In the early 1600’s, a group known as the Separatists lived in England.
They were people who wanted to worship God, study the Bible and pray, but the English laws didn’t allow the Separatists to worship as they desired. They were to follow the laws or be silent.
They secretly worshiped, despite English laws.
They were hunted down, tormented, and locked up for months because they continued to worship as they chose.
Eventually, they learned they could worship like they wanted to in Holland — so they escaped to Holland.
They became known as Pilgrims.
They lived in Holland 12 years, but left because they couldn’t stand the hard life — or work their own trades and they were concerned because their children were forgetting their customs and heritage.
They hired two sea-going vessels, the Speedwell, and the Mayflower to cross the Atlantic to America.
In August both ships sailed from Southampton, England. However, the “Speedwell” proved not sea-worthy. .
After two attempts to make her seaworthy, both ships came ashore in Plymouth, England; they decided to abandon the “Speedwell” and use only the “Mayflower.”
Unfortunately, one ship couldn’t hold all those who wanted to go to America, so many were left behind.
The Mayflower crammed as many passengers on as possible.
The problems with the “Speedwell” put the expedition a month behind schedule.
The late start destroyed hope for good summer sailing weather.
The “Mayflower” sailed September 6, 1620, heading for Virginia, with 102 passengers and a crew of 20-30 under the command of Captain Christopher Jones.
The ship had 3-masts, weighed 180 tons, was 90 feet long, 26 feet wide and had 3 levels.
The Mayflower had been used to carry wine and was accustomed to heavy loads and heavy seas.
She seemed well equipped to make the voyage, but wasn’t particularly fast and the upper deck leaked in stormy weather.
They sailed for two months and three days, cramped and hungry.
The women slept in the Captain’s quarters and the men and the crew slept on the decks where they were exposed to the weather and spray from the ocean.
The fresh food lasted only a short time. After that meals consisted of gruel (a watery cereal eaten warm the first day and cold for two more days), dried or salted meat (sometimes fish), hard biscuits (called hardtack), and cheese — washed down with beer.
There were no sanitary facilities, except for buckets.
Personal hygiene suffered since washing was almost impossible.
Some passengers tried to use seawater to clean themselves — the crew made fun of them. The fresh water for drinking was carefully guarded.
At the end of September fierce storms and hurricanes blew the “Mayflower” far off course.
During one of those storms, one of the main deck beams cracked.
Luckily (or perhaps providentially) one of the carpenters’ tools on board was a “greate iron screw” that was generally used in construction of houses and barns.
Two or more men would turn it to get a heavy beam into the exact spot before it was fastened.
To repair the damage, the screw was placed under the cracked beam and used as a jack to move it back into place and supports were installed beneath it.
The ship was able to proceed on its way.
In November, Captain Jones sighted Cape Cod.
Knowing he was too far north, he turned south toward Virginia.
He ran into contrary winds so he turned back to find a safe harbor.
On November 11, the “Mayflower” anchored at the present-day location of Provincetown, Massachusetts — They’d been at sea for 66 days
For over a month, they sent men to find the perfect place to build their colony.
They finally found a place and named it Plymouth.
They started building homes and a Common house to meet in, knowing winter was near.
A violent storm hit before the houses were finished and they were forced to stay on the unheated Mayflower for their first winter in the new world.
It was March 21, before everyone moved to a shelter on land.
By then their numbers had dropped considerably.
52 died during the winter of 1620-1621 from starvation, cold, and disease — 50 survived.
One of the deadly diseases was known only as “the sickness.” (They had a cold)
At one point only 3 people were able to be up waiting on the rest.
Daily rations got down to 5 kernels of corn per person.
The terrible statistics of this first winter were: In December, 6 people died.
In January there were 8 deaths.
In February 17 people died.
In March, 21 died.
Frequently two or three died on the same day.
Four entire families were wiped out — only one family didn’t lose at least one member.
Of 18 married women, 13 died. Only 3 of 13 children died.
The mothers were probably giving their share of food to the children.
