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Thanksgiving — To Be Practiced Year Round [Opinion]

Thoughtful analysis…

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There are valuable lessons to be learned from the first Thanksgiving but the first grade class of Stone Bank Elementary School in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin won’t be learning them. Even though no one had complained, school administrators sent the following message to disappointed parents, “Out of respect for Native Americans, and the sensitivity of this time in our history, we are not going to reenact the first Thanksgiving story.”

The ingratitude of political correctness strikes again. They could learn a thing or two about the importance of Thanksgiving, not only in our nation’s history but in our daily lives.

The first Thanksgiving was actually a beautiful three-day celebration by the Pilgrims with their new friends, the Native-Americans—with whom they made a long-lasting treaty of peace. At harvest time 1621, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, this festival was a wonderful example of people of different cultures sitting down together and breaking bread. And they gave thanks to God, who made it all possible.

Rev. Billy Falling, author of My Cherokee Roots, is grateful for people like the Pilgrims. In an interview for Christian television, he told me, “As a Native-American, I thank God for the Europeans that brought us the Gospel and brought us Western Civilization.”

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Falling observes, “Native-Americans were just as pagan as the rest of the world. They practiced cannibalism, they practiced devil worship, they practiced slavery, they practiced polygamy, they practiced all the sins of the flesh that the rest of the world practiced….they needed God just like the rest of the world.”

He adds, “It’s hard today to find a sweat [lodge] where you can go as a Native-American and go inside and smoke out your sins, but it’s easy to find Native-Americans in any congregation in the United States, worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ because of the Europeans. And I thank God for that.”

Granted, much later, terrible things happened to Native-Americans at the hands of Europeans and Americans. Very unChristian things. But it does not make sense to blame the Pilgrims for that.

That would be like blaming the Wright Brothers for all the airplane accidents in history.

Meanwhile, the Pilgrims were onto something by their practice of gratitude. Gratitude is good for us. Even modern psychologists are discovering this.

While ingratitude comes natural to us, and often it is the norm, it’s also true that some people can find ways to be grateful—even in difficult circumstances (like the Pilgrims)—while others might be in paradise, yet they find all sort so of nitpicky things to complain about.

Gratitude does not come naturally. “Give a man everything he wants,” declared Immanuel Kant, “and at that moment, everything will not be everything.”

When something bad happens, what is your immediate reaction? “Oh great.” I must confess how often that has been my instinctive reaction—a complaining one.

Two psychologists, Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami, said: “Gratitude is the ‘forgotten factor’ in happiness research.”

Their research found: “Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.” In short, the grateful focus more on what they have, not what they lack.

Too often we focus on the negative—even if, overall, we have many reasons to be positive. I remember years ago hearing Jerry Lewis being interviewed on the radio, and he described a scene in Europe, where he was being warmly received by this huge crowd. People were standing and wildly cheering him. But he noticed “that one guy.” That one guy in this sea of humanity that was giving him this great reception. That one guy wasn’t smiling. He wasn’t standing. He had his arms crossed. And Jerry Lewis said that he should have felt great. Here were all these people cheering him on. But his mind focused instead on the one guy who wasn’t clapping (for whatever reason).

My wife and I have often observed to each other (jokingly): “I’m not complaining. I’m just stating facts.”

The Bible tells us that we should give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus. What is God’s will for your life? To be thankful.

D. James Kennedy once observed that gratitude is “the Christian’s magic wand.” It transforms everything.

I am grateful for the tradition of Thanksgiving in this country. The Pilgrims chose gratitude over bitterness. Half their number had died several months before the harvest. Rather than grousing, they chose to give thanks. And now somehow this beautiful American holiday is becoming politically incorrect.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the senior producer and an on-air host for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 32 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy), and the bestseller,George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback) djkm.org @newcombejerry www.jerrynewcombe.com

News

Lee Greenwood Booted from Arts Council by Biden Administration

What?!

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If there is one thing that the Biden administration is superb at, it’s putting its foot right in its mouth.

Maybe this was to be expected.  Biden is, after all, the most gaffe-prone President that our nation has ever seen.  But the sheer ignorance the team maintains for PR issues is still astounding, and this week was no exception.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday removed country music singer/songwriter Lee Greenwood from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Greenwood was first appointed by President George W Bush in 2008. Greenwood was reappointed to six-year terms by both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald J Trump.

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“You know, it’s a six-year appointment and I was appointed by George W. Bush 43,” Greenwood told Fox and Friends. “So I served under his term. Also, President Obama’s term. Of course, President Trump’s term.”

Greenwood was shocked by the move.

The singer’s most renowned hit was “God Bless The USA”, and was a feature of a great many of Donald Trump’s political rallies, making this move by the Biden administration appear terribly petty.

But, for a White House that appears to be completely unaware of their own image, why would we expect anything different?

If there is one thing that the Biden administration is superb at, it’s putting its foot right in its mouth. Maybe this was to be expected.  Biden is, after all, the most gaffe-prone President that our nation has ever seen.  But the sheer ignorance the team maintains for PR issues is still astounding, and this week was no exception. President Joe Biden on Wednesday removed country music singer/songwriter Lee Greenwood from the National Endowment for the Arts. Greenwood was first appointed by President George W Bush in 2008. Greenwood was reappointed to six-year terms by both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald J Trump. “You know, it’s a six-year appointment and I was appointed by George W. Bush 43,” Greenwood told Fox and Friends. “So I served under his term. Also, President Obama’s term. Of course, President Trump’s term.” Greenwood was shocked by the move. The singer’s most renowned hit was “God Bless The USA”, and was a feature of a great many of Donald Trump’s political rallies, making this move by the Biden administration appear terribly petty. But, for a White House that appears to be completely unaware of their own image, why would we expect anything different?

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Opinion

Taliban Will Bring Back Amputations and Executions as Punishment

This is the Biden legacy in Afghanistan at work. 

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In a lame attempt to soften the blow of bungling the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Biden White House began peddling a downright offensive storyline in which this new Taliban would operate in a much more benevolent way than they did during their first reign in the 1990’s.

This appeared to be some sort of consolation prize in the eyes of the administration.  Hey, we really screwed the pooch on this one…at least they said they’ll be nicer.

Of course, it only took a few weeks for this charade to go belly-up, and now the Taliban appears to be back to their old tricks.

One of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan said the hard-line movement will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public.

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In an interview with The Associated Press, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi dismissed outrage over the Taliban’s executions in the past, which sometimes took place in front of crowds at a stadium, and he warned the world against interfering with Afghanistan’s new rulers.

There was no mistaking the intent.

“Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi told The Associated Press, speaking in Kabul. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.”

The Taliban had previously suggested that women refrain from leaving their homes, as their own soldiers weren’t well enough trained to keep from assaulting them.

 

In a lame attempt to soften the blow of bungling the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Biden White House began peddling a downright offensive storyline in which this new Taliban would operate in a much more benevolent way than they did during their first reign in the 1990’s. This appeared to be some sort of consolation prize in the eyes of the administration.  Hey, we really screwed the pooch on this one…at least they said they’ll be nicer. Of course, it only took a few weeks for this charade to go belly-up, and now the Taliban appears to be back to their old tricks. One of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan said the hard-line movement will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public. In an interview with The Associated Press, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi dismissed outrage over the Taliban’s executions in the past, which sometimes took place in front of crowds at a stadium, and he warned the world against interfering with Afghanistan’s new rulers. There was no mistaking the intent. “Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi told The Associated Press, speaking in Kabul. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.” The Taliban had previously suggested that women refrain from leaving their homes, as their own soldiers weren’t well enough trained to keep from assaulting them.  

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