In November of 1621, 401 years ago, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony gathered with the Wampanoag tribe for an autumn harvest festival. It is now recognized as the first Thanksgiving feast in America. These Pilgrims came to America in search of a new start due to the collapse of the Dutch textile industry and the onset of the Thirty Years War in Europe. They could have gone back to England, but they knew their Puritan beliefs were out of favor with those in power. They came to America in search of a dream of prosperity and the opportunity to practice their religion unmolested. They also had hopes of converting the native Americans or, as William Bradford described it, “the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world.”
Plymouth Colony barely survived its first, brutal winter and, in fact, many did not survive. 45 out of 102 passengers on the Mayflower perished that first winter. An English speaking native named Squanto taught the settlers how to grow corn and catch fish the next spring. After reaping a plentiful harvest in 1621, the Pilgrims shared a three-day feast with Squanto and the Wampanoag people and gave thanks to God. While there is no evidence the 1621 gathering was referred to as "Thanksgiving," it is recognized as the inspiration for the Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate in our time. It is a testament to the faith of the Pilgrims that they gave thanks to God after losing almost half of their people to starvation and cold the prior winter.
Many of you have been subjected to a brutal winter of rejection, worry, or poverty — and yet have the faith to carry on with your new beginning as the Pilgrims of Plymouth did with their new beginning more than 400 years ago. Like them, you are an inspiration to us as you move forward, believing in faith in a future you cannot yet see. This Thanksgiving, we hope you savor every precious morsel of turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. While you do, thank the Lord for new beginnings. That is what Thanksgiving is all about.
This week’s featured podcasts are “Gratitude Elevates Energy & Emotion” & “Now Thank We All Our God” and the featured video is titled “Lift Up Thy Head,” the presentation we did at the 2022 Family Life Conference in October which can lift your spirits just in time for the holiday season. Our short of the week is “Singles & Surviving the Holidays.”
Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings — full of gratitude for all that is good in your life!
FEATURED THIS WEEK
LILY Pod Episode 94: Now Thank We All Our God (26min)
LILY Pod Episode 97: Gratitude Elevates Energy & Emotion (35min)
LILY Tube: Family Life Conference 2022 — Lift Up Thy Head (41min)
LILY Tube Short: Singles & Surviving the Holidays (1min)
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Get a copy of "Intentional Courtship" on Amazon to create more love in your life HERE: Intentional Courtship.
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