Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God #317

In today’s world it’s becoming increasingly apparent even to unbelievers that true Christians will obey God rather than corrupted governors, in order to influence their nation rightly.

Why, in 1620, did the little congregation of Pastor John Robinson’s English Christ followers, whom we call Pilgrims, risk their lives to leave their native land to become unintended pioneers of an untamed wilderness in North America?  In a word, the motivation was tyranny – Religious tyranny.

Why, in 1776, did 30% of the British colonists in America risk their lives to declare what no people on earth had ever done to resist the monarch who dominated their private lives? Again, their motivation was tyranny – tyranny of their conscience.


Thanksgiving in America – a legacy worth reclaiming

 Dr Marshall Foster, the brilliant Christian historian, American patriot, and founder of the World History Institute, was a master teacher of the story of America’s brave pioneers. His remarkable documentary called “Monumental,” produced in collaboration with patriot actor Kirk Cameron, is a profound telling of one of the best kept secrets among the historic places in the story of the birth of the American nation.

Two years before he died, Dr Foster wrote a brief summary of some of the providential events in the story that 21st century families seldom know about the people that inspired the tradition of American Thanksgiving. It was published in the March/April 2019 issue of the World History Institute as “The Pilgrims: The Untold Story.” See it at:

All of Dr Foster’s journal issues are archived at World History Institute | Journals or


Tyranny or Liberty – the Choice is Yours

True Christians Obey God, Resist Corrupted Governors & Influence Their Nation for Good

Why, in 1620, did the little congregation of Pastor John Robinson’s English Christ-followers, whom we call Pilgrims, risk their lives, leaving their native land of England, to become unintended pioneers of an untamed wilderness in North America?  In a word, the motivation was tyranny – Religious tyranny.

Why, in 1776, did 30% of the British colonists in America risk their lives to declare what no people on earth had ever done to resist the ruler who dominated their private lives? Again, their motivation was tyranny – tyranny of their conscience by a greedy monarchy, preventing productive, law-abiding, God-fearing families from common natural rights.

The Role of Tyranny in God’s Providential History

Tyranny is a powerful motivator. It naturally evokes our human emotions to resist. In the 4,000 plus years since the Great Flood, almost a thousand generations of humans have experienced the rise of hundreds of tyrants.  Only among God’s chosen people, descending from Abraham, has the human family seen a divine pattern of human government! It began with Moses. It was able to inspire the Christian founders of America to form a model of human government like no other in all history.

When you take the time to survey the panorama of all human history, you can’t help but see a tapestry of divine composition. Some might simply shrug it off as ‘coincidences.’  But do we aspire to spiritual understanding, rather than thinking like a pagan “natural-man?” If so, how can we not identify that tapestry as the fingerprints of Providence Himself?  That’s why the Lord enables us to see a thoroughly unique view of human history – Providential History. The prophetic apostle Paul summarized it well to the pagan intellectuals in Athens in Acts 17. He said,

“God who made the world… (not only) gives to all life and breath and all things; He made from ONE BLOOD (understood to be Adam and Eve), every nation… on… earth, having (pre)determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation.”

Acts 17:24-26

Paul even gave us the reason God does that.  It’s expressly for the purpose that human people groups (called nations – from the word ethnos – from which we get the word ethnicity)…

“…should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, even though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our existence.”  Acts 17:27

Today, after over 1,990 years since the divine birth of the Ekklesia of Christ, the whole God-fearing world is looking to America for the last hold-out of heavenly leadership. Will America overcome a goliath that seems undefeatable – corporate global Medical Tyranny?  Unlike other forms of demonically-inspired tyranny in the past, this elite hidden tyranny has been caballed together from co-conspirators from the very gates of hell. They are mountains of domination. Like their “father of lies” – the devil himself – their consciences are seared. They have no genuine regard for human life. They openly defy the moral laws of God. They condone evil and actually criminalize acts of goodness. They mock humble servants of Jesus Christ. They actually think they can create a godless utopia that serves their lying agenda.

These engineers of what they themselves call the “global reset” have been largely out of view from most citizens.  But now they are openly strutting their agenda as if they had already achieved it.  They work through puppet magistrates like governors and legislators of rogue states. Those elected officers and appointed bureaucrats have employed openly Marxist tactics to sidestep the Constitution of We the People of the United States.

