THANKSGIVING - A Reason to Be Thankful For All The LORD's Blessings

This holiday season amidst the hustle and stress of all the activities and goings on, try to just take time for slowing down a bit and soaking in the time of year. It is the fall season and a time for the wonderful colors of nature to be displayed in their full array before the winter fully sets in. It is also a time of bountiful harvest. A time to not only stock up on all of the produce from a fruitful growing season but to also enjoy those goods, spending time with family and friends in celebration of the rewards.

Let's take a moment to also reflect on the reasons for honoring this pleasurable occasion. It is not about sporting events or partying in such excessive amounts that it would challenge the stoutest of medieval warriors. It is not about drinking and eating in such gluttonous amounts that it would shame even greastest of Roman festivals or orgies. We are not just rejoicing for our own prosperity or merely giving thanks for the blessings that we have in our lives. Because this holiday observance has roots that extend far beyond the surface basting on the turkey. It goes through the meat of the feast and much deeper into the stuffing that lies within us all.

Thanksgiving is the remembrance of a dream, a vision, a desire to seek God, while being able to worship Him unhindered and without persecution. It reflects both great personal sacrifice and the overall collective struggle of humankind. It represents momentous trials and tribulations with unknown hazards in dangerous new frontiers. It tells about how we can endure under great pressure and survive all the odds that are stacked up against us. It shows us that we can live and get along in the most unusual of cultures and how we can cooperate with even the strangest of people.

These many things are the true meaning behind Thanksgiving. It has a unique history in the settlement of North American by the European people, along with the foundation of the United States and Canada. It has origins in the melding of new cultures in a brand new world with a promise of hope and a future prosperity. It is one of the finest examples of the human condition and sets the precedent for the manifest destiny of one of the greatest nations of people to ever rise from the common masses.

These things are truly what we all have to be thankful for this holiday season. It is in our Godly ancestors and by the founding fathers of our people, that we occupy and have this land, all that it is, what it represents, and hopefully what the future holds for us all. Thus we should reflect in these things when we come together this time of year, to celebrate the labors of those that came before us and to ensure the same promise for everyone who will follow.

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Not to completely make this a history lesson but basically, we could actually go back several thousand years over the ages in time. It starts with our origins from a "strange and peculiar people", the Hebrews, who set themselves apart from the unholy pagan beliefs and morally impure practices of the world, to follow the ONE and only TRUE GOD.

"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." (Deuteronomy 14:2 KJV)

Who endured great turmoil and every tragedy imaginable in seeking to finally gain their "promised land" (like we now have in ours).

"Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you - ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’" (Deuteronomy 6:3 NKJ)

Their faith established a long and devout history with God, which would eventually lead up to the coming of the Messiah and foundation of the Christian faith.

"The Crucifixion" by D Velázquez (17th century)
"The Crucifixion" by D Velázquez (17th century)

This history then extends from the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and his followers being driven from their inherited land (Luke 21:5-6), to the persecution of the early Christian church by the glorified Roman Empire, as they attempted to spread the WORD of God throughout all the world during the 'Apostolic Age'.

Christian beliefs would finally resurface again triumphant, as the religious institution that would later conquer all of Europe. Now under a "New Roman Empire" with the first Christian emperor, Constantine. Whereafter the Eastern Roman Empire officially adopted Christianity in the third century of the 'Common Era'. It later becomes the principle faith of all nobility and the seed to the royal bloodlines with Charlemagne being crowned and reigning supreme as the "East shifted to the West" in the European continent.

But the church would eventually suffer irreversible dissension. There would be a split during the 'Great Schism' at the turn of the new millennia, the former empire breaking down into hostile factions with individual nations later being formed. Afterwards, "Christendom" would grow extensively over the next 500 years. It soon came to mean security for all of the common people in Europe.

Turmoil would again rise however during the 'Reformation Period' as sects divided themselves because of their many opposing differences. In spite of it all, the most beloved and best circulated book of all time, the Holy Bible, was then released in mass with the invention of the Gutenburg printing press. The best known and authorized copy, most commonly used today, became the 'King James Version' as the holy scripture was first translated into the English language.

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Then the faith grew to the point where institutional "Christendom" had became too politically corrupted. The Britons would separate themselves from their European neighbors as the 'Church of England' began to challenge the influence of the Holy Roman Catholic church.