The Pilgrims feared Indians, even though none had been seen since their arrival.
They did all they could to hide the magnitude of their losses.
Burial services were conducted after dark.
Graves were leveled and planted with corn to conceal them.
The winter was, by local standards, a fairly mild one.
The Pilgrims weren’t used such an awful diet and being exposed to cruel, violent weather.
Had it been a really severe winter probably all of them would’ve died.
When the “Mayflower” was ready to return to England in April. 1621, Captain Jones offered to take any survivors with him at no charge — None took him up on his offer.
In the Spring an Indian named Squanto came to their village.
He spoke English — in 1614, Squanto was one of 20 Patuxet Indians kidnapped by the English explorer Thomas Hunt.
Hunt took his captives to Spain, where he sold them into slavery.
Squanto was one of several rescued by Spanish friars, he eventually made his way to England, where he worked for John Slaney, who had interests in exploration of the New World.
Slaney sent Squanto on an expedition to Newfoundland in 1617; where Squanto met explorer Thomas Derme, who took him back to England.
Squanto may have been an indentured servant to Slaney and Dermer.
He traveled again to the New World with Dermer in 1619, coming to the Patuxet region of his birth.
Squanto brought a friend, Samoset, who also spoke English.
Squanto and Samoset showed the Pilgrims where to fish, how to hunt deer, and how to plant corn.
Squanto lived with the Pilgrims for the rest of his life.
The 2 Indians translated for the Pilgrims with Chief Massasoit, of the Wampanoags, and other tribe members — a peace treaty was made between the Pilgrims and Indians that lasted 50 years.
With the help of the Indian tribes, there was plenty for everyone to eat that first summer, and also plenty to last for the next winter.
The Wampanoag Tribe contributed five deer to the feast.
The Pilgrims had so much to be thankful for — They gave thanks for good friends, new homes, freedom of religion, and plenty of food in a three-day celebration with their Indian friends.
All that was a history lesson — now let’s draw a few lessons from their story.
The Pilgrims had morals and convictions and stood by them.
Matthew 7:21-27–“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Build Your House on the Rock “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Our society’s filled with panty-waists that have compromised our convictions so much we no longer take a stand on morals or even know what to believe.
We’ve opened our arms to pre-marital sex, co-habitation, gay life styles, abortion on demand, marijuana distribution centers — you name it and we’ve compromised on it!
Our politicians are corrupt and lie to us, steal from us, pass laws that are a mockery, and misuse us and we just turn our heads like it doesn’t matter.
We’ve built on the sand and are in for a mighty crash!
The Pilgrims were determined to find a place to worship and serve God and let nothing deter them from that purpose.
Jeremiah 33:3—Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
They were willing to endure whatever hardships necessary to accomplish their goal.
Today, the slightest little thing can inconvenience us from serving God.
They established a government based on the Word of God and His Laws.
Our society has thrown God and God’s Word out of our schools, the courts, and the public arena.
Because the Pilgrims honored God, God helped them to take part in building a mighty nation.
We’re about to lose that Nation today because we’ve forgotten God.
Isaiah 60:12 — For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.”
Psalm 9:17—The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God!
Let’s commit to spending some time in prayer this Thanksgiving and not just spend our time eating a big meal and watching football.
This Thanksgiving let’s remember
2 Chronicles 7:14 — “If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
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!
Thanksgiving messages always seem to sound like such a scolding: we ought to give thanks.
Think about all the things you have and all of the other people who have nothing.
There, now: give thanks.
Don’t concentrate on what is missing; be grateful for what you have.
There, now: give thanks.
Ungrateful people are losers.
There, now: give thanks.
The problem: Guilt is a terrible motivation for giving thanks. When I read Bible passages instructing me to give thanks, it can sound the same way:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
On my grumpy days, I feel like talking back to the Scripture, “Don’t tell me to be happy! Do you think I could put it on from the outside?” (Here’s a happy-coat, why don’t you put it on?) And yet, giving thanks is the will of God. So if it’s the will of God, shouldn’t I simply try harder, be obedient, and say thank you?
