Growing up, Thanksgiving was always associated with an annual trip in our camping trailer. Because of my dad’s pastoral duties around Christmas time, it was the last chance we had to get away together, and we always looked forward to visiting some scenic location.
Given that the holiday was spent on the road and the fact that we never celebrated with extended family, we quickly adopted a Thanksgiving tradition of eating out- and usually preferring a “non-traditional” feast. My favorite such meal was when we discovered an Italian-Thai-Japanese restaurant in Gatlinburg that was about as far off the beaten path of the usual smorgasbord as possible.
To many reading this email, you may consider that an assault on Thanksgiving- directly undermining the food that makes the holiday unique.
But, it isn’t the feasting that makes the holiday special. It isn’t the turkey or the cranberry sauce or even the football. Instead, what makes this holiday unique is the fact that it is the only one that celebrates a mental state- one that is not dependent on circumstances but a reminder that “giving thanks” is called for no matter what is going on in the world or in our lives.
I don’t have to know the intimate details of your life to know that you are hurting in some way, and I didn’t have to turn on Fox News this week to know that our world, in many ways, is expressing its fallen nature. But, I do know that Scripture is clear. We are to “give thanks in all circumstances” (Colossians 4:2).
Yet, as we celebrate Thanksgiving 2018, I don’t have to look far to see visible reasons for giving thanks. Our ministry, because of generous supporters and faithful prayer, is rapidly growing and being granted more opportunity for impact. Nationally, despite a rough political environment, we increased President Trump’s ability to get a constitutional Supreme Court nominee confirmed. Here in Georgia, we withstood the onslaught of California money and elected God-fearing, pro-family leaders like Brian Kemp and Geoff Duncan.
And, across America, evangelical Christians turned out in unprecedented volume to vote for their values- an encouraging sign that the Church is waking up!
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for all of these gifts as we seek to make a positive impact on our culture. I am also thankful for you, for your support, prayers, encouragement, and friendship.
We have been on this journey together for less than 2 years, but the future is already brighter for our children and grandchildren here in Georgia. For that, I am incredibly thankful. However, your faithfulness- your commitment to glorifying the King whether He grants us immediate victories or not- is inspires me the most. You know His truth, and you are willing to “stand firm and take action” (Daniel 11:32b) regardless of whether it is popular or the “winning side” in the short term.
My family and I are humbled by your willingness to partner with us, and I wish you and yours a Blessed Thanksgiving. I hope it is a special time with family, that you are enriched by the day spent focusing on His blessings, and that you emerge encouraged by all He is doing in your life and in our world. May God Bless you on this special day!
Thankful for you,
President and Executive Director