George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

By unanimous vote on February 4, 1789, George Washington was elected President of the United States of America—our first, and the only one to win unanimously. Washington was reluctant to serve, having spent so many years aways from his beloved Mount Vernon during the Revolutionary War, but he saw himself as a servant of the […]

Gratitude: Happiness Doubled by Joy

On November 27, 2014, in America, Thanksgiving, Virtue, by Derrick G. Jeter

Erma Bombeck called Thanksgiving, “pig-out time throughout the land.” And O. Henry called the holiday, “purely American. The holiday may be purely American—and a time to pig-out on turkey—but the attitude is purely Christian. Few things are more unChristian than for a forgiven sinner to be an ungrateful saint. Ungratefulness is a sign of pride, […]

“First Thanksgiving”: A Book Review

On January 10, 2014, in America, Books, Christian, Heroes, History, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, by Derrick G. Jeter

I love history. Most of the books I read are historical or biographical. In another life, if I could have one, I’d be a professional historian—or at least a professional writer of histories. David McCullough is one of my heroes. Simply put, I’m a history nerd. But I take comfort that I’m in good company. […]

Memory and Humility: A Thanksgiving Reminder

On November 28, 2013, in America, God, Grace, Purpose in Life, Thanksgiving, by Derrick G. Jeter

You were made to give thanks. The Shorter Catechism opens with a startling question: “What is the chief end of man?” What is our ultimate purpose for being? The answer is just as startling: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” Nothing there about happiness, personal fulfillment, or accomplishments. No. […]

We Were Made to Give Thanks

On November 22, 2012, in Family, Friendship, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Thanksgiving, by Derrick G. Jeter

We were made to give thanks— to Father, Spirit, and Son. We were made to give thanks— to God, the three in one.   We were made to give thanks— to give God His glory. We were made to give thanks— it is mankind’s best story.   We were made to give thanks— for plenty […]

The Blessing of the Mayflower Compact

On November 24, 2011, in America, Courage, Faith, Founding Fathers, Freedom, God, Government, Heroes, History, Patriotism, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, by Derrick G. Jeter

After seven weeks of storm tossed seas in the North Atlantic—seas so rough one passenger was swept overboard and nearly drowned and the whole company nearly sent to the bottom of the ocean—a small band of misfits—pious Separatists “Saints” and profane “Strangers”—reached the northeastern shores of America. But they missed their mark. Sailing under the […]

If the Turkey Were Our National Bird

On November 25, 2010, in America, Family, Founding Fathers, Freedom, History, Patriotism, Thanksgiving, by Derrick G. Jeter

As we gather around the festal bird this year for Thanksgiving, it occurred to me that Benjamin Franklin was unhappy with the selection of the bald eagle as the national bird for the United States of America, instead of the turkey. In a letter written to his daughter, Franklin said, For my own part I […]

A Loving Tribute to a Faithful Friend

On June 25, 2010, in Death, Love, Thanksgiving, by Derrick G. Jeter

I had to put my dog to sleep today. For eight years, Patriot was a faithful friend—more than a friend, a family member. He had bone cancer which spread quickly on his right foreleg. Dr. Taylor, our vet, said there was nothing we could do to save him. We had done the right thing, he […]

Thanksgiving, 2009

On November 26, 2009, in America, Faith, God, History, Patriotism, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, by Derrick G. Jeter

Contrary to popular opinion and lore, the modern celebration of Thanksgiving is not what the Pilgrims would call Thanksgiving. For them, a day of thanks was a sacred day set aside to read the Psalms and other Scripture, to sing, and to attend church, pray, and listen to lengthy sermons. In fact, the very first […]

Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

On December 4, 2008, in America, Courage, Family, Freedom, God, Heroes, Soldiers, Thanksgiving, by Derrick G. Jeter

Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas looms large on the calendar. If you’re like my family, we had just barely finished our turkey and dressing—and my third slice of pie—before I climbed the attic ladder and in a tryptophan induced coma pulled out the Christmas decorations, throwing the house—as it does every year—into a state […]