For example, frequently we teach children to say please and thank you as a matter of courtesy—as a way of teaching them how to get along in society. It’s the price they must pay to get their milk and cookies. We’re more concerned with the outward performance of good manners than we are with true gratitude.
As we approach Thanksgiving in the United States this year, I’m beginning to discover there’s a difference between giving thanks and having a thankful heart. I’m also beginning to discover that the Father cares more about thankfulness that flows from the inside out than obedience we wear like a cheap suit.
Paul’s words in Thessalonians have something to teach us about the will of God: does the Father want outward compliance or a heart capable of expressing his will and doing it naturally? Of course, it’s always better to obey than not to obey, but I think he’s after more than mere obedience—he knows thankfulness is the best thing for us. He knows that when our hearts respond with prayers of joy and gratitude to the situations of life, we are responding out of Christlessness and not simply parroting the company line.
Rather than hearing thankfulness as a command, perhaps we can hear it as an invitation:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Colossians 3:15-16)
God is not honored when we tell him what we think he wants to hear—even though we don’t believe it. He knows better. He is honored (and we are healthiest) when our hearts and minds flow naturally with his. In this season, we do well to recognize that included in the flow is a heart-condition called thankfulness.
“Today is Thanksgiving, and there is much to be thankful. One lesson of the holiday that we should try not to forget is how the Pilgrims were saved from starvation and misery by adopting a system of private property rights,” notes law professor Ilya Somin in the Washington Post.
The Pilgrims’ reversal of fortune is described by economist Benjamin Powell:
Many people believe that after suffering through a severe winter, the Pilgrims’ food shortages were resolved the following spring when the Native Americans taught them to plant corn and a Thanksgiving celebration resulted. In fact, the pilgrims continued to face chronic food shortages for three years until the harvest of 1623. Bad weather or lack of farming knowledge did not cause the pilgrims’ shortages. Bad economic incentives did.
In 1620 Plymouth Plantation was founded with a system of communal property rights. Food and supplies were held in common and then distributed based on equality and need as determined by Plantation officials. People received the same rations whether or not they contributed to producing the food, and residents were forbidden from producing their own food. Governor William Bradford, in his 1647 history, Of Plymouth Plantation, wrote that this system was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. The problem was that “young men, that were most able and fit for labour, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense.” Because of the poor incentives, little food was produced.
Faced with potential starvation in the spring of 1623, the colony decided to implement a new economic system. Every family was assigned a private parcel of land. They could then keep all they grew for themselves….
This change, Bradford wrote, had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. Giving people economic incentives changed their behavior….
Once the Pilgrims in the Plymouth Plantation abandoned their communal economic system and adopted one with greater individual property rights, they never again faced the starvation and food shortages of the first three years.
A 1999 article by the Hoover Institution’s Tom Bethell provides a more detailed account.
Gary Sinise Gifts Thanksgiving Meals to Nebraska Veterans: ‘It Means a Lot’
NICK GILBERTSON 25 Nov 2021
Actor Gary Sinise, who played double-amputee Lt. Dan in Robert Zemeckis’s 1994 film Forrest Gump, donated Thanksgiving meals to veterans at a VA campus in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Sinise ensured 78 veterans living at the Victory Park apartment complex received a Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday, the Lincoln Journal Star reports. Veterans ranged from the age of 22-74 and served in several different conflicts and wars.
Though Sinise was not in attendance for the festivities, veterans were grateful for his thoughtful offering, according to Property Manager Samantha Garcia.
“It means a lot that he is recognizing them. They sometimes feel forgotten, especially as they get older,” she said, per the Lincoln Journal Star. “With Gary being active with veterans himself, it means a lot coming from him.”
Emil Jacobson serves in the U.S. Air Force and volunteered to help out in Lincoln on Wednesday, according to NTV.
“I myself am in the service, I just feel like its really important to give back to those who come before us and pay homage and help these guys out,” Jacobson said.
“It’s very important, especially with all of the Holidays coming up we have to make sure everyone knows we are here for each other,” Jacobsen added.
