Three Things I’m Thankful For

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.” – Psalm 136:1

Gratitude is an underrated quality. It has the capacity to expand our souls, lighten our burdens, humble us, give us greater perspective, and fill us with hope. In our me-centered society, however, we often forget to remember the myriad of things our Creator has given us, our family and friends have done for us, and which we enjoy as sojourners in the marvelous 21st Century. With Thanksgiving just days away, we have the perfect opportunity to express our gratitude and tell people how good God has been to us and why life is not the drudgery we often depict it as.

Among the myriad of things for which I’m grateful, three stand out during this particular season: My Faith, Family, and Freedom. I will endeavor to explain why each means so much to me. As you read, I invite you to consider those things that are truly important to you. I also invite you to share them publicly. Together, we can inspire others to count their blessings as well and thus brighten the world in some measure.

Faith

Of all the things that have blessed and shaped my life, none has done so more than my faith in, and witness of, Jesus Christ. By the power of the Holy Ghost, I know that Jesus Christ, that humble Man of Nazareth, is the Son of God, the resurrected Redeemer, and the Lord of lords. He died on the Cross of Calvary, but He yet lives in a perfected form, with a body of flesh and bone (Luke 24:36-43). As sure as I know any other thing, I know that my Savior lives.

I’m grateful for the influence the Gospel of Jesus Christ has had in my life. The precepts of the Master have informed my politics and principles and have directed my decisions in every aspect of life. Whatever good qualities I possess today are a result of my faltering attempt to follow the Lord. I’m truly thankful that He does not cast us off when we fail to follow Him perfectly. Instead, the Savior reaches out, takes us by the hand, mentors us, shows us the way, and helps us take each baby step forward when we let Him.

The Lord has always been with me and has helped me – even, and perhaps especially, when I didn’t deserve it. In times I’ve been low, He has raised me up. In times of deep depression, He has been there to comfort me. In times of sorrow for my sins, He has wiped away my tears and lifted me one inch at a time. In times of need, He has provided. In times of stress, He has calmed me when I turned to Him in prayer. In times of joy, He has smiled with me. In times of inspiration, He has assisted me and given me energy to create, evaluate, and excel. And in times of love, He has embraced me and allowed me to feel His infinite love for me.

I’m grateful for the host of answered prayers I’ve received. In big things and in little things, my Father in Heaven has answered my prayers. I can’t claim that every prayer I’ve uttered has been answered, but when I need it most, He always hears me and responds. Moments ago, as I was writing this article, He answered a small prayer. No one can tell me that prayer doesn’t work. It does. I know it does. I’ve had too many experiences to ever believe otherwise. Often, Father has answered my prayers in powerful and immediate ways, obliterating all doubt in my heart about whether He lives and loves me.

I can stand before the world today and declare that I know my Eternal Father lives, that His Son, Jesus Christ, is the Redeemer of mankind, and that the Holy Spirit imparts the truth of these things to the honest seeker of truth. I’m grateful for this knowledge! I’m grateful that I am a son of my living Father in Heaven. I’m grateful to be a follower of the true Messiah, Jesus Christ. And I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit has

In my personal life, as in society, faith is the first and most important principle. As individuals, and as a civilization, we must turn our hearts back to Christ. We must begin to believe in His law, love, and mercy once again. We must make the Gospel a part of our daily lives and public conversation. The name of the Lord must be repeated in our hearts, homes, schools, government buildings, and places of worship. Only by reviving and preserving our Faith and becoming a godly society once more can we escape the traps set for us by the enemy of our souls.

I’m sincerely grateful that Faith still burns brightly in the hearts of millions of my countrymen. A remnant of faithful followers of the Lord Jehovah is rising. Let’s show our gratitude to our Savior this Thanksgiving by inviting Him into our hearts and homes. Let’s pray together in His name, read the holy scriptures in our families, publicly express our thanks to Him and our Father, and go about doing good as He did during His mortal ministry and as He continues to do today.

Family

The family is the most important unit in society. Society is but a mirror image of the families that comprise it. If society fails, it is because its families failed first. Truly, society is won or lost at the dinner table. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to gather your family around you, regardless of the discouragement of politicians and the media, and tell them how much they mean to you. I also take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to God for my family, and to my family for the blessing they’ve been in my life.