The cabal is dominated by globalist eugenicists, descended from many generations of tyrants who expect their god of enlightenment to expel Creator from His Divine rule of all creation.  Like Nazis of the past, they actually believe they can create their own man-made utopia and exterminate every human that doesn’t meet their criteria. They are supported by amoral secular scientists; by idealogue multi-national corporate moguls; and by demonically inspired religious leaders.  They’ve all been led to chant in unison to the wealthy sorcery of Big Pharma, Big Tech and Big Media. They are all pawns under the spell of a secret society. And, like the arrogant society under mighty Nimrod, just a couple centuries after The Great Flood – 4,000 years ago – they are unwittingly about to be shaken from their lofty self-deification.

As evil has increasingly manifested for all to see, the Lord has been orchestrating the exposure of it by selfless truth-seekers who value freedom of conscience over political compromise. They are about to see the Lord of heaven’s armies vindicate those choosing righteousness, and justly execute His vengeance on those choosing the idolatry of trusting in corrupted human power and reason.

What is the distinguishing characteristic of Christ’s disciples in the book of Acts in those turning points when they were transformed by the influence of the Holy Spirit?  Were they timid?  No, they were bold! Were they politically correct?  They respectfully disregarded the threats of lesser civil magistrates. They embraced their citizenship in the Kingdom of heaven. They were fundamentally and radically emboldened to speak the truth of the King of kings, no matter their risk of personal comfort.

This is a defining challenge to anyone who would claim to be a leader of Christ’s followers today. We all face unusually deceptive pressures to conform to so-called politically correct speech and behavior. True followers of God’s Messiah are searching seriously for Biblically-committed, prayer-filled spiritual mentors.  Will those mentors be discerning watchmen on the wall?  Will they warn of hidden minefields that would disarm us from being courageous warriors in a corrupt generation? This is no time for cowards. Courage must be at the top of our priority list. And when our children and grandchildren are targets of tyrants in any way, don’t think for a moment that God isn’t arousing mama bears in every corner of society to stand against these demonic serpents.

God-fearing leaders are urgently needed

The man-pleasing, anti-Christ, sin-deceived destroyers of righteousness in today’s society are being exposed.  Their wicked agendas are wide open for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. God-fearing leaders are urgently needed. Their personal knowledge of God must be clearly reflected by wise insight… as much as at any time in history. 

Our faith communities must reflect the wisdom and power of God

The spiritual harbors that we experience locally must cultivate teachable men with masculine courage to lead us in our enduring lifestyle of contrite repentance. Did you get that?

Will our leaders be humble to invite us to join them to intercede and pray first for our nation’s leaders and our continued freedom to disciple the nations with the gospel of the kingdom of God?

Will they lead us wisely to bow to no king but Jesus and have no idolatrous gods in place of our Redeemer-Creator? 

Will they prove their loyalty to the absolute authority and reliability of God’s Holy Word? 

Will they lead us to discipleship training that will build our confidence in the Bible?

Are they filled with God’s Spirit, demonstrated by boldness to speak truth in the face of the devil’s deceiving influences?

Does their boldness and confidence lead us to humbly approach the throne of grace, anticipating that we will find grace to help in our times of need and healing for our broken lives?

To honor Christ and disciple the nation – our own nation first – we must be willing to be discipled. That desire must be one of our highest priorities.  When we, as individual followers of Jesus, are in the process of being discipled, then we can be trustworthy disciple-makers of our families.  Then we can expect the church – the Ekklesia – to be walking in discipleship authority and receive Christ’s power to use His spiritual gifts in us to bring glory to Him. And then we can expectantly disciple those in our communities whom the Lord uses us to draw to Himself. This is the reality of healthy communities of true believers who become beacons of light to the “ethnos” community of our regions and nations. Nothing in the Bible would lead us to expect anything less.  And that’s why we participate in the policy-making decisions of our communities however God leads us. At a minimum we must take seriously the privilege of being an informed voter.

That might mean we must exhort some of our church leaders to consider their responsibility in this dimension of life.

My friend, pastor Scott Lively says,

“Pastors who refuse to address the threats of the world that their congregants must cope with in their lives outside the church are not good shepherds, no matter how well they may teach the text of the Bible from the pulpit.”  

pastor Scott Lively

We can understand the disenchantment some citizens have with the contemporary regime’s corrupted system of elections. But that’s no excuse to abdicate our duty to our families to do what we can to let our voices be heard. What are you going to say to your children’s children when they ask you, “what did you do to stand against the tyrants of your day?”