Hy-Vee catered the meals which were served to the veterans by Gold Star Mothers and Blue Star Mothers.
“It’s so important to remember that these people are here and remember what they’ve done for us,” Garcia said, per the Lincoln Journal Star.
Sinise also donated meals to veterans who reside at a VA in Omaha, NTV reports.
The Apollo 13 star has a long history of assisting veterans. His nonprofit, The Gary Sinise Foundation, recently provided a marine, who was severely wounded in Afghanistan, with a smart home, Breitbart News reported.
“At the Gary Sinise Foundation, we serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need,” the foundation’s mission statement reads. “We do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.”
[Millions of school children have been taught the revisionist history that the first Thanksgiving was about the Pilgrims giving thanks to their Indian neighbors for saving them from starvation. Around this time of year, an historically accurate account of the first Thanksgiving was told on national radio. A few years ago, I compiled a lightly-edited transcript of that account, which appears below. Please enjoy and share “The True Story of the First Thanksgiving,” as it was narrated each November by the late nationally-syndicated radio host, Rush Limbaugh.]
The story of the Pilgrims began in the early part of the seventeenth century. The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone who did not recognize its absolute authority. Those who demanded freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A small group of separatists fled to Holland, where they established an outpost.
A decade later, about forty of the separatists decided to embark on a perilous journey to the New World, where they could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England carrying a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up a contract that established laws that would govern the new settlement. The values and principles set forth in the Mayflower Compact were derived from the Bible.
Because of an unshakable belief in Divine Providence, the Pilgrims never doubted that their bold experiment would succeed. But their journey to the New World was long and arduous. When they landed in America, they found, according to Bradford’s detailed journal, a cold and desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote, or houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could find temporary lodging and no trading posts where they could buy food and other necessities. The numerous hardships they would encounter in the name of religious freedom were just beginning.
During the first winter, half of the Pilgrims, including Bradford’s wife, perished from starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved on the margins, but the colony was still a long way from assured survival.
The original contract the Pilgrims entered into with their merchant sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, with each member of the settlement entitled to one common share. All land they cleared and all houses they built belonged to the community. The plan was to distribute everything equally. No colony member owned anything beyond a proportionate share of the common output. Under this communal living arrangement, the colony’s most industrious members lacked incentive to produce as much as they could.
Soon, it became obvious that the collectivist system was not yielding enough food. Faced with mass starvation, Bradford decided on bold action, and assigned each family its own plot of land. With private property rights and personal incentive in play, food production began to soar. The Pilgrims scrapped the collectivist system that almost led to their demise. What Bradford wrote about the colony’s near-disastrous experiment in communal living should be taught to every child in America:
“…. this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and to retard much employment that would otherwise have been to its benefit and comfort. Young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine [complain] that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without compensation.”
Under the new arrangement, every family was permitted to sell its excess crops and other products. The result? “This had very good success,” wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”
With an abundance of food at hand, the Pilgrims set up trading posts and began to exchange goods with the Indians. The profits they earned enabled them to pay off their debts to their sponsors. News of the settlement’s prosperity attracted other Europeans, and precipitated what came to be known as The Great Puritan Migration.
Many of America’s schools incorrectly teach that the first Thanksgiving was an occasion where grateful Pilgrims thanked the Indians for saving them from starvation. But the true story of Thanksgiving is that of William Bradford giving thanks not to the Indians, but to God for the guidance and inspiration to establish a thriving colony, one that enabled the Pilgrims to generously share their plentiful bounty with their Indian neighbors at that first Thanksgiving.
Omitted in many classrooms is the historical fact that it was not Indians who saved the Pilgrims. Rather, it was free enterprise capitalism and Scripture, the latter of which was acknowledged on October 3, 1789 by America’s first president in his Thanksgiving Proclamation, a short historical document that every school child should read.
By John Eidson
A 1968 electrical engineering graduate of Georgia Teach and now retired, John Eidson is a freelance writer in Atlanta and a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative.
