Thanksgiving: Holiday and Habit

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In this short video Dr. Cynthia tells us about the importance of giving thanks. Science now agrees with what the Bible has told us for millennia: being thankful makes us happier and more content in difficult situations.
Sometimes we find trouble in every direction – from work, family, school, or ministry. We get discouraged. Dr. C shares with us the secret of what helps her on days like that,

“When the big things go wrong, give thanks for the little things;
When the little things go wrong, give thanks for the big things.”

Little things that encourage us could be looking intently at something beautiful in nature or our homes. Or perhaps savoring coffee or chocolate. And of course, those of us who know God can always be thankful for the very big things: that he loves us, walks with us, and through the grace of the cross will take us to be with him in heaven forever.

The Thanksgiving holiday is unique to America. Dr. C loves it because of its deep religious and historical meaning – and because some of her ancestors were Pilgrims at that first Thanksgiving celebration.

After a long time of suffering during which half of the settlers died, the Pilgrims had a good harvest in 1621 A.D. In the tradition of their faith, they decided to have a great feast to thank God and celebrate his goodness. The Pilgrims cooked many dishes and hunted fowl. They invited their new friends, the Native Americans, who in turn hunted and brought 5 deer to the feast. With all of this food and good will, feasting and games went on for 3 days.

Not everyone who settled in America was godly, or kind to Native Americans. The pilgrims of the first Thanksgiving however were both. They knew and practiced what the Bible taught, especially about loving and treating foreigners as themselves (Leviticus 19:34). In their law, natives were to be treated equally. In fact, they executed white men for killing a native. This bold move, and their loving influence, brought the Pilgrims respect with the natives. In addition, their presence brought new peace between native tribes themselves.

Besides their daily hardships the Pilgrims had a fear: that other settlers would come after them and mistreat the natives. They dreaded that the bad deeds of others would be blamed on them. Sadly, that is exactly what happened. Today false accusations and unhappy thoughts cast shadows over the Thanksgiving holiday. But friends, if you read “Of Plymouth Plantation,” by Governor Bradford, the colony’s leader, you might be surprised. Contrary to the accusations, racial and religious tolerance, which America treasures today, began in Plymouth colony.

Digital Juice Back Traxx 2, New American Classics, “Looking Back,” used with permission by Force 4 Digital
“Ana Mosh Hashok” by Joseph Nassrallah, used with permission