Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The American way of life was interrupted this year. The damage for some is understandably beyond repair. The loss of loved ones, the loss of job security, and the loss of trust in our institutions. Yet, God through the Apostle Paul, reminds us to rejoice, pray, and to give thanks in all circumstances – including life in 2020.
I believe this unprecedented and unpredictable year has caused many to consider with gratitude what in previous years we took for granted. Today, these simple relationships and interactions have become much more complex due to restrictions and mandates:
- The gathering of believers for worship.
- The smile and handshake of a greeter at the front door.
- The conversations with friends in the church foyer.
- The lunch at the local diner with family after service.
I want to encourage you this Thanksgiving to appreciate and value your church family and those that labor among you in the Lord. It was not long ago when church doors were locked, and lawsuits were being filed. Let us never take the worship experience for granted – even in New Jersey – especially now.
Furthermore, instead of being upset with seemingly endless threats of business shutdowns and ten-person capacity limits on holiday gatherings, let us be grateful that we live in a state that has over 860,000 small businesses and with hundreds of thousands of homes that can hold ten people or more for a family meal. In many other nations, such economic activity and personal large living space is rare. Let us never take our economic freedom and the right to own property for granted – even in New Jersey – especially now.
Director of Advocacy
Kevin Cramer is committed to protecting your deeply held biblical beliefs, just as we at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota are here to protect your values. Both Kevin and our organization are fighting for a North Dakota where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
Senator Cramer knows that Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is on the front lines in the current cultural war. Please take a minute and hear what he wants you to know about our organization.
We are deeply appreciative of Senator Cramer’s support and his kind words. We hope that you too can join us.
President and Executive Director
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” –Psalm 100:4
On behalf of my family and Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming, I want to wish you a joyful and happy Thanksgiving!
In 1869, when Wyoming was still a territory of the Union, Governor J.A. Campbell issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving throughout the Territory of Wyoming.
In the proclamation Governor Campbell recommended that “on that day, all secular pursuits be suspended throughout the whole extent of the territory; and that our people assemble together at their places of public worship or in the privacy of their own homes and render thanks and praise to Almighty God, the giver of all good.”
He went on to describe the state of the state in that year and then closed with these words: “It is meet and proper that we render humble and heart-felt thanks to Him from whom all good gifts come.”
Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming® officially began this year. What a year to start! Amid a tumultuous election season and COVID-19 and all of its responses, this will be a never-forgotten moment in the history of our state. I want to stop for a moment and thank you for your prayers and partnership which make our ministry possible. Together, we are helping our fellow Wyomingites live as good citizens of both heaven and earth: biblically faithful, civically responsible, culturally influential.
As we enter this holiday season, may we heed Governor Campbell’s words and the words of Scripture by offering thanks to our Lord and extending His love and blessings to those in need.
God bless you and your family,
Nathan, Christie, Liberty, Zayden, and Bryzon
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!” –Psalm 100:4
On behalf of my family and Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, I want to wish you a joyous and happy Thanksgiving!
In 1913, before it was proclaimed a national holiday, New Mexico’s first Governor, William McDonald, proclaimed Thanksgiving Day in our state and offered the following words:
“I urge upon all that this day be observed as one of prayer and praise to God for the many blessings enjoyed by our people. At the same time may we not forget the poor and needy, making the day what its name implies for all.”
During these particularly challenging times, may we all heed Governor McDonald’s words by offering thanks to God and extending His love and blessings to all in need.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Vince, Tiffany, Brooklyn, and Gavin
Is this Thanksgiving a difficult one for you and your family?
Have you been personally impacted by COVID-19, lost a family member, wondered if your job, business or ministry will survive, how and where your child or grandchild will continue school, or how our nation will weather the challenges that appear to be before us – even as recounts, legal challenges and runoffs continue in this year’s election?
Have you wondered where God has been this year, and if you can truly be thankful this Thanksgiving?
As I reflect on this year, I have been stretched beyond what I could possibly have imagined, including the loss of my beloved father. I have also witnessed and heard of others’ suffering – more than at any point previously in my life. Without a doubt, it has been a hard year.
We’ve probably all heard at least one person say, “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over.” I can certainly relate, and hope 2021 will be a “better year.”
But in thinking about Thanksgiving this year, and about what 2021 may hold for us as believers, I’ve realized a few things the Lord has been impressing on my heart this year, that might just be an encouragement for you, too.
First, to be thankful for the time we have, being mindful of not wishing time away because this year has been difficult. We aren’t promised tomorrow, nor do we know what tomorrow will bring. Yet, we know the One who holds the future in the palm of His hand, and has told us not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34).