Over the next hundred years, with the advent of the 'Puritan' movement, a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries, who felt that the 'English Reformation' had not gone far enough separating itself in religious practices from absolute Catholicism. Another "strange and peculiar people", these advocates of the faith strived for a greater "purity" of worship and doctrinal beliefs. They adopted a more "Reformed Theology" and sought after values such as "Religious Freedom".

This led to Christians again suffering persistent religious persecution for their beliefs but instead it was within the whole of Christianity itself. These "Puritans" were prevented from changing the religious system from within. As a result, they had to emigrate their congregations to the Netherlands for practicing their faith openly.

The next step in history allowed for the leaders of the group to follow their "dream" and "vision". They had a fervent desire to seek God and worship Him unhindered. With great personal sacrifice they left everything they had known and the Puritans contracted passage on the 'Mayflower'. This allowed them to leave England and European ideology behind them. It was the ship that would transport these 'English Separatists' (better known as the "Pilgrims"), from a safe harbor near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England (Southampton).

The 'Mayflower' landing at "Plymouth Rock"

"Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor" - by William Halsall (1882)
"Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor" - by William Halsall (1882)

The Pilgrims were led by evangelical clergy and were originally bound for an intended destination at the Virginia colony (i.e. Jamestown) but veered towards "North Virginia" to escape the legal bonds of their contracted merchant company.

They instead headed beyond the English colonial boundaries for the mouth of the Hudson River (near present-day New York City) into dangerous new frontiers with unknown hazards. God's destiny however, would prove otherwise for these people, as they were blown a bit off course by a storm at sea. The ship finally landed and the settlers made their way into the wilderness near what they named "Plymouth Rock" (later becoming Plymouth, Massachusetts).

Here they embarked and there they stayed, but the coming changes in the season would prove harsh and forbidding. Momentous trials and tribulations approached as illness and starvation soon plagued the small settlement. The Lord's hand was fortunately with these people however. The Pilgrims found that they could get along with the help of an unusual culture of indigenous people who already lived on the continent. They cooperated with these strange natives which were named "indians" and combined their resources in an overall struggle for survival against sickness and lack of food. The newcomers in this "New World", were thus able to rise above all the odds that were stacked against them. In celebration of their success and in sharing their fall harvest, the first "Thanksgiving Feast" feast was then held collectively by fellow human beings, both Pilgrim and indian alike.

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The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving Feast

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" - by Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914)
"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" - by Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914)

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In the beginning of all these early settlements, it was commonly practiced to work together in harmony with the "Native Americans" under a peaceful and common accord. As the populations grew under godly principles, religious freedom became one of the most instrumental foundations of all civic and social functions.

The colonies themselves however, began to become more and more oppressed by their patron nation of England. Eventually they were forced to separate again for the same reasons of religious and political freedom. As independence was declared, the Lord God was faithfully established in the principles of all morality and self-government for this great new nation.

The country continued to honor their founders and observe the glorious feast of THANKSGIVING for the enjoyment of all free people throughout the generations to come.

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The United States of America - Declaration of Independence

(Portions Quoted)

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's GOD entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation..."

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by THEIR CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, LIBERTY and the pursuit of Happiness..."

.......(break).......

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE OF THE WORLD for the rectitude of our intentions..."

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our SACRED HONOR."

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OUR Founding Fathers - GOD in Government

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The United States Constitution

(Portions Quoted)

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the BLESSINGS of LIBERTY to ourselves and our Posterity, do ORDAIN and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." - (Preamble for the United States Constitution)

.......(break).......

"...done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the YEAR OF OUR LORD one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independance of the United States of America..."

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Founding Fathers - "One Nation Under GOD"

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States - by Howard Chandler Christy (1940)
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States - by Howard Chandler Christy (1940)

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The Pilgrims came to America in order to avoid religious persecution and to establish themselves with certain prevailing freedoms. The migration of the many early colonists who later followed after them, which were also mostly Puritans in belief, was prompted by seeking these same values and liberties. Most of our founding fathers were all members of this same religious movement and many of them were also practicing clergymen. It was under these same principles and standards that the nation was formed and its earliest laws were designed to protect. The blessings of Heaven were extended to this country as our godly ancestors had decended from the faith of one "promised land" to establish a growing prosperity in another new land. It is through this act of divine providence that had made our country a pillar among the world's leading peoples.

MANIFEST DESTINY: An American belief that the United States was destined to prosper and expand across the continent. Advocates believe that this premise was readily apparent (manifest) and that it was the inexorable future of the country (destiny). This philiosophy portrayed that a "divine destiny" existed for the United States based upon the values of equality, rights of conscience, and personal enfranchisement "to establish on Earth the moral dignity and salvation of man".

