Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

I will not be continuing my Creationism posts today. I do plan to return to them soon.

Then, I plan to answer the response about Iraq. I am sorry for the change in plans. Plans, in reality, often are altered for one reason or another. “The best laid plans … often go astray.” Thank you for your understanding and patience.

How many unborn toddlers were murdered today because of the humanistic, paganish, barbaric decisions of the United States Supreme Court?

Stop the
Murder of

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4: 17 (NIV)

The following transcript is from a TV program that I watched on Sunday November 18, 2007. I had hoped to post it Wednesday night the 21st. However, it was not yet available from the web-site. Consequently, I am posting it tonight without comment.

“Let us be thankful

Psalm 100: 3-5

It isn’t news to you by now. If for no other reason than it will be a day off work, you are probably already aware that Thursday of this week is (the) American day of Thanksgiving. And, it’s likely you have plans—as I do—for a big thanksgiving dinner with family—or friends—well, turkey and all the trimmings—and then some ball games perhaps on TV or radio in the afternoon. As you might have expected, our message today is titled: "Let Us Be Thankful." Say, we are glad—and we are thankful too, that you have joined us today.

My friend, in keeping with the spirit of the season, let me assure you we're so thankful that you have joined in our Bible study today ‘In Search of the Lord’s Way.’ It’s our sincerest prayer that we will both be blessed by our study.

Thanksgiving is not a religious ‘holy day’; it's a national holiday. Three years after the Pilgrims arrived, two years after the First Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford made an official proclamation of a day of Thanksgiving. Let me read you just a part of it. He said, ‘To all ye pilgrims: In as much as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience;—now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at the meeting house, on ye hill, between hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November the 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred twenty-three, the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and to render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.’ And it was signed by ‘William Bradford, Ye Governor of Ye Colony.’

What an expression of faith in the role of the Almighty God in the protection and the preservation of our founding fathers—that our founding fathers had of this great nation! Well, we will have more to say about that in a moment. If you think you might want—or need—a free printed copy, or CD, or audio cassette tape of the message, please mail your request to In Search of the Lord's Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083. Our e-mail address is And our toll-free telephone number is 1-800-321-8633. After Ken Helterbrand leads us in a hymn, I’ll be back.

We are reading today from the one hundredth Psalm. We will read beginning at verse 3. ‘Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.’ What a great thought! Let’s go to Him in prayer. Holy Father, we have so much for which to be thankful today, and we are going to meditate upon those things as the program progresses. We pray Your blessings with us and we pray that You will continue to bless our nation as a people. Help us to realize our weaknesses and our transgressions and be penitent in spirit about them. Help us, Lord, as we make an effort to return to being of Your will and acceptance of Your presence with us in our nation and in our personal lives. This is our prayer through Jesus Christ, Amen!

Awhile ago I read what is said to be the first Thanksgiving Day proclamation in American history. One hundred sixty six years later in 1789 our nation's first President, George Washington issued the first ‘Presidential’ Thanksgiving Proclamation of the United States. And I am going to read a part of it now. I won’t read all of it, because some of it isn’t pertinent, but I want you to get these thoughts. ‘Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas, both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceable to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness; Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being.’

Seventy-four years later, on October 3, 1863, President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln issued another ‘thanksgiving proclamation’ and I am going to read part of his. ‘It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; (he said) to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord...We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God...It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens.’

Well, time didn’t permit me to read all of those proclamations in their entirety. I’ve read as much as is necessary in them to show that: first of all, in spite of all we are hearing nowadays about ‘separation of church and state,’—and secondly, that all that is being done and taught in our country—and thirdly, all the current campaigns to prevent even a public mention of God in the pledge of allegiance, and so on—our forefathers did live unashamedly with a faith in God, Almighty. They believed strongly, friend, in the providence of the Almighty God in the beginning and in the development of our nation. They feared not at all to insist that every citizen take the time and make the effort to thank God and to pray to God for His blessings on our beloved country. Yes, ours is a ‘Christian nation’ as opposed to being a Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu or yes even a secular nation. Yes, our leaders have, until only recently, believed in God and, the Bible to be the true word of God.

While I was preparing this message for today, I was traveling. While I was waiting for a plane, I was reading in the Bible—the book of Judges. And here is what I was reading: ‘So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord which He had done for Israel....When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel....and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger....And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons; and they served their gods....Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against them, against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia...’ (Oh, you can read the whole story with all the details in the book of Judges, chapters two and three.)

That isn’t a bed-time story for the little children, friend. It’s history. It is inspired history. I mean, God had that written for us Christians today so that we could learn from it (Romans 15 and 4). It really happened to the people of God in the Old Testament times (late in the 12th and early 13th centuries BC.) It is reality, friend. And, the thing about it is: If we don’t learn from it, we’re destined to repeat it. No, no, no now, I don’t believe America is God’s chosen people of the 21st century AD; of course I don’t believe that. But, Christians are! And as surely as Christians are taking pride in their blissful but false security of ‘inclusiveness’ that demands acceptance of all religious faiths with all their gods, just that surely we will provoke the anger of the Lord against us. And we will become enslaved to people who worship—perhaps Allah as their god. Already we, to show how really ‘big-hearted’ and generous and inclusive we are, we, like the children of Israel we read about a few minutes ago in the book Judges, chapters two and three, we are giving those gods preferences—something we consistently and stubbornly refuse to do for the Christians. I am blessed to be one of what has been called ‘The Greatest Generation.’ It isn’t that because of the great contributions I have made to it. Yet, we of the greatest generation must have failed in at least one respect: we must not have taught our children faith in God. I say that because it seems, from us there arose another generation that knew not God. Or, maybe it was the ‘baby-boomer’ generation, the one that followed us that failed in this respect.

