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:

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shawn Hyland
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

Dear Friends:

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

Dear Friends—

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!

God bless,

Vince, Tiffany, Brooklyn, and Gavin

 

 

Dear Friends,

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,


Sonja Swiatkiewicz
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:

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:

God is so good.

Blessings,

Pastor David Beauchamp
Director of Church Ambassador Network of Kansas
Email: David.Beauchamp@FamilyPolicyFoundation.com
Cell: (913) 981-3253

 

Friends,

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,

Blaine Conzatti
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.

Go: Washington

Thanksgiving is next week. I’ll be honest, I’m having a really hard time being thankful this year. While I wrote a few weeks ago how God being in control gives me comfort in the long run, right now things are a mess.

I really don’t need to list the mess that 2020 has become – you all know it. From riots, to political hate on a grand scale, and of course our ever-present COVID virus. We even hear health experts suggesting that we have family members use something like Zoom to be part of our Thanksgiving celebration, instead of coming over in person. Are you kidding me? And they’re not talking just about high-risk persons, which I could understand. They are talking about any relative or friend. Thank you for letting me rant a bit.

George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, just a few years after the Revolutionary War and two years after our Constitution was enacted. The fact that it was proclaimed almost contemporaneously with the founding of our country tells you something of its importance to our founding fathers. In case you’ve never read the Proclamation, I’ve included it below. It is fascinating, particularly given our current circumstances [underlining and brackets are mine].

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 [i]ncrease 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.

Source: Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789

What a statement about what our country should be thankful for! Does that sound like us right now? I’m afraid it doesn’t in many respects. But before we start pointing fingers and complaining, keep in mind that Washington had just been through a war, seen many of his men killed for these beliefs, and spawned a fledgling nation that was essentially a big experiment. He knew what mattered: that God was the source of his nation’s thanksgiving.

When I compare my situation to that of Washington’s, I really have much to be thankful for, including being able to live in this nation birthed over 200 years ago. Our duty is to make sure we preserve that nation and what it stood for. To protect our ability to gather with our families and celebrate holidays. To worship and conduct business according to our religious beliefs. To protect all life, given that it’s a gift from God.

Preserving this nation gives rise to the thankfulness Washington expressed. It is both a strong foundation and a delicate thing that can be lost. Let’s make sure that never happens.

Thankfully,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

 

 

 

This Thanksgiving, I have something I need to say: I’M THANKFUL FOR YOU.

This job isn’t easy, but I am blessed to have a profound source of encouragement – knowing that faithful Georgia Christians like you are standing with us for His glory.

Your prayers, generous contributions, work to spread the message – however you choose to “Unleash Biblical Citizenship” – gives me hope and provides me the fuel I need to keep up the fight for our families.

I cannot begin to describe the gratitude I feel. Since coming to Georgia, we’ve seen a radical change in the political climate because of your faithfulness in partnering with us to elect godly leaders. We’ve also seen a big step toward a Georgia where life is cherished with the signing of the Heartbeat Bill, and we’ve seen numerous other victories come as a result of your partnership.

THANK YOU!

My family and I wish you and yours a Blessed Thanksgiving and a joyous time as you reflect on all the good things the Lord is doing in your life and in those around you. We serve an AWESOME God!

Blessings,

Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

Here’s Why I Thank You

At Family Policy Alliance®, we talk a lot about our vision of a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.

But without you, that would just be a lot of talk.

I’m thankful for you because – in a variety of ways – you help turn that vision into reality. Let me count the ways:

1. You act.

We know that politicians are far more likely to listen when they hear from their constituents. That’s why we put great emphasis on helping you speak up to your elected officials. And how you have responded! So far in 2019, you’ve sent well over half a million messages through our online Action Center – plus countless thousands of phone calls – helping bring about some stunning victories!

2. You give.

Your sacrificial giving to protect life, to uphold religious freedom and to help families thrive not only makes all of our work possible, but it is such an inspiration. Every dollar you give is deeply appreciated and carefully used to advance this critical mission.

3. You pray.

It’s your most powerful weapon in the cultural chaos of this moment. Thank you for your prayers – for Family Policy Alliance and for our nation.

4. You share.

Thank you for multiplying the impact and the reach of Family Policy Alliance by regularly sharing information and action alerts with your circle of influence. That simple act makes such a difference!

This year, your actions, donations, prayers and sharing have yielded a harvest of good results. Here’s just a taste of what you helped accomplish:

You helped religious freedom flourish by defeating dangerous legislation in several states – and your outpouring of nearly 60,000 messages to the halls of power in D.C. helped to stop the catastrophic so-called Equality Act. And in this month’s elections, your support was pivotal in electing candidates who are committed to protecting religious freedom.

You helped families thrive by advancing various pro-family policies around the country – from New Jersey to Idaho. Just as important, you stopped a host of anti-family schemes such as the poorly named Equal Rights Amendment, and your tens of thousands of messages stopped in its tracks a big push to legalize prostitution in our nation’s capital.

You helped cherish life by passing major pro-life legislation – from Georgia to North Dakota and beyond. You also protected the elderly and infirm by stopping assisted suicide in several states. And you helped bring about the biggest 2019 public policy miracle of all – the against-all-odds defeat of a radical pro-abortion bill in New Mexico that seemed impossible to stop.

And there’s so much more – from the scores of trained Statesmen Academy alums serving in legislative bodies to the major, behind-the-scenes preparation for next year’s monumental elections.

Your support, in all of the ways I mentioned above, has been instrumental.

And that’s why I thank you.

Sincerely,

Paul Weber
President and CEO

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” –Psalm 100:4

 Dear Friends:

On behalf of my family and Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico®, I want to wish you a joyful and happy Thanksgiving!

In 1913, before Thanksgiving was proclaimed a national holiday, New Mexico’s first Governor, William McDonald, proclaimed Thanksgiving Day in New Mexico 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.”

 As we enter this holiday season, may we heed Governor McDonald’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,

Vince, Tiffany, Brooklyn, and Gavin