anywhere else, is looked after hand and foot. And always the loudest calls are not for stopping it, but for more money and faster processing. I wonder if the illegal immigration isn’t just convenient for the State … softening up the citizens for a supposed solution … like digital ID perhaps? And then borders open once and for all. I wonder.

The British people are no longer kept safe by the police force they pay for. Burglaries of properties and assaults on the person are barely investigated, while officers prioritise thought crimes on social media. Uncounted thousands of little girls are abandoned to organised gangs of rapists up and down the country, because the State turned a blind eye to the relentless raping of children rather than ruffle community feathers.

A tenth of the population is on the waiting list for treatment by the NHS. The National Health Service is not keeping the nation healthy. All this about free at the point of delivery is about as much use as a magic spell. You can call a lunch a free lunch – but you’ll still be left hungry if you can’t get into the restaurant. So-called free steaks won’t fill you up if you have to wait so long in the queue you starve to death in the meantime. Free becomes another word for something you’ve heard about but can’t have.

I say again, though – we have nothing to fear. Not if we decide to be unafraid. In many ways, the worst has already happened: we have been shown where we stand, in the eyes of the State – which is beneath their contempt.

I don’t have the answers to all of the questions, but I know this much – even just asking them, airing the thoughts, should make the government, the State, the Establishment – sit up and pay attention.

More and more strikes are happening – rail workers, teachers and university lecturers, nurses next. What about the self-employed who were abandoned for the last two years? They can’t strike. What would happen if they withheld their taxes, all at the same time? I wonder.

But history tells us we should never underestimate the power of the many.

Just over a hundred years ago, during World War I, thousands of workers were pulled into the City of Glasgow to work in the munitions factories. At that time there wasn’t a single council house or flat in the whole of Britain. Private landlords owned 100 percent of homes for rent. They could and did raise rents as often as they wanted. Tenants either paid up or were evicted.

In February 1915, landlords across the city told tenants their rents were going up by as much as 25 percent. This was against a backdrop of the steeply rising cost of living generally, food scarcity and the rest. There was a war to win – remember – and sacrifices were expected from the people if the enemy was to be defeated.

In the case of many homes, the man of the house was away fighting in the war, leaving just women and children.

Into this crisis for poor people stepped Mary Barbour, an ordinary Glasgow woman with two children. She and others realized their only hope lay in sticking together. A mass non-payment campaign got under way. Arrears built up and soon Sheriff’s Officers were turning up to demand back rent or to evict non-payers.

But whenever anyone got wind of an eviction, hundreds of women would descend on the address and block the entrance to the home. A Glasgow MP, Willie Reid, described a typical incident:

“A soldier’s wife in Parkhead, had an eviction notice served on her, with a warning that if she failed to vacate her house by 12 noon the Sheriff’s Officer would call to enforce it. The strike committee got busy. They instructed every mother in the district with a young child to be there for 11 am on D-Day, complete with prams.

“Long before noon the close and street were packed with prams, and every pram had at least one youngster in it. No raiding party could have got near the house. Moreover, the men of Parkhead Forge and other works in the district decided to down tools at 11.30 am and lend a hand if necessary…”

People began to talk about Mary Barbour’s Army. On 17 November, 18 tenants appeared in court for eviction. Tens of thousands of Glasgow people lined the streets outside. In the end, on 25 November 1915, rents were frozen at pre-war levels. The Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest Act 1915 was passed and some elements of it remained in force as late as 1989.

I wonder what would happen if all of us … opposed to what is going on now … came together like those Glasgow women of 1915 – AND JUST SAID NO.

I wonder.

When thinking about that time, I am reminded of real leaders. I’ve been talking again this week about Ernest Shackleton who, when all seemed lost – his ship sunk beneath the Antarctic ice and with nothing but flimsy tents, three little boats, and 28 men trapped on the pack ice and depending on him for life itself he said,

“Well … now we’ll go home.”

Our so-called leaders tell us our lives must be filled with hardship while they warm themselves in centrally heated homes paid for with our taxes … and look forward to Christmas parties and food and drink and decorations paid for by all of us. That is not leadership. That is an abusive relationship.

Shackleton put himself through every hardship he expected his men to endure. He did it first and for longest. What he asked of them, he did too. He said they should leave behind on the ice anything that would not help keep them alive.

Some saying he walked to a hole in that ice and dropped in his gold watch and cigarette case, to the bottom of the ocean. He led from the front, every step of the way and over nearly a thousand miles of the cruelest sea on earth. And in the end, he got every man home.

They called him The Boss.

He cared not a jot for the comforts of home. Back home once more he wrote:

“We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down and grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole.”

He was a leader who saw that it was shared endeavor and shared striving that made all else possible.

Our leaders? … our leaders would pick our pockets for any gold watches and valuables before climbing aboard their private jets and flying home, leaving us behind on the melting ice.

I say we owe them nothing – not our loyalty and not our obedience. If we continue to comply, we build our own prison around ourselves, for their benefit.

They have promised us the earth while stealing it from us – raping and pillaging its resources only for their own enrichment. I say again, there is nothing to fear if we have each other.

Here’s the thing: if we set a course for ourselves and back each other every step of the way, we will cross this ocean of darkness together, all the way to where we want to be. [Transcript End]

BUSTED! Katie Hobbs Tied To Money From FTX Funded PACs

By Jordan Conradson November 27, 2022

Bankrupted cryptocurrency exchange FTX now appears to have played a role in Arizona’s stolen midterm election after funneling millions of dollars into Phoenix-based Protect Our Future PAC.

In a stunning and impossible upset, Democrat Katie Hobbs allegedly ‘defeated’ extremely popular conservative Kari Lake in the midterm gubernatorial election.

Katie Hobbs did not campaign, did not have a major following, did not hold rallies, and refused to debate.

Hobbs’ victory was pulled off by disenfranchising Republican voters who chose to vote in person.

TRENDING: BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: TGP Caught Corrupt FBI Inserting Docs during Mar-a-Lago Raid to Make Trump Look Bad – But Now They’re Gone!

We reported on how FTX has gone bankrupt and how it was one of the top donors to Democrats over the past few years. At least $40 million was donated to the Democrats from FTX.

According to FEC reports, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried also gave 27 million dollars to a Phoenix-based PAC tied to Democrat activist and consultant Dacey Montoya, who is listed as treasurer. According to a report by AZ Free News, “The Money Wheel, Montoya’s consulting firm, received over $134,500 from February to early July from the Protect Our Future PAC.”

The Money Wheel also received $114,500.00 from the Katie Hobbs campaign and $372,427.25 from Mark Kelly’s campaign.

Dacey Montoya has shown support for both candidates on Twitter.

AZ Free News reported,

Not only did Protect Our Future PAC receive $27 million from FTX CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried — this PAC was the primary beneficiary of his contributions by far. The PAC treasurer is Dacey Montoya: a name that appears frequently throughout the Democratic dark money network. In the recent past, Montoya also chaired the Way to Lead PAC and Not Our Faith PAC, both organizations that received major funds from Democratic dark money funders like George Soros.

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Bankman-Fried’s millions came via four payments from February to June: $9 million on February 4, $4 million on March 15, $10 million on April 14, and $4 million on June 13.

It appears that Montoya received a good cut of Bankman-Fried’s millions. The Money Wheel, Montoya’s consulting firm, received over $134,500 from February to early July from the Protect Our Future PAC. Protect Our Future and The Money Wheel share the same business address. Her consulting firm often gets paid from the PACs she oversees.

The PAC registered with the FEC in January of this year. Bankman-Fried’s millions account for 94 percent of the PAC’s revenue. Another $1 million came from another FTX executive, Nishad Singh, also on February 4.

Montoya’s other PAC, Opportunity For Tomorrow, contributed nearly $195,000 to the FTX executive-backed PAC. One other major contributor was Everytown For Gun Safety Action Fund, the PAC arm of the gun control organization founded by major Democratic donor Michael Bloomberg.

The Phoenix-based PAC only put $1.26 million back into Arizona through its independent expenditures committee (IEC). From there, the money can’t be traced.

The remainder went to Democratic PACs and candidates in other states, primarily ad campaigns to benefit congressional and state legislature candidates in Oregon, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, California, New York, and New Jersey. According to the PAC’s website, the primary reason for the PAC is to elect candidates focused on preventing pandemics.

The only Arizona candidate to which Bankman-Fried contributed directly was Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07): $5,800 in March.

Bankman-Fried also contributed thousands to two other Arizona-based PACS. He gave $5,000 to Guarding Against Pandemics, another Phoenix-based PAC with Montoya serving as treasurer. Bankman-Fried also gave $5,000 to a Phoenix-based PAC sponsored by recently-defeated Congressman Tom O’Halleran’s (D-AZ-01) campaign.

Investigative reporter Natalie Winters discussed this finding on Bannon’s War Room.

Maricopa County Refuses to Provide Documents to the Head of the GOP in Arizona Regarding Election

By Joe Hoft November 26, 2022

Despite rampant corruption on election day in Maricopa County, the corrupt Board of the County refuses to address requests for information.  

The numbers from the ballots counted after the election make no sense.  With over 80% of those on election day being Republican or independent votes who more than likely voted for the GOP candidates, the Democrats picked up 50% of the votes.  This was basically impossible and clearly leans towards massive Democrat election fraud.

After the election, it took days to count the votes.  Many who observed the election mess believe the election was stolen and yet the country shrugged them off.

TRENDING: BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: TGP Caught Corrupt FBI Inserting Docs during Mar-a-Lago Raid to Make Trump Look Bad – But Now They’re Gone!

Now the County refuses to answer questions.

How did this large GOP county get so corrupt?

URGENT ACTION ALERTS FOR TODAY

+++Read to the end for Action Alerts+++

Maricopa County Meeting 11/28 @ 9:30 am

 We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! If you didn’t see our Thanksgiving Thank You post to all the amazing volunteers and donors that are working hard to keep AZ free, check it out HERE.

For a holiday week,

we’ve accomplished quite a bit!

✅ The Arizona Attorney General sent a demand letter to Maricopa County describing the discrepancies and failures of how they operated the election. The letter says they received hundreds of cases sent to their Election Integrity Unit.

✅ Senator Kelly Townsend served Maricopa County with a subpoena backing up the AG’s demand letter with additional items commanded to be presented to her by 9:30 am on 11/28 — the day certification is required to occur.

These two actions are important because they may define the words “audits” and “discrepancies” in the Election Procedures Manual on page 254 which is the standard the Board of Supervisors should meet before they certify.

See the graphic below to learn more:

Late this afternoon, Maricopa County published a letter to the Attorney General’s Office that the advice Supervisor Chairman Bill Gates gave to voters in a video with Recorder Stephen Richer on Election Day telling them they could leave the vote center after having checked in and go somewhere else would result in them only being able to vote a provisional ballot which the County would later reject.

We regard this as blatant voter suppression!