The Spotlight is on our options of Good vs Evil

Never before in our lifetime has an election season spotlighted, with laser beam focus, the moral and spiritual issues made plain in the Bible. And never before, have two diametrically opposing party platforms, championed such clear distinctions between the forces of good and God, and the forces of evil and the devil.  This is not just an opinion. It’s obvious for all to see. Just look at their publicly published words, policies and actions.

One stands unwaveringly for the sanctity of life… the other promotes outright murder of babies.

One confidently declares allegiance to God – even frequently showing honor for Jesus the Messiah… The other fully embraces a party platform that removed ‘one nation under God’ from their pledge of allegiance and surrounds itself with avowed Marxists, openly committed to anti-Christian atheism.

One vigorously defends the constitutional principle that our ‘civil rights’ come from God as humans… the other supports the position that the government gives us those rights.

One receives wide support from law enforcement groups because of their clear support of the Biblical concept of personal property… the other avoids making a clear stand for protection of law-abiding citizens, but rather makes ridiculous excuses for anarchists to exercise their destructive behavior.

One has persisted in strengthening our nation’s borders and maintaining lawful control over immigration to keep our nation sovereign.  The other is determined to let our borders be overrun by masses of illegals, providing cover for human traffickers and drug cartels.

One is determined to restore the honor of our nation’s pride in our history, and school choice. The other has relentlessly supported the teaching of revisionist history and the secular monopoly on education.

One has already demonstrated their support for less government, lower taxation and greater accommodation to free enterprise and American jobs. The other actually promises to raise your taxes and makes policies to take more job opportunities away to foreign nations.

One favors American military strength and vows to continue supporting peace through strength, without entanglements in unnecessary foreign wars. The other is committed to the failed policies of prior administrations, involved in endless foreign conflicts at the needless expense of thousands of brave American soldiers.

The list could go on for many pages. Everyone with a basic understanding of Biblical concepts of ethics, morality, and honorable patriotism can see the sharp polarization between the choices that American voters have to make.

Knowing that only 50% of American Christian adults are even registered to vote, and that only half of them typically show up for even national elections, do you think we can make some effort to nudge some of them to participate in the choices for their future?

Consider these Fundamental Differences: Choose This Day –Right or Left?

The Conservative Right –                                               The Radicalized Left

preserve the good, then progress.                    tear down working systems

Faith in God (Highest Authority is God)                  Faith in Humanism (Highest Authority is Man)

Real Truth is binary (Truth/Lies are real)                Relative Truth (We all have our own truth)

Family Values (Fortify Families)                         Family Fluidity(Anything goes)

Traditional Morality (Common Sense)        Inverted Morality(Anything Goes)

Freedom (from Sin)                                                         Freedom (to Sin)

Sexual Responsibility                            anything Goes Sexuality-No Restraints

Male and Female – God’s Design                         Gender Spectrum-100 genders

True Stewards (Dominion Mandate) Rad Green(Mother Earth 1st-Man 2nd)

Compassion for Mothers & Unborn      Unrestricted Abortion killing babies

Limited Government                                                      Maximal Government – Eventual Globalization

Free Enterprise                             Socialism (Government controls Everything)

Personal Generosity                          State-controlled Distribution of Wealth

Equal Opportunity                                       Equal Outcome (Gov’t Intervention)

Justice (Good Rewarded/Evil Punished)       Pseudo-Justice (as ruled by Gov’t)

Open Dialog/Freedom of Speech         political Correctness, Coercion ‘Cancel’

Restrain Drugs, Prostitution&Crime   Promote Drugs, Prostitution&Crime

Mostly Humble People (Working Class)                   Controlled by Power Elite

The Published Agenda of Communism

Cleon Skousen published the book “The Naked Communist” in 1962. On 10 January 1963, the official communist goals, as published and exposed by this book, were read into the Congressional Record. These are a few selected items from the published communist Agenda:

•   Gain control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism …get control of Teachers Associations. Put the party line in Textbooks.

•   Gain control of all student newspapers.

•   Infiltrate the press. Get control of book review assignments, editorial writing, policy making positions.

•   Gain control of key positions in radio, T.V. and motion pictures.

•   Continue discrediting culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression …eliminate all good sculpture from park and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.

•  Control art critics and directors of Art Museums. Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsiveness and meaningless art.

•   Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them censorship and a violation of free speech and free press.

•  Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and T.V.

