Thanksgiving Archives – Concerned Women for America

Celebrate and give thanks!

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The following article was originally published many years ago in Concerned Women for America’s Family Voice magazine.  I wanted to share it with you since its message is as timely today as it was then.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Penny Nance

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day when we thank God for His provision and protection. Sadly, much of the story about that first Thanksgiving has been watered down and lost. I want to remind you about this wonderful event so that you can teach your children, family, and friends 

The First Thanksgiving

In 1621, the Pilgrims suffered through a difficult winter of sickness and death. But the summer and fall brought a bountiful harvest. In fact, they had harvested enough corn and provisions to last throughout the winter.

These early Americans were so grateful that Gov. William Bradford, their leader, declared a day of public thanksgiving.

The Wampanoag Indian tribe had been particularly helpful to the Pilgrims, so they invited the chief, Massasoit, to the celebration. They did not expect, however, that he would arrive a day early and bring 90 others with him! The Pilgrims were probably rather fearful because a large group would have taken a great deal of the winter food supply. 

Trust God Implicitly

Historian Peter Marshall writes about this account in The Light and the Glory. He notes that, through their travails, they had learned to trust

God implicitly. The Pilgrims shared their food with their guests. They had not realized that the Indians brought five dressed deer and more than a dozen fat turkeys. Everyone had enough food, and this first Thanksgiving turned into a three-day celebration.

Their focus, however, was not just the food and games; it was on thanking God for His care and provision.

Throughout our nation’s history, God has been so faithful and kind. He has provided for our needs. He has blessed us repeatedly with great leaders, men, and women of integrity, who have fought diligently for our freedoms – on the battlefield, as well as in government, schools, businesses, and churches. We have great reason to give Him thanks during this special holiday. 

He is Faithful

This Thanksgiving, I want to encourage you to remember not just what God did for those early Americans. Remember also what He has done throughout our history. I believe we need to take to heart the lessons the Pilgrims learned – “to trust God implicitly” – and then to act on that trust.

Our country is marked with recent efforts to eliminate God from our schools, courtrooms, public places, businesses, and even our homes. Many Christians have responded fearfully, accepting the changes and hiding their beliefs. But God cannot be discarded that easily, can He? Like the Pilgrims, we need to trust God and not fear. We can speak boldly and truthfully when we encounter those who want to reshape our morals, our culture, and our future. We may see a dark culture, but God will bring light. 

New Challenges

I believe that concerned women and men will make a great difference in our nation and world. New challenges will greet us. So, pray now about how you can help return Biblical values to our society. I pray that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and a most blessed Christmas season!

A Special Thanksgiving Message from CWA

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In the midst of the preparations for Thanksgiving and looking forward to the Christmas season, I wanted to express our thanks for you and your support of Concerned Women for America. This year has been one of the strangest I can remember in my lifetime. What a year 2020 has been!

Who would have known that COVID would turn our lives upside down! In March, we sent our staff home to work remotely. With the wonders of technology, we were able to keep moving forward. Through God’s faithfulness and your giving, we were able to stay on a solid financial footing through the months that have followed. On June 1, we returned to our offices. God has protected us, and we have not had any incidences of the virus in our office.

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to succeed her on the U.S. Supreme Court provided CWA with an amazing opportunity to reach out to Christian, conservative women across the country. Early in October, we launched the “Women for Amy” bus tour to raise awareness and promote the confirmation of Judge Barrett. Our pink “Women for Amy” bus did over 8,000 miles in twelve states and rallied at 36 different locations. We were able to rejoice in the successful confirmation of Associate Justice Barrett.

The victories we have experienced this year have been made possible as people like you have prayed and lifted us up through the hard battles made even more difficult by the pandemic. Every prayer you have prayed has been felt and appreciated. We could not do what we do without the strong arms of the Lord holding this ministry and giving us the strength and resources we need. You are a huge part of that, and for that, we are thankful.

We look forward to 2021. By then, we should know who the President is, and soon after the first of the year, we will know who will control the Senate. We are already making plans for any contingency which could come out of the final results. We will continue to be engaged both nationally and internationally on our seven core issues and will be working to see that policy decisions which are made are good for our nation and our families. With your support and your prayers, we will continue to do this regardless of who sits in the White House or the U.S. Senate. And for that, we are thankful.

We pray God’s blessings on you and your family as you gather to celebrate Thanksgiving.

For all these things, we are thankful,
Penny Nance

Thanksgiving, the anthem of our nation

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Thanksgiving is deeply embedded in the historical framework of this great nation. While the first Thanksgivings were celebrated by both Virginia and Massachusetts settlers in the New World, November 26, 1789, was the first official Thanksgiving Day. President George Washington set that day apart for the nation to give thanks, and the presidents to follow continued the tradition.

However, it was President Abraham Lincoln who issued the Thanksgiving Day proclamation which prompted the holiday we know and love today.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.”

It was a proclamation made on October 3, 1863 — almost exactly in the middle of the Civil War. In a period of time when our nation was most deeply divided and the American spirit of unity was in tatters, our leader asked us to give thanks. As brother fought against brother, our president asked us to set aside a day to recognize the Lord’s deliverance and blessings. It was in the midst of that darkness that President Lincoln implored the nation to come together in prayer for peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

It’s striking to me that we hold elections in the same month as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Was it purposeful, the timing of those two events? Elections, whether they should be or not, can be so deeply divisive. But we have a built-in reminder, just three weeks later, to put it all aside and give thanks.

So this month, as we move past an election cycle and on to Thanksgiving, choose unity, prayer, and thankfulness. Set aside time to thank God for His deliverances and blessings. Bow with humble penitence for our national disobedience. Commend to our Father in Heaven every American who has become a widow, orphan, mourner, or sufferer this year. Implore our Savior to heal the wounds of our nation and restore peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.