How To Give Thanks by Jerry Branch

How to Give Thanks
Bro. Jerry Branch
1 Chronicles 16:7-16
11-18-03

As I come before you tonight, I bring greetings from the First Baptist church family to you, and we all wish you and your families a very warm, God-blessed Thanksgiving.

I am both honored and humbled to have the opportunity tonight to bring the Annual message for our Annual Thanksgiving Community Service.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jerry Branch, and I'm pastor of First Baptist Church of Channelview...Americans have been taught that our Thanksgiving tradition started with the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock. It is recorded in our history and traditions, that the first thanksgiving was held at Plymouth Plantation in 1621.

Being a history major, I could talk about the historical inaccuracies of what most of us were taught in school...but, that would be an entirely different subject... suffice it to say,...But one of the amazing things that happened was that the Pilgrims had crossed the ocean with the loss of only one life. But that was to change. Between the time of their landing, which was followed by a bitter severe winter that first year, and the following year when they celebrated that first thanksgiving, half of the original party had died.

Now, the ones who were left, could have whined; they could have been discouraged to the point of severe depression...they could have just given up and starved to death, since the Mayflower had long since gone back. But no, those men and women and children who survived Went ahead and set up a community, planted their first crops, and worked hard...and they were blessed by a bountiful harvest in the Fall, and had much to be thankful for, and regardless of some of the inaccuracies of the story that had been passed down, they did in fact celebrate a thanksgiving...they gave thanks to God...in fact they celebrated three days of thanksgiving, borrowing from the customs of the Old World. Those early Pilgrims who sett ...


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