In the same letter, they also admitted to breaking the chain of custody listed in the statutes, but they essentially say the statutes are antiquated so they didn’t follow them.

Maricopa County has not responded to Sen. Kelly Townsend’s subpoena, yet.

Here are a few other actions that have taken place this week in case you missed it:

  • 11/22 – Maricopa County GOP and AZ GOP also submitted a public records request to the County Attorney’s office. They received a reply that the County will reply to the public records request after certification.
  • 11/22 – AG candidate Abe Hamadeh filed a lawsuit against all of the counties which seems like it’s an injunction against certification which will be heard 11/28 at 2 pm. AG candidate Kris Mayes files a motion to dismiss.
  • 11/23 – Kari Lake filed a lawsuit compelling Maricopa County to comply with public records requests.

  • 11/25 – All 15 County GOP Parties and the Arizona GOP sent a letter to Maricopa County stating the blunders and violations of their election management requesting they do not certify the election as it cancels out the votes of the other 14 counties who did operate elections according to law.

  • 11/27 – Gail Golec, an elector, files a lawsuit against numerous parties calling for the election to be nullified and a revote to be ordered.

Now let’s get into the calls to action for the week.

1) If you couldn’t vote because of the chaos or your vote wasn’t counted, please make sure you to to our website EZAZ.org and follow the 4 action steps to make sure you are able to file a complaint before the canvass tomorrow.

EZAZ.org

2) If you had a bad voting experience and weren’t able to vote, please consider completing our survey on your voting experience.

Voting Experience Survey

3) Please consider attending the Maricopa County Board of Supervisor’s meeting in person TOMORROW, Monday, Nov. 28th at 9:30 am at 205 W. Jefferson St in Phoenix.

You can also submit a public comment via email at agenda.comments@maricopa.gov.

To learn more, go to maricopa.gov.

4) There are a number of things different levels of government can do to hold Maricopa County accountable.

The Legislature can file a Writ of Mandamus with the courts to compel Maricopa County to comply with the subpoena before certification.

Contact Senate President Karen Fann at kfann@azleg.gov or (602) 926-5874 if you would like her to consider filing a writ of mandamus.

Chairwoman Sen. Kelly Townsend could file a 1487 with Attorney General Brnovich asking him to clarify:

  • If Maricopa County’s checkout process violated the law
  • If Supervisor Bill Gates telling voters they could leave after checking-in suppressed their vote
  • If Maricopa County breaking the chain of custody because they find the law is antiquated broke the law

Contact Sen. Kelly Townsend at ktownsend@azleg.gov or 602-926-4467.

Gen. Brnovich can take action in response to the County’s letter with an injunction on the certification or a number of other responses.

Contact Gen. Brnovich

THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS!

Thanks to your donations, we were able to contact over 120,000 voters and inform them of their right to file a complaint with the AG’s office!

This not only led to the first demand letter from the AG to Maricopa being able to happen but our website tracking shows over 5,500 hits came from those text blasts directing them to the AG’s complaint form🙌

https://www.ezaz.org/so/15OIwkFMk?



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Pizzagate Exposed: Part 1

First column in a series exposing the truth about Pizzagate

Liz Crokin Jan 15

I want to start my Pizzagate series by establishing the fact that pizza has been a known pedophile code word used by predators to operate hidden in plain sight for many years.  In October of 2016, when the Podesta E-mails were released, the Urban Dictionary actually had defined “cheese pizza” as child porn.

At that time there were two definitions of pizza as a code word for child porn – one from 2010 and one from 2015.  So it’s important to note these definitions were established long before the Podesta E-mails were released.  Shortly after the release of the Podesta E-mails, which were littered with the word pizza in a context that did not make sense for the word to be used as food or even a code word for some other nefarious activity such as illegal drugs, the Urban Dictionary scrubbed those definitions.  As someone who researched Pizzagate immediately after the Podesta E-mails release, I saw the alternative definitions of cheese pizza as child porn on the Urban Dictionary’s site with my very own eyes before it was scrubbed back in 2016.  Luckily, nothing on the Internet is lost forever.  Many researchers archived these definitions. However, the fact these items were scrubbed should go to show you what great lengths the Cabal went to in order to hide the true meaning of these code words from the public. The Deep State not only controls the media but also much of the information flow on the Internet which has made it almost impossible for the average person to discover the truth about any of their dark secrets.

However, despite a complacent media and extreme censorship, there’s plenty of open source evidence available proving that pizza and other words are indeed pedophile code words.  For example, in October of 2017, federal prosecutors announced that a corrections officer had been charged with receiving child pornography.  Prosecutors arrested Stephen Salamak in Lodi, New Jersey after he posted on Craigslist that he was looking for women and moms that were “into Cheese Pizza”. 

The criminal complaint, posted on the Department of Justice’s website Justice.gov, read: In or about May 2017, a law enforcement officer working in an undercover capacity (the “UC”) responded to a Craigslist personals advertisement placed by SALAMAK entitled “Woman/Moms that are into Cheese Pizza” which sought to connect with mothers who were “into perverted topics.” The report continued: In or about July 2017, law enforcement officers executed a lawfully obtained search warrant on an email address that SALAMAK provided to the UC (the “Gmail Account”).  A review of the emails contained in the Gmail Account revealed that SALAMAK communicated with multiple individuals regarding an interest in pedophilia and child pornography.  The most important part of the report is here: “During and after the search of the residence, and after being advised of his Miranda rights, defendant SALAMAK admitted to law enforcement officers, among other things, in substance and in part, that: (1) he placed the Craigslist advertisement referenced in paragraph 2 above and that ‘Cheese Pizza’ was a reference to child pornography.”  So here you have a child predator admitting to law enforcement on the record that he used “Cheese Pizza” as a reference to child pornography which is the same definition identified by the Urban Dictionary years prior.

It should be noted that some mainstream media outlets did cover this story.  The New York Post’s headline on this story read: “Man Busted for child porn after ‘cheese pizza’ Craigslist post.

CBS Philly reported: Prosecutors say an undercover officer first made contact with Salamak after he posted on Craigslist that he was looking for moms “that are into Cheese Pizza,” a reference to child pornography.  I’m referencing these mainstream media articles to highlight that the same mainstream media that’s hysterically reported that Pizzagate is a “debunked conspiracy theory” has also reported that pizza, in fact, is a pedophile code word used by child predators. 

Another instance occurred on June 7, 2019, when tech reporter Peter Bright was charged with soliciting sex from minors. Bright attempted to solicit sex from a 7 and 9-year-old via their mother who actually was an undercover agent. In those exchanges, Bright admitted to molesting an 11-year-old girl. Here’s what’s important to note. Bright used the handle @DrPizza on Twitter. Furthermore, Bright had mocked Pizzagate truthers just a year prior in a tweet stating: Yes, apparently pizza is now the international symbol of pedophilia (?) because pedos like to advertise they’re pedos (?)

The answer is yes – pedophiles do like to advertise that they’re pedophiles.  In fact, they actually often brazenly flaunt and brag about their criminal sexual perversion to children. Bright also described himself on his Twitter profile as “pervy”. These details are important to point out and remember in order to understand how these predators have operated so long unnoticed. You must look into their psychology.  Child sex offenders have been throwing their crimes against kids in our faces for ages. They think the public is too stupid to catch on to their underground networks and secret language. So they arrogantly gaslight and mock anyone who dares to call them out. I’m singling this incident out because it’s a microcosm of the bigger picture. These tactics are the norm for these criminals. We see this kind of behavior with not only low-profile predators but also with some of the most powerful abusers out there including politicians, celebrities and many other elites.

Pizza is just one example of a word that’s used as code by pedophiles. There’s a whole language of code words and symbolism that predators dish out constantly. They not only use code words to hunt for minors online but they also flaunt these words as a nod to other offenders to let them know they’re part of their sick club.  In addition to code words, predators also use symbolism to identify themselves as pedophiles.  There’s also sometimes an occult aspect to the symbolism.  Many of these predators are active Satanists.  So their drive to abuse children is more than a sexual fetish.  Pedophile Satanists believe that they get power from their “God”, whether it be Baphomet or Ba’al or some other Satanic deity, if they engage in the abuse of a child in the form of a Satanic ritual which sometimes includes child sacrifice.  They also believe that they gain power from advertising their crimes even if it’s only in the form of wearing Satanic or pedophile symbolism in a piece of jewelry or decorating their house with art depicting child rape and torture.  They believe in free will and if you and I accept that they’ve announced who they are, even if it’s only through their symbolism and their art, they believe they get power from that.  This is what they believe and these are their rules, not mine.  The Illuninati code is truth in plain sight. 

When I first started to expose Pizzagate in 2016, naysayers often said to me that they refused to believe it’s true because no one would ever do that to a child.  In order to understand how these unimaginable crimes against children could be real, you have to accept that these people are not like you and I.  In fact, they’re the opposite of anyone who has their soul intact and is able to feel empathy for another.  These people are wired the complete opposite way good citizens of the world are wired. So something that would give a good-hearted person joy such as snuggling a puppy, the antithesis of that, torturing an innocent animal, gives them joy.  These people are demonic and they’re not human – not by our standards.  You have to accept that their wiring is a 180 degree counter to yours.  And as much as you and I can’t fathom ever hurting a child, that doesn’t mean that they feel the same way.  So to understand and process Pizzagate, you have to get it out of your head that they are like you and I.  You also have to come to terms with the fact that some of these predators include famous people that society is guilty of propping up on a pedestal.  No matter how nice or cool they’ve come off on camera in interviews on talk shows, giving speeches and meeting with fans – do not let that fool you.  Some of the most evil predators out there are famous and have managed to have the “nice guy next door” image in the public eye for decades.  It’s not uncommon for people who knew serial killers to say that they did not have a bad thing to say about that person nor did they notice anything was off with them before that criminal was apprehended and exposed.

In 2007, Wikileaks released an FBI internal memo that was circulated to the rank and file in the bureau identifying known pedophile symbols used by predators. 

Since 2016, the public has become way more aware of the usage of pizza and other words and symbols used as codes for pedophiles, and communities have started to take action to combat these monsters preying on children online. For instance, on August 29, 2020, Breitbart London posted a report titled Paedophiles Using Cheese and Pizza Emojis to Share Images.  A London-based group of over 100 parents, operating under the name PDProtect, warned that pedophiles are sharing innocent photos of children to pass around to predators on social media.  Many of these accounts were flagged using cheese and pizza emojis as code for “CP” – child pornography.

In 2020, a book titled A Handbook for Pedophiles was published online that had only been available on the dark web up until then.  The 170-page handbook advised predators on how to “tactically groom” their victims by creating a word of secrecy with them.  Pedophiles want to make the victim believe that secrets make things more magical for the child.  The book discusses the use of code words with the victim.  The code words are advised to use with a child victim to ensure the child’s silence – secrecy is imperative.  The code words are strategically used in case the child ever attempts to explain their abuse.  This leaves a parent confused and less likely to comprehend the abuse the child is attempting to explain.  So code words are used by pedophiles to not only to tip off other predators and to prey for children online – they’re also used with the child as a cover to confuse the child in case the victim ever attempts to report the abuse.

