Thanksgiving – Once a Year or Year Around?

I’d like to share a portion of a letter we received from Lori Darnell, White Fields Overseas Evangelism. (WFOE is the parent organization for Overseas Outreach).

Thank you for your precious gift to help the Liberian Preachers.  We appreciate you and thank God for you daily.

“We come to you again asking for prayers for Haiti.  Haiti is full of chaos and in a crisis again.  There are so many layers to this chaos.  1. There is very little fuel in the country.  This means food cannot be delivered from other areas, money cannot be delivered to the banks.  Prices are rising every day as goods become scarcer.  People cannot travel and there are fights at the gas stations.  In Gonaives they now only have electricity for 4 hours every 3 days.  There are protests because of these things.  2. Political- Opposition groups to the current leadership are out of control.  They pay the gangs to cause trouble, they pay people to go out and protest….

“Pray also for Cuba.  They too are in crisis.  Because their fuel was coming from Venezuela, they now have a shortage.  They also have electricity problems and food shortage.”

As I read this report from Lori, my first thought was how much we take for granted every day.  Our hearts go out to our Christian brothers and sisters in Haiti, Cuba, Liberia and Ukraine.  At the same time, let’s remember to thank God for His blessings and provisions that we enjoy.

“I will praise the name of God with a song,

And will magnify Him with Thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

Oval: What if today you woke up with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?

Let Us Come into His Presence with Thanksgiving!

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” Psalm 95:1-6 (NKJV)

Thanksgiving Day – or Turkey Day?

Here I want to share a long quote from Bob Glaze’s “Pastor Letter” for November 2019:

“On November 28 America celebrates a national holiday called Thanksgiving.  The modern Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month of November.  Since it is a national holiday, most Americans enjoy it as a paid holiday.  It is the one day that gets families together more than any other day of the year.  Whether the event is catered or home cooked, it features a feast that is not equaled on any other day.  Although we have a joyous time stuffing ourselves – much like the Thanksgiving turkey – much of the world is hungry.  The true story of the first Thanksgiving is foreign to our children and grandchildren because it is not taught in most schools.  For the most part, we have forgotten the real reason for this special day, remembering nothing about the hardships of starvation, disease, and loneliness that the first Americans endured to bring civility to a new land.  These precious few fled from an oppressive regime that stifled the very freedoms that eventually framed our United States Constitution – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

During September 1620, the ship Mayflower left Plymouth, England, with 102 passengers – called separatists – looking for the new world called America.  This Protestant body wanted freedom to form local churches and determine their own affairs without the interference of the Crown.  The crossing took a treacherous 66 days.  They landed close to Cape Cod and later crossed Massachusetts Bay and established a village at Plymouth (www.history.com).  Most of the colonists remained on board the Mayflower that first winter, where half of them died.  The following March the remaining group left the ship and were, surprisingly, greeted by an Abenaki Indian who spoke English, courtesy of a Pawtuxet Indian called Squanto.  Squanto had been captured and sent to England, where he learned English as a slave.  He later returned to America, where he taught other Indians English.  Squanto taught the colonists how to cultivate corn and other crops, as well as how to fish.  Certainly, he was sent by God to aid the separatists on how to survive until they had established a colony.

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.  Today little notice is given to the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving.  Some call it “Turkey Day” because turkey is the mainstay of most households that celebrate the day.  However, that designation degrades the real meaning of the celebration.  Our ancestors suffered and died to give us the opportunity to have a life of plenty and the freedom to enjoy it.  Let us not forget what it took to bring us this far!  Every life lost in conflict to preserve this great nation is in remembrance of the brave acts of those first colonists.  Lest we forget, let us tell the true story at every Thanksgiving table this year.

There are those who would destroy this nation and lower it to a third-world status.  These have no idea or conscience of what a blessing it is to live in America.  I have traveled to many nations since being with Southwest Radio Church and I always want to get down and kiss the ground of this great nation.  America is the envy of the world.  Those who visit from other nations are amazed at the ease we have to buy the many fruits of our labors.  Many of those try their worst to tear down this nation to the level of the country they came from.  We would ask the question, ‘Why don’t they just stay where they are and leave things here the way they are?’  This year let us honor those who have died and those who serve in our military and those who keep us safe on our streets and neighborhoods instead of insulting them.  We owe them a debt that we cannot pay.  God bless those who serve!”  (Bob Glaze, President, Southwest Radio Church Ministries)

Text Box: “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”  2 Corinthians 9:10-15 (NKJV).

