Sometimes, when you’re having one of those days when things just aren’t going so smoothly, it’s a bit more of a challenge to remember to find things to be thankful for. A few days ago, I wanted to go and have some copies made on colored paper. Sounds simple, right? For years I always relied on an office supply store with printing services that was just a couple miles up the road. But things change. I knew that store was no longer there.

I discovered online that there was a printing company a little farther away and the opposite direction from home. I managed to find the place, and I pulled my car into the tiny parking lot. After entering the small business, I told the young man at the counter the purpose of my visit. Apologetically, he told me they no longer did small, spur-of-the-moment orders such as that. He was kind enough to check his computer for another option and recommended a UPS store in the area.

I was disappointed that I hadn’t been able to accomplish my errand yet, but I headed to the location recommended. On my way, I passed a park with an abundance of trees having leaves of a glorious shade of yellow. It was something to be thankful for in the midst of a day not going so well. Forced to stop at a traffic light, I decided to snap the above picture through the passenger window. My photo might not do it justice, but in my mind I can still see their beauty.

Arriving at the UPS store, I found a gravel parking with big ruts. After entering the store, I looked to my right, then to my left. To my dismay, on the counter to my left hung a sign: “Our Copy Section Is Closed For Repairs Until November 1.” Oh, dear. Now what? After thinking for a moment, I decided the only option was the other office supply store the opposite direction from home, which I apparently should have chosen in the first place.

I resigned myself to yet another destination and set out for the other office supply store. On the way I remembered there was a car wash in that area. I could get my car washed while the sun was shining and enjoy seeing it clean before the rainy weather set in. In my clean, shiny car I pulled into the office supply lot. My copy job was accomplished in a matter of minutes. I remembered our printer was getting low on ink, so I took advantage of the opportunity to look for the cartridges needed. They had the ones I needed–at a lower price for their generic brand. Ah! Yet another thing to be thankful for on this crazy day.

Feeling good that I had “killed two birds with one stone,” I got back in my car and headed toward home. As I drove along, I glanced down at the seat. Wait a minute! Where were the ink cartridges I had just bought? Oh, no! I couldn’t have left them on the counter, could I? I craned my neck to see if I might have tossed them in the back seat. Not there. Sigh! Yet another inconvenience. I looked for a place to turn the car around and headed back to the store. The clerk had already placed them on a shelf in a bag marked “Customer left at the counter.” Well, eventually I did arrive back at home with the ink cartridges on the seat, as well as the copies that were the original purpose of my excursion.


Inconveniences like these can be a little frustrating, but there is something that is much more frustrating, that is of much more importance, that pops up constantly these days. That something is the great difficulty we find in trying to get to the truth. Online censors are getting rid of articles and videos that don’t match the popular agendas of the day. When they do allow opposing information, some “fact checker” will try to decide for you whether you should believe it, with a verdict that “coincidentally” won’t conflict with their preferred agenda. News sources report the news in a way that lines up with the picture they wish to portray.

The coronavirus has only intensified the frustration. Dr. Fauci told us we didn’t need masks, but health workers did. Then we heard masks were useless. Then we heard we must wear at least one—or maybe two. We were told we wouldn’t need a mask if we were vaccinated. Oh, wait! We would still need one anyway. If we got vaccinated, we would be safe. Oh, wait! We would only be safe for a few months. Actually, we would need a booster. Then we would need another booster. A medication used for decades to treat billions of humans around the world was reported to be just “a horse dewormer.” We supposedly shouldn’t use it for coronavirus. HELP!


On top of all this, we are experiencing deceptions in regard to American history and historic figures. One of the victims of statue toppling is our once-considered-heroic historic figure, Christopher Columbus. He is said to be unworthy of our respect because he mistreated Native Americans, and he was greedy for gold. Having admired Columbus as a brave and noble explorer in my younger years, this was very disappointing. I was very pleased to find out that these new estimations of Columbus’ character were distorted. Important information had been overlooked, probably intentionally by some.