There’s also children’s books that groom children for abuse using the pedophile code word pizza. A notable one is Secret Pizza Party. In this book, children are encouraged to keep secrets.  Here’s an example of a passage from the book:  “I know what you’re thinking. Why would we keep such a delicious, delicious party a secret? Okay, sure.  It’s so folks don’t show up to bonk you with brooms, but that’s not the only reason. When you make something secret, you make it special.”

Remarkably, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio read this book to a group of children in April of 2016 at the Queens library.  The New York Daily News noted the strange choice of book the mayor chose to read. “When you make something secret, you make it special,” the article stated. “That was the bizarre lesson Mayor de Blasio – whose questionable fundraising tactics are at the center of an ongoing criminal probe – delivered Saturday to a group of children at a Queens library.”

It’s anyone’s guess why the Mayor chose to read this particularly creepy pedophile grooming book to children.  Perhaps he didn’t choose the book.  However, it should also be pointed out that a year after de Blasio read this book, one of his staffers was arrested for child porn.  In May of 2017, Jacob Schwartz was arrested for possessing thousands of images of child porn including a child as young as six months old performing sexual acts on adult men. 

Furthermore, Schwartz’s father, prominent Democratic attorney Arthur Z. Schwartz, showed up in the Podesta E-mails cc’d in a questionable e-mail with, you guessed it, the word pizza.  The e-mail had an encrypted photo labeled “pizza”. 

Other words speculated to be pedophile code words include: pasta, walnut sauce, hot dog, handkerchief and map.  I can’t verify the exact definitions of these pedophile code words.  This is partly due to the fact that different circles of pedophiles have different definitions of these code words.  The definition can vary for predators across geographical regions.  But what can be concluded with certainty is that not only is pizza a pedophile code word used by child sex predators – sometimes defined as child porn other times defined as child rape – it’s been used by law enforcement to bust child predators as I cited earlier referencing the Department of Justice’s report.

When you link all these facts together and understand the underground meaning of the word “pizza” it starts to paint a picture.  The truth is, the world is run by an elite group of pedophiles.  However, to understand this, you have to take all these tidbits and connections and lay them out together to truly appreciate how horrifyingly massive, powerful and real this occult trafficking network is.  This series is going to detail many connections, facts and hard evidence to help you understand the absolute truth about Pizzagate.  As George Carlin famously said, “It’s one big club and you ain’t in it.”

If you like my work, please consider subscribing to my Substack. Also, you can follow me on Telegram here: https://t.me/LizCrokinReport

https://lizcrokin.substack.com/p/pizzagate-exposed-part-1

Subsequent parts of the Five Part Series

https://lizcrokin.substack.com/p/pizzagate-exposed-part-2

https://lizcrokin.substack.com/p/pizzagate-exposed-part-3

https://lizcrokin.substack.com/p/pizzagate-exposed-part-4

https://lizcrokin.substack.com/p/pizzagate-exposed-part-5


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VIDEO Why Celebrate Advent – Tradition of Advent

November 25, 2022 | Menagerie

Advent is a season of preparation that has a two fold purpose. Advent begins with Evening Prayer I of the Sunday falling on or closest to 30 November and ends before evening prayer I of Christmas. We prepare ourselves not only for the coming joy of our celebration of the birth of the Christ child; we also prepare ourselves for the Second Coming of Christ.

For Catholics, Advent is the beginning of the new liturgical year. The seasons of that year have always led me on a journey with Christ each year, and I gain so much in the consistency of the seasons and readings. We begin with Advent, awaiting the birth of Christ, then celebrate the Christmas Octave and season, Epiphany, and then soon begins Lent, in preparation for Easter. Then, after the Easter season ends with Pentecost, we have the bulk of Ordinary Time until the end of the liturgical year, and Advent again.

The readings at Mass or Protestant Worship Service reflect these times in the life of Christ. They take us through his birth, baptism, ministry, Passion, Death, and Resurrection. I find Advent and Lent especially to be times that help me prepare to meet Jesus in deeper and more profound ways.

Many Christian denominations celebrate Advent, perhaps in ways a little different from those of us who observe a liturgical calendar and cycle. But the focus, the point, is to prepare for the coming of Jesus.

https://www.baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/advent-rediscovered-by-southern-baptists/

https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/the-beautiful-meaning-and-purpose-of-advent.html

The Tradition of Advent

Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!). Advent means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.

There are three meanings of ‘coming’ that Christians describe in Advent. The first, and most thought of, happened about 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us. The second can happen now as Jesus wants to come into our lives now. And the third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King and Judge, not a baby.

Advent Sunday can be from the 27th November (as in 2016 and 2022) to the 3rd December (as in 2017 and 2023). Advent only starts on the 1st December when Christmas Day is on a Wednesday (which happened in 2019 and will in 2024).

Advent calendar

No one is really sure when Advent was first celebrated but it dates back to at least 567 when monks were ordered to fast during December leading up to Christmas.

Some people fast (don’t eat anything) during advent to help them concentrate on preparing to celebrate Jesus’s coming. In many Orthodox and Eastern Catholics Churches, Advent lasts for 40 days and starts on November 15th and is also called the Nativity Fast. (Advent also starts on November 15th in Celtic Christianity.)

Recessional Detail, Historic Trinity

Orthodox Christians often don’t eat meat and dairy during Advent, and depending on the day, also olive oil, wine and fish. You can see what days mean now eating what foods on this calendar from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (goes to another site).

In medieval and pre-medieval times, in parts of England, there was an early form of Nativity scenes called ‘advent images’ or a ‘vessel cup’. They were a box, often with a glass lid that was covered with a white napkin, that contained two dolls representing Mary and the baby Jesus. The box was decorated with ribbons and flowers (and sometimes apples). They were carried around from door to door. It was thought to be very unlucky if you haven’t seen a box before Christmas Eve! People paid the box carriers a halfpenny to see the box.

There are some Christmas Carols that are really Advent Carols! These include ‘People Look East’, ‘Come, thou long expected Jesus’, ‘Lo! He comes, with clouds descending’ and perhaps the most popular Advent song ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel!’.

There are several ways that Advent is counted down but the most common is by a calendar or candle(s).

Advent Calendars

There are many types of calendars used in different countries. The most common ones in the UK and USA are made of paper or card with 24 or 25 little windows on. A window is opened on every day in December and a Christmas picture is displayed underneath.

In the 19th Century, German protestant Christians counted down to Christmas by marking 24 chalk lines on a door and rubbing one off every day in December.

Paper calendars were first popular in Germany in the early 1900s, although people made their own ones from the 1850s. There’s a debate about exactly where and when the first mass produced calendar was printed but it was in the first decade of the 1900s. The most famous and popular early maker of printed Advent calendars was a German printer called Gerhard Lang. His first calendars consisted of two sheets, a ‘back’ piece of card with the numbers 1 to 24 printed on it and a separate sheet of pictures which you could cut out and stick onto the numbers each day. The first calendars with ‘doors’ were made in Germany in the 1920s. During World War II, the production of Advent calendars stopped due to a shortage of cardboard.

When they were first made, scenes from the Christmas Story and other Christmas images were used, such as snowmen and robins, but now many calendars are made in the themes of toys, television programmes and sports clubs. The first record of an Advent calendar, in the UK, was in 1956.

The first calendar with chocolate in it was made in 1958; and in the UK Cadbury’s made their first chocolate calendar in 1971. However, they didn’t sell very many to start with. Chocolate calendars really only became popular in the 1980s.

Some European countries such as Germany use a wreath of fir with 24 bags or boxes hanging from it. In each box or bag there is a little present for each day.

There are also now all different types of Advent Calendars used to sell and promote different products including chocolate, perfumes, alcohol and beauty products. You can even get advent calendars for your pets with dog or cat treats in them! The world’s largest advent calendar was made in 2007 at the St Pancras Train Station in London, England. It was 71m tall and 23m wide and celebrated the refurbishment of the station. The most expensive advent calendar ever was made in 2010 by a jewellers in Belgium. It was made of 24 glass tubes each containing some diamonds and silver! It was worth about $3.3 million (€2.5 million | £2.1 million)!!!

You can also now get online Advent or ‘Christmas Countdown’ calendars and there’s one on this site. So during December, why don’t you visit the Online Advent Calendar and find out about something Christmassy each day!

Advent Candles

There are two types of candle(s) that are used to count down to Christmas Day in Advent. The first looks like a normal candle, but has the days up to Christmas Day marked down the candle. On the first of December the candle is lit and burnt down to the first line on the candle. The same is done every day and then the rest of the candle is burnt on Christmas day. I use one of these candles to count down during Advent.

Lutheran Churches in Scandinavia used 24 little candles to count down through December from the 1700s.

An Advent Crown is another form of candles that are used to count down Advent. These are often used in Churches rather than in people’s homes. The crown is often made up of a wreath of greenery and has four candles round the outside and one in the middle or in a separate place. Sometimes a more traditional candelabra is used to display the five candles.

One candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent, two are lit on the second Sunday and so on. Each candle has a different meaning in Christianity. Different churches have given them different meanings, but I was taught the following:

  • The first represents Isaiah and other prophets in the Bible that predicted the coming of Jesus.
  • The second represents the Bible.
  • The third represents Mary, the mother of Jesus.
  • The fourth represents John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, who told the people in Israel to get ready for Jesus’ teaching.

The middle or separate candle is lit on Christmas Day and represents Jesus, the light of the world. In Germany this fifth candle is known as the ‘Heiligabend’ and is lit on Christmas Eve.

In many churches, the color purple is used to signify the season of Advent. On the third Sunday, representing Mary, the color is sometimes changes to pink or rose.

https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/advent

Who Was King Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible?

The Powerful Babylonian Ruler God Humbled

King Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar II, king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned c. 605 BC – 562 BC. Lithography.adoc-photos / Getty Images

By  Mary Fairchild Updated on February 22, 2020

The biblical King Nebuchadnezzar was one of the most powerful rulers ever to appear on the world stage, yet like all kings, his might was nothing in the face of Israel’s One True God. 

King Nebuchadnezzar

  • Full Name: Nebuchadnezzar II, King of Babylonia
  • Known For: Most powerful and longest-reigning ruler of the Babylonian Empire (from BC 605-562) who figured prominently in the Bible books of JeremiahEzekiel, and Daniel.
  • Born: c. 630 BC
  • Died: c. 562 BC
  • Parents: Nabopolassar and Shuadamqa of Babylon
  • Spouse: Amytis of Media
  • Children: Evil-Merodach and Eanna-szarra-usur

Nebuchadnezzar II

King Nebuchadnezzar is known to modern historians as Nebuchadnezzar II. He ruled Babylonia from 605 to 562 BC. As the most influential and longest-reigning kings of the Neo-Babylonian period, Nebuchadnezzar conducted the city of Babylon to its height of power and prosperity.