Now, to help you to connect with people from a different perspective, here is an idea I got from Ravi Zacharias, and I developed my own version.  You are welcome to use this to develop your own version of cross-cultural evangelism.  (And if you don’t think we have different cultural perspectives striving for our attention here in America – think again!)

Three Connection Points with All People Groups

They all start with questions.

  1. Eternity and Finality.  Why do I have a longing for eternity, but all around me I see the evidence of finality?  (Hospitals, nursing homes, cemeteries.)
  2. Personal and Impersonal.  Why do I long for good personal relationships, but keep experiencing the impersonal?  They don’t care about my name – they want to know my number!  I had an accident, and they want to know my car license number, driver’s license number, insurance card number and phone number.
  3. Meaningful or Meaningless.  Why do I long for purpose and meaning in my life, yet the educators and many scientists tell me I came from star dust and pond scum by random processes with no purpose and meaning?

Biblical Answers to Human Longings

  1. Will you choose to believe that the reason you have a longing for eternity is that the eternal God, Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them, created you in His image – designed for eternity?  The reason you see evidence of finality all around you is that our original parents rebelled against our eternal God and brought the curse of sin, suffering, death and destruction on earth.
  2. Will you choose to believe the Bible, that the eternal Creator of all things is also our personal Designer who yearns to have a personal relationship with you?  That is why He created you in His own image and put in you a strong desire for good personal relationships.  In fact, our Genius Creator is three-in-one: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Three persons, but one essence.  (Is our Creator inferior to His own creation? – Water?  Water can often does exist as 3-in-1 at the same time and same place:  solid, liquid, and vapor.  All forms are the same essence – H²0!) How can we know that our God is personal – not just a force?  By the most basic law of logic and science.  Every effect must have an adequate cause!  Do you have personality?  Yes!  Then the One who created you must be a Person!
  3. The reason I long for purpose and meaning in my life is that the Genius who created us designed us in His image and for His purpose.   Each of us is His unique design with the exact blend of abilities, talents and temperament that He wants us to have – with at least one spiritual gift as a bonus after you surrender your life to Him and enlist in His service.

Most people waste their lives chasing their illusive dreams, looking for meaning and significance in all the wrong places.  Won’t you come Home to Jesus and discover your purpose and meaning fulfilled in sharing His love with others in your own unique way?

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before-hand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV)

You are invited by the eternal Creator to accept His invitation to repent of doing life your way (in sinful rebellion) to come Home to Him in faith and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for your sin with His own blood.  You are invited to a personal relationship with the King to become a member of His forever family and leave behind your bondage to sin and death to enter into the life of forgiveness, peace, joy and hope for your eternity in His presence.

Concerning Confusion in Cultural Clashes

(Lack of Logic – Heaps of Hypocrisy)

For many years, “liberals” (who like to be called “progressives”) have championed “women’s’ rights,” even to the ungodly extreme of advocating the destruction of an unborn baby as a woman’s right.  But now, since the appearance of the LGBTQ push for the “right” of a man to wish himself into being a woman by calling himself a “woman trapped in a man’s body” – where are the “progressives” who champion the rights of our wives, daughters and granddaughters to have their privacy in public bathrooms and in school, college and university locker rooms and showers? Where are the “progressives” who are adamantly contending for women’s rights on athletic fields and racetracks?

Where are the “progressive” journalists who have the courage to point out that the facts of anatomy, biology and microbiology confirm the Biblical truth that Almighty God created them (mankind) male and female.  They are different down to every cell in the body!

Jesus exposed the blatant hypocrisy of the religious leaders of His time – and rightly so.  Many journalists love to expose the hypocrisy of fallen Christians.  Where are the journalists with the courage to expose the hypocrisy of the “progressives”?  Doesn’t hypocrisy just help us progress rapidly down the highway to hell?  (If I’m cruising down the My Way Highway instead of the “Thy Way Highway” – I’m on the highway to hell!)  Frank Sinatra popularized the song, “I Did it My Way” – which may be the theme song of those on the Highway to Hell!

Do You Want Rest?

