When in the midst of trials and tribulations we do well to take a moment to reflect back to our foundations. This is no less true of our very American tradition of Thanksgiving Day. While this day has normally been associated with turkey, family, football and shopping, it is by reflecting on the true history that we can then remember the true purpose and thereby not only cast aside any lingering fears from events around us but also stir up hope and joy in ourselves and those with us.
The history of Thanksgiving Day extends well beyond George Washington or the Pilgrims in Plymouth colony. It is thoroughly Biblical in origin and comes directly from the Feast of Ingathering seen in Numbers 29:12-40. In brief, this festival was a celebration of the harvest and bounty God had provided but with elements often missed by the casual reader. Yes, basic to this festival was this harvest celebration but it also had elements requiring the participants to remember where they came from and how God had protected and provided for them to the present day. Also critical in this celebration was a ceremony in the temple (during the time of Christ) where there was an outpouring of water, symbolic of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, followed by the blowing of silver trumpets at dawn which called the people to the gate known as Beautiful, which opened to the court of the Gentiles all the while with their backs to the rising sun (toward the temple instead). This symbolized the turning away from paganism (sun worship) to the worship of God and His outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the nations of the earth for the Great Harvest of the nations. So, this celebration was both looking to the past, the present, and decidedly to the future all at once.
With this very brief history of the day in mind, we can easily see how the Pilgrims self consciously applied this festival to the very first Thanksgiving in the year after their arrival. Remember that the very purpose they came to the New World was to build a “city on a hill” for all the world to see. There is no mistake that they sought to apply the Bible to their new colony very clearly and very profoundly. Only revisionist historians try to wipe this fact from history by bypassing the first hand sources from the time. One such source, Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, details the first Thanksgiving Day,
They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health & strenght, and had all things in good plenty; For as some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All ye somer ther was no want. And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they tooke many, besids venison, &c. Besids, they had about a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean corn to yt proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their friends in England, which were not fained, but true reports.
A few more details are available from Edward Winslow,
Our harvest being gotten in, our governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a speciall manner rejoyce together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labours ; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour, and upon the Captaine and others. And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plentie.
Now, please remember the context of this group: they had MANY difficulties securing passage to the new world where nothing existed for infrastructure: no houses, no business, nothing. They had a long, arduous journey across the ocean only to land in the wrong place and where more than 50% of the population died the first winter. How many of us today would have the resolve to face these fears, these conditions, and these trials and still offer up thanks to the Triune God like this? Again, William Bradford,
May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: “Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voice, and looked on their adversity, etc.” Let them therefore praise the Lord, because he is good, and his mercies endure forever. Yea, let them which have been redeemed of the Lord, show how he hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered in the desert wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry, and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord his loving kindness, and his wonderful works before the sons of men.
It was George Washington who carried this tradition forward officially in his Thanksgiving declaration of 1789,
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 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 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 enable 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 has 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 shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase 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 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
Again: adversity and deliverance are noted by Washington. At no point are we promised an easy life. To the degree that we are faithful it will be blessed but that does not mean a life free of trials and tribulations. I think all of us can certainly attest to the providences of God in our lives, both in good times and bad.
With all this in mind, we now face the question: what should we be thankful for? The easy answer is, of course, everything and we could speak only in generalities but would that suffice? With all that we have faced in 2020, we certainly have not met the same trials our forefathers met in Plymouth nor have we faced war in our front lawns like Washington. Indeed, even in the midst of the tyranny we see today none of us can say that we are truly suffering as our forebears. I am calling on us all to get very specific with our lifting up of thanks. By doing so, we will reflect truly thought filled, thankful hearts to God and we will stir up a remembrance of all He has done for us which will lift up our hearts and minds.
I would like to begin by expressing my thankfulness for the membership of the NCRCC. From before my election as chairman and certainly afterwards, I have seen a membership rise to occasion after occasion to serve this community. That took the form of rallies (which continue!), phone calls before and after election day, door knocking, BBQ’s, viewing parties, committee work for voters, and supporting my family and I as we sought to serve the NCRCC. I am also thankful for the increased awareness of our organization in Nye county which our growing membership records reflect. While there will be disagreements among us, we can all be thankful for a “seat at the table” to express our views and contribute to solutions for the problems of our day. I am likewise thankful for the increased presence and participation of our elected officials among us. We have a mutual need for each other in the days ahead.
Beyond the NCRCC, I am also thankful for this community and county in which we live. Please take a moment this Thanksgiving to step outside and just take in the breathtaking beauty of our valley in Pahrump or the more mountainous areas in the northern areas of Nye. Even more so, I am thankful for a county that is decidedly Red and could not be more of a contrast from our neighboring, more populous county to our east. I am thankful for how we, as neighbors, seek to help each other when in need despite the distance between us from north to south.