•  Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as normal, natural and healthy.

•  Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with Social Religion. Discredit the Bible.

•  Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand, or treat.

•  Dominate the psychiatric profession and use Mental Health Laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose communist goals.

•  Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

• Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to the suppressive influence of parents.

Cleon Skousen – “The Naked Communist”

Those are just a selection from the Communist Agenda as published in “The Naked Communist” over 58 years ago.

The Humanist Agenda

Over 25 years ago, the Humanist Agenda was widely published by Christian ministries like Frontline Ministries, led by my friend in South Africa, Dr. Peter Hammond.  Here are some of its tenants:

Man is a product of evolutionary chance and this theory must be taught as a fact of science in schools and in the media.

Education should be controlled by the State.

Education should be secular, free of moral absolutes and non-Christian.

Sex Education in schools should be compulsory.

Pornography should be allowed as ‘free speech’.

Abortion is ‘a woman’s right’.

Homosexuality is an acceptable ‘alternative lifestyle’.

Criminals are ‘victims of society’ requiring treatment and rehabilitation.

The right of citizens to obtain, own and use firearms for self-defense must be limited and eventually eliminated.

All power and authority must gradually and progressively be centralized in big government.

See “Agenda – Grinding America Down”

If you have not had the opportunity to see Agenda: Grinding America Down and Agenda 2: Masters of Deceit, you need to. Dr. Ted Baehr of Movie-guide, reviews the documentary film in these words: “Agenda is the most powerful expose of the communist, socialist, progressive attempt to take over America produced so far. The documentary presents the connections between the different communist, socialist, progressive organizations with great clarity and shows how they have implemented their agenda to dismantle American patriotism, morality and spirituality.”

The LORD of Hosts – the God of Angel Armies – is fully capable of parting the Red Sea, of Destroying Goliath, of preserving Queen Esther’s fellow Israelites.  All of those acts of God involved the participation of lowly servants willing to step up to the call of God in their generation.

What are your options?

 Just remember this – America is an idea founded by God-fearing Pilgrims and Patriots who were willing to die for the Bible principle of civil order, based on the fact that we are all answerable to our Creator and Judge. America has no king but “WE THE PEOPLE.”  America was never set up to be ruled by a democratic mob. It was a Republic from the start – set up on principles of checks and balances with a firm reliance on Divine Providence. Regardless of our doctrinal differences, if God-fearing people, who at least have a respect for the concept of accountability for what we do in this life, don’t willingly do their part to think through the issues and vote with their conscience, that means we give up our society to insanely demon-controlled “elites.”   

Are you prepared to shoulder the responsibility for that choice?

What actions can each of us take to recover from the terrible devastation that continues to be suffered in our land because millions of otherwise ‘good’ people choose not to participate in their community, their state, and their nation’s critical policy decisions?

First, we must take a little time to seek out a like-minded friend, and, together, find a local voter guide to help us be informed to make voting choices that we can be reasonably confident are in harmony with our values and convictions. Be sure you understand the propositions on your local ballot. Sometimes the wording can be confusing, making your “yes” vote end up being against what you thought the issue was all about.

We must soberly review the platforms of the parties to which the candidates are submitted. A good place to see details is the website of Family Research Council at

We must determine to vote only for those with basic biblical values in every contest. Why would any true Christian ever favor a known atheist communist to represent him in any office?

We must print and review a sample personal ballot to get familiar with the positions and propositions for which we’re deciding our choices.

We must take at least some time to know the key candidates by reading their websites, and asking our questions at public candidate forums.

We must think honestly about why we are deciding to vote for the choices we make, and remember that we are answerable to God and to our families.

Vote in person. Vote early if possible. Avoid mail-in ballots, if possible, to secure your vote.

Take your time at the voting booth to vote for every race on the ballot, including any non-partisan races or propositions at the bottom of the ballot.

“Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.”   Henry Kissinger

Your liberties, your life, the lives of your children, are all at risk here, NOT from COVID, but from Medical Tyranny!  And if you’re listening, it should be apparent to you that things are going to get a lot worse, before they get better.  And they will NEVER get better if a significant portion of the American public does not rise up, as other nation’s citizens have, and respectfully but firmly declare: WE WILL NOT COMPLY!  That starts with actively voting in local elections every time we have the opportunity.