Born in Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar was the son of Nabopolassar, founder of the Chaldean dynasty. Just as Nebuchadnezzar succeeded his father on the throne, so did his son Evil-Merodach follow him. 

Nebuchadnezzar is best known as the Babylonian king who destroyed Jerusalem in 526 BC and led away many Hebrews into captivity in Babylon. According to Josephus’ Antiquities, Nebuchadnezzar later returned to besiege Jerusalem again in 586 BC. The book of Jeremiah reveals that this campaign resulted in the capture of the city, the destruction of Solomon’s temple, and the deportation of Hebrews into captivity.

Nebuchadnezzar’s name means “may Nebo (or Nabu) protect the crown” and is sometimes translated as Nebuchadrezzar. He became an incredibly successful conqueror and builder. Thousands of bricks have been found in Iraq with his name stamped on them. While he was still crown prince, Nebuchadnezzar gained stature as a military commander by defeating the Egyptians under Pharaoh Neco at the Battle of Carchemish (2 King 24:7; 2 Chronicles 35:20; Jeremiah 46:2).

During his reign, Nebuchadnezzar greatly expanded the Babylonian empire. With the help of his wife Amytis, he undertook the rebuilding and beautification of his hometown and capital city of Babylon. A spiritual man, he restored the pagan temples of Marduk and Nabs as well as many other temples and shrines. After living in his father’s palace for a season, he built a residence for himself, a Summer Palace, and a lavish Southern Palace. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of Nebuchadnezzar’s architectural achievements, ranks among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The Wonderful city of Babylon
The wonderful city of Babylon with the Tower of Babel in the distance, and one of the Ancient Seven Wonders, the Hanging Gardens, is shown in this re-construction by Artist Mario Larrinaga. Built by King Nebuchadnezzar to please one of his wives.  Hulton Archive / Getty Images

King Nebuchadnezzar died in August or September of BC 562 at 84 years old. Historical and biblical records reveal that King Nebuchadnezzar was an able but ruthless ruler who let nothing get in the way of his subduing peoples and conquering lands. Important contemporary sources for King Nebuchadnezzar are the Chronicles of Chaldean Kings and the Babylonian Chronicle.

King Nebuchadnezzar’s Story in the Bible

The story of King Nebuchadnezzar comes to life in 2 Kings 24, 25; 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 21-52; and Daniel 1-4. When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in BC 586, he transported many of its brightest citizens back to Babylon, including the young Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, who were renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

The book of Daniel pulls back the curtain of time to show how God used Nebuchadnezzar to shape world history. Like many rulers, Nebuchadnezzar reveled in his power and preeminence, but in reality, he was merely an instrument in God’s plan.

God gave Daniel the ability to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, but the king did not submit wholly to God. Daniel explained a dream that predicted the king would go insane for seven years, live in the fields like an animal, with long hair and fingernails, and eat grass. A year later, as Nebuchadnezzar was boasting to himself, the dream came true. God humbled the arrogant ruler by turning him into a wild beast.

Archaeologists say a mysterious period does exist during Nebuchadnezzar’s 43-year reign in which a queen controlled the country. Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity returned and he acknowledged the sovereignty of God (Daniel 4:34-37).

Satue of King Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream
Colossal statue representing the rulers of the world, standing in a landscape of all the world’s kingdoms; hand-colored engraving, circa 1750. Titled ‘Colossus Monarchic Statua Danielis,’ based on Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream from Daniel 2:31-45.

Strengths and Weaknesses

As a brilliant strategist and ruler, Nebuchadnezzar followed two wise policies: He allowed conquered nations to retain their own religion, and he imported the smartest of the conquered peoples to help him govern. At times he recognized Jehovah, but his fidelity was short-lived.   

Pride was Nebuchadnezzar’s undoing. He could be manipulated through flattery and imagined himself on a par with God, deserving of worship.

Life Lessons from Nebuchadnezzar

  • Nebuchadnezzar’s life teaches readers of the Bible that humility and obedience to God matter more than worldly achievements.
  • No matter how mighty a man may become, God’s power is greater. King Nebuchadnezzar conquered nations, but was helpless before the almighty hand of God. Jehovah controls even the rich and powerful to carry out his plans.
  • Daniel had watched kings come and go, including Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel understood that only God should be worshipped because, ultimately, only God holds sovereign power. 

Key Bible Verses

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in Him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.” (Daniel 3:28, NIV)

The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.” Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. (Daniel 4:31-33, NIV)

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble. (Daniel 4:37, NIV)

Sources

  • The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated) (Third Edition, p. 692).
  • “Nebuchadnezzar.” The Lexham Bible Dictionary.
  • “Nebuchadnezzar.” Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 1180).
  • “Nebuchadrezzar, Nebuchadnezzar.” New Bible dictionary (3rd ed., p. 810).
  • “Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadrezzar.” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (p. 953).

https://www.learnreligions.com/who-was-king-nebuchadnezzar-in-the-bible-4783693

VIDEO ‘Out of Small Beginnings’: the True History of the Pilgrim Fathers and Our Founding Myth – I give Thanks For Living In America

Embarkation of the Pilgrims, painting by Robert Walter Weir (Library of Congress)
Library of Congress

REBECCA MANSOUR 24 Nov 2022

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation.” – William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 

“History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” – George Orwell, 1984

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If you want to undo a nation, you start by falsifying its history until no one remembers anything but the “endless present.” Thus, every Thanksgiving it seems like fewer Americans know the true history of this national holiday commemorating our nation’s founding myth. Few even understand the concept of a founding myth.

So, it has become a Thanksgiving tradition here at Breitbart News to tell the true story of our Pilgrim Fathers and the founding of their Plymouth settlement in 1620, an event which President John Quincy Adams described as the “birthday” of our nation.

In recent years, the history of the Pilgrims has become the plaything of left-wing and right-wing revisionists—that is, when the Pilgrims aren’t airbrushed out of our cultural memory all together.

According to the right-wing revisionists, the Pilgrims were a band of hippy socialists who nearly starved to death during their first winter in the New World due to their mindless embrace of Marxist collectivism, but then—in the nick of time—they embraced Hayekian economics and lived happily ever after as free market capitalists. This retelling of the first Thanksgiving as a libertarian morality tale is obviously false, but at least it comes from a place of love. The right-wing revisionists dislike socialism; so, in their telling, the Pilgrims are heroic because they’re anti-socialists. In truth, the Pilgrims weren’t socialists or anti-socialists, and they certainly weren’t libertarians.

If the only Thanksgiving revisionism we had to worry about was this harmless right-wing variety, I’d leave you to enjoy your turkey and pumpkin pie. But the left-wing revisionism does not come from a place of love. It’s driven by hatred and ignorance; and, therefore, it requires a full refutation.

The Pilgrims’ Progress from Heroes to Villains

The same wokesters who have been busy toppling statues are also unfairly maligning our Pilgrim fathers and reframing the history of the nation they founded in 1620.

The most radical and effective effort at this revisionism is the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which commemorates the year that the first ship arrived in the Virginia colony carrying African slaves. Recognizing the significance of the beginning of American slavery is certainly worthwhile, but the 1619 Project’s authors went beyond recognition and sought to “reframe” all of American history around the events of 1619. For this, they have been roundly criticized by historians who decry their many inaccuracies and revisionist interpretations (including, for example, their claim that the American Revolution was fought in order to preserve slavery in the colonies).

Most of the criticism has focused on the Project’s controversial claim (which was later scrubbed from the New York Times’ website) that 1619 is the year of “our true founding,” not 1620 when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth and planted the seed of our democracy that ripened in 1776.

In a Times op-ed rebutting the critics, Nicholas Guyatt argues that “the 1619 Project radically challenges a core narrative of American history” by refuting the notion that “the story of the United States [is] a gradual unfolding of freedom.” Instead, the Project’s authors “describe a nation in which racism is persistent and protean. White supremacy shapeshifts through the nation’s history, finding new forms to continue the work of subjugation and exclusion.”

In other words, they think Abraham Lincoln got it wrong when he said our nation was “conceived in Liberty.” They think it was conceived in racism.

New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’s “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” is displayed at a New York City bookstore on November 17, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

And with the push to incorporate the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory into school curriculums, these woke revisionists are hard at work rewriting our history one school kid at a time, just as they’ve been busy for years “reframing” the history of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving.

Ann Coulter gave an excellent summary of the woke interpretation of Thanksgiving: “As every contemporary school child knows, our Pilgrim forefathers took a break from slaughtering Indigenous Peoples to invite them to dinner and infect them with smallpox, before embarking on their mission to fry the planet.”

She’s not joking. America’s teachers have “begun a slow, complex process of ‘unlearning’ the widely accepted American narrative of Thanksgiving,” according to Education Week. To unlearn the “myth” of Thanksgiving, educators are seeking ways “to help students appreciate colonial oppression of Natives and the violence that ensued from it.” The article helpfully includes a video of PBS NewsHours’ Judy Woodruff explaining that the “quintessential feel-good holiday” of Thanksgiving actually “perpetuates a myth and dishonors Native Americans.”

The story of Thanksgiving fares even worse on college campuses, where students are taught that it should be commemorated as a “National Day of Mourning,” not a day off for food, family, and football.

“It’s kind of just based off the genocide of the indigenous people,” one student at Minnesota’s Macalester College told the College Fix a few years ago. “The history of the holiday is obviously not the best. It’s very violent and oppressive,” said another.

All of this is malicious nonsense. Shame on any educator spewing this garbage.

We know who the Pilgrims are and what they did because they meticulously documented their history for posterity.

Our Founding Myth

Our knowledge of the Pilgrims comes from two primary sources. The earliest account is from Edward Winslow, whose report on the founding of the Plymouth settlement was published in London in 1622, just two years after the Pilgrims arrived in the New World.

Engraved portrait of Edward Winslow with his signature, 1639. (Getty Images)

The more detailed and authoritative account comes from the Pilgrims’ second governor, William Bradford, whose poignant and eloquent history Of Plymouth Plantation, written between 1630 and 1651, tells the story of the community from their formation in England to their exile in Holland and their eventual founding of the Plymouth Colony.

Any fair reading of the primary source documentation will give you all the evidence you need to understand why we chose the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth as the date of “our true founding” and as the basis of our founding myth.

But before I examine that record, let me make clear what I mean by the term “founding myth.” To call an event a founding myth is not to denigrate it or to question its historical accuracy. The fact that Americans don’t understand this is an indictment of our education system, which no longer teaches the Classics (because learning Greek and Latin is apparently “racist” or something).

Our nation’s Founders understood the concept of a founding (or origin) myth in the same way the ancient Greeks and Romans did. A nation’s origin myth isn’t a falsification of history meant to deceive. Quite the contrary! It is a story rooted in history that reflects a nation’s most sacred values, rituals, and identity. To call something your founding myth is to state: This is who we were, this is who we are, and this is who we aspire to be.