I’m also cherishing the blessings of the present more. During my dad’s illness, that meant enjoying as many beautiful Colorado afternoons together as possible, and special visits from close friends and family. For others, that might be a birthday, anniversary, promotion, graduation, wedding or birth. If we don’t know how many tomorrows we have – or what those tomorrows will bring – we should live fully in each moment, thankful for each breath and time with those we love.
Second, to be thankful that difficulty brings the Lord’s graciousness into greater focus. So many times, I’ve known in a general way that the Lord is working in my life or in circumstances around me. But in 2020, there’s been nothing vague about it. I’ve experienced miracles I doubt I would have seen or marveled over if things hadn’t been so challenging. But miracles that I know are gifts from my Heavenly Father (Romans 8:28, James 1:17).
Third, to be thankful for His presence. This year, the two qualities that have struck me most about our Lord are His goodness and His faithfulness. And those have become more apparent to me because I have felt His presence in a new and incredibly precious way. If 2021 is a “better year,” I pray I never lose sight of 2020 and who God has shown Himself to be – and that I must continually draw near to Him (James 4:8).
And even as I write these words for Thanksgiving, I’m also thinking about the beginning of Advent in a few days – and how the long wait for Immanuel, who is “God with us,” takes on even greater significance this year.
Finally, a few of my favorite verses come to mind from Psalm 27, written by David – who certainly experienced many a difficult year both before and after he became king of Israel. In verses 13 and 14, he declares: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
And that’s my prayer for you and our nation this Thanksgiving, that we will be confident and strong in the Lord, taking heart, waiting for Him—and thankful for His presence with us, which is more than enough. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
From my heart to yours,
Family Policy Alliance
In a well-earned triumph for children and their families, the 11th Circuit has struck down local laws in Florida that prohibit licensed therapists from providing basic talk-therapy to children who want to reduce or eliminate their same-sex attracted behaviors or feelings of confusion regarding their gender identity. The bans forced children into therapy that only guides them toward “gender transition”—including stopping their natural onset of puberty to instead pursue taking sterilizing cross-sex hormones or even life-altering surgery to remove healthy body parts. Any basic talk therapy to help children accept the bodies they were created with was banned.
In the past several years, there has been a concerted effort by LGBT-lobbyist organizations to ban therapy that allows families to receive treatment in line with their religious, ethical, or conscience beliefs. Currently, 20 states, Washington, D.C., and numerous cities and counties ban this kind of basic talk therapy, often claiming they are banning professional conduct and not speech.
These bans are devastating to families who want to seek out a licensed counselor for their child who is struggling with gender identity or sexual orientation confusion and want unbiased treatment that is tailored to their child’s needs and religious, moral, and conscience beliefs about sex and sexuality.
On Friday, the 11th Circuit ruled against the two Florida talk-therapy bans on the basis they violated the First Amendment in several ways. The three-judge panel (in a 2-1 decision), wrote that just because a therapist is providing medical treatment doesn’t automatically mean what he says can be labeled as “professional conduct” instead of “speech,” the latter having far more protections under the First Amendment.
Circuit Judge Britt Grant wrote, “the enterprise of labeling certain verbal or written communications ‘speech’ and others ‘conduct’ is unprincipled and susceptible to manipulation” (page 7 of published opinion). He went on to say the legislative power to regulate medical professions “does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed” just because “a legislative body thinks [those ideas] unsuitable for [children]” (p. 20).
Judge Grant also declared these bans unconstitutionally forced the government’s viewpoint onto families and their children that “sexual orientation is immutable, but gender is not,” (p. 12) by prohibiting therapists from saying anything opposing the government viewpoint. This is because these laws allow therapists to provide talk-therapy that supports permanent, radical gender transition or change but not basic therapy to facilitate sexual orientation transition or change.
Today, families in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia can breathe a little easier knowing the “bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment” that “the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable” (p. 27) has been upheld.
This federal circuit judgment can now be used to strike down state laws that ban talk therapy, which stifle and obliterate the fundamental right for a minor to obtain licensed professional help to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction and gender identity confusion. It affirms that laws cannot impede the constitutional right to seek out the help they desire.
We applaud Liberty Counsel’s monumental efforts in bringing forward these cases and working on behalf of all families to ensure their rights are protected. We hope this is the first victory of many more to come.
Nearly three weeks after Election Day and one thing is clear: we have to get proactive about election integrity.
Contrary to the leftist narrative of voter suppression, Georgia has made it incredibly easy to register and to vote. That’s great. However, leftist lawsuits and the dramatic push toward mail-in voting have also made us skeptical – concerned that our elections, while rightly open to all Georgians, are also open to fraud.
On Friday, Governor Kemp spoke regarding this election. He spoke of the legal mandates and restrictions on his office. He spoke of the path forward for the Trump campaign. And, he spoke of his concern for our elections. He called on an audit of the signatures on absentee ballot envelopes to their corresponding voter registration signatures. Such an audit could assess the infiltration of fraudulent ballots in our count.
