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
Your help is needed immediately to stop the Reproductive Freedom Act, the most radical abortion bill ever proposed in this state. If this bill is passed, it will codify into law the extreme anti-life policies practiced in only a handful of nations.
Governor Murphy and the current pro-abortion lawmakers want to end the debate over the right to life in New Jersey once and for all. Their solution is simple – abortion at any time, for any reason, without any restrictions, without end.
Over 300 people joined our first Day of Action of Prayer and Protest on Nov. 11. The coalition of pro-life organizations working together to defeat this unsafe and damaging bill have organized our next Day of Action, Prayer, and Protest on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Please register for further details and reminders.
Join us and many other groups at one or more of these office locations of the bill sponsors:
Wed., Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to Noon – Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, 511 Valley St., Maplewood, NJ
Wed., Dec. 2, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, 2312 New Rd., Suite 102, Northfield, NJ
Wed., Dec. 2, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. –Senator Vin Gopal and Assemblywoman Joann Downey, 35 West Main St., Freehold, NJ
Let’s act like lives depend on it – because they do!
Director of Advocacy
“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
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
Let’s be real. In many ways, 2020 has gotten the better of us. Years from now, it’ll be the subject both of jokes and of fear and gloom. This New Year will be celebrated unlike any other as most Americans will be beyond eager to turn the page.
But, you can beat 2020 – we all can – with Thanksgiving.
Scripture is clear: God is in control, God provides for, God is good to, God saves, and God loves His people. Because we know and understand these truths as followers of Christ, one of the most persistent qualities we should have is hope, one of the most constant is joy, and one of the most counter-cultural is Thanksgiving.
No matter the circumstances, no matter who is in power, and no matter the storm around us in this world, we understand the greatness and supremacy. We understand His kindness, and we understand what we deserve. In light of that, we must be thankful.
Christ conquered death because His power is so much greater. Similarly, the spirit of Thanksgiving can conquer the woes of 2020.
I hope that the joy of believers here in Georgia will shine forth this Thanksgiving. That your children and grandchildren will see that – in spite of this time and these challenges – there is nothing that will snuff out our joy. May the unsaved around us see that too.
My family and I wish you a blessed time of celebration and thanks. You mean a great deal to us.
Defeating woe with joyous thanks,
President and Executive Director
P.S. While our thanksgiving can persist no matter the circumstances, I wanted to take a moment to share with you just some of what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for an incredible wife, 3 awesome sons, and our daughter, Audrey, that we welcomed just this year.
I am thankful that – despite some setbacks – many of our elections went our way. We won key primary races, helped the nation’s most conservative senator, Kelly Loeffler, reach the runoff, and re-elected the Heartbeat Bill sponsor, Representative Ed Setzler.
I’m thankful that so many of the victories that have been challenged in Court in recent years may see a Supreme Court that includes Justice Amy Coney Barrett. And, I’m thankful that Governor Kemp has preserved freedom and opportunity in this crisis, even when others used COVID as an opportunity to seize power, shutter businesses and schools, and silence faith.
As a ministry, we have grown and thrived – increasing revenue and impact – in spite of COVID. This is because of generous supporters like you. I’m so, so thankful! God is good. He is good all the time.
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
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But some public officials, including Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, have “canceled” traditional Thanksgiving celebrations.
“Simply put, it’s just too dangerous to gather with anyone outside our household right now,” said Gov. Inslee. “This year, our family will celebrate the holidays virtually.” Some Washingtonians have deemed Inslee the “Grinch” in social media memes and blog posts—a title he has undoubtedly earned for himself.
It’s not any better in the Windy City, where Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently told Chicagoans to “stop having guests over—including family members you don’t live with” and to “cancel traditional Thanksgiving plans.”
Why is it so important that we celebrate Thanksgiving? And why are the actions of Inslee and Lightfoot so lamentable?
The first Thanksgiving festival took place when Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony invited ninety Native Americans to join the Pilgrims for a three-day harvest celebration in 1621. Those faithful Christians had experienced considerable trials, including the loss of half of their company from sickness and starvation, but they were determined to praise God, trust in His providence, and impact the world for His gospel.
Thanksgiving celebrations quickly spread to other American colonies, becoming a fixture of early American life. The Continental Congress declared several “days of solemn thanksgiving and praise” during the American War for Independence, and state governors issued Thanksgiving proclamations encouraging public prayer, special worship services in churches, and civic events at town squares.
When the first US Congress met in 1789, founding father Elias Boudinot of New Jersey recommended that they direct the president to declare a day of national thanksgiving and provide “an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them.”
President Washington heeded their advice and issued the first federal Thanksgiving proclamation for November 1789. He encouraged Americans to earnestly seek God in prayer, confessing their sins and thanking Him for His bountiful blessings, including the inalienable rights He had given them and the constitutional system of government that protects those rights.
Americans continue these traditions even today. We recognize Thanksgiving as a day to worship and give thanks to God for the innumerable ways He has blessed us. Many churches continue to host special Thanksgiving worship services. And no one ever forgets the Thanksgiving turkey when families gather around the table to feast and reflect upon the goodness of our Lord!
Don’t let the Grinches take away this precious opportunity to gather at church and celebrate at home with family and loved ones. God is worthy of our praise and gratitude. Ain’t nothin’ changin’ that.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,
Director of Advocacy
P.S. I’ve included President Washington’s 1789 Prayer Proclamation below for those who want to read it:
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
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 signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.