An origin myth often describes the emergence of a new civilization out of the ashes of an older one.

Take, for example, the Aeneid, Virgil’s epic poem recounting the founding myth of ancient Rome. In one of the most memorable passages, Virgil provided us with a perfect reflection of the Roman concept of pietas, which means a religious and familial duty. Virgil described his hero, Aeneas, fleeing the burning city of Troy while holding the hand of his young son and carrying on his back his elderly father who is cradling in his arms their family’s household gods. In that beautiful tableau, Aeneas reflects all the values the Romans held most sacred: He is protecting his family and honoring his gods, as he flees the fall of one civilization and courageously sets out to found another greater one in Rome.

Aeneas flees burning Troy. (Painting by Federico Barocci/Galleria Borghese, Rome)

There is a reason why we chose the Pilgrims and their establishment of the Plymouth Colony in 1620 as our origin myth, not the Virginians who settled in Jamestown over a decade before that date. Our reasoning had everything to do with the Pilgrims’ lack of racism. Americans have always aspired to be on the right side of history, and the Pilgrims were nothing if not righteous.

Their story embodies our most sacred American values. Like Aeneas fleeing the fall of Troy, the Pilgrims saw themselves as fleeing a cataclysmic conflagration about to engulf Europe. And like the Roman hero, they too hoped to forge a new civilization with a spark from the dying embers of the old one.

This is exactly how John Quincy Adams viewed the story of the Pilgrims. In a speech in 1802 commemorating the landing at Plymouth, Adams described the Pilgrims as America’s origin myth; but unlike other nations, the heroes of our founding myth were clearly known to us by their historical record, and they were defined by their virtue, not by their conquest.

“In reverting to the period of [their] origin, other nations have generally been compelled to plunge into the chaos of impenetrable antiquity, or to trace a lawless ancestry into the caverns of ravishers and robbers,” Adams told his American audience. “It is your peculiar privilege to commemorate, in this birthday of your nation, an event ascertained in its minutest details; an event of which the principal actors are known to you familiarly, as if belonging to your own age; an event of a magnitude before which imagination shrinks at the imperfection of her powers. It is your further happiness to behold, in those eminent characters, who were most conspicuous in accomplishing the settlement of your country, men upon whose virtue you can dwell with honest exultation.”

What’s more, Adams explained that the Pilgrims were the antithesis of cruel or racist conquers seeking to vanquish and plunder. Instead, they “were illustrious by their intrepid valor no less than by their Christian graces … Their glory has not been wafted over oceans of blood to the remotest regions of the earth. They have not erected to themselves colossal statues upon pedestals of human bones, to provoke and insult the tardy hand of heavenly retribution. But theirs was ‘the better fortitude of patience and heroic martyrdom.’ Theirs was the gentle temper of Christian kindness; the rigorous observance of reciprocal justice; the unconquerable soul of conscious integrity.”

Who were these heroes who engendered such praise?

And why should this small group of English settlers be revered by Americans today who aren’t directly descended from them?

After all, unlike John Quincy Adams, I have no personal family connection to the Pilgrims. My family didn’t arrive on the Mayflower in 1620. They came from Lebanon on an ocean liner in 1913.

So why should Americans — diverse as we are today — call these English settlers our “Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers”? Why should we feel a kinship to them as if we were their children, when most of us don’t have a drop of their blood in our veins?

Let me tell you their story in their own words. You will see that we are all their children — whether we arrived on these shores in 1619, 1913, or were here all along.

And you will see why we chose their arrival as the date of “our true founding” and why that decision says everything about our progress as a nation.

Their story tells us who we were, who we are, and who we aspire to be.

Embarkation of the Pilgrims from England. (Painting by Robert Walter Weir/Library of Congress)

Saints and Strangers

The Pilgrims were devout Christians, and much like evangelical Christians today, these Englishmen and women sought to live by a simpler Biblical-based faith modeled after the early church of the Apostles.

They wanted to live as a community that worshipped and worked together, but England and its established Church enacted laws that forbade religious gatherings in private houses. These laws basically thwarted the Pilgrims’ ability to practice their faith as a community. So, in 1608, faced with the threat of imprisonment for their faith, the small community fled England and settled in Holland, which was known as a refuge for Protestant dissenters.

But after living a decade among the Dutch, they realized it was time to leave the Old World altogether. In 1618, Europe was on the cusp of one of the most violent periods in its history. The conflict, which became known as the Thirty Years War, would pit Protestant and Catholic European powers against each other. For the Pilgrims, the impending cataclysm seemed like the beginning of Armageddon. They felt that the best course of action was to leave the Old World behind and try to establish some holy remnant in the new one.

Getting there was the hard part. The small community was not wealthy. They were humble working class folks. They were pious husbands and wives with children seeking a place where they could worship in peace, not adventurers seeking treasure and conquest on behalf of a monarch. Nevertheless, the congregation pooled its resources and obtained a land patent from the Plymouth Company to settle in an area at the northernmost tip of the Virginia Company’s colony. They would eventually receive financing from London bankers who offered to back their venture with the understanding that the Pilgrims would repay these debts with their labors in the New World.

A merchant vessel called the Mayflower was charted for them, but the London financiers made it clear that the Pilgrims were not going to be the only passengers. The investors insisted that a rag tag crew of non-religious settlers—who the Pilgrims referred to as “the Strangers”—were also coming along for the ride, and that would soon become a source of awkwardness. But that was the least of their worries, really.

The Pilgrim Fathers boarding the Mayflower for their voyage to America. (Painting by Bernard Gribble/Getty Images)

The “Embarkation of the Pilgrim Fathers” from England in September 1620, as they commence their journey on the Mayflower to the New World. (Getty Images)

The Pilgrims’ embarkation on the Mayflower for America in 1620. (Getty Images)

By the time the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620, with 102 passengers onboard, they were setting sail way too late in the year for a successful journey. Trans-Atlantic sea voyages were a frightening and often fatal endeavor. It was comparable to going to the Moon or Mars. Even the best crossing was perilous, and that would be in springtime when the weather was more moderate. To set out in September meant they would be arriving in winter

But wait, it got worse…

The Mayflower at sea. (Getty Images)

After 65 days—and two deaths—at sea, the Mayflower made landfall on November 9, 1620.

“Having found a good haven and being brought safely in sight of land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries of it, again to set their feet upon the firm and stable earth, their proper element,” Bradford wrote of that moment.

But the jubilation was short lived. They soon discovered they were over 200 miles off-course. They were nowhere near Virginia. And what’s worse, it was almost winter—in Massachusetts.

“Having thus passed the vast ocean, and that sea of troubles,” the Pilgrims “had no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain and refresh their weather-beaten bodies, nor houses — much less towns — to repair to,” Bradford wrote:

As for the season, it was winter, and those who have experienced the winters of the country know them to be sharp and severe, and subject to fierce storms, when it is dangerous to travel to known places, — much more to search an unknown coast. Besides, what could they see but a desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men; and what multitude there might be of them they knew not!

…Summer being done, all things turned upon them a weather-beaten face; and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, presented a wild and savage view.

So, why didn’t they just turn around and head south for Virginia? Because the Mayflower’s captain told them that he couldn’t spare any more provisions. He needed to keep stores saved for his own return voyage to England. So, he told the settlers they had to shove off and muddle onshore as best they could because he wasn’t hanging around forever, and if they didn’t get a-move on, he might just dump them onshore and abandon them to the elements before they even had time to build a shelter.

Again, Bradford, writing in third person, explained the situation the Pilgrims found themselves in:

If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now a gulf separating them from all civilized parts of the world. If it be said that they had their ship to turn to, it is true; but what did they hear daily from the captain and crew? That they should quickly look out for a place with their shallop, where they would be not far off; for the season was such that the captain would not approach nearer to the shore till a harbour had been discovered which he could enter safely; and that the food was being consumed apace, but he must and would keep sufficient for the return voyage. It was even muttered by some of the crew that if they did not find a place in time, they would turn them and their goods ashore and leave them.

The Mayflower in Plymouth harbor. (Painting by William Formby Halsall/Library of Congress)

The Kernel of Our Democracy

A new conflict arose before they could even get started. They had no governing agreement binding them. Their charter was for Virginia, not wherever this place was.

The “Strangers”—who weren’t especially civil or pious—felt no allegiance to the Pilgrims or to each other. They figured it was every man for himself. (If anybody in this tale were libertarians, it was the “Strangers.”) But with winter setting in and with dangerously few provisions to speak of, the Pilgrims knew that if they didn’t all stick together, they would all die.

Edward Winslow explained what happened next:

This day before we came to harbor, observing some not well affected to unity and concord, but gave some appearance of faction, it was thought good there should be an association and agreement that we should combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose, and set our hands to this that follows word for word.

Thus, they wrote out and signed what became known as the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document of the Plymouth Colony—and the first document to establish self-governance in the New World.

Here are the words:

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great BritainFrance, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of EnglandFrance, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620

The signatures on the Mayflower Compact, including William Brewster, William Bradford, Myles Standish, and Edward Winslow. (Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1620. (Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris/Getty Images)

It was clear to them that the only thing binding them to this governing document was their own consent to be governed by it.

“What they did was enact social compact theory that had been sort of kicked around in Europe, especially in Britain, for a while,” University of Oklahoma historian and author Professor Wilfred McClay told Breitbart News. “They created a body politic out of the consent of those who were aboard the ship, and they had the foresight to realize they should and could do that.”

The Mayflower Compact wasn’t an elaborate political and legal charter establishing a system of government, like our Constitution. Nor was it a treatise establishing a governing philosophy, like our Declaration of Independence. It was little more than a paragraph. But within that paragraph we have the kernel of our democracy.

This true historical event, taking place nearly two centuries before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, embodied a fundamental American value: the belief that government is based on the consent of the governed.

Our First Dark Winter

Having signed a governing agreement, the Plymouth settlers then elected their first governor, John Carver. During their first forays ashore, the settlers discovered that the area was largely desolate.

In the years prior to their arrival, the population of the local Indian tribes had been decimated by civil wars and by a plague brought by European fisherman. The disease had wiped out whole villages, where the settlers found only scattered bones, left to the elements because no one survived to bury them.

They decided to build their settlement on the ruins of an abandoned Indian village called Patuxet, where once as many as 2,000 Indians had lived before the plague ravaged the area.

So, finally on December 18, 1620, with the Mayflower anchored a mile offshore, the Pilgrims came ashore in the bitter cold, with rain and sleet pouring down on them, to build their settlement.

The Pilgrim Fathers arrive at Plymouth. (Painting by William James Aylward/Getty Images)

The Pilgrim Fathers coming ashore for the first time at Plymouth. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. (Painting by P.F. Rothermel/Getty Images)

The landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1620. (1882 illustration by Howard Pyle/Getty Images)

The Pilgrims make camp at Plymouth Colony in December of 1620, as the Mayflower lies anchored in the bay and a Native American watches furtively from the trees. (MPI/Getty Images)

Is it any wonder that they lost over half their numbers that winter?