The Reality and Requisite of a National Thanksgiving
The fourth Thursday in November is my favorite day of the year. It is “Thanksgiving Day.” Ironically my favorite day of the year follows my least favorite day (Halloween). Thanksgiving Day celebrates the heartfelt and happy acknowledgment that the Almighty God has providentially blessed us. Halloween celebrates all that is evil, selfish and ungodly. These two calendar events frame the constant battle in civilization’s history. I prefer the celebration of good rather than the celebration of evil.
One has well asked, “Why is it that mankind chooses to celebrate thanksgiving to the Almighty only on one day, and focus on gripes, grumbles, and complaints the remaining 364 days?” The answer to this query is an indictment of society—mankind is more concerned with self than with the Almighty God.
A celebration of Thanksgiving is a high-valued target in today’s ungodly society. Any action, celebration, moral compass, lifestyle choices, etc, that places the Judeo-Christian ethos as the governing parameters, is instantly damned in brutal verbiage. To acknowledge Thanksgiving is to acknowledge the Almighty God. In today’s culture, God is not acknowledged—He is erased.
The practical consequence of erasing God is an embracing of socialism. Socialism advocates that communal thought is the source of all power; the State is the ultimate arbitrator in even the most personal choices. One is thankful to the State because God is erased. Such an ungodly position ultimately leads to blind submission: “The State knows better how to spend the private citizen’s money than the private citizens.” Or, “The State knows better what your children need to learn.” Or, “The State knows better how to raise your children—it takes a village to raise a child because parents cannot raise their own children!” This is a power struggle—the power of evil seeks to erase the power of good.
However, there is a major problem in the socialistic erasure of the Almighty God. The prophet summarizes this issue as he describes the socio-religious conditions of his day, “There is oath-taking, denial, murder, stealing, and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore, the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes along with the animals of the field and the birds of the sky, and even the fish of the sea disappear.” And what is the cause of this catastrophic environment? “For there is no faithfulness, nor loyalty, nor knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1-3).
Please do not miss the obvious truth! The failure to be thankful to the Almighty God impacts every aspect of man’s civilization and environment. Even the “ecosystem” is destroyed by the unthankful attitude toward the Almighty God! Do you want to cure the ecosystem’s disintegration (climate change or global warming or whatever it is termed today)? Then foster a thankful attitude toward the Almighty God. Do you want to cure the criminal cancers destroying civility? Then cultivate a knowledge that will cause you to be thankful to the Almighty God. Then cultivate a knowledge that leads to a thankful attitude. It is a simple fix. But this simple fix is fought “tooth-and-nail” by the unthankful heart.
The conscience and strength of our nation is being dismantled brick by brick. The deconstruction of our nation has already removed much of our heritage that made us a world power. The heroes have been painted as the villains and the personalities that have fueled hate and instigated anger are memorialized as “saints” and recently even as the Christ!
Reliance on God’s providence was a hallmark of the early colonists but is a never taught historical fact in our schools. God’s providence is a blasphemous belief according to our politically correct speech. God’s providence is a faded memory in the minds of older Americans. The Judeo-Christian foundation of our morality, governing, and freedoms are being attacked and removed piece by piece. We have lost so much of our national conscience that Hosea’s characterization of his society reads like today’s news briefs.
Our nation has long been in an ideological war. Many dismissed the surrender of freedoms and the encroaching governmental “mandates” as inconsequential. But, ideas have consequences. When ungodly, uncivil ideas are permitted unrestricted advocacy, they become a cancer that metastases and brings ruin to every part of society.
Our national day of “Thanksgiving” brings an uncomfortable focus to this war. Two striking points are considered as illustrative of those intent on dismantling our great Republic who attack Thanksgiving Day.
First, there is an effort to rewrite history so the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving becomes a myth. Illustrating this are a number of articles from those claiming to have “discovered the truth” regarding the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated in the USA.