Not only do I feel grateful beyond measure for my parents and siblings, without whom I wouldn’t have made it this far in life, but for my own new little family. Last year, I married my beautiful wife. This year, we invited a sweet little girl into our home. My little Evie is the thing I’m most grateful for. I’m thankful for her endless abundance of smiles. No matter what I’m feeling, her radiant smile warms me and makes me smile, too. I’m grateful for her sweetness. I can feel love and joy radiate from her spirit and from her gorgeous, ever-changing hazel eyes. Evie is a reminder to me of what’s really important in life; a living reminder that God is good and wants us to be happy.

The children of God are designed to be happy. The place they can experience the greatest amount of growth, fulfillment, and joy is in the family. It was not happenstance that Father commanded Adam and Eve to unite as “one flesh” and to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:24). The family is the incubator of goodness, civility, citizenship, chivalry, manners, refinement, charity, purity, faith, love, and happiness.

I’m grateful for my upbringing by my parents. They taught me the best they could to know and love God. They taught me about the world. They gave me good examples. I learned the value of hard work and study from my Dad, and the value of selflessness and charity from my Mom. My sisters and brother have also been a source of joy and help. My family are my best friends. And I’m thrilled to add my wife, who tries so hard to be a good mother, and my amazing daughter to that list of best friends forever.

I encourage each of you to spend as much time with your family as possible. We often get so busy in this fast-paced world we live in that we neglect what matters most – our family. An old adage says: Love is spelled T-I-M-E. And so it is. Give your family your time. Husbands, set aside time for your wives. Wives, carve our time just for your husband. Parents, always give the maximum amount of time to your children. Siblings, spend your time with your brothers and sisters. Families that devote their time to God and to each other are families that will survive the storms of life.

Again, I’m more thankful than I can say for my family, my wife, and my little girl. They make life meaningful. Life would be bland without them. I’d lose my motivation to research, write, and do the things I do without the knowledge that it is all to give my family a better world to live in.

Freedom

Our Faith and Families, as wonderful and indispensable as they are, ultimately mean very little without Freedom. Freedom is the spice of life. We are each endowed by God with sacred rights to enjoy and exercise, the agency to choose our course, and personal accountability for our actions. It is Freedom that allows us to worship our God, enjoy our families, and find fulfillment in life. I’m grateful that though it is battered and bruised, Freedom still exists.

I’ve lived on multiple continents and have several years of experience in foreign lands under different systems of government and law. Without question, there is more Liberty in the United States than anywhere else on this planet. And I say this while also acknowledging that we have lost a tremendous amount of our Freedom because of the machinations of traitors. Yet, despite what we’ve lost, we still possess our basic rights, albeit in an embattled state – the right of free speech, the right of assembly, the right of due process, the right to worship the god of our choice, the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, the right of private property, the right of habeas corpus, and so forth.

I’m grateful for my God-given rights and the inspired Constitution which safeguards them. I’m thankful for the wise and patriotic men who founded America and raised up a free society on its solid foundation of Freedom. I’m grateful for the American heritage of Liberty, Independence, and resistance to tyrants – a heritage unequaled anywhere in the world. I’m thankful for the right to choose my own path in life, which includes my choice to follow the Savior and to be with my wife and daughter. Liberty is the most indispensable of all blessings because it enables all the rest.

I encourage you to exercise your Freedom this Thanksgiving by denying the despotic demands of tyrants who would keep you away from your family on this special holiday. Use your agency and choose to gather with your family, sharing your testimony of God and your sincerest feelings of gratitude with them. We say, “Let Freedom ring.” But Freedom cannot ring if we stifle it in our personal lives. Use your rights, exercise your agency, and show that you are a free individual.

Yes, I’m so very thankful for my Freedom! It is the catalyst for enjoying my Faith and my Family. It is the supreme gem in the crown of blessings given by our Heavenly Father. Without it, nothing else matters. With it, we can choose what matters to us. Choose to exalt, observe, and exercise your Faith, Family, and Freedom this Thanksgiving.

A Challenge

Dear reader, gratitude matters. An attitude of gratitude will go a long way toward healing our broken society. It will bring greater peace and perspective into your life. It will also bring the blessings of Heaven into your home because God our Father loves and prospers those who acknowledge His hand in their lives.

I urge you take this special opportunity to express your gratitude to everyone you can. I invite you to adopt the challenge laid down by Russell M. Nelson, the prophet-president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He challenged us to do two things during this Thanksgiving season:

“Over nine and a half decades of life, I have concluded that counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems. No matter our situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a fast-acting and long-lasting spiritual prescription. . . .