They were ill-equipped. The weather was impossible. Many of them didn’t even leave the Mayflower, and eventually the ship was turned into a makeshift hospital for the sick and dying. Those who settled in the village lived in constant fear of being attacked by hostile Indian tribes.

During the course of the winter months, so many members of the Plymouth Colony died that they were afraid to bury their dead lest the Indians realize how thinned out their numbers had become. At one point, they propped up the corpses against the trees surrounding the settlement and placed muskets in their arms to disguise the dead to look like sentries guarding the perimeter of the colony.

By the time March came around, the settlers were barely holding on, but the captain and crew of the Mayflower were ready to leave for the return voyage to England. This was a make-or-break moment for the Plymouth Colony. Would they survive on their own with their last tie to England gone and no hope of return?

Samoset and Squanto

At that providential moment, an Indian named Samoset of the Wampanoag Tribe walked into the Plymouth camp and astonished the Pilgrims by greeting them in English, which he had learned from his encounters with settlers from the Virginia Colony.

Samoset of the Wampanoag Tribe entered the Plymouth settlement and called out a greeting of “Welcome” in English. (Archive Photos/Getty Images)

The settlers learned from Samoset that this area was the Wampanoag Tribe’s territory, but the tribe had been so weakened by the plague that their leader, Massasoit, felt increasingly at the mercy of enemy tribes, who also happened to be the same ones menacing the Pilgrims.

As Winslow recounted:

[Samoset] discoursed of the whole country, and of every province, and of their sagamores, and their number of men, and strength. The wind being to rise a little, we cast a horseman’s coat about him, for he was stark naked, only a leather about his waist, with a fringe about a span long, or little more; he had a bow and two arrows, the one headed, and the other unheaded. He was a tall straight man, the hair of his head black, long behind, only short before, none on his face at all; he asked some beer, but we gave him strong water and biscuit, and butter, and cheese, and pudding, and a piece of mallard, all which he liked well, and had been acquainted with such amongst the English. He told us the place where we now live is called Patuxet, and that about four years ago all the inhabitants died of an extraordinary plague, and there is neither man, woman, nor child remaining, as indeed we have found none, so as there is none to hinder our possession, or to lay claim unto it.

Six days later, Samoset returned to the village with the Wampanoag leader Massasoit. After entertaining their visitors with food and sport, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags negotiated a mutually beneficial agreement. They would defend each other in the event of an attack by the hostile tribes. And later on, they would establish trade with each other. To help the settlers survive the next winter, an Indian by the name of Tisquantum, or Squanto, stayed with the settlers to show them how to plant their spring crops.

Circa 1621, Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag Tribe, pays a friendly visit to the Pilgrims’ camp at Plymouth Colony with his warriors, after signing the earliest recorded treaty in New England with Governor John Carver. (MPI/Getty Images)

Massachusetts and Virginia

Squanto’s story offers us a good opportunity to explain the difference between the Plymouth and Virginia colonies.

Squanto spoke English because in 1614, six years before the Pilgrims arrived, an expedition from the Virginia Colony led by Captain John Smith (of Pocahontas fame) charted the area around Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bay.

One of the commanders with Smith, a man named Thomas Hunt, decided to make extra money by kidnapping Indians and selling them into slavery. Squanto was among the victims Hunt trafficked to England, which is how he learned English. He eventually regained his freedom after his final captor, an English explorer named John Dermer, died during an expedition to the Wampanoag territory.

The tragic irony is that, had Squanto not been taken against his will across the ocean, he would have died with the rest of his village when Patuxet was wiped out by the plague. You see, Squanto was the sole survivor of the Patuxets—the people whose deserted village the Pilgrims had built their settlement upon.

And yet this man, who had so many reasons to curse the English, worked side by side with the Pilgrims that spring of 1621, showing them how to plant crops and assisting them in establishing trade with the surrounding tribes. Without his help, the Plymouth Colony would have failed.

Squanto (a.k.a. Tisquantum) of the Patuxet Tribe points out a coastal rock while serving as a guide and interpreter for the Pilgrims. (Kean Collection/Getty Images)

From their encounters with Squanto and the other Indians, the men and women of Plymouth came to respect the Native people and feel shame for the treatment they had endured at the hands of other Englishmen.

Historian Nathaniel Philbrick explains one encounter:

At Cummaquid they encountered disturbing evidence that all was not forgotten on Cape Cod when it came to past English injustices in the region. An ancient woman, whom they judged to be a hundred years old, made a point of seeking out the Pilgrims “because she never saw English.” As soon as she set eyes on them, she burst into tears, “weeping and crying excessively.” They learned that three of her sons had been captured seven years before by Thomas Hunt, and she still mourned their loss. “We told them we were sorry that any Englishman should give them that offense,” Winslow wrote, “that Hunt was a bad man, and that all the English that heard of it condemned him for the same.”

And that was just one tale of the atrocities committed by European explorers before the Pilgrims even arrived in the New World. In fact, even before hearing these tales, the Pilgrims were distrustful of the attitude of the other English settlers.

The title page of John Smith’s account his exploration of New England, published in 1616.

Before they left England, the Pilgrims were looking for a military commander for their settlement. By far the most qualified man for the job was Captain John Smith (again, of Pocahontas fame). No one knew the whole region better than Smith. He literally drew the map of it. But the Pilgrims didn’t like him. They found him arrogant and too worldly and figured they could just make do with his maps without hiring the map-maker.

The dislike was mutual; Smith despised the Pilgrim’s piety and later mocked their refusal to hire him. He dismissively described them as “humorists” (meaning religious fanatics) and wrote that the Pilgrims refused “to have any knowledge by any but themselves, pretending only religion their governor and frugality their counsel.” And he meant that as an insult!

Smith was right that the Pilgrims could have saved themselves a lot of grief if they had hired someone who knew where he was going. But in the end, the Pilgrims survived thanks to their fortitude, the grace of God, and the help of their new friends.

And, yes, they did indeed regard the Indians as their friends. As Winslow recounted that year, “We have found the Indians very faithful in their covenant of peace with us; very loving and ready to pleasure us; we often go to them, and they come to us.”

Far from being judgmental or superior to them, the Pilgrim Winslow described their Native allies as “a people without any religion or knowledge of God, yet very trusty, quick of apprehension, ripe-witted, just.”

Nearly two centuries later, John Quincy Adams would state that “no European settlement ever formed upon this continent has been more distinguished for undeviating kindness and equity toward” the Native Americans than the Pilgrims at Plymouth.

And that brings us to the Thanksgiving story.

Our First — and Most Expensive — Thanksgiving 

With the help of Squanto, the Pilgrims had a successful harvest in the fall of 1621. They had come through the first winter, after losing 60 percent of their group. But rather than mourn the 60 percent lost, they rejoiced that 40 percent still lived and gave thanks to God.

Bradford wrote:

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty.  For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees).  And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.

The famous Thanksgiving harvest feast that we’ve come to cherish is from Winslow:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after have a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain, and others.  And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

And there you have it! The Pilgrims gathered for a harvest feast, and the Wampanoags joined them and brought venison to add to the feast, which lasted for three days and included sports (no word on whether it was football).

Let the record show that this first Thanksgiving actually was a “quintessential feel-good holiday.”

And considering how much it cost them in death, suffering, and toil to get to that celebration, I think it’s fair to say that this first Thanksgiving was, in fact, the most expensive in our history.

The first Thanksgiving at Plymouth in 1621. (1925 painting by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe/National Museum of Women in the Arts)

Why Lincoln Chose 1620 to Rebuke 1619

So why did Abraham Lincoln choose to make this account of Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863?

Our origin myth was still a matter of some debate up until that time. Throughout the early nineteenth century, Americans hotly debated whether the nation’s founding should be celebrated as the Jamestown Colony in Virginia or the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. The decision to favor Plymouth was helped along by the rediscovery of Bradford’s beautiful diary, Of Plymouth Plantation.

Bradford’s manuscript had disappeared from the New World in 1777 when the last royal governor of the colony took it from the Old South Church in Boston and carted it across the Atlantic to England. He probably meant this as a final insult to the patriotic New Englanders who were reviled by the British as traitors and brigands fomenting rebellion.

The first page of William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation.” (State Library of Massachusetts)

For nearly a century Bradford’s manuscript was lost to Americans, until one Boston scholar happened to see a passage in another book quoting Bradford’s journal. He eventually discovered that the manuscript had been housed all that time in the library of the Bishop of London. (Yes, the irony — the Pilgrim Bradford’s journal was being held by a bishop of the very Church that forced Bradford’s persecuted community to flee from England.)

For decades, the Brits refused to return the manuscript to its proper owners in the United States. (They really know how to hold a grudge.)

But in 1856 the British allowed a special edition of Bradford’s journal to be published, and that inspired a renewed appreciation for the Pilgrims and their history.

The publication came right at a time when our nation was on the cusp of a great conflagration as bloody and catastrophic for us as the war that caused the Pilgrims to flee Europe. It was a fight over our most basic and sacred values: the right of all men—not just Englishmen—to live in freedom and enjoy the fruits of self-governance.

So, is it any wonder that in the midst of the bloodiest year of our Civil War—just one month before he delivered his Gettysburg Address—Abraham Lincoln decided once and for all that our nation’s founding should harken to Plymouth, not Virginia?

Of course, Lincoln chose to honor the ancestors of the New England abolitionists, not the rebellious slaveowners of Virginia.

On October 3, 1863, our 16th president declared that Thanksgiving would be commemorated as a national holiday every year on the last week in November in honor of the Pilgrim fathers.

In this sense, Lincoln chose the events of 1620 as our true founding in order to repudiate the events of 1619.

We chose the Pilgrims as our founding myth because they embodied our most cherished ideals. They were the best of us.

They endured despite the odds; and through trial and error, they established the principles of self-governance, private property, a common defense, and peaceful commerce as a means of coexistence. They even established the practice of religious tolerance and pluralism with the “Strangers” among them, who became friends.

John Alden with his wife, Priscilla (née Mullins), at the Plymouth Colony. Alden was said to be the first person from the Mayflower to set foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620. The couple married in 1622. (Painting by George H. Boughton/Getty Images)

What’s more, the decision to embrace the Pilgrims as our true founders was made at a time when Americans were most keenly aware of the scourge of slavery because they were fighting a bloody Civil War to eradicate it. These Americans understood that slavery was not just a moral blight; it was a deadly contradiction that we couldn’t live with and still pretend to uphold the self-evident truth that all men are created equal. The generation that suffered the most to abolish slavery chose the Pilgrims as our founders because the Pilgrims embodied the ideals that inspired them to free the slaves. They wanted us to know that our nation was founded on God-given freedom, not racism.