Our educational centers are teaching the “inventing” of Thanksgiving. The holiday is purported to be founded upon a legend. Here is one of many such propaganda pieces deconstructing our national heritage, revising our history and contorting truth. All is an effort to erase the Almighty God and encourage the State’s surrender to socialism.
“The legend of the American Thanksgiving holiday is said to have been based on a feast of thanksgiving in the early days of the American colonies almost 400 years ago. The tale as it is told in grade schools is a legend, a mythologized version that downplays some of the bleaker history of how Thanksgiving became an American national holiday…The holiday continued…not with a feast and family, but rather with rowdy drunken men who went door to door begging for treats. That’s how many of the original American holidays were celebrated: Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Day, Washington’s birthday, the 4th of July…By the mid-18th century, the rowdy behavior had become a carnivalesque misrule that was closer to what we think of as Halloween or Mardi Gras today. An established mummer’s parade made up of cross-dressing men, known as the Fantasticals, began by the 1780s: it was considered a more acceptable behavior than the drunken rowdiness. It could be said that these two institutions are still part of Thanksgiving Day celebrations: rowdy men (Thanksgiving Day football games, established in 1876), and elaborate mummer parades (Macy’s Parade, established in 1924).”
In stark contrast to the idiocy of the revisionist’s attempts to rewrite facts regarding documented facts, we note this historical account:
“In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies…In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith…Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from a member of the Abenaki tribe who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe…Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years…In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving.”
Much of what we know about what happened at the first Thanksgiving comes from Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow, who wrote:
“Our harvest being gotten in…we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors…many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted…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.”
The second point focuses upon how the real Thanksgiving Day celebration demolishes the socialistic onslaught of our free entrepreneurial economy. This point is often eclipsed by the feast shared between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, but it should be strongly emphasized today.
The first Thanksgiving exposes socialism as bereft of any value culturally, morally, civically, economically, and religiously! Any way one looks at socialism it is worthless—except to the elite who become richer and more aloof!
Let me suggest that you read several articles published in Forbes Magazine by Jerry Bowyer. Bowyer’s discussion on the real significance of Thanksgiving is rarely heard. His opening sentences read: “It’s wrong to say that American was founded by capitalists. In fact, America was founded by socialists who had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom.”
Bowyer, in another article, exposes the emptiness of socialism’s promises. Socialism never produces abundance, energy, expansion, and improvements. As Bowyer notes, “I explained that the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of abundance after a period of socialism and starvation…Their Thanksgiving celebrated the triumph of the individual, private property, and incentive, over collectivism…For them, God, not Plato, knew best. Accepting the principles of private property and self-interest was God’s way of harnessing self-interest to the greater good. We know all of this because an elder and Governor of the Plymouth plantation, William Bradford, kept a journal and it survives today.”
I appreciate such insight!
Thanksgiving Day is exceptional in many ways but these two points add emphasis to the reality of such a day celebrated in history and its requisite to a national ideology that succeeds by a bold individualism and a contained and controlled central governing!
The Bible says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). Perhaps we should add the thought “and whose citizenry remains thankful for the divine blessings.” The Bible says in Deuteronomy 28 that if we honor and obey God, we will enjoy blessings. If a nation dishonors and disobeys Him, it will reap curses (as Hosea observed).
I well remember the truisms once stressed by our political leaders: “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” And, “Once a nation removes God from its conscience, it becomes a god-less nation.”
This is the reality and requisite of our Thanksgiving Day!
Happy Thanksgiving! The War Room ran a Thanksgiving Special earlier today to celebrate our great nation and our American family.
Dr. Carol Swain joined The War Room to offer this hopeful message: “The American Dream Is Not Dead!”
Dr. Swain told The War Room, “I have so much to be thankful for because I am a person that God clearly lifted up… I’ve enjoyed the success of America but the most important thing was my journey, my spiritual journey. I became a devout Christian believer and I can see the hand of God on my life.”
What a wonderful story!
The War Room played “A Thanksgiving Prayer” by the late great Johnny Cash to close out their morning show. This was an excellent segment.
May we always be grateful for our many blessings on Thanksgiving and every day.