“As a doctor, I know the value of good therapy. So, dear friends, may I prescribe two activities to help us experience the healing power of gratitude. First, I invite you, just for the next seven days, to turn social media into your own personal gratitude journal. Post every day about what you are grateful far, who you are grateful for, and why you are grateful. At the end of seven days, see if you feel happier and more at peace . . . Working together, we can flood social media with a wave of gratitude that reaches the four corners of the earth.

“Second, let us unite in thanking God through daily prayer. Jesus Christ taught His disciples to pray by first expressing gratitude to God and then petitioning Him for the things we need. Prayer brings forth miracles.”

I know that during those times when I’ve consistently expressed greater gratitude and focused on what’s good in my life instead of what’s wrong in the world, I have felt more Heavenly power, light, and joy. I therefore know that President Nelson’s challenge, if heeded, will yield good fruit.

Let us all work harder to cultivate an attitude of gratitude so that we may reap the blessings of peace and happiness it provides. This Thanksgiving, choose to be grateful. Express your love and sincere thanks to your God, your family, and your fellow beings, even for the smallest of things. This day and always, choose gratitude!

Zack Strong,

November 20, 2020

Give Thanks and Mean It

Each Thanksgiving, American families gather and gorge themselves on turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. They watch football, laugh together, and then go back and eat some more. In all the revelry, how many of us stop and remember the purpose of the holiday we’re commemorating? What are we supposed to be thankful for anyway? And is our gratitude verbal only or do we show it in our actions? This Thanksgiving, I make a plea for Americans everywhere to give thanks and mean it.

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Let’s start at the beginning – the purpose of the holiday. The designation of the fourth Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving was made on October 3, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. I rank President Lincoln as one of America’s top five worst presidents and one of the biggest violators of the Constitution to ever occupy the White House. However, he talked a good talk and his praise for God often waxed eloquent. His 1863 proclamation read in part:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God . . . It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gracious gifts of the Most High God] 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 Praise 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.”

From 1863 to the present, Thanksgiving has been annually observed on the fourth Thursday in November. The purpose of the holiday, ostensibly, is the same: To acknowledge that our blessings, deliverance, and prosperity come from Almighty God and to give our praise to Him for His mercy and watchful care over our People and Republic.

The practice of proclaiming days of thanksgiving, fasting, and prayer, however, dates back much earlier. They date back to the first years of white settlement in the New World. The practice became more formalized when on October 3, 1789, George Washington became the first president to call for a national day of thanks. I reproduce his presidential proclamation in full:

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.”

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The purpose of the United States’ first Thanksgiving was for our People to give religious devotion to “that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” We were meant to express gratitude to God for his “signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of [the War for Independence].” Americans were intended to thank the Lord for the “tranquility, union, and plenty” which they enjoyed in their blessed country. Additionally, President Washington wanted the American People to “unite it the most humbly offering of prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations” for forgiveness of their “national and other transgressions.” This first day of thanks was intended to also “promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among . . . us.”

In other words, Thanksgiving was set apart as a day of religious service for the expression of gratitude, the increase of our faith in the Lord, the spread of wholesome Christian values, and a general increase in light and knowledge. It was a distinctly Christian holiday. Jesus Christ was its center. It was in His holy name that the American People were intended to offer their thanks and devotions to Almighty God.

Americans have more to be grateful for than any other people on the planet. In his Inaugural Address of April 30, 1789, President George Washington acknowledged this fact. He stated:

No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

God’s hand was present not merely in the War for Independence. His influence was to be seen everywhere. He poured out His blessings upon the American People, guided us in creating our unique and unsurpassed system of law known as the Constitution, blessed us with order and industriousness, gave us power and influence, planted the standard of Christianity and religious devotion in our hearts, prospered us with fields and flocks and bountiful harvest and almost unlimited resources, and made of the most blessed People on the planet.

Modern leftists claim this is a “chauvinistic” attitude, but it’s the truth: Americans are the most blessed People on earth. After spending time in France as ambassador and touring Europe, Thomas Jefferson wrote home to his good friend and future president James Monroe:

“my god! how little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy. I confess I had no idea of it myself. while we shall see multiplied instances of Europeans going to live in America, I will venture to say no man now living will ever see an instance of an American removing to settle in Europe & continuing there” (Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, June 17, 1785).