This sentiment was made clear in the speech Massachusetts Gov. Roger Wolcott delivered in 1897 at the official ceremony to accept the return of Bradford’s manuscript by England to its rightful owners in America.

The Plymouth settlement was “the birthplace of religious liberty, the cradle of a free Commonwealth,” Wolcott said:

In the varied tapestry which pictures our national life, the richest spots are those where gleam the golden threads of conscience, courage, and faith, set in the web by that little band [of Pilgrims]. May God in His mercy grant that the moral impulse which founded this nation may never cease to control its destiny; that no act of any future generation may put in peril the fundamental principles on which it is based — of equal rights in a free state, equal privileges in a free church, and equal opportunities in a free school.

Equal rights, equal privileges, equal opportunities – that is what Americans have always aspired to uphold. Conscience, courage, faith – that is what the Pilgrims stood for and what they prayed their descendants would stand for.

To honor the founding of Plymouth in 1620 is not to ignore the horrific history of American slavery that began in 1619 in Virginia. And to celebrate Thanksgiving is not to dismiss the atrocities committed against our Native communities, even sadly at the hands of the Pilgrims’ descendants. On Thanksgiving, we acknowledge that the Pilgrims and the Natives did, in fact, come together in peace in November 1621.

We celebrate their story—and the ritual reenactment of it with a turkey feast and prayers of thanksgiving—to acknowledge our highest aspirations, not to whitewash our history or minimize our mistakes. Thanksgiving affirms who we want to be because it commemorates who the Pilgrims actually were.

The National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The 81-foot-tall statue (center) was dedicated in 1889. The monument’s inscriptions include a dedication panel (left), a list of the Mayflower passengers (top right), and an inscription from William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation” (bottom right). (Wikimedia Commons)

“There is a kind of audacity about these people,” Professor McClay told Breitbart News. “The journeys were dangerous. The habitats into which they were coming were brutal. They lost many lives, and yet they had this sense—and [the Puritan leader John] Winthrop says it in his sermon—that they were on a mission from God, that ‘the eyes of all people are upon us’—which, when you think about it, this is like somebody going to the Moon—the dark side of the Moon—and saying, ‘The eyes of all people are upon us.’ Well, actually you’re on the Moon. Nobody’s watching! And yet they were so deeply committed to the vision of what they were doing, and that was the germ of what became ultimately a great nation.”

Actually, they knew that God was watching and all the future generations of their children.

And, yes, we are all their children.

In Of Plymouth Plantation, Bradford described the fateful moment when the Pilgrims realized that they had landed in an unsettled area and there was no way to turn back:

What, then, could now sustain them but the spirit of God, and His grace? Ought not the children of their fathers rightly to say: Our fathers were Englishmen who came over the great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice, and looked on their adversity.

… Let them therefore praise the Lord, because He is good, and His mercies endure forever. Yea, let them that have been redeemed of the Lord, show how He hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered forth into the desert-wilderness, out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord His loving kindness, and His wonderful works before the sons of men!

Amen. And Happy Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims going to church service. (Painting by George Henry Boughton/New York Historical Society)

The memorial to William Bradford on Great Island, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. (Photo: takomabibelot/Flickr)

Rebecca Mansour is Senior Editor-at-Large for Breitbart News. Follow her on Twitter at @RAMansour.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/11/24/mansour-out-of-small-beginnings-the-true-history-of-the-pilgrim-fathers-and-our-founding-myth/


Brigitte Gabriel Thanksgiving Message

Every day I give thanks for living in America, the dream that became my address!

Take a walk down memory lane as I share my story in a special Thanksgiving Day Message

Let’s give thanks together, knowing we have reason to hope and can count on one another, united in the cause of God, Freedom, and Country!  From my family to yours I wish you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!
Brigitte Gabriel

AUDIO All It Takes To Complain Is A Mouth!

By Rev Bill Woods

1 Thessalonians 5:18No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

In Budapest, a man went to the rabbi and complained, “Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?” 

The rabbi answered, “Take your goat into the room with you.”  The man in incredulous, but the rabbi insisted. “Do as I say and come back in a week.” 

A week later the man came back looking more distraught than ever.  “We can’t stand it,” he told the rabbi. “The goat is filthy.” 

The rabbi then said, “Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week.” 

A radiant man returned to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, “Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there’s no goat — only the nine of us.”

Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today.

Warren Wiersby illustrated this problem in his commentary on Colossians.  – He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad.

In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers.  

– In the process, his health was permanently damaged.

Years later at his funeral, it was said not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

1.  People love to grumble and complain.      

– It motivates us.                                                                                                                         .   – It doesn’t require any special talent — just a mouth!

There’s a story of a young man who was told by his doctor he had only 6 months to live. 

– In shock, the young man asked was there anything that could be done.

  – After all, he was still young and had many things left on his “Bucket List!”

The doctor thought and finally gave him a solution.

The doctor said find the ugliest, most cantankerous woman in the county and marry her. 

– Find a woman who’d incessantly nag and complain about everything he said or did.

Then buy the most beat-up old pickup truck he could find, preferably one that wouldn’t run all the time.

Then he needed a rundown apartment right in the middle of downtown Phoenix.

Somewhat skeptical the young man looked at the doctor and asked, “Doc, are you sure that’ll help me live longer?”     “Not at all,” replied the doctor,…”but it sure will make 6 months seem like a lifetime!”

A scientific study found complainers live longer. (At least it seems like it to those around us)  

– Apparently complaining gives a purpose to go on living. 

–  Wouldn’t it be better to find a more positive purpose?

2.  GRUMBLING AND GRATITUDE ARE LEARNED BEHAVIORS.  

– How we were raised influences us.

We’ve all seen a mom nudging a child saying, “What do you say?” and the child timidly says, “Thank You.”  – Maybe some believers need to be nudged with, “What do you say the nice God?”

Expressing our gratitude should be expected.  – Saying, “Thanks” is polite behavior.  

– Good manners are rare today.  

–  Can you remember when politeness was more common?    

–  Now when you do say, “thank you,” the response is, “No problem!……………..”

We expect people to be thankful to us — well, so does God! — 10 lepers

Luke 17:11-19
11  As they continued onward toward Jerusalem, they reached the border between Galilee and Samaria,
12  and as they entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance,
13  crying out, “Jesus, sir, have mercy on us!”
14  He looked at them and said, “Go to the Jewish priest and show him that you are healed!” And as they were going, their leprosy disappeared.
15  One of them came back to Jesus, shouting, “Glory to God, I’m healed!”
16  He fell flat on the ground in front of Jesus, face downward in the dust, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a despised Samaritan.
17  Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the nine?
18  Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?”
19  And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”

Faith healed not only the one leper who returned, but also the 9 who appealed to Jesus for pity — and then took off! – What will move us to stay close to Jesus?

What will move us to that obedience Jesus has just said is so critical?

A spirit of praise and thankfulness reminding us ever of all Jesus has done to heal us from the deadly disease of sin.

The Bible commands gratitude from us — Psalm 100:4-5
4  Go through his open gates with great thanksgiving; enter his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.
5  For the Lord is always good. He is always loving and kind, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation.
                                                                                                                        

Sort of like ordering us to love our enemies Luke 6:27
27  “Listen, all of you. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.
                                                                                       

Genuine gratitude is spontaneous, not forced.  – Yet spontaneity comes more easily to a disciplined heart.  – Thank Him even when you don’t feel like it.

Thanksgiving should be part of life — One time a year before a big turkey is tacky.

3.  CULTIVATE THE HABIT OF THANKSGIVING.  – Look for hidden blessings.

Paul said in Colossians 4:2 — Don’t be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God’s answers, and remember to be thankful when they come.

We complain about our gifts being different from what we’d choose if we could. – We complain about our looks, our brains, our popularity.

Not every gift would be good for us.    – Beauty can lead to vanity.   – Intelligence to pride.   – Strength to belligerence.

Forget all your problems and find God’s priorities.   – Being thankful often helps us see the bigger picture.

Jesus gave thanks for a meal just hours before His death  – He saw the bigger picture — John 13:3 — Jesus knew that the Father had given him    everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. And how he loved his disciples!

Your problems might even make you a better person.   –  We discover God’s Will for us in a special way — 1 Thessalonians 5:18 — No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

God’s Will can develop as we learn the habit of being thankful.

Thank God in the midst of adversity.

Is everything that happens to us wonderful?  – Of course not!  Much of it is the result of sin and selfishness. – Everything’s either good, or can be made good — Corrie Ten Boom (fleas).

“Barracks 8 was in the quarantine compound. Next to us–perhaps as a deliberate warning to newcomers–were located the punishment barracks. From there, all day long and often into the night, came the sounds of hell itself. They were not the sounds of anger, or of any human emotion, but of a cruelty altogether detached: blows landing in regular rhythm, screams keeping pace. We would stand in our ten-deep ranks with our hands trembling at our sides, longing to jam them against our ears, to make the sounds stop. “It grew harder and harder. Even within these four walls there was too much misery, too much seemingly pointless suffering. Every day something else failed to make sense, something else grew too heavy.” Yet, in the midst of the suffering, the women prisoners around Corrie and Betsie found comfort in the little Bible studies they held in the barracks. Corrie writes they gathered around the Bible “like waifs clustered around a blazing fire…The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.” When they were moved to Barracks 28, Corrie was horrified by the fact that their reeking, straw-bed platforms swarmed with fleas. How could they live in such a place? It was Betsie who discovered God’s answer: “‘”Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” That’s it, Corrie! That’s His answer. “Give thanks in all circumstances!” That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!’ “I stared at her; then around me at the dark, foul-aired room…” They thanked God for the fact they were together. They thanked God they had a Bible. They even thanked God for the horrible crowds of prisoners, that more people would be able to hear God’s Word. And then, Betsie thanked God for the fleas. “The fleas! This was too much. ‘Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.’ “‘”Give thanks in all circumstances,”‘ she quoted. ‘It doesn’t say, “in pleasant circumstances.”  Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.’ “And so we stood between tiers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong.” It turned out that Betsie was not wrong; the fleas were a nuisance, but a blessing after all. The women were able to have Bible studies in the barracks with a great deal of freedom, never bothered by supervisors coming in and harassing them. They finally discovered that it was the fleas that kept those supervisors out. Through those fleas, God protected the women from abuse and harassment.  Dozens of desperate women were free to hear the comforting, hope-giving Word of God.  Through those fleas, God protected the women from much worse things and made sure they had their deepest, truest needs met.

NOTE: we’re thankful “in” everything, not “for” everything.

Some of you are experiencing difficult times.   – Learn to depend on your Heavenly Father.

Thank Him for the help and encouragement you get from friends in this Church.   – Thank Him for being there to strengthen you in the hard places.

Keep a record of God’s faithfulness to you.  “Count your blessings” as the song says — list them in a journal.

Expressing gratitude increases our love.  – Being thankful shows we don’t take our gifts for granted and we don’t take the Giver for  granted. – People and God appreciate that.