I was happy to hear information in defense of Columbus from a very knowledgeable Christian historian, David Barton. Finding that the information I had heard him say about Columbus was included in a new book by David Barton and his son Tim, I hastened to order the book. The book was published in 2020 and is entitled The American Story— The Beginnings. The book is very well documented, with 64 of the 379 pages being endnotes. David Barton is the founder of the Wallbuilders organization, the name being inspired by Nehemiah’s rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. He possesses thousands of original writings from the era of our nation’s founding. He is a popular speaker, media guest, radio host, author, consultant, and history text collaborator. He is a very respected American history expert, due to his exhaustive research. His son Tim, the President of Wallbuilders, is an ordained minister. He has spent many, many hours researching America’s past and is helping audiences understand what must be done to preserve America’s future.

Section One, Chapter 1 of David and Tim Barton’s new book gives us a more honest perspective of Columbus. Most of us know of Columbus’ first voyage in 1492, wherein he landed on what is now called the Caribbean Islands. His second voyage to the islands was in 1493, when he brought additional ships and some colonists. Though Columbus had been appointed governor, the Spanish colonists resented having an Italian governor and were not compliant to his leadership. Columbus stayed three years before sailing back to Spain.

Columbus voyaged back to the islands a third time in 1498. When he arrived, he discovered that Spaniards eager for power had seized control and led a revolt against him. They accused him of “malfeasance and misbehavior,” revoked his rule as governor, and returned him to Spain as a prisoner. When the king and queen of Spain heard the charges and studied the evidence, they completely exonerated him. Since the colonists greatly resented him, they did not return him to his role as governor.

Still wishing to search for the mainland of Asia, Columbus began a fourth voyage in 1502. However, he was shipwrecked off the coast of Jamaica and stranded there for a year. In 1504 he returned to Spain in poor health and died in 1506.

In recent times Columbus has been accused of being a villain who committed mistreatment and genocide of natives. When Columbus arrived in the islands after his first voyage, he interacted with the Taino tribe, whom he considered kind and gentle. He referred to them as “the best people in the world” and stated “a better race there cannot be.” He wished them to have equality, citizenship, and civil rights. The word “Caribbean” comes from the name of another tribe, the Caribs. The Caribs were mortal enemies of the Taino tribe. Columbus was told that they often raided the Taino, enslaved some of the people, and, worse yet, cannibalized some. Columbus found no proof of it on his first visit to the islands.

With the Taino people as allies, Columbus felt comfortable leaving some of his men behind when he returned to Spain. Having lost one ship, it was necessary to do so. In his absence, the Caribs attacked, killed, and cannibalized his men and enslaved Taino women. When he returned with 17 ships and 1,200 settlers, he discovered their remains. At the request of his Taino friends, he left to fight the Caribs in their territory. He set the enslaved women free. A doctor who accompanied Columbus recorded some of the grizzly details he had learned. The Carib males cruelly mistreated the Taino women and forced them to bear children for them, then ate the children. When killing their enemies in battle, they would eat them after the battle. They would stay for years before returning home, sometimes depopulating an island.

Another contemporary accusation against Columbus is that he enslaved peaceable natives and took them to Spain. The truth is, almost all of the ones he took by force were Carib cannibals or natives taken prisoner in justifiable wars. Some of the friendly Tainos voluntarily went with him. It is estimated that 20 to 40% of the natives in the tropical part of the New World were enslaved by other natives.

Columbus was protective of the friendly Taino tribe. When he discovered that Spanish settlers were mistreating, cheating, or enslaving the Taino tribe members, he penalized them. Unfortunately, documentation shows that some of the leaders who came after him did not stop the Spanish settlers from committing atrocities against the natives. However, most of the native deaths were caused by diseases unintentionally spread by colonists. By the same token, settlers suffered from diseases that seldom affected the natives.

There is yet another unjust accusation against Columbus in modern times. It is said that his motivation was greed, lusting selfishly for gold. But that can be easily disproven. Theologians of Columbus’ time believed there were only 155 years until Christ would return to the earth at Jerusalem. Since the Muslims had seized control of Jerusalem, Columbus wanted to help fund a battle to win back Jerusalem in preparation for Christ’s return. To the king and queen of Spain, he expressed his hope that they would discover a huge gold mine and great sources of spices as the result of his voyage to the New World. Then he asked “that all the profits of this my enterprise may be sent in the conquest of Jerusalem.”