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Anyone who has ever visited or lived abroad must make the same declaration. Nowhere I have ever lived or traveled, be it Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Canada, Ukraine, Lithuania, or Panama, even comes close to matching the superior blessings we enjoy in the United States. Whenever I return to my country from abroad, I feel lighter and happier. There’s a unique feeling in America. There’s a current in the atmosphere that emits hope and solidarity with the great Freedom fighters of the past. You stand on soil trod by men like Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Adams, Henry, the Pilgrims, the Pioneers, the frontiersmen, and others. Yes, America is a blessed land – the Promised Land of God.

Despite our decaying culture, mob government, and imploding society – all brought about by communist infiltrators and apathy on the part of people who should be most concerned with maintaining our Republic – the United States is still the best country on earth. We have the most potential of any People. We have an unsurpassed heritage of Freedom and the example of the Founding Fathers to guide us. We have the greatest means of overthrowing the “rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12) of any nation. We have tens of millions of people in whose hearts still burn the fires of Liberty. There are millions of Americans like me who love their Faith, Families, and Freedom and who will die before surrendering them. The Establishment be warned.

Now on to the second portion of this article. How do you show that you are grateful to be an American and that you are are thankful for your unrivaled blessings? I suggest three things each of us can do to show our gratitude by our conduct:

1) Become informed, alert, and aware

2) Vote correctly

3) Turn to God

The first thing we can do to show that we are grateful for the Liberty we’ve been given and the sacrifices our ancestors have made to hand us these blessings is to become aware of them. Despite living in the technology age and having the collective learning of humanity at our fingertips, we’re woefully uninformed. We don’t know our history. We’ve lost touch with our heritage, roots, and traditions. With a few exceptions, we don’t know the names of the figures who made America great. We don’t know their stories. We don’t know the sacrifices our People made to forge a well-ordered, prosperous, and free civilization on this previously barbarous continent. We take it all for granted.

Because we take for granted our Freedom, we ignore the threats to it. After all, if you don’t understand one, you can’t understand the other. We are oblivious to the forces chipping away at our rights, sapping our wealth, stirring up division, seeking for power over us, and transforming our government into an oligarchy of Elitists in which we – the average citizens – have no say.

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It is an insult to the purpose of Thanksgiving to continue on in our ignorance. President Washington pleaded for us to “promote . . . knowledge . . . and the encrease of science” in vain if we don’t take advantage of our means of education to learn correct principles, real history, and truth. Surely an indispensable part of giving thanks for the profound blessings our country has enjoyed is to be aware of the dangers that threaten to strip us of those very blessings. We must be alert. We must awaken. We must become aware of what’s going on in our community and society. And we must take a stand against all forces which would deprive us of those things for which we unite each November to give thanks – namely, our Faith, Families, and Freedom.

The second thing Americans can do to show their gratitude this Thanksgiving is to determine to vote correctly. And yes, there is a right and a wrong way to vote. Voting for candidates of any party whose principles and personal character conflict with the founding vision of America, with the principles of our inspired Constitution, or with that which is in our People’s best interest, is the wrong way to vote. And voting for individuals of any party whose principles and character are in harmony with the founding vision of America, most importantly with our inspired Constitution and the Christian values which undergird it, is the only correct way to vote.

Resolve this Thanksgiving to do everything in your power to ensure that the blessings you enjoy will still exist for the next generation to enjoy as well. You can help bring this about by removing from office all derelict representatives from their posts and replacing them with worthy stewards of our rights. Determine now to be more active in rejecting all parties, programs, and people whose principles conflict with those values and standards which made America great in the first place and caused our forefathers to institute solemn days of thanksgiving. Instead, use your inherent power to support only those ideas, institutions, and individuals which are truly American in character.

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Third, and most importantly, you can show your gratitude by turning more fully to God. No matter how committed you may be to the Savior, there isn’t a single person who can’t become more Christlike, more righteous, more selfless, more charitable, more loving, and more faithful. I have long been of the opinion that the only thing that can truly save our Republic is repentance. Repentance is the remedy we seek. Unless we repent, our society cannot survive.