Do you want rest for your soul?  You won’t find it on the Highway to Hell!  America – wake up!  We need to learn from the wisdom the Holy Spirit inspired Jeremiah to write to the backslidden kingdom of Judah after the rebellious northern kingdom of Israel had already been conquered by Assyria: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God, and have scattered your charms to alien deities under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord. Return, O backsliding children,’ says the Lord.”  Jeremiah 3:11-14 (NKJV) 

Ask for the Old Paths

“Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the Lord. Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’ Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people— the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not heeded My words nor My law, but rejected it.” Jeremiah 6:13-19 (NKJV)

Lean Not on Your Own Understanding!

Now consider the wisdom our Loving Father inspired Solomon to write for us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strengthto your bones. Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights. Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;” Proverbs 3:5-13 (NKJV)

From Our Mailbox

“Here are three sayings I’ve posted on POEM’s Facebook page that I thought you might like.

‘Those who leave everything in God’s hand will eventually see God’s hand in everything.’

‘Long before Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus, the tree was planted to meet his need.’

‘The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.’

In Jesus’ Name, Victor Knowles”

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I want to share this powerful prayer published five years ago in the afaJournal (July-August 2014):

The American Prayer

By Lt. Col. Courtney L.D. Rogers (Retired), Tennessee Air National Guard

Dear Lord,

   We are here today to praise and glorify Your name.

   We thank You for the blessings You have given us, for the privilege of living in a nation that is still free to worship You in the open.

   We thank You for our beloved brothers and sisters in arms, who have sacrificed their lives in answer to this nation’s call, for the defense of our freedom.

Lord we pray

   We pray for those that are serving in harm’s way even now, all over the world.  We pray You give them courage when they know fear, strength when they can go no further, clarity of vision and thought when they are enveloped by the fog of war, and comfort during those darkest times, the quiet pauses between the storms.

   We pray that their sacrifices are not in vain, lost to a godless and apathetic nation, for it has been declared to the world, by our own leadership, that we are no longer a Christian nation.

   Lord, we confess, that through the decades of our lives, we have watched as our nation was being pulled further and further away from You, and we remained silent.  We didn’t want to be labeled as closed-minded.  We didn’t want to be called old-fashioned.  So today, Lord, we also pray for ourselves, for each other, and for all Christians here in these United States.

Restore …

   We pray that we all find the courage, commitment and resolve to offer our time, our resources, our leadership and our lives, to answer Your call:

   ‘Restore Me.  Restore Me in your hearts.  Restore Me in your homes.  Restore Me in your schools and at work.  Restore Me in your city halls and state capitols.  Restore Me in your Supreme Court.  Restore Me in the Halls of Congress, the Senate and the House.  Restore Me in the White House itself.’

Without you …

   Lord, we know that without You as our guide and counselor, Our nation will never be as strong as it once was, Our people will never be as free as they once were.

   So as was told to King Solomon, Lord, we humble ourselves before You and ask for Your intervention to help heal this nation, and to protect the Constitution that we are bound to defend.

If God is for us …

   For we also know that none of the blood shed by our military brethren, past, present or future, could ever buy the freedom purchased by the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  And we thank You, Lord, for Your words of encouragement, left to us through the Apostle Paul.  ‘If God is for us, then who can be against us?’

   If God is for us, then we will prevail.  If God is for us, then we need only act according to Your will.  And, Lord, today we understand that sometimes the best way to follow You is to stand up and lead.

   We will be silent no more.  Amen.”                     

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 Prayer Requests

Let’s consider and obey Paul’s instructions to Timothy: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)