It’s that season again, when we’re reminded to be thankful — and to express thankfulness. God has told us,
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB)
Even though we know it’s God’s will, for most of us, a reminder is a good thing, because in the midst of busyness and challenges of life, we often forget to be grateful for our many blessings.
I always think of a particular incident when I think of giving thanks. Many years ago, our friend Paul noticed that his young daughter Susannah had a ritual with her bedtime prayers. She always prayed, “God, bless Mommy, and Daddy, and …” She went down her list, asking God for her all her wants.
At prayer time one night, he said, “Susannah, you have a lot to be thankful for. I’d like you to start your prayers with thanksgiving.” Susannah agreed, but Paul left on a trip the next morning and wasn’t able to reinforce his instruction.
When he returned, her prayers had not changed. He said, “Susannah, what did I ask you to do when you pray?”
She hesitated before answering. “Uhhh. Start my prayers with Halloween?”
She remembered the request—but didn’t understand what thanksgiving was and got mixed up with which holiday he had said.
Unlike Susannah, I understand what it means to give thanks and that it’s good to express appreciation, but I often get so busy that I don’t take note of what I’m grateful for, much less express it to others. I’ve resolved to do better after recently experiencing the blessing of being on the receiving end.
My husband is a pastor of a church of amazing people who regularly communicate their thanks. It makes it a joy to be part of them. However, we were recently showered with love and many expressions of appreciation. I must admit, it felt good. It deepened our love and our commitment to give more of ourselves. It also made me want to be more faithful in expressing my thanks.
But that was just the beginning of the day. After church and the dinner that followed, our home filled with out-of-town family who came to celebrate Dad’s 89th birthday. We visited, celebrated, and enjoyed being together. After the meal, while still around the table, I was once again struck with what an impact it makes to speak words of appreciation.
Robert’s youngest brother said, “Dad, at our house, we have a tradition that we do on birthdays, and we’d like to do it now.” He went on to explain that we wanted to each share something with Dad that we appreciated about him, starting with the youngest and moving up.
Seven-year-old Elena went first, and one at a time, each of ten people shared something they were grateful for, something Dad had done that had blessed his or her life. Most shared two or three things that had made an impact — and all sounded sincere.
At least once, Dad’s eyes filled with tears. Others were touched too. It was a precious time and a much bigger blessing than the simple gifts given earlier.
It was also powerful. Dad wasn’t the only one blessed. We all left the table encouraged, strengthened, and closer to one another because of words of gratefulness. All we did was say thanks — but we don’t make a point to do that often enough. I basked in the blessing and power of the time around the table for several days.
I wish we had practiced that tradition in our home as our children were growing up. In fact, I’m wondering how to stimulate more giving of thanks in other settings — of open, sincere, thoughtful expressions of appreciation. If you have ideas, I’m interested.
However, after some thought, I’ve decided that the best place to begin is with myself. I might not impact the whole community, but I could encourage some.
Meanwhile, I hope your Thanksgiving is blessed with gratefulness—and with thanksgiving.
RUSH: From my second bestseller, “See, I Told You So, “”Chapter 6, “Dead White guys, or What the History Books Never Told You: The True Story of Thanksgiving.” The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century (that’s the 1600s for those of you in Rio Linda, California). The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs.
A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.
On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible.
The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work.
But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford’s detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves.
And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims – including Bradford’s own wife – died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper!
This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments.
Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well.
They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. Nobody owned anything. They just had a share in it. It was a commune, folks. It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the ’60s and ’70s out in California – and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way.
Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace.
That’s right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn’t work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation!
But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild’s history lesson If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.
“The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years…that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,” Bradford wrote. “For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense…that was thought injustice.”
Why should you work for other people when you can’t work for yourself? What’s the point?
Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford’s community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?
“This had very good success,” wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” Bradford doesn’t sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes. Read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 41. Following Joseph’s suggestion (Gen 41:34), Pharaoh reduced the tax on Egyptians to 20% during the “seven years of plenty” and the “Earth brought forth in heaps.” (Gen. 41:47)
In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves.