Over 246 years ago, our nation’s founders made banners declaring “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”

The American people are at a crossroads, and they must choose either liberty, or slavery. There are no polite political solutions left. The corrupted distortions of the media have so many stupid people succumbing to fear. Why do you think governments are preparing for massive civil disobedience? Pray with others that peace and civility are maintained.  Remember, the tyrants are outnumbered, and they can NOT rule over us if we refuse to obey. They are outnumbered, and they know it.

A significant portion of your fellow citizens today will always choose slavery over freedom in exchange for perceived “safety” because they are cowards.  But if you’re wondering what it will take to stop this madness, remember that it does NOT take a majority of the public to transform a society.  It just takes a generation willing to fight for righteousness and peace.  Jesus started with only 12 students.

While God’s people rally to pray and intercede Biblically for God’s protection for the just and justice for enemies of truth, we must realize that as society is pushed to a breaking point, it takes less than 5% to build major movement in the right direction. When 10% actively resist, you will see a full-blown revolution. This is why we all need to be humbly calling our like-minded friends to pray, even if our church leaders are not doing it. Pray Biblically from Psalms for the deliverance of God’s people and the rightfully deserved justice upon His enemies.

When American colonists were being murdered by British troops at the dawn of the Revolution, the pastor at an historic meeting (the 1st Continental Congress) read the Bible Psalm in the Book of Common prayer for the day (September 7, 1774). It was Psalm 35. Hear some key parts of it.

A Psalm of David – Psalm 35

1 Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me.

4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.

6 Let their way be dark and slippery, With the angel of the LORD pursuing them.

8 Let destruction come upon him unawares, And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall.

26 Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me.

27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”

28 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long.

Returning to our Roots is Imperative for Survival of our civil society

God had great purpose in the founding of America, where in 1607 America’s founders at Jamestown debarked, erected a cross, knelt, received communion, and pledged:

“We do hereby Dedicate this Land, and ourselves, to reach the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us, and with these generations take the Kingdom of God to all the earth. May this Covenant of Dedication remain to all generations, as long as this earth remains, and may this Land…be Evangelist to the World. May all who see this Cross, remember what we have done here, and may those who come here to inhabit join us in this Covenant …”

founders of Jamestown, Virginia – 1607

While contemporary America has drifted far from its Founders’ mission statement, the present days of adversity are reshaping a people called by Christ’s name. If by God’s grace, we see any reprieve through this election, let us not make the mistake of going right back to “normal” when the hard times seem to retreat. We must keep building on Jesus’ Kingdom Ekklesia assignment put forth in Matthew 16:18

“I will build My church (My Ekklesia) and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus of Nazareth

The Prayer of the First Continental Congress included Psalm 35 (from

The date was September 7, 1774 when Jacob Duche arrived before the Continental Congress.  He read several Prayers in the established form and then read the Psalter for the 7th of September which was the 35th Psalm.  Adams writes to Abigail “you must remember this was the next morning after we had heard of the cannonade of Boston.”  He then added, “it seemed as if Heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning.”

Adams went on to say “After this, Mr. Duche unexpectedly to everybody, struck out into extemporary Prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present… It had excellent effect upon every body here.”

Adams then quotes from part of Psalm 35 to his wife Abigail: “Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me; fight against them that fight against me; take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help; draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them.”

As recorded by Headley, Duche’ prayed:

“O Lord, our Heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth, and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all kingdoms, empires and governments, look down, we beseech thee, on these our American States, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor, and thrown themselves on thy gracious protection, desiring henceforth to be dependent only on thee – to thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause – to thee do they now look up for that countenance and support which thou alone canst give.  Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under thy nurturing care, give them wisdom in council, and valor in the field.  Defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries.  Convince them of the unrighteousness of their cause, and if they still persist in their sanguinary purpose, O let the voice of thine own unerring justice sounding in their hearts constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle.

Be thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable Assembly.  Enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation, that the scene of blood may be speedily closed – that order, harmony, and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety may prevail and flourish amongst thy people.  Preserve the health of their bodies and the vigor of their minds.  Shower on them and the millions they here represent such temporal blessings as thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come.  All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ thy Son, our Savior. Amen.”