What is repentance? To most, repentance is a scary word evoking thoughts of stiff punishment, cold tribunals, public shaming, profound embarrassment, and harsh judgment. This false conception was introduced to Christendom only after the martyrdom of the Lord’s apostles who knew better. The original sense of the Hebrew concept of repentance is “to turn.” To repent is to turn away from sin and to turn to God. It means to turn away from harmful practices – adultery, substance abuse, theft, murder, lying, and so forth – and to turn to good works, charity, compassion, faith, and love. Repentance is the most hopeful word in our language.

Repentance is not only the most hopeful word in the English language, but is also our most desperately needed act. It is the remedy to our society’s problems. Until we generously apply this remedy and become true disciples of Jesus Christ, things will continue to spiral out of control. This Thanksgiving, we can show that we are truly grateful for our blessings by recommitting ourselves to lives of purity and goodness. Our Savior “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38) and so should we. Emulating our Lord’s example expresses the ultimate gratitude.

For those who are not Christian, I commend to you a quote by the great Benjamin Franklin. He said: “A virtuous Heretick shall be saved before a wicked Christian” (Benjamin Franklin, “Dialogue Between Two Presbyterians,” April 10. 1735). However, I also invite you to “come and see” (John 1:39) what the Lord’s Gospel offers. It truly offers the abundant life (John 10:10). It is the only path that leads to eternal happiness (Matthew 7:13-14).

An additional word about national repentance, or turning to God, seems prudent as our society comes together to ostensibly worship God. In ancient times, the Lord told His people that if they repented, or turned from their incorrect traditions to correct and worthy ways, He would forgive them and prosper their land. He was anxious to forgive them and bless them, but that blessing depended upon their repentance, righteousness, and faithfulness. Note the marvelous blessings the Lord promises to peoples who turn to Him:

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord . . . they are gone away backward.

Why should ye be stricken any more? . . . .

Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. . . .

Hear the word of the Lord . . . give ear unto the law of our God. . . .

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge [i.e. do justice to] the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:4-5, 7, 10, 16-19).

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Similar blessings are pronounced in the more popular declarations found in the following passages of the Bible:

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” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

This Thanksgiving, the most important thing we can do to express our gratitude is to humble ourselves before God, turn to His Son, and commit ourselves to living lives of goodness that harmonize with the commandments. We ought to, as the Father of our Country implored, “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 repent is to improve and rededicate our lives to the Lord. Let’s unite in recommitting ourselves, as a People, to our great God.

My fellow Americans, we have so much to be grateful for! We have more reason to give thanks than any other group of people who have ever lived. We are richly blessed. However, our blessings are beginning to dry up because we have allowed the sickness of sin to rot our culture, replace our Faith in Christ with trust in science and the faux “wisdom” of men, destroy too many our Families, and gnaw away at our Freedom under the law. Yet, notwithstanding the serious challenges that face us, we’re still the greatest society on earth and we have, without any doubt, the greatest potential of any people to overcome our challenges and shine again.

America was founded to become a shining city on a hill. We were meant to be a refuge for the oppressed of mankind – a haven for those who want to live in peace, breathe free air, raise their families without micromanaging, and worship God as they see fit. For a long time, this vision was a burgeoning reality. Because of our apathy, historical forgetfulness, and immorality, however, we have fallen to a large extent. In order to revive America, we must: 1) Become informed about our history and alert to the dangers threatening us; 2) vote according to principle and support only individuals, ideas, and institutions that conform to the unique principles of Americanism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and 3) turn our hearts back to the Lord and become a righteous People once again.

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I hope you will take the opportunity this Thanksgiving to teach your family the history of the holiday. Teach your children that our national blessings come from the Lord and that their continuation depends upon our faithfulness. Teach them to rely upon God and to kneel down and give thanks to Him. Teach them that Jesus is the God of this blessed land.

This year, as you gather with your families, give thanks from the bottom of your heart for everything the Lord has blessed you with and for everything He has blessed this country with. Give thanks for your God-given rights. Give thanks to live in the most incredible and prosperous nation on earth. Give thanks for the Constitution and its sublime principles. Give thanks for the unsurpassed heritage of Liberty we have as Americans. Give thanks for your Faith, Family, and Freedom. Yes, give thanks and mean it!

Zack Strong,

November 28, 2019

Thank God that You Are an American

On this Thanksgiving, I want to forego all negativity and simply express my gratitude for the unsurpassed blessings we enjoy as Americans. In a letter written from France, a nostalgic Thomas Jefferson exclaimed: “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” (Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, June 17, 1785). My sincerest feelings echo Jefferson’s. Fellow American – you possess more blessings, privileges, opportunities, power, and influence by virtue of your citizenship in the blessed United States than the people of any nation, kingdom, or empire now or in the past have ever enjoyed.