Regarding our current events, I am thankful that God, in His providence, put Donald J. Trump at the helm of this nation at precisely the time needed to fight against the fraud in our elections. Rather than simply winning the election (which he has and which will be recognized soon), he is fighting to expose the entirety of the election fraud to ensure that our elections are secure going forward. Few in the history of our nation have exhibited the level of intelligence and resolve that our current president has demonstrated.
But even beyond this, I am also thankful for the victories we have experienced in 2020 from a surging economy despite COVID efforts to the most recent court battles recognizing the Constitutional arguments being brought forth against the blatant theft of our election. So much more could be added here but I have gone long already.
I will also express my undying love and gratitude to God for the wife of my youth, my bride of 25 years for her tireless efforts in supporting me and our family. I am the man I am because of her. I praise God for my children and new grandson (born this year) as well as the continued success of gainful employment throughout these crazy months.
Truly, were each of us to reflect on the blessing of God in 2020 we would suddenly see that those blessings outweigh and overtake the challenges we have faced. So, as you sit before that turkey this year and say grace, take some time with those you are with to share the blessings together.
May the Lord richly bless each of you this Thanksgiving Day.
Today, Friday, November 6th, 2020, I am writing to our membership and beyond in response to events that surround us. We are embroiled in a fight for our nation and not just in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona or our own dearly loved Nevada. No, this fight is between good and evil, between just elections and a banana republic, and between our President Donald J. Trump and those globalist minded officials on both sides of the isle. Make no mistake about this: battle is uncomfortable. It is exhausting. It requires sacrifice. But we cannot give up the fight!
For generations Republicans have taken a stance of “holding the line” against the left under the false premise that they won’t let things get worse. Well, history will testify that any group that only seeks to hold ground against another that is fighting to advance ground will lose the very positions they claimed. Indeed, this has been the case. Decade after decade we watched as our freedoms have been stripped from us. Election after election we knew about voter fraud. Remember the old Chicago adage: “Vote early, vote often”? For too long we have been asleep at the wheel trusting in what a party claims rather than what they do. That stops today.
For the last four years, we’ve had a President who has done exactly what he said he would do. He has been leading the country in the midst of false accusations, attempted impeachments, a so-called pandemic, and an angry, destructive left that has used both social and mainstream media against him. He has worked tirelessly to peel back decades of bureaucracy which has resulted in economic prosperity for all who are willing to work hard for it. He has labored to secure our country from enemies both foreign and domestic. He has single handily brought reform into the Republican party causing a shift in its actions such that the party has been advancing freedom instead of pretending to defend it. President Trump has done all this and more over the last four years but he is now facing the battle of our lifetimes: purging our election system from corruption to ensure that we have truly free, trustworthy elections for generations to come. For years he has fought for us, now he needs to fight with us.
But we need a proper perspective to interpret what is happening today.
First, we must recognize that God, in His providence, put Trump in office at just the time necessary for our country. For this we remain thankful in our prayers that He continues to shed His grace upon us despite our manifold sins as a nation and individuals. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14,
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
We MUST pray for our nation and we MUST pray for victory over His and our enemies in this time but we are not limited to prayer. In Exodus 14 we read,
“10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.
11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”
Note several things here: first, the people of God were still slaves in the hearts despite a miraculous release by God’s hand. They wanted the safety and security from womb to tomb that a totalitarian government can seemingly provide. We must root out any tendency in our hearts to stay “safe” in our untouched lives in the midst of tyranny. Remember, I said that battle is inherently uncomfortable.
Second, Moses called the people’s attention to God and His victory that only He grants. He is Sovereign over all things (Acts 15:18).
Third, note that the people were in crisis: the Egyptians were coming down on them with their superior army while their backs were at the Red Sea. They seemingly had no place to go and in the midst of this even Moses cried out to God. God’s response was, “Why are you crying out to me? I told you what to do: GO FORWARD!” Prayer MUST be accompanied with godly action. We walk by faith and not by sight. Our Lord said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” So, does your life reflect the fruit of pressing forward righteousness or justice or are you still stuck at the Red Sea?
With this in mind, we do well to note the battles before us. The media desperately wants to name Joe Biden as the president-elect today so the nation can have the weekend to get used to the idea. This is all part of the information warfare being waged against us. Do not despair. Do not let their attempts to manipulate you succeed. It is President Trump who has multiple paths to victory, not Biden. Biden sits solely upon a corrupt system and a mountain of false ballots for his claim to to the White House. Trump, on the other hand, sits on record breaking counts in state after state, mountains of evidence of voter fraud, Republicans that control the legislatures in the battleground states, the Supreme Court, and, most of all, his supporters: the people of America not wanting to return to Egypt. But the opposition needs you to be discouraged so you will tuck your tail between your legs and walk away.