This was one of those moments in history that captured the moving of God’s Spirit.  Washington was there with Patrick Henry, John Randolph, Richard Henry Lee and John Jay along with John and Samuel Adams of Massachusetts.  In all, 56 delegates from every colony except Georgia attended.  John Adams wrote “It was enough to melt a heart of stone.  I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave Pacific Quakers of Philadelphia.”  Amazingly, Jacob Duche, who had been used so mightily in that hour and throughout the year of 1775, when he saw things go badly in 1776 and 1777, turned away from his country, ran to the British, and fled Philadelphia for England.  But let us remember that God reigns, not mankind.  The Scripture read by Duche, ordained by God, and then spontaneously prayed, inspired a group of patriots who began their deliberations on their knees.  This is what must happen again – oh may the Spirit of God fill delegates and move our Congressional halls again!

Americans Rediscovering their Covenant with God

By Dennis Petersen

Are you ready to help people rediscover America’s covenant with God?

America’s people have been dumbed down deliberately by a secular and demonic agenda to make us all ignorant of truth, ignorant of common sense, ignorant of Scripture, and particularly ignorant of our own history.  We should all know the fact that God’s prophet clearly prophesied that His own people (“My people” He said) “are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). When we speak that message, it can be a prophetic wake-up call for those who might be listening closely to what we’re saying. But another problem is that many, in the true Ekklesia of God, lack the mature personal mentors who can coach them to be guided by the Holy Spirit.  We all need that guidance to discern what is true, and to learn from the events and lives of the past that are able to witness to the incredible grace and power of God.


Thanksgiving for mid-course corrections on the Master’s Path for our life – Providence

Have you ever missed a turn on your road to somewhere and then had to make a mid-course correction?

Sometimes when you go too far down the wrong road, you can never completely retrace your path. You might even get blown off course through no fault of your own. Then you have to find a completely new course to your desired destination. We might not have felt particularly like giving thanks for those detours at the time we went through them. Maybe today we’ll discover some thoughts to help us reconsider – thanksgiving for mid-course correction on the master’s path for our life – the providence of God.

Proverbs 16:9 says “The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” This is called the Providence of God.  God guides his children and God provides for their way. It’s one of the key characteristics that all of our nation’s founding men and women knew about their Creator and Savior.


Reclaiming Your Legacy of Thanksgiving

by Dennis Petersen

reagan-1st-congress-prayerMuch has been researched and written lately about the proven personal benefits of expressing genuine gratitude.  It turns out that thankfulness is not typically a result of being happy, but rather the opposite is true.  People who deliberately and openly confess their thankfulness to others are the happiest of people.  And isn’t it interesting that those who recognize that their lives have a purpose are the ones who are prone to give thanks to their Creator and to those around them.

Have you discovered your purpose?  Do you have a clear reason why you’re excited to get up in the morning?  If you have a mission to drive your daily goals, you’re a much happier person than those who are just being driven by survival mode.

We’re a nation of people that has a centuries-old tradition of celebrating annual solemn days of Thanksgiving.  Yet, it seems that our current generation has almost no concept of the deeply personal conviction of the importance of gratitude.  And it’s pretty obvious that that gratitude should most deservedly be directed to the Almighty Giver of every blessing and perfect gift in our lives.

It seems like everybody is scrambling frantically to demand that their comforts and material desires be accommodated.  How often we see people so ungrateful that complaints and cynical dissatisfaction has become society’s normal?  Things haven’t changed much in 2,000 years have they?

Remember The Sin of Ingratitude in Luke 17:7-19?
Jesus healed ten men of leprosy.  One of them was a Samaritan man.  He was the only one of the ten who came back to Jesus and humbly thanked Him for healing him.  Jesus asked him: “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Sadly, my missionary friend in Africa reports that barely 10% of those they help will bother to express their gratitude with even a word of thanks or a note card.  Gratitude may be rare, but those who express it discover the most enriching lives on earth.  Instead of loneliness, poverty and depression, they are the ones most inclined to be enriched, energized, inspired and transformed

Gratitude goes counter to the ‘victim mentality’ that has deceived so many who think they are entitled to everything at the expense of others in our culture.  When we give thanks sincerely, we acknowledge that we have received a benefit that is unearned.  We can’t help but look beyond ourselves.

When you are stunned with the reality that you survived what could have been a fatal event, how does that make you feel?

After the victory of the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving, November 1, 1777.  How did they express their feeling?  Here’s what they wrote in the proclamation:

“The grateful feeling of their hearts… join the penitent confession of their manifold sins…  that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance… and… under the providence of Almighty God… secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace.”