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America is great because of the generous blessings of Almighty God. Our forefathers were righteous men and women who worshiped Jesus Christ and lived according to the noble principles of the Bible. Contrary to what the detractors claim, America was founded as a Christian confederation – a shining city on a hill. The first Pilgrims covenanted with each other to establish a new nation “for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith.” From day one, America was dedicated by its humble settlers as a Christian country.

Because early Americans possessed a heartfelt witness of their peculiar place in history and the bounty of blessings their Creator had bestowed upon them, they lived righteously and Heaven showed her blessings upon them. Early Americans understood that “righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Because they were righteous and cherished public virtue, the Lord richly blessed the colonies and, later, the American Republic. Without the faith in Christ burning in their hearts, our forefathers simply would have never advanced as they did but would have become like the stagnant, degenerate, unfree fiefdoms of Europe.

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The historical record is proof that God has loved, favored, and blessed America above all other nations. Never has a nation risen to greatness so quickly as did the United States. Never has a nation achieved such global power and influence. Never before has a People claimed as many rights and Liberties as has the American People. No people has ever enjoyed the same level of prosperity and wealth as ours. Never has a land possessed so many raw resources and cultivated them into useful products. Never has a people been so industrious and consequently been placed in such a lofty position to benefit others as has ours. Never has a nation possessed a written Constitution that has provided for a stable government for so many years.

Furthermore, many of the world’s greatest inventions have come from the United States. The car, airplane, light bulb, radio, telephone, cotton gin, thresher, assembly line, suspension bridge, electric guitar, air conditioning, refrigerator, frozen food, washer and dryer, computer, CD, internet, GPS, atomic energy, laser technology, machine gun, Kevlar, fiber optics, and a thousand other useful technologies found their birth in our great nation. No nation has given so much to the world. And it all comes back to the righteousness of our American forefathers, for which they were blessed bountifully by Heaven.

Do we take these blessings for granted? Do we take our privileged and blessed lifestyle for granted? Or do we consciously acknowledge how blessed we are? Do we fall to our knees and thank God for what He has done for our forefathers and what He has done for us? Do we remember to be grateful in our daily prayers? Do we feel true gratitude in our hearts for the unsurpassed blessings we enjoy – blessings which most of the world cannot even fathom?

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When you take to the internet to complain about your government, do you ever stop to think how blessed you are that we have a Constitution that defends our right to speak out? When you hop into your car and drive to the store, do you think how easy travel, getting food, and exchanging goods has become? When you prepare a Thanksgiving feast for your family, do you pause to reflect how all of these good foods ended up on your table and how easy it was to obtain, preserve, and prepare them? When you flip on the TV or flip a light switch, do you remember your ancestors who struggled and toiled to give them to you? Do you pause in the rush of modern life to give gratitude to God for all these things that you take for granted, but which not even the greatest kings in ancient days could have imagined having?

This Thanksgiving day, let’s remember our ancestors. Let’s remember the God-fearing Pilgrims who settled this land, the Sons of Liberty and Founding Fathers who won American Independence with their blood, and all of our forefathers who built such an amazing, unsurpassed, unequalled edifice of greatness and handed it to us on a silver platter. Let us not begrudgingly give thanks to our God for His innumerable blessings upon our People. Rather, let’s give cheerfully, for “God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

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On this Thanksgiving holiday, let’s turn our hearts to Jesus Christ. Let’s draw our families close around us. Let’s pray together and give thanks together for the glorious Freedom we enjoy. Let us never be guilty of ingratitude; no, not to our stalwart ancestors and not to our loving Heavenly Father. When you get on your knees to pray today both as an individual and with your families, thank God that you are an American. Thank Him that He has bestowed so many blessings upon this Promised Land, that He freed our People from European tyranny, that He has preserved us as a unified nation for all these years, that He has allowed our inspired Constitution to remain the supreme law of the land, and that He has poured out an unequalled flood of light, knowledge, and truth upon our People.

God bless America! God bless you and your family! And God preserve us in Liberty so long as we turn to Him and remember to thank Him for our daily blessings – blessings which no other nation on earth enjoys in such abundance.

Zack Strong,

November 21, 2018.