Like all other humans, Columbus was not a perfect man. But his strong Christian character is verifiable. Records indicate that the natives he encountered on the Caribbeans did not particularly value gold. Columbus would not allow the colonists to accept gold from the natives without giving them something the natives would value in return. His writings reflect his great knowledge of the Scriptures and his desire to spread the Gospel in far-away lands. He also gave the islands names that confirmed the influence the Bible had on him. He gave them names such as “San Salvador” (meaning Holy Savior), “Trinidad” (depicting the Trinity), and “St. Thomas.”


While thumbing through the Bartons’ new book, I discovered a chapter called “Pilgrim Myths.” The authors state that some modern academics are attempting to make the Pilgrims into villains. Some are suggesting that Thanksgiving Day should be transformed into “a national day of mourning,” saying that the natives were oppressed and killed by the Pilgrims. They mainly use a 1623 skirmish between the Pilgrims and Indians, the 1637 Pequot War, and the 1675 occurrence called “King Philip’s War.” We must get beyond the surface to know the real story.

In 1623, which was two years after the Pilgrims made a treaty with the Wampanoag tribe, Chief Massasoit warned the Pilgrims that the Algonquin tribe was contriving with other chiefs to make a surprise attack on the Pilgrims, without any provocation. Realizing the Pilgrims could be wiped out, Miles Standish led an attack against the Algonquins to save the colony. The friendship between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoeg tribe continued.

The Pequot tribe was known for aggression. They had a warring attitude toward all the neighboring tribes, as well as the Pilgrims. The Pequot tribe had an exclusive trading relationship with the Dutch, and they believed the English might hamper their monopoly. So they decided they would kill all of the English colonists in the area. The Pequot murdered colonists in Rhode Island, but other colonists organized a counter attack. The battle extended through much of Connecticut and was cause for alarm in the colonies at Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. However, the Mohegan and Mohawk tribes chased the Pequot chief and killed him, ending the conflict. Even though the Pilgrims didn’t kill a single native during this war, some modern writers have claimed that the purpose of the Thanksgiving feast in 1637 was to celebrate the natives they had killed. The real purpose was to give thanks for the return of peace.

The Pilgrims’ treaty with the Wampanoag tribe lasted for 54 years. In 1675, Chief Massasoit’s grandson, Metacom, had become the chief, taking the English name King Philip. Most historians have claimed that “King Philip” started the war because the colonists had greedily taken land from them, but a writing by the governor of the Pilgrims stated that every bit of their land “was fairly obtained by honest purchase of the Indian proprietors.” The real reason for the war was probably the Christian missionaries. The Spanish missionaries could be very brutal in trying to force conversions. The French missionaries treated the natives better, but usually they did not treat them as equals. The English missionaries and other missionaries influenced by The Reformation generally treated the natives the best, offering faith as a choice rather than by force. “King Philip” did not like the missionaries teaching Christian morals that interfered with native traditions. The natives had a practice of torturing their captives. I will spare you the gruesome details, but, believe me, they are very gruesome. “King Philip’s War” went on for about 15 months. At the beginning the natives had the upper hand, but finally the tide turned. There was much destruction in the colonies. It is estimated that by the time it was over, 400 to 800 colonists had lost their lives, as well as 900 to 3,000 natives.


Currently we have an attempt at another deception– that the Second Amendment of our Constitution was only meant to protect the use of firearms by an organized militia, not individual owners of firearms. Again David Barton comes to the rescue, with a small book entitled The Second Amendment—Preserving the Inalienable  Right of Individual Self-Protection. In this book, Barton wisely states that we must understand the original intent of the framers of the Constitution. He quotes the words of James Madison, who signed the Constitution: “I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful, exercise of its powers . . .”