Now, this is where it gets really good, folks, if you’re laboring under the misconception that I was, as I was taught in school.
So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the “Great Puritan Migration.”
Now, you probably haven’t read this. You might have heard me read it to you over the previous years on this program, but I don’t think this lesson is still being taught to children — and if not, why not? I mean, is there a more important lesson one could derive from the Pilgrim experience than this? Thanksgiving, in other words, is not thanks to the Indians, and it’s not thanks to William Bradford. It’s not thanks to the merchants of London. Thanksgiving is thanks to God, pure and simple. Go read the first Thanksgiving proclamation from George Washington and you’ll get the point. The word “God” is mentioned in that first Thanksgiving proclamation more times… If you read it aloud to an ACLU member, you’ll get thrown in jail, but that’s what the first Thanksgiving was all about. Get it. I’m telling you, read it. Maybe we can find it and link to it: George Washington’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation. Folks, if you haven’t read that, you need to read it. It will tell you the true story of Thanksgiving. I’m happy to share it with you each and every year as a tradition on this program.
Jonathan Edwards has a word for our time that could hardly be more pointed if he were living today. It has to do with the foundation of gratitude.
By Sermoncentral on Nov 21, 2020
Jonathan Edwards has a word for our time that could hardly be more pointed if he were living today. It has to do with the foundation of gratitude.
True gratitude or thankfulness to God for his kindness to us, arises from a foundation laid before, of love to God for what he is in himself; whereas a natural gratitude has no such antecedent foundation. The gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God, for kindness received, always are from a stock of love already in the heart, established in the first place on other grounds, viz. God’s own excellency.
In other words, gratitude that is pleasing to God is not first a delight in the benefits God gives (though that is part of it). True gratitude must be rooted in something else that comes first, namely, a delight in the beauty and excellency of God’s character. If this is not the foundation of our gratitude, then it is not above what the “natural man,” apart from the Spirit and the new nature in Christ, experiences. In that case “gratitude” to God is no more pleasing to God than all the other emotions which unbelievers have without delighting in him.
You would not be honored if I thanked you often for your gifts to me, but had no deep and spontaneous regard for you as a person. You would feel insulted, no matter how much I thanked you for your gifts. If your character and personality do not attract me or give me joy in being around you, then you will just feel used, like a tool or a machine to produce the things I really love.
So it is with God. If we are not captured by his personality and character, then all our declarations of thanksgiving are like the gratitude of a wife to a husband for the money she gets from him to use in her affair with another man. This is exactly the picture in James 4:3-4. James criticizes the motives of prayer that treats God like a cuckold: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?” Why does he call these praying people “adulteresses”? Because, even though praying, they are forsaking their husband (God) and going after a paramour (the world). And to make matters worse, they are asking their husband (in prayer) to fund the adultery.
Amazingly, this same flawed spiritual dynamic is sometimes true when people thank God for sending Christ to die for them. Perhaps you have heard people say how thankful we should be for the death of Christ because it shows how much value God puts upon us. What is the foundation of this gratitude?
Jonathan Edwards calls it the gratitude of hypocrites. Why? Because,
They first rejoice, and are elevated with the fact that they are made much of by God; and then on that ground, he seems in a sort, lovely to them. . . . They are pleased in the highest degree, in hearing how much God and Christ make of them. So that their joy is really a joy in themselves, and not in God.
It is a shocking thing to learn that one of today’s most common descriptions of how to respond to the cross may well be a description of natural self-love with no spiritual value.
We do well to listen to Jonathan Edwards. Does he not simply spell out for us the Biblical truth that we should do all things-including giving thanks-to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)? And God is not glorified if the foundation of our gratitude is the worth of the gift and not the excellency of the Giver. If gratitude is not rooted in the beauty of God before the gift, it is probably disguised idolatry. May God grant us a heart to delight in him for who he is so that all our gratitude for his gifts will be the echo of our joy in the excellency of the Giver!