On November 3rd, we had a stark contrast in our choice for president. We deserve to assess the validity of the unprecedented number of absentee ballots. Moreover, we know the left will work relentlessly to cheat in these all-important January 5th runoffs. And, we must get this right so we can defeat Stacey Abrams AGAIN in 2022.
Governor Kemp was right. An audit of these signatures is needed – for this election and to assess the threat to future elections. Make your voice heard by encouraging Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to order such an audit TODAY! Sign the petition and ENCOURAGE your friends, family, and co-workers to do the same.
For Election Integrity,
President and Executive Director
P.S. This isn’t about rumor or innuendo. Brad Raffensperger had a conservative record in the State House, is a friend, and we are not casting doubt on his integrity. However, an audit of these signatures is needed and would go a long way toward either confirming a problem that MUST be addressed OR restoring confidence. TAKE ACTION by encouraging our Secretary of State to order such an audit TODAY!
P.P.S. We are not an organization that focuses on “elections process.” However, we know that those who desire a “Georgia where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished” are NOT the ones who try to cheat. Those who do, rob our constituents of their voice. We’ll be engaging on this and other election issues so we can make certain to get this right.
Greetings, David here.
I happen to be in Texas right now. My Dad just turned 90 and my family is celebrating. I am surrounded by pictures of those who are dear to me. I am also confronted with pictures of my youngest daughter, Anna. She died eight years ago in a car accident. I continue to be drawn to just look at her pictures. I cry inside and hurt because I miss her.
Right now, seemingly more than in most years, many people are facing difficulties. There is frustration regarding our election process. Many people are in financial distress, having lost businesses or jobs. Others are ill. Most people now know others who have contracted or died from COVID-19, or perhaps have dealt with it themselves. Deep concerns for our nation are affecting so many of us.
Difficulties are everywhere. Of course, difficulties have been with us since Adam and Eve walked the earth. After the Fall, God promised Adam that he would have difficulties tilling the soil.
In our society, where blessings have graced our lives in so many areas, it is easy to forget that God never promised a life free of difficulties. In fact, Jesus shared, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33). Jesus basically promises us that we will have difficulties.
It is easy to respond to these difficulties with clichés, especially when we are trying to encourage someone else. You know, something like “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, I want to be honest. When my daughter died, I did not want anyone giving me a cliché.
So, what are we to do?
I believe the answer is found in Jesus. That is right, Sunday School answer number one: Jesus. Jesus continued the above statement about trouble with, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Is this too simple an answer? Absolutely not!
During times of difficulty, which are to be expected, our identity with Jesus should deepen:
- We should declare to God, to ourselves, and to others that “Jesus is Lord.” We should reaffirm our relationship with Jesus as our Master and our Savior. Jesus died on the cross because of our sins and because of that we receive forgiveness through His grace.
- We should actively trust Him. When we are tempted to despair because of difficulties, we should relax, trust, and embrace peace despite our circumstances.
- We should deepen our disciplines. Read God’s Word. Pray. Serve. Worship. Encourage others. Get outside of yourself and bless someone else. Love your neighbor, even those with whom you disagree.
Finally, especially as Thanksgiving Day arrives, let us all be thankful. The first century believers lived in turmoil and persecution, yet they were thankful.
May we be thankful in all ways:
- Good things are happening.
- Kansas has had electoral victories.
- COVID-19 vaccines are right around the corner.
- Regardless of who is in the White House in January, Jesus is still on His throne and He loves me.
God is so good.
Pastor David Beauchamp
Director of Church Ambassador Network of Kansas
Cell: (913) 981-3253
I’ve been shocked by the attempts to re-write this well-known and much-loved American tradition. COVID-19 may require a change in the way you, your family and your friends celebrate but whatever you do… DO NOT CANCEL THANKSGIVING!
WallBuilders is an organization dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on moral, religious, and constitutional history. Thanks to them we have this Proclamation from 1806 as a record of Rhode Island’s God-honoring Thanksgiving heritage. It was encouraging back then and should be even more so today! (It’s also an interesting historical reminder that the “separation of Church and State” is not language in our Constitution).
BY HIS HONOUR
ISAAC WILBOUR, ESQ.