The stance of St. George Tucker, a respected legal scholar at America’s beginnings and a federal judge under President Madison, among other things, is well expressed in these words of his: “The right of self defence [sic] is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever . . . the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” Samuel Adams, “Father of the American Revolution” and a signer of the Declaration, clearly stated his convictions on this subject: “[T]he said Constitution [should] be never construed . . . to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”

Noah Webster, a Revolutionary soldier and a legislator, explained the security that resides in citizen armament: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed—as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword because the whole body of the people are armed.”

The individual states’ beliefs regarding the right to personal armament are reflected in the State Constitutions. Eleven of the states, including my home state of Oregon, used this wording: “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the State.”

Richard Henry Lee, a framer of the Second Amendment, went a step further in stating his view: “[T]o preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” Perhaps we are actually shirking our duty by not making sure that all of our citizens of sound mind and good reputation have access to firearms and by not training all the young in gun use.

Here’s what David Barton states regarding anyone who claims that individual Americans do not have the right to bear arms on the basis of the Second Amendment, then reads documents from the time the Constitution was written and doesn’t change their mind. He says they might “look all over the sky at high noon on a cloudless day and not see the sun,” quoting words of William Biederwolf, a military chaplain of the 1800s.

Abraham Baldwin, another framer of the Second Amendment, realized the value of morality in having an orderly, peaceful society. He said: “When the minds of the people in general are viciously disposed and unprincipled, and their conduct disorderly, a free government will be attended with greater confusion and evils more horrid than the wild, uncultivated state of nature. It can only be happy when the public principles and opinions are properly directed and their manners regulated . . . by religion and education.” I believe that if our society still placed great value on Christianity and morality-based education, it is unlikely we would be suffering the ravages of gun violence. Our children are taught that they came about by Evolution for no particular purpose, rather than having been created by a loving God who wants a relationship with them. No wonder we have problems.


In this day of so much deception and distortion of the truth, what can we find to be thankful for? Satan is “the father of lies” (John 8:44), but there is One who will never deceive us. And His Word is true and can always be trusted. Feeding on the truth of God’s Word can create thankfulness that is able to override our discouragement about the deception in the world today. We need to have an appetite for Biblical truth. Well-respected pastor, Dr. David Jeremiah, said something I hadn’t really thought about before. Physical hunger for food and spiritual hunger for the Word of God work in opposite ways. Physical hunger dissipates after eating food, but spiritual hunger grows all the stronger when we receive spiritual food. Physical hunger becomes more intense the longer we are deprived of food, but spiritual hunger begins to dissipate the longer we aren’t fed spiritual truth. Dr. Jeremiah wisely advised that if our spiritual hunger has disappeared, we must “force feed” ourselves God’s Word to stimulate our appetite for it.


I found some Scriptures that can help us be encouraged in the fact that God is a God of truth, and that we can rely on what the Word of God tells us:

“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and he won’t do it?   Or has he spoken, and he won’t make it good?”  Numbers 23:19 [WEB]

“Yahweh [God], your word is settled in heaven forever.”  Psalms 119:89 [WEB]

“Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. Your law is truth.”  Psalms 119:142 [WEB]

“The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw His glory, such glory as of the one and only son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14 [WEB]

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.”  John 14:6 [WEB]

“He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ He said, ‘Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.’ ”  Revelation 21:5 [WEB]


So this Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful for God’s truthfulness in a world full of deception. In 1787, a London pastor published A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors. That was the same year that the Constitutional Convention began meeting in America. One of the hymns in the collection was “How Firm a Foundation.” I found insight into the history of the hymn on the website. There seems to be a discrepancy over who wrote the lyrics, but whoever wrote them obviously had a wide knowledge of Scripture. The first verse reminds us that God has provided a very firm foundation for our faith through the truth of His Word. The second verse comes from Isaiah 41:10, almost word for word. The other verses convey concepts well supported by Scripture. It has not always been sung to the same tune. At one period it was sometimes sung to the tune that we usually use for “O, Come All Ye Faithful.” “How Firm a Foundation” was often sung during the Civil War in the North and the South. It was one of the favorite hymns of Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, and Robert E. Lee.

Below is a video of this well-loved hymn, presented by the New York City Young People CD organization.


Video suggested at the end of this post is not necessarily endorsed by this website



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