Anyway, let’s make this Thanksgiving Day a day of real and sincere thanksgiving to God for His bountiful blessings and His presence felt in American history thus far. Let’s make it more than—just a day off work, more than just roast turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie and all the trimmings. Let’s make it more than a day of viewing ball games on TV. Let us openly, and without apology, give God thanks and praise for His marvelous goodness and for His providential care on our great nation up to this point. And what do you say we begin a movement—offering a daily prayer to Him for an American renewal of faith in Him and His word. And let’s get this nation of ours turned back to Biblical morality. We need a national commitment to Biblical Christianity—enough of—and down with this ‘show business’ style of religion. Let’s get serious about God and about our service to Him. Let us ‘be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.’ Let us ‘Put on the whole armor of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil—and having done all to stand’ for the faith of Christ Jesus, the Son of God and His way of life as we read about it in Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10 and 11.

Thank God this thanksgiving that we live in America. America has an enviable history of being ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’ God has blessed us with freedoms no other people in the world enjoy. American citizenship is, therefore, the envy of the world. I have lived abroad and I know that is so. But, our freedoms are slipping away, friend. Yes they are, one by one. Every time new legislation is needed to control our behavior in this nation, that legislation becomes law, well at that time, either locally or nationally, the people lose a freedom to make the right choice on their own. And government takes more control of the lives of its citizens. This thanksgiving let’s thank God for His exercise of His mighty power in the beginning and in the continuance of our beloved nation.

Let’s learn another lesson from the history of Israel. Knowing he would not be entering ‘the promised land’ with the people, Moses prepared them for their entrance into it and their acceptance of it. Among other things, he said to them: ‘The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of the valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage...then you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand have gained this wealth. And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth.’ Now that is from Deuteronomy chapter 8; and we need to go back and read that again and again. Say friend, we certainly need a ‘caution’ sign here, don’t we? It’s just human nature, I suppose, to take the credit or the honor for our national—or even our personal prosperity and well-being. On second thought, it might not have been because of us at all; it might very well have been in spite of us. It was, in fact, God’s doing.

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. Let’s not forget to thank God from whom all blessings flow, for all we are and all we have—for life. Paul preached on Mar’s Hill that ‘God gives to all life, breath and all things’ (Acts 17:25). Let’s thank Him for the ‘purpose of our lives.’ ‘None of us came into this world because we chose or when we chose, but because God had need of us’ (2 Timothy 1:6 through 8). Let’s not forget to thank Him for His grace, because of which we can be saved (Ephesians 2:8 and 10). Let’s remember to thank Him, too, for His Son, Jesus Christ, in whom we have salvation, even the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14). Let’s thank Him, too, for the person who taught us the gospel which is God’s power to our salvation (Romans 10:15, 1 and 16). There is also the Holy Spirit, like God and Christ, comes to dwell in us when we come to God for forgiveness (Acts 2:38). And we should be very thankful. Let’s not neglect to thank God for the church, the body of all the redeemed people in the world, in which we have a rich fellowship with all others of like faith (Acts 2:36 and 47). Let’s not forget to thank God and pray for our country. Let’s thank Him for the hope that we have of our eternal life in heaven, as we read about it in John 14:1 to 3. Finally, ‘In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you’ (I Thessalonians 5:18). Let us pray. Thank You, Lord, for this time that we can meditate upon the great blessings that You shower in abundance on us, and for the good life we enjoy. Help us, Lord. Forgive us our unthankfulness and help us to be thankful people. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

It’s a real joy, friend, to have been a guest in your home today. I pray you’ve been as blessed as I have been by this study. I say again, Thanksgiving Day is not a Biblical holy day, but a national holiday. We, as a nation founded on the principles of faith in God and His word, have so much for which to be thankful this week. While our current president hasn’t asked us, nor is it required of citizens like the payment of income tax on April 15th every year and those other things, thanksgiving is a custom established by former presidents and even our national congress for Christian citizens to give thanks and to pray to God on the fourth Thursday of November every year. Well, let us just do it, what do you say? It’s an excellent way to practice New Testament Christianity in our present environment.

If you think you would like or need a copy of today’s message, you may have it free by writing us, In Search of the Lord’s Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083. Our e-mail address is Or you may prefer just to call us, and we will pay for the call if you use our toll-free telephone number, which is 1-800-321-8633. Yes! You may use these addresses and the phone number to enroll in our Free Bible Correspondence Course, too. We have two of them. The first consists of eight lessons. It’s a very simple and systematic study of just the Bible. The advanced course consists of thirty lessons and is a more advanced Bible study. Be sure to tell us which one you would like. Both of them are free.

You may have noticed: we made no appeals for money on this program. That is because we are sponsored by churches of Christ—and some individual Christians in the area of your station right here. Say, they’d love to have you worship with them. We would like that, too. Will you do that? If you need help locating them, we would like to be that help. We plan to be back next week and we hope that you will be with us at that time, too. Invite a friend to be with us, too. God bless you now. We love you.”


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