Lieutenant Governor of the State of Rhode-Island
WHEREAS the General Assembly of the State aforesaid, on the First day of November inst. passed the following Resolutions, to wit:
“WHEREAS all men are sharers in the bounties of GOD: it is therefore their duty to acknowledge, with humility, their sense of His goodness, and with grateful
hearts to render to Him their thanks for the same. “Resolved, That it be recommended to the people of this State, to observe THURSDAY, the Twenty-seventh day of November inst. as a day of PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That they unite in rendering thanks to the Great Father of all for their being, preservation, and redemption; for their exemption from the miseries of war, to which other nations, less favored at this time exposed; for the means of education, and religious improvement, which they enjoy; for the possession of their liberty; for the privilege of equal laws; for the fruitfulness of the season; and for the health of the people: And to entreat that He would continue to look upon them with an eye of favor: That He would bless the officers of the government of the United States, and of each particular State:
That He would give us Grace, duly to appreciate the blessings of a free government, happily administered, and to be duly sensible of the evils that
would result from divisions among us: — That He would take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from union and concord:
That as there is but one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, and one GOD and Father of us all; so we may henceforth be all of one heart, united in one
bond of truth, peace and charity: That He would preserve us against wars from abroad, from wasting sickness, and from the commission of any thing which
might offend against His holy Law; and with deep humility and contrition to confess their manifold sins and transgressions.
We at Family Policy Alliance are thankful for you!
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island
It’s National Adoption Month. Here at Family Policy Alliance, adoption means a lot to us: it’s a critical part of who we are both as individuals and as an organization. Here are 3 reasons why.
- Adoption is an important part of our pro-life, pro-family vision.At Family Policy Alliance, we believe that every person has inherent value that is worth honoring from the moment of their conception till the moment of their natural death. That’s why we take a strong stand on both abortion and end-of-life issues: No person should be denied a fair chance at life, regardless of the circumstances of their conception, their physical ability, their sex, or any other characteristic. Every life matters. Period.But while many legislative battles happen surrounding the first and last years of life, we don’t only care about those two points in a person’s life. We sincerely believe that every person’s life matters – and that they should not only have a chance at life, but that they should have the chance to be loved by a family as God envisioned it. That’s what adoption is—giving a child the chance to be part of a loving family, regardless of the circumstances of the family they were born into. It’s an opportunity for love to transform both child and parent. And supporting it is one way we can tangibly be pro-life from conception through life to natural death.
- Faith-based adoption is at risk.Historically, Christians have led the way in adoption, seeing it as a privilege and as a Biblical command (James 1:27). In ancient culture, it was not uncommon for parents to abandon baby girls simply because they were girls. Often it was the church that rescued those precious infants. Over the centuries, Christians have continued to care for orphans in numerous ways, and that holds true today. One 2013 study revealed that practicing Christians were more than twice as likely to adopt than the general adult population.And there’s great need for adoption (and foster care) right here in America. As of April 2019, an estimated 443,000 children were in the U.S. foster care system. That’s significant. Those children could replace the population of Minneapolis. Of those, over 123,000 are considered to be available for or awaiting adoption. Each of those children is precious. And many Christians are eager to adopt or care for them!Sadly, though, faith-based adoption and foster care agencies are under attack. As some localities begin to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination laws, those laws can be used as a weapon against faith-based agencies and families, the very people who are statistically more likely to adopt than the general population. Why? Because as matters of faith and conscience, they may decline to tell a girl that she is a boy or they may try to place children in homes with one mother and one father. These simple principles – driven by faith and the best intentions for children – do not align with radical LGBT ideology, and local governments may ask agencies to either violate their consciences or stop serving children in their communities.That’s not right, and the issue is so important it went before the Supreme Court earlier this month. You can read a little about that case here. We pray for an outcome that affirms the right of these foster agencies and families to live according to their consciences while serving children in need.
- Adoption is critical to who we are as Christians.Most importantly, adoption is critical to our identity as followers of Christ. We believe that without the hope of the Gospel, we are spiritual orphans, eternally separated from God, and unable to get to him on our own, much less to participate in his kingdom or inheritance.Yet we rejoice that God, in his love and mercy, sent his Son to live and die on our behalf and to raise him from the dead so that we could be called children of God. As Paul says in Galatians 4:4-6, “…God sent forth his Son … so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’”By his grace alone, we can call God our father. We can share in the eternal inheritance and glorious kingdom he has for his children. We can live not as orphans, but as the fully loved children of God through his gift of adoption.That’s why adoption means so much to us. Some of us have taken part in an earthly adoption process. All of us rejoice in our spiritual adoption as children of God.
As you may know, we often like to conclude our emails with some call to action, often of a political nature. But this time, our call is a more contemplative one. In this National Adoption Month, would you prayerfully consider how the Lord would have you involved in adoption, whether spiritual or physical? Perhaps he’s called you to adopt a child or support a family or agency involved in that process. Perhaps he wants you to embrace the spirit of adoption that you have as a follower of Christ—to know that you are fully loved and can live with the freeing knowledge that you will inherit a heavenly kingdom. Or perhaps, you realize that you can’t call yourself a child of God – and God is just waiting for you to ask him.
We praise God that he adopts us, and that we at Family Policy Alliance can share in that vision of adoption – both spiritual and on earth as it is heaven.
Policy and Communications Strategist