Remember that I mentioned that God, in His providence, placed Trump in office at just the right time? No president in history has appointed as many judges to office as Donald Trump, including Supreme Court justices. Coincidence? Absolutely not. Remember that the President, in his press conference in the early morning hours after election night, said that they didn’t want a dump of ballots to suddenly appear at 4AM? What happened? At 3:45AM, a sudden dump of ballots took place which were all for Biden, an impossibility. For four years this president has been several steps ahead of the opposition in every fight and he’s not about to stop now.
As President Trump is victorious we should expect the left and the media to get more desperate in their actions. They are not going to just roll over and say, “Ok, you got us…”. No, already they are applying rigorous censorship against him online, the media is cutting away from his very press conferences, and conservative accounts are being shut down. This is expected behavior in battle. Stay in the fight! Things may seem to get worse before they get better but by knowing in advance you will not be rattled or manipulated from the victory.
Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Indeed, this is true. We know the plans of the left as they have revealed their hand making this battle one-sided. Trump and his team are bringing the battle to them, with our overwhelming support. We will win this fight, by God’s grace. This battle is for the future of our country and for our freedoms.
“17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
20 The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.” Psalm 145: 17-21
Republished with permission from the publisher. You can find the original column at Citizens Journal here:
by Raven West
I’ve been a registered Libertarian since 1980. Worked on every presidential campaign since Ed Clark and was elected Chair of the Libertarian Party of Ventura County 2018-2020. But I’m voting for Donald Trump in November.
Over the years, I’ve always heard the argument “Why are you voting Libertarian, you’re just throwing your vote away, you’re never going to win.” Supporting Libertarian presidential candidates was never about winning, the odds have always been stacked against any third party candidate beating the powerful Democrat/Republican machine as far as news coverage, or being invited to participate in the debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates certainly helped by adopting the exclusionary policy of 15% polling to qualify, a number impossible to obtain since NONE of the election pollsters even have us on their list; If the vote were held today, would you vote Dem, Rep or “other”? Other isn’t going to get 15%.
Unlike many die-hard political advocates, I’ve not always voted my party. I voted for Reagan, a Republican in 1984 and for Obama, a Democrat, in 2004. I really thought the Libertarian Party had its best chance of making a dent in the process when two elected governors, Gary Johnson of New Mexico and Bill Weld of Massachusetts were on the ticket, but we all know what happened.
So, why am I voting for Trump and not Jo (Jorgensen, not Biden) in November? Even if we believed that one vote doesn’t really matter, I’d rather give it to Trump just so he has one more vote over Biden.
Biden is the “Anyone but Trump” candidate. Period. At this point, the DNC could run a hamster and he’d be receiving the exact same polling numbers. Every speech, every interview from Biden is anti-Trump rhetoric, filled with fear and lies. While Trump is out there talking about his achievements over the past four years, Biden doesn’t mention even ONE that he’s accomplished in the 47 years he’s been in politics. NOT ONE! His record on what he’s supported has been horrific, if he wanted to tout what he did vote for, but I think he’s rather keep that all under wraps.
What is worse, is that any Biden supporter interviewed has no idea what Biden’s plans are for the county or even if he has any. They don’t care, as long at _____ (insert any Trump insult here) doesn’t win re-election. How absolutely stomach wrenching is that?
It is true, Donald Trump is NOT a typical politician. Throughout the 2016 primary, the news anchors were all waiting for him to “be more Presidential” whatever that means. Guess what? They’re still waiting. His candidacy was covered as a joke from the day he rode down the escalator – and the establishment never got over the fact, this outsider, this man who never ran for anything before, actually won the highest office in the country. And the DNC has been doing its best to get rid of him even before he took the oath of office.
Trump defies all political logic. His personal life isn’t that great. He never served in the military and has taken on more heat than any other President before him. And, he’s still standing.
Every host on late-night talk shows on Network or Cable, leads with anti-trump attacks. Back in the days of Johnny Carson and David Letterman, whoever the president was became part of their monologue and it was funny, now it’s just plain hateful. I’ve never been a fan of Fox News, and I don’t agree with a few of their views, but at least they report the “other” side with honesty and integrity.
Trump does what he says, means what he says and doesn’t apologize. Sure, he makes mistakes, tweets more than he should be, but he doesn’t take crap from anyone including reporters or leaders of other countries. I’d much rather have a lion than a pussycat in the Oval office.
I’m sure my Libertarian friends and my two democratic daughters will be upset with me. My middle daughter agrees with me, probably the only time she did, but this election is just too important to vote any other way.