Happy Thanksgiving

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Happy Thanksgiving. May your day be a reminder of the blessings of God.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

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My 10 Favorite Thanksgiving Movies

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Here are 10 of my favorite movies to watch on Thanksgiving Day.

10. Mouse On The Mayflower

(1968) Animated

Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Starring Voices: Tennessee Ernie Ford, John Gary, and Eddie Albert

This classic children’s cartoon movie about a mouse traveling on the Mayflower is a must if your children have never watched it.

9. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

(1973) Animated

Directed by Bill Melendez, Phil Roman

Written by Charles Schultz

The best part of this movie is Linus’ Thanksgiving prayer reminding us of the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

8. Holiday Inn

(1942)

Directed by Mark Sandrich

Starring: Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire

This prequel to White Christmas cover all of the holidays including Thanksgiving featuring Bing Crosby singing I’ve Got Plenty To Be Thankful For.

7. Plymouth Adventure

(1952)

Starring Spencer Tracy, Gene Tierney, and Van Johnson

Any movie starring these three giants of acting is worth watching. This movie tells the story of the voyage of the Mayflower.

6. Mayflower: The Pilgrim’s Adventure

(1979)

Directed by Clarence Brown

Starring Jenny Aqutter and Tim Barrett. Anthony Quinn and Richard Crenna also have roles in this movie.

Another great telling of the crossing of the Mayflower.

5. A Man Called Peter

(1955)

Directed by Henry Coster

Starring Richard Todd and Jean Peters

This story has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but it does tell a story of the spiritual heritage of our nation. Peter Marshall feels the call to be a preacher. He leaves Scotland and comes to America and eventually becomes the pastor of “The Church of Presidents” and the chaplain of the US Senate without ever becoming politically correct or compromising his faith.

4. The Wizard of Oz

(1939)

Directed by Victor Fleming

Starring Judy Garland

This movie used to be showed on TV every Thanksgiving and reminds us we can be thankful for what we have. There’s no place like home.

3. Miracle On 34th Street

(1947)

Directed by George Seaton

Starring Edwin Gween, Maureen O’Hara, and Natalie Wood

Although technically this is a Christmas movie, who can forget that it starts with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

2. It’s A Wonderful Life

(1946)

Directed by Frank Capra

Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed

This movie that used to be shown every Thanksgiving reminds us that sometimes what we consider hardship may be the very thing we can be thankful for because our lives matter to other people. It would be number one if it weren’t really a Christmas movie.

1. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

(1987)

Directed by John Hughes

Starring Steve Martin and John Candy

In my opinion, this comedy is the best Thanksgiving movie reminding us to be thankful for what we have and sharing our blessings with those who might have lost everything. I get a lump in my throat at the end every time I watch it. Get the TV version instead of the movie DVD, or it will have too much bad language. I believe there’s a DVD that takes out the language also.

The Real History of the Pilgrims

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Thanksgiving is coming soon. There are many facts about America’s spiritual heritage ingrained in the Pilgrims and Puritans. These are some of the facts that children are not taught in school.

Most children are taught that pilgrims came to America to flee religious persecution. That’s not exactly true. Pilgrims and Puritans were persecuted for believing that Christians could have a personal relationship with Jesus separate from the Church of England. But they traveled to Holland to flee the persecution, not America.

So why did they travel to America? There were many reasons, but the main reason is they felt compelled by God to come to America and establish a colony of people that honored God. Many called this colony, New Jerusalem, believing that God had established this new land to spread the gospel to the world. William Bradford wrote in his journal that the motivation came from “a great hope for advancing the kingdom of Christ.”

Pilgrims and Puritans were not the same. Pilgrims were separatists who believed they should separate themselves for the Church of England and the world systems. Puritans believed in working within the system. When they came to America, Puritans wished to set up the government so that religious freedom of expression would be established. Pilgrims wanted freedom of religion so they were free to worship without fear of persecution. Both Pilgrims and Puritans wanted freedom of religion to protect the church from the government, not to protect the government from the church.

Many schools teach that Thanksgiving was a secular celebration. But letters written by the Pilgrims tell a different story. God was such a part of their everyday life that they included God in everything. One such letter states that Thanksgiving was a celebration called so that “God be praised” for what He had brought them through. John Winthrop called New England a City on a Hill in one of his sermon. He, as well as many other Puritans and Pilgrims, believed they had made a covenant with God to be a new nation that was a model of Christianity to the world.

William Bradford believed that America was called to spread the gospel to the world. Since the Pilgrims and Puritans came to America, the United States of America has sent missionaries to more nations and more remote places in the world than any other nation on Earth. Could it be they were right?

5 Things to Help You be Thankful in Tough Times

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

It’s easy to thank God when everything is going right, but God wants us to have a thankful attitude no matter what because He has blessed us. At the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims had a feast to thank God for His many blessings when they were going through a difficult time. Half of the people who traveled over on the Mayflower died the first winter. Yet they still set aside time to thank God because they knew they were blessed by Jesus dying on the cross for their sins. Here are 5 things we can do to be thankful in hard times.

Bring our hurts to God. Everyone goes through hard times. The reason some people get though them relatively unscathed is because they bring their hurt and pain to God instead of worrying about them and trust in Him to heal them. God didn’t only promise physical heal but emotional healing as well.

Phi 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Rehearse the blessing of God. Use a journal to write what God has done for you. Go over it when you can’t remember the blessings of God.

Psalm 103:1-2  Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Despair Or Hope Directions On A SignpostTake your thoughts captive. Joyce Meyer has a saying that you need to think about what you’re thinking about. That’s true. Many times we aren’t thankful because we dwell on negative thoughts that pop into our heads instead of focusing on the good things God has done for us.

2 Corinthians 10:5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Read God’s Promises in Scripture. The way to have enough faith to be thankful is to spend time reading the promises of God. He is faithful to His promises.

Isaiah 55:9-11 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Spend time praising God each day. In the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, he began and ended with praise. If we want to have a thankful attitude, we need to spend time praising God every day and not only telling Him our needs.

Psalm 148:5  Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

Have a thankful Thanksgiving.

As I Said Before: I Love…

by Carole Brown

Autumn. But I also love Thanksgiving. 

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned the value of appreciation for who we have in our lives, for what I’ve accomplished, for where we’ve been privileged to visit, for small blessings and huge ones too. So…November is the perfect month to share gratitudes and blessings.

Here’s one idea of how to create one type of jar, but there are plenty more! (Check out Pinterest for lots of ideas):

old stone jar free

Pick your jar:

  • Personalize it. Love country? Mod podge some artificial leaves to the outside, tie a country-themed ribbon or some raffia around it.  Like more traditional? Why not spray paint your jar a favorite color? Add some sprinkles or fancy lettering to the outside. If you want a bow, pick some classy ribbon. Or leave it plain…

 

 

  • Fill those mantles and shelves.  Containers you seldom or never use, your candle stock, animal figurines (porcupines, owls, birds, turkeys, etc), pictures that might express what you want to convey or that fit with your scheme, certain toys, glasses or dishes, candle holders topped with gourds, small pumpkins, acorns, baskets, seeds, grains, sacks (paper and burlap), unusual sticks, autumn flowers, Indian corn, etc. 

 

  • Collages.  Why not take old picture frames or window frames and make a “thankful for