This is our divine legacy. We should strive earnestly not to forget that it is the destiny of God that got us here and it is the through the blessings of the Lord that continues to sustain US ALL. As long as we keep God as the central focus of our moral being and the practices of our society, we will continue to be showered with His blessings accordingly. Otherwise, if not - well... then we may soon find that all the blessings have quickly gone away.

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Don't Let OUR Blessings be taken for Granted

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All of these things are what we should celebrate and be thankful for in this season of the fall harvest. Please remember the countless others who came before us, who lived faithfully, endured opposition and even died for what we hold firmly as the truth in OUR Christian beliefs and heritage. With Christian persecutions going on worldwide today, we live in a country that still allows us this freedom. Let us continue working well to keep this liberty secure for us all

This is the true spirit of this Thanksgiving holiday season and is what we ALL have to be most thankful for.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING to EVERYONE!

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COMMENTS - Tell Us What YOU Think (^VOTE Above^) 8 comments

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Oh My God! Welcome back to Hub Pages. I haven't read or heard anything from you since the summer. I have missed you my dear brother.

Although Thanksgiving to such a loving God, should be expressed each and everyday for we have so much to be thankful for daily. We choose one day out of the year after the harvest to gather together to say thanks for the bounty of the harvest and for family and friends. How truly unappropriate that is.

This is a butifully written Hub thank you and welcome back.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Christ4ever A beautiful and amazing read. You have such a gift for writing. Praise GOD Almighty. Amen to all you have shared in Christ Jesus. Oh the Plymouth ROCK how precious and beautiful is our Lord and Saviour. We have been a Blessed nation of Peoples. Lets us be thankful and remember we serve a Sovereign God. Loved it Love you rev Ted and Love the works you do for Our Living God. In Christ Jesus your sister sends a hug. Be Blessed today and always.


christ4ever profile image

christ4ever 5 years ago from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia Author

Hello my friends amd thanks for stopping by. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

@Dave Mathews - Brother Dave, I have been in here writing, but apparently many of my "Prophecy" related articles are not liked by HubPages and are unfortunately removed shortly after posting (they are on the blog however - www.blog.foreverinchrist.org).

Exactly what you said my friend about observing thanksgiving to God ALL the time. Likewise with Christmas, if we could strive to have that kind of spirit all year long, what a world it woud then become!

@skye2day - Sister Patti, so good to always hear from you. You are truly gifted with words yourself as well. Thank you for the admonishment while the Lord gets all the glory and credit.

Hugs back at you all and say hi to the fam! Be blessed in His peace always... Rev. Ted


skye2day profile image

skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Rev Ted I was wondering about the prophecy hubs. OK I see. Praise To God the enemy is defeated on the Cross by the Blood of Jesus, Amen.

Grateful to see you have the writings on you BLOG!

blog.foreverinchrist.org

All Glory to God. Thank You for the reminder. Hugs Galore U keep on U will Phil 4:13


skye2day profile image

skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Rev Ted THANK YOU for leaving the video. I have heard David Barton several times. Every one shoud hear his message of truth. He is Mighty for our Lord. GOD Bless HIS Works for Christ and our Country. Amen. In the Name above all others Jesus Christ


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Rev.Ted: We a slowly moving toward the day and time when Thanksgiving and Christmas and even Easter will be the norm each day every day. Our Father is still patiently waiting, but one day He will say "Enough is Enough" and loose Jesus and Heaven's angels upon satan and his lawless followers culminating in the end of evil once and for all.

I pray for this time to come swiftly. God's people have suffered enough at the hands of satan I think.


christ4ever profile image

christ4ever 5 years ago from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia Author

@skye2day - AMEN Sister Patti, where there's a will, there's always another way... to circumvent the obstacles set out by the enemy. Fortunately as you said: "WE can do all this through him who gives US strength (in Christ Jesus!)

P.S. - Great recommendation of David Barton and the "Wallbuilders". I would love to take the Pastor's tour with them if ever in Washington D.C.

- Wallbuilders (organization) http://www.youtube.com/user/wallbuilders http://www.wallbuilderslive.com/


christ4ever profile image

christ4ever 5 years ago from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia Author

@Dave Mathews - Likewise Brother Dave, the world HAS suffered long enough but fortunately we who know the Lord are always Thankful for what Christmas represents and can look forward to that "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13) when we all will experience a truly more personal Easter! -AMEN

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