  1. Our President, Donald Trump, is a flawed man who has some bad habits that he’s not yet conquered, but he has come a long way from where he used to be.  A flawed individual, but what other kind of individuals does God have to work with?  To his credit, he is diligently fulfilling his campaign promises despite being viciously maligned, slandered and misrepresented by the media, and major “news” outlets.  He has protected millions of unborn babies in America and other countries from being slaughtered by abortion, and he soundly condemned New York and Virginia for passing laws approving the murder of babies that survive abortion.  In less than three years he has helped our economy flourish, protected our freedom of religion, appointed two Supreme Court Justices who believe in our Constitution as it is written and intended, plus appointing hundreds of lower court judges who follow the law of our country (Constitution).  By the way, did you notice how viciously the Left attacked and slandered the justices that Trump appointed?  Please pray that the constitutional republic that our founding fathers designed and committed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to establish on Biblical principles will survive this uncivil war.  Also, did you know that President Trump has been keeping his campaign promise to refuse to accept a salary for serving as President of the USA?  He has been giving it back to projects for making America great again (which definitely does not include Planned Parenthood!).
  2. Ukraine is still experiencing bloody warfare.
  3. Haiti, Cuba, India and many other countries are experiencing trouble, turmoil, and starvation.
  4. Please pray for Northwest Science Museum to flourish in our new location in the Gateway Center of Nampa – in the building behind Penney’s and next to the Bronco Shop.
  5. Praise God that the new church plant of Eagle Christian Church, West Valley, is surviving and thriving.  Attendance has ranged from 170 to 267 with an average of 242.  Please pray that we continue to grow, reach and minister to multitudes of hurting souls.
  6. Recently, Della has been experiencing some severe pains in her one kidney, besides the neuropathy pains and headaches.  Please pray.
  7. Please pray for God to cast down the strongholds of evil in our country: pornography, sex trafficking, LBGTQ agenda, fake news, abortion, etc.  (By the way – who would you consider to be the biggest mass murderers of the 21st century?  ISIS?  Iran?  North Korea? – or the promoters of abortion worldwide?  Think about it!
  8. “It was so good to read your prayer letter and your encouraging words.  We were glad to hear about/from Gwen. I think we also need to pray for Christian Churches and Christians in America to be able to raise up a new generation of strong believers and the faith of believers to be strong.  The problem is not only with growing Islam sentiment, the problem is with the decline of Christian faith in society, and we need to pray for people’s spiritual growth and maturity. God bless you and Della and your family, Zhenya (Molodchy) and family”

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Does God Have a Sense of Humor?

by Della

I believe He does!  Or else He has been testing me to find out if I really believe what I said in my note about being thankful.  Ever since I wrote the note for our November letter, I have had one frustration and stress after another!

  • I was trying to type some letters that Rick wanted sent.  The computer absolutely would not co-operate!  We recently had to upgrade to Windows 10 – and yesterday I was ready to throw the whole thing out the window!  The program acted as though it were my boss and didn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do, and it sent my default printer into hiding!  As I was searching for it, I saw the option “Let Windows Manage your Default Printer”.  I thought, “No way!  You’ve already lost it!”
  • Both yesterday and today when I was out running errands (in the car) I had two near misses of being in accidents because of other drivers who decided to do sudden crazy (and illegal) things!
  • Today I was trying to bake a cake to take to our Overseas Outreach Prayer Meeting tomorrow.  The microwave malfunctioned.  It was on the same circuit as the outlet I was using for my mixer, so Rick went to get the breaker flipped back on.  Then when I turned the mixer on again, I accidentally turned it too far and it “sprayed cake batter” all over the place!  Rick was kind enough to help me clean up the mess.  😊

Are You Experiencing the Peace of God – No Matter What Your Circumstances Are?

Seven Questions to Ask Yourself Each Day

  1. Who loves me?
  2. What am I excited about?
  3. How has God answered prayer?
  4. What are my favorite promises?
  5. Who is in control of my circumstances?
  6. For what am I thankful?
  7. What is God’s purpose for my life and how can I fulfill it today?

If we start each day focusing on the answers to these questions and praising God for them, we will experience the truth of the following verses of Scripture.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God…..But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”  Romans 5:1-2, 8-9 (NKJV)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

2 comments for “Thanksgiving – Once a Year or Year Around?

  1. November 15, 2019 at 3:01 am

    Dear Della & Rick…you are in our prayers. Ukraine is still an unknown as President Zalynsky forms his policies and implements them. In what direction will this nation go? May the nation/its people go the way of our Lord and Savoir, Jesus Christ.
    Please pray for staff/families to come to the THMC that have a heart for foster care.
    Come and visit/minister with us again Rick…Della it would be wonderful if you could come too, understanding it depends on an improvement in your health.
    Let us encourage each other to lift our eyes to Heaven and on our Savior Jesus…Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

  2. Jim and Naomi Kautt
    November 18, 2019 at 4:52 am

    Dear Brother Rick, dear Sister Della,
    Thanks so much for your very encouraging and informative newsletter at this Thanksgiving season! We greatly appreciate receiving your newsletters! Please keep them coming! We also thank you for informing us of the prayer needs of our Christian brothers and sisters worldwide and for letting us know your own needs as well! May our Lord hear our prayers and provide for these needs!

    Wishing you every blessing in Christ from cooler Tuebingen, Germany,

    Jim and Naomi Kautt, International Student Mission (ISM), Tuebingen, Germany

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