It's time to celebrate the goodness and greatness of our Lord.
To see the good in what's coming of our world.
To see the greatness of the people around us.
In our own families, in our co-workers, in our neighbors.
Sometimes it's really hard to see the greatness because we only see flaws, but in every person, even those that terrorize others, somewhere deep down there is a greatness that has not been given the water that it needs. Even in those that we can not agree with or even really like, have greatness in them.
My own celebrations at home when the kids were little, were feasts but not often with family because we lived far, far way from them and could not make it home.
So, let's get back to this season. First we have Thanksgiving, we sort of know the story behind that, somewhat maybe. But let's really look at it. So we have two stories here, which one do you relate with. For me, it's the former but the latter I can see it as well happening.
Okay, that's one take on it. Choose what you will...
For me, I love to dig into why did they come, what was happening at home that they could not stay? I remember reading the truth with my kids when we schooled at home. Yet, I am still amazed. We have so many that love to come to our country and they bring their traditions and beliefs with them and they want to share them with others or like-minded people. Can't blame them can we, we want the same things. But the ideology that they bring doesn't mesh with our freedoms here. They want to go to countries that have freedoms but want to bring their oppressiveness with them too.
This was borrowed from http://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/thanksgiving/why-the-pilgrims-really-came-to-america.html
To better understand why the Pilgrims left England to come to America, it may be helpful to briefly review the religious landscape of the time. In 1534, England broke ties with the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the fact that the separation was tied to Henry VIII’s political and marital issues,
Protestant Reformers saw this as an opportunity to bring true reform to the church in England. In time, these reformers came to be called Puritans (mainly because they wanted to “purify” the Church of England of Catholic traditions that they did not believe to be biblical).
However, after many years of struggling for change, some Puritans felt that little progress had been made toward true reform; they decided it was time to separate from the Church of England and start anew. Thus began the distinction between the Puritans and the Separatists.
Though the groups shared theological beliefs and values, the former chose to remain part of the Church of England, while the latter chose to separate. The Pilgrims were part of the Separatist group.
Unfortunately, at this time in England, the Church and State were intimately tied, and Separatists were considered treasonous; they lived in danger of both persecution and imprisonment. For this reason, a small group of Separatists from the village of Scrooby (in north Nottinghamshire) determined that it was time to leave England. So, in 1609, these Separatists sailed to Holland (not America).
For more than a decade, they enjoyed religious freedom in Holland and gathered openly for church under the leadership of Pastor John Robinson. So why not stay in Holland? They had found the religious freedom for which they came. The answers may surprise you.
First and foremost, these Pilgrims, as they would come to be called, had a deep concern for the well-being of their children. Life in Holland had proved to be difficult. The only work available to immigrants was poorly paid, and despite their hard labor, they struggled constantly with poverty.
Work was taking a toll on both parents and children -- causing them to age before their time.
Furthermore, some of the children were assimilating into Dutch culture and abandoning their parents’ values. William Bradford (a passenger on the Mayflower and governor of the Plymouth Plantation) explained:
“Of all the sorrows most heavy to be borne (in Holland), was that many of the children, influenced by these conditions, and the great licentiousness of the young people of the country, and the many temptations of the city, were led by evil example into dangerous courses, getting the reins off their necks and leaving their parents. Some became soldiers, others embarked upon voyages by sea and others upon worse courses tending to dissoluteness and the danger of their souls, to the great grief of the parents and the dishonour of God. So they saw their posterity would be in danger to degenerate and become corrupt.”1
Second, the Pilgrims longed to bring the gospel to people who had not yet heard the message of Jesus Christ:
“They cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least of making some way towards it, for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in the performance of so great a work.”2So for the sake of their children and for the gospel, the Pilgrims made the historic decision to immigrate again – this time to America.
These Pilgrims were prepared to make tremendous sacrifices for future generations – and the sacrifices proved to be costly. By the end of their first winter in America, half of the passengers who had sailed to America on the Mayflower were dead. Yet, the Pilgrims persevered and remained faithful to their God. Perhaps for the sake of these committed Pilgrims, God chose to pour out his blessing on their descendants and their new country. To use the words of Bradford, these Pilgrims indeed became the “stepping stones” in the formation of what has arguably become the greatest nation on earth.
1. Bradford, William. Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Settlement, 1608-1650. Rendered into modern English by Harold Paget. E.P. Dutton & Company, 1920, p. 21.
2. Bradford’s History, p. 21.
Angie Mosteller is founder of Celebrating Holidays, an educational company dedicated to teaching the Christian roots of American holidays, as well as helping families to build fun and meaningful traditions. For more information on the history and symbols of Thanksgiving, as well as creative ideas, visit www.celebratingholidays.com.
Now here is the 2nd one.
This is copied from "Freedom Keys" website.
The Real Story Behind Thanksgiving
|Did you know that the first [Plymouth Colony Pilgrim's] Thanksgiving was a celebration of the triumph of private property and individual initiative? William Bradford was the governor of the original Pilgrim colony, founded at Plymouth in 1621. The colony was first organized on a communal basis, as their financiers required. Land was owned in common. The Pilgrims farmed communally, too, following the "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" precept. |
The results were disastrous. Communism didn't work any better 400 years ago than it does today. By 1623, the colony had suffered serious losses. Starvation was imminent.
Bradford realized that the communal system encouraged and rewarded waste and laziness and inefficiency, and destroyed individual initiative. Desperate, he abolished it. He distributed private plots of land among the surviving Pilgrims, encouraging them to plant early and farm as individuals, not collectively.
The results: a bountiful early harvest that saved the colonies. After THAT harvest the Pilgrims celebrated with a day of Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, William Bradford's diaries -- in which he recorded the failure of the collectivist system and the triumph of private enterprise -- were lost for many years. When Thanksgiving was later made a national holiday, the present November date was chosen. And the lesson the Pilgrims so painfully learned was, alas, not made a part of the holiday.
Happily, Bradford's diaries were later rediscovered. They're available today in paperback. They tell the real story of Thanksgiving -- how private property and individual initiative saved the Pilgrims.
This Thanksgiving season, one of the many things I'm thankful for is our free market system (imperfectly realized as it is). And I'm also grateful that there are increasing numbers of Americans who are learning the importance of free markets, and who are working to replace government coercion with marketplace cooperation here in America and around the world.
PS: A special thanks to long-time Advocate volunteer Cris Everett, who told us about this neglected bit of history several years ago.
-- copied from http://FreedomKeys.com/thanksgiving.htm which was excerpted from the Nov. 20, 1997 issue of THE LIBERATOR ONLINE at http://www.theadvocates.org/liberator/vol-02-num-21.htm
"Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist." -- President John Adams, direct descendent of Pilgrims John and Priscilla Alden
"The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Private property is the most important guarantee of freedom." -- F.A. Hayek
"No freedom is secure if your property rights are not secure." -- Neal Boortz
"Property is the foundation of all civilized society." -- Thomas Jefferson
"It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree."-- Ayn Rand
"If you can't own (and use) property, you are property." - Wayne Hage
Also see Tasty Trivia-here: http://FreedomKeys.com/fascinating.htm