Tell God “Thank You” in prayer, in your attitudes, and obedience and in your testimony to people    .   – Psalm 35:18 — Save me, and I will thank you publicly before the entire congregation,  before the largest crowd I can find.

We need to remind ourselves and others of the faithfulness of God.   – We’ll encourage others who are cynical or wavering when we give Him Glory. – Make a habit of expressing it to others. 

Tell your family you appreciate them.  – When was the last time you said, “Thank You,” to your wife or husband?    – I mean heart-felt thanks, not just for dinner.

Expressing genuine thanksgiving influences others. – In his book, Living Life on Purpose, Greg Anderson told a story of how one man finally recovered his joy.

His wife had left him — he was completely devastated and depressed. – He lost faith in himself, in other people, in God — he found no joy in living.

One rainy morning he went to a small neighborhood restaurant for breakfast.

Several people were in the diner — no one was speaking to anyone else.

One miserable friend hunched over the counter stirring his coffee.

A young mother and her little girl sat in a small booth by the window. – They’d just been served their food when the little girl broke the silence almost shouting, “Momma, why don’t we say our prayers here?”

The waitress who’d just served them turned around and said, “Sure, honey, we pray here.  Will you say the prayer for us?”

She turned and looked at the rest of the people in the restaurant and said, “Bow your heads.”

Surprisingly, one by one, the heads went down.

The little girl bowed her head, folded her hands, and said, “God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for our food.  Amen.”

The prayer changed the whole atmosphere.   – People began to talk to each other. – The waitress said, “We should do that every morning.”

The depressed man said, “All of a sudden, my whole frame of mind started to improve.  From that little girl’s example, I started to thank God for all that I did have and stop majoring in all I didn’t have.  I started to choose happiness.”

5.  GETTING BACK TO THE TRUE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING. – Put Christ back in Thanksgiving.

The 1st Thanksgiving was an act of worship for the Pilgrims.

Gratitude doesn’t always give immediate payback.

Whenever people give of themselves, they want results…………… – If they lay down life, they want someone’s life raised up. – If they empty themselves, they want someone to be filled.   – They want their sufferings to bear fruit.

If it doesn’t happen, they feel like just giving up. –  The refusal of the gift quickly becomes a reason not to offer it. –  Instead of leaning into resistance with love, they back off and say, “Well, we tried.”

The motive for offering love isn’t that it be successful.   – Christians want response, but they’re not bound to it.

We sacrifice for others because we’ve received sacrifice. – We’re the current generation of a long line of broken bodies and shed blood winning the  freedom and blessings we enjoy.

Christian sacrifice because we’ve received the greatest sacrifice of all — Jesus paying our sin giving us Salvation.

This Gift Christians have received, we should freely give.

We should join the living history in fulfilling God’s Dream for Eternity — John 3:16  
 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Make Thanksgiving an important part of your life. – With God and with others!

Remember, ALL IT TAKES TO COMPLAIN IS A MOUTH!

HOW MUCH BETTER IT WOULD BE IF WE LEARNED THANKSGIVING!


PODCAST ALL IT TAKES TO COMPLAIN IS A MOUTH!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/824359/11738605


There is Still Power in the Blood

Don't believe in the Devil? 

That's exactly where Satin wants you. He and his demonic hosts are working hard to deceive you because he knows his time is running out and he will soon be cast into the bottomless pit. One pastor told me to leave Satin alone because "If we leave him alone will leave us alone." That's dumb because he doesn't intend to leave you or your family alone. You must learn how to stand against him. 

In this book you will find how:

-Demons enter in the first place.

-How to be set free from demonic bondage.

-How to stay free.

-Pit falls Satin hopes you will fall into so he can destroy you and your family.

-How to have a close walk with Jesus Christ and enjoy victory in your life. 

Remember: THERE IS STILL POWER IN THE BLOOD!

https://www.churchofthegalilean.com/product-page/there-is-still-power-in-the-blood

Disembodied Fellowship

by Jacob Trotter  Monday, November 7, 2022

Is there a difference between assembling in person versus assembling online?

Last time, we argued that Scripture commands believers to assemble (Hebrews 10:25). But with the advances of modern technology, that command must be further elaborated. Why does it matter if we gather digitally instead of physically?

The answer to this question lies in biblical anthropology—the study of humanity.

Embodied Souls

To begin with, humans are not merely souls. John MacArthur writes, “God made human beings body and soul together. He ‘formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature’ (Genesis 2:7). We consist of an inner self and an outer self (2 Corinthians 4:16).”[1]

That is commonly called the “dichotomist” view of humanity. It simply makes the biblical case that humans are both material and immaterial at the same time. John affirms elsewhere, “The material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit) function together in one person, embracing both unity and diversity. This complex unity is conditional, since death in a fallen world separates body and spirit (James 2:26). Yet this separation is temporary, since all people are headed for resurrection, a reunion of body and spirit in eternal forms.”[2]

Early Christians defended this biblical perspective against a philosophical system commonly called Gnosticism. One writer summarizes it this way:

What [Gnostics] held in common was an understanding of the human being—an anthropology—that sharply divides the material or bodily, on the one hand, and the spiritual or mental or affective, on the other. For Gnostics, it was the immaterial, the mental, the affective that ultimately matters. Applied to the human person, this means that the material or bodily is inferior—if not a prison to escape, certainly a mere instrument to be manipulated to serve the goals of the “person,” understood as the spirit or mind or psyche. The self is a spiritual or mental substance; the body, its merely material vehicle.[3]

As you can see from the verses referenced above, the Gnostic body-soul divide flatly contradicts Scripture. Furthermore, it is incompatible with the fact that God called His own creation, encompassing both material and immaterial, “good” (Genesis 1:1012182125) and “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Nancy Pearcey explains,

The Bible proclaims the profound value and dignity of the material realm—including the human body—as the handiwork of a loving God. That’s why biblical morality places great emphasis on the fact of human embodiment. Respect for the person is inseparable from respect for the body. God could have chosen to make us like the angels—spirits without bodies. He could have created a spiritual realm for us to float around in. Instead, he created us with material bodies and a material universe to live in.[4]

Not only does the Bible teach that humans were created body and soul, it also teaches that we will remain body and soul for eternity.

Resurrection Bodies

We know that a bodily resurrection lies in everyone’s future because Scripture plainly says so. John MacArthur explains the danger of denying this truth.

This doctrine of bodily resurrection is absolutely essential to the Christian message. First Corinthians 15 is the definitive chapter on the subject. . . . To deny it is to embrace something other than genuine Christianity: “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (vv. 16–17).[5]

At death, the body and soul are separated (James 2:26Ecclesiastes 12:7). But in the resurrection, soul and body will be reunited once again. We have a living illustration of this reality in the resurrection of Jesus. John continues,

Christ’s resurrection body was the same body as before, not a whole new one. After he arose, the tomb was empty. The body itself was resurrected—the very same body, but in a glorified state. The wounds from his crucifixion were still visible (John 20:27). He could be touched and handled—he was not merely an apparition or a phantom (Luke 24:39). He looked human in every regard. He conversed a long time with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and they never once questioned his humanity (Luke 24:13–18). He ate real, earthly food with his friends on another occasion (vv. 42–43).

Yet his body also had otherworldly properties. He could pass through solid walls (John 20:19). He could appear in different forms so his identity was not immediately obvious (Mark 16:12). He could suddenly appear out of nowhere (Luke 24:36). And he could ascend directly into heaven in bodily form . . . (Luke 24:51Acts 1:9).

Our bodies will be exactly like that. They will be real, physical, genuinely human bodies—the very same bodies we have while on this earth—yet wholly perfected and glorified.[6]

Just as humans were created soul and body, they will be resurrected and glorified as soul and body for eternity. Again John explains,

Our ultimate perfection demands that both body and soul be renewed. Even the creation of a new heaven and earth demands that we have bodies—a physical earth calls for its inhabitants to have physical bodies. An honest approach to Scripture does not permit these realities to be spiritualized or allegorized away. Eternal life as a mere state of mind would defeat the whole point of many of the promises in Scripture.[7]

Disembodied Fellowship

Even though Scripture clearly teaches that man is made up of soul and body, proponents of the meta-church and virtual congregations ignore that fact. They do not despise the body as the Gnostics did, but they treat the body as at best unnecessary. This is an unbiblical view of mankind.

For example, The Christian Post promotes “a church that solely exists in the metaverse, which Facebook describes as ‘a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.’” The author adds, “Some technology experts say [online engagement] will continue to displace physical churches that refuse to adapt to the digital revolution.”

But as we have seen, to abandon a physical church is to abandon the physical component of humanity. So, whatever a digital assembly is, it is not a gathering of human beings. It may be an assembly of human voices, images, and avatars, but no humans—body and soul—are actually present. And we intuitively know this.

Any homebound believer can tell you there is a substantive difference between a phone call and a personal visit from their church members. Any married couple will tell you a video chat is different than a face-to-face conversation. Even the apostle Paul valued face-to-face meeting over other means of communication (Romans 1:9–121 Thessalonians 3:10; cf. 3 John 1:13–14).

Each of those examples bears witness to the biblical truth that God has made us body and soul together. To say we can be truly present without a body is like saying we can be truly present without a soul. But everyone who has attended a funeral understands that a body separated from a soul is not a fully present human being.

Serving Christ with Body and Soul

Throughout the centuries, Christians have defended the fact that we must worship God with our entire being—body and soul.

During the Reformation, the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) taught that our only hope in life and death is “That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ” (emphasis added).

More recently, Francis Schaeffer wrote,

Platonism says the body is bad or is to be despised. The only thing that matters is the soul. But the Bible says that God made the whole man, the whole man is to know salvation, and the whole man is to know the lordship of Jesus Christ in the whole of life. The great teaching of the resurrection of the body is not just abstract doctrine; it stands as a pledge and reminder of a very important and a very hopeful fact. It says that God made the whole man. God made man spirit and body, and He is interested in both.[8]

Behind each of these statements, of course, is God’s own Word. He commands Christians to both “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) and to “worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Corporate worship cannot overlook either reality.

Sadly, the meta-church encourages believers to “gather” in a false and incomplete way that ignores what human beings are. We live body and soul, we die body and soul, and we will be resurrected body and soul. To downplay this truth is to ignore the very purpose for which we were created: to glorify God body and soul (1 Corinthians 10:31).

https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B221107

Do They See What You See?

By gracelead

Elisha and his servant were surrounded by an enemy army, 2Kgs 6:8-17. This caused great distress for the servant. Elisha told him not to fear and that God’s army was greater than the enemy army. Then Elisha prayed, asking God to open the servant’s eyes to see things from His perspective. 

When you see things from God’s perspective and others can’t, try the following: 

  • Tell them not to fear. 
  • Remind them that God is in control. 
  • Pray, asking God to open their eyes to see things from His perspective. 
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