Are you aware of what Buzz Aldrin did just after touchdown on the moon July 20, 1969? After the checklists were completed, he offered thanks to God and then he took communion. All while still sitting in the lunar module. Although this is not recorded in the official NASA records, it was verified by Commander Neil Armstrong. Giving thanks to God and taking time to praise Him is not only important, it is also a source of personal strength as well as it is enjoyable. We know that God inhabits the praise of His people.
This is a wonderful time of year… a time to recall how much we have been blessed. Did you know that a life of thanksgiving and gratitude opens the door to victory in your life? When you spend time worshiping, thanking and praising God, His blessings become apparent through His presence, as He inhabits the praises of His people. There is always time to look at the problems in your life. But this is a great week to take some time and celebrate Thanksgiving Day by praising God and thanking Him for His immeasurable gifts. Though it is uniquely an American holiday, the spirit of thanksgiving is something every person–especially those who personally know God, can benefit from.
A little history about the formation of the United States. If you review the Pilgrims’ own writings and the historical events leading to the first Thanksgiving, you will see the traditional accounts to be authentic. Thanksgiving was not an isolated event, or an imitation. It was a uniquely inspired Christian celebration—the culmination of a long journey of faith in which the Pilgrims had relied on God and trusted Him through many adversities. They were the first group of believers (people who knew God and carried His Word), from a little ship called the Mayflower, landing in a New World, looking for a new beginning where they had the freedom to worship. It is reported that the first thing they did when their feet hit the shore was to stop and pray.
Remember to thank God for His provision—even through adversity—and remember the important role prayer played in our country’s formation and success. As followers of Jesus we are called to continue to humble ourselves and pray—so that… the LORD will continue to heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14). It’s a promise He’s kept for over 200 years, and one He’ll continue to keep—if we continue to pray.
Satan hates the idea of giving people freedom to worship God. If he could have, he would have destroyed this nation before its birth; but he couldn’t do it then and he can’t do it now. He was, and is, stopped by the prayers of God’s people. Certainly Satan has done his best to mess things up along the way. As a result, this nation has been through some very dark times. But even in those times, the hand of God has prevailed—this nation has been preserved, and His purposes have been accomplished.
One Example of God’s Provision and Thanksgiving Day
In the late 1600’s, when hostilities arose between the European settlers and the tribal peoples, some cruel and terrible things were done. Take the case of Squanto, the Indian boy who was captured, taken to Europe and displayed in a cage as a “Savage from America.” Certainly the devil meant that for evil, but God turned what the enemy meant for harm into something good.
The young boy apparently was sold and found refuge in a monastery. While there, he was educated and became fluent in English. He began reading the Bible, and got saved and baptized.
When he finally had the opportunity to return to his homeland in the eastern part of the U.S., he found the colonists were having trouble learning how to raise crops in their new climate. Some of them were on the verge of starvation. What’s more, the Indians were attacking them, and they were on the verge of an all-out war.
Do you know who stopped it?
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That young Indian man who had been taken captive years before stepped out on the battlefield and began speaking to both sides in their own languages. He let them know he was a believer in Jesus Christ, and instructed them to put down their weapons. Sure enough, they held their fire.
Before long, that young man was preaching the gospel to both groups. Under his influence, the Indians began to teach the colonists how to work the land in the northeastern climate. In turn, the colonists began to teach the Indians some of what they knew. For 75 years, those two groups of people lived together in peace sharing their lives and their faith in Jesus Christ. Their harvest celebrations became known as Thanksgiving Day.
In this day of violence and disunity, you and I can stand united with love in our hearts for all of God’s children. When others use anger to express their feelings, you can be the bridge of love… the light and salt of the earth. God’s love is a force you can use that is a powerful weapon and capable of changing lives and the future. We remind you on this Thanksgiving day to pray and be grateful. And we wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!
Have a private or public time to thank God for the giving of living and His blessings. And, of course, do remember, With God nothing is impossible!
Dale and Paula
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