If we want to reclaim our true history, we are going to have to work at telling our children about our real history.  It isn’t being taught in most schools and colleges today.  Thomas Jefferson was the governor of Virginia in 1779.  What did he chose to proclaim for his State after Admiral John Paul Jones captured the British ship HMS Serapis?  The Continental Congress declared a Day of Thanksgiving, which

“Congress… hath thought proper… to recommend to the several States… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for his mercies, and of Prayer, for the continuance of his favour… That He would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; That He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of Divine Grace, and pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel; That He would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth… I do therefore… issue this proclamation… appointing… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God… Given under my hand… this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1779… Thomas Jefferson.”


Hear what that same Continental Congress proclaimed after Benedict Arnold’s traitorous plot to betray West Point was thwarted.  It was a Day of Thanksgiving, October 18, 1780:

“In the late remarkable interposition of His watchful providence, in the rescuing the person of our Commander-in-Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution… it is therefore recommended… a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer… to confess our unworthiness… and to offer fervent supplications to the God of all grace… to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth.”

After British General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Congress proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, October 11, 1782:

“It being the indispensable duty of all nations… to offer up their supplications to Almighty God… the United States in Congress assembled… do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe… the last Thursday… of November next, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”

After the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, Congress recommended that the States declare a Day of Thanksgiving.  Massachusetts Governor John Hancock, the former President of the Continental Congress, proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, November 8, 1783:

“The Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and Gratitude to the God of their salvation… I do… appoint… the 11th day of December next (the day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate… that he hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the Blessed Gospel… That we also offer up fervent supplications… to cause pure Religion and Virtue to flourish… and to fill the world with His glory.”

After the U.S. Congress passed the First Amendment, it requested President George Washington issue a National Day of Thanksgiving, which he did, October 3, 1789:

“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… Thursday, the 26TH DAY of NOVEMBER … to be devoted by the People of these United 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 the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government… particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.”

On January 1, 1795, President George Washington proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving:

“When we review the calamities, which afflict so many other nations… the great degree of internal tranquility we have enjoyed –    the recent confirmation of that tranquility by the suppression of an insurrection which so wantonly threatened it – the happy course of public affairs in general –  the unexampled prosperity of all classes of our citizens; our circumstances which peculiarly mark our situation with indications of the Divine beneficence towards us.  In such a state of things it is, in an especial manner, our duty as people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience…  I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States,  to set apart…a Day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer: and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of Nations.”


the-first-prayer-in-congress-september-1774After hearing those inspiring proclamations from national leaders – which, by the way, were entirely inspired by the attitude of profoundly committed preachers in the churches of the American colonies – doesn’t it seem about time that the pastors of our Bible-believing congregations lead the way for reclaiming our lost legacy for the current generation?  Should they not humbly call for days of contrition, repentance and sober thanksgiving?  We have such excellent Biblical and historic precedents to guide our way.


Taking God’s Blessings for Granted
Dr. Martin Luther observed: “The greater God’s gifts and works, the less they are regarded.”   It seems that the blessings of life, health, freedom and food are not really appreciated unless they are lost, or threatened. Sunrises and sunsets occur daily so they are taken for granted aren’t they?

Consider the Stars
Ralph Waldo Emerson observed that “If the constellations appeared only once in a thousand years, imagine what an exciting event it would be. But because they are there every night, we barely give them a look.”

The Blessings of Being Hungry and Lonely
Have you noticed that the blessings of rain are barely appreciated unless one has been through a drought?  A hungry man is more thankful for a tiny morsel than most affluent Americans for their table full of choice foods. A lonely woman in a nursing home will appreciate a visit more than a rock star with a crowd of fans. A Christian who has suffered under persecution for decades and receives his first copy of the Holy Scriptures is more thankful for one book than we are for all the Christian books, Bible translations and magazines that overflow our shelves.

You Should Experience Blindness for a Few Days
Helen Keller said: “I have often thought that it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days for some time during his early adult life. It would make him more appreciative of sight and of the joys of sound.”

A Biblical Command
There are at least 138 passages of Scripture that deal with the subject of thanksgiving. We are commanded: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name.” Psalm 100:4.

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8.

“Give thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:12.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.

Joyful, Prayerful and Thankful
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Plainly it is God’s will for us to be joyful, prayerful and thankful.

A Sacrifice of Praise
“Therefore, by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.” Hebrews 13:15.

What makes praise a sacrifice?  Could it be that when the blessings we are thankful for have not yet manifested themselves in God’s providence?
A Good Habit
“It ought to be as habitual for us to thank as to ask.” C. H. Spurgeon

The Parent of All Virtues
It has been said that a thankful heart is the parent of all virtues.

What is the Root of Sin?

“The wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness… for although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  Romans 1:18-21.  Look!  The failure to give thanks to God is the root sin that leads to futile thinking and foolish, darkened hearts.  Think about that.

One of the Worst Sins
In 1 Timothy 3:1-5 the apostle Paul gives a list of some of the most terrible sins including: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, traitorous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.”  Did you see that ungratefulness is listed in the middle of a list of horrible sins?

A Fruit of Character
What’s one of the first lessons good parents teach their children is to say? “Thank You”. It takes character and courage to admit being in debt to others. It is humbling. However, those who cannot admit their indebtedness to others cannot learn, nor can they seek forgiveness.

Failure to express gratitude is more than immaturity and rudeness, it is ungodly. We are commanded to honour our parents, our elders and our leaders. It is a sign of maturity to acknowledge indebtedness.  Have you learned anything?  Then you’re in debt to somebody else, aren’t you?  We are all in debt, first, and mostly, to God Himself, for our life, health, food, talents, family, friends, opportunities and for our salvation itself. We are also in debt to past generations who have sacrificed for the freedoms we now enjoy: Reformers, martyrs, pioneers, missionaries, soldiers, parents, teachers, pastors and so many others have sacrificed for our benefit.
An Attitude of Entitlement
Instead of the Christian character of gratitude, our present culture prefers to promote an attitude of entitlement. This is the very opposite of gratitude. It builds on pride and covetousness. It is fuelled by bitterness, greed and envy. All too many in the present humanistic society take things for granted, demand to get, rather than seeking to give.  It is sheer wickedness, and is a sure road to being led astray by all sorts of empty promises and destructive ideas.

An Attitude of Gratitude
A grateful mind is a great mind. “Be thankful, therefore, for the least benefit and thou shalt be worthy to receive greater.” Thomas a Kempis.  Start giving thanks to God and the humblest of servants like your garbage man for the little blessings in life.  Start today to write notes of sincere gratitude to people who have blessed you in any small way.  Ask God to guide your thoughts.  Partner with a friend to hold one another accountable in your new habit of expressing gratitude.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; To declare Your loving kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night.” Psalm 92:1-2.

Pride, Ingratitude and Unteachability
Those who do not take advice do not think they have anything to learn. They are often the same people who have a problem expressing a genuine heartfelt gratitude to others. It is a sign of pride to be ungrateful.  It reveals an unwillingness to acknowledge a debt to others.  By God’s grace, when we are humble enough to admit our wrong, He is powerful enough to enable us to change.  We can be a thankful person.


Let’s Make this season a Turning Point for expressing Thanks-giving.

List 7 things you are thankful for in your personal life today.

Call 2 people who you can honestly thank for something they contributed to your life.

Privately talk to God about the gratitude you have for His saving grace.

Take 2 minutes to begin pondering the incredible blessings you have to live now.

Promise yourself you will thank the next 10 people you encounter for something they did for you, even if it’s just a common courtesy.

The results of gratitude?

You will become healthier.  Recent studies suggest that gratitude strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep quality, and reduces inflammation in the body.  Grateful people are also more inclined to eat better and exercise which obviously increases your wellness.

You will become a more compassionate person.  When you make a routine of expressing gratitude to God and to others for tiny courtesies, you are looking beyond yourself.  You will be kinder.  You will be more forgiving. You will find joy in serving others and be willing to bear others’ burdens without expecting anything in return.


When you appreciate what you have, it’s impossible not to share it with others.  On the other hand, you can’t give something away when you’re empty yourself.  When you don’t know how rich you really are, you can’t take delight in sharing little insights with others.  The more aware and thankful we are of the good things in our lives, the more we are able to give to others.


Your relationships will deepen.  When you relate more gratefully to others you will draw closer and bond more deeply to the people in your life.  When you express gratitude to the people you love, you become more satisfied with your relationships.  You will reach out to others more easily.  You’ll be more generous.  You’ll be more forgiving and less judgmental.

A grateful heart is more content, more happy no matter what his circumstances are like.  And a happy heart focuses more on the really important joys of peace and little blessings that make life worthwhile.  That’s like a healing ointment to restore your health even when modern medicine can’t do it.

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name; make known among the nations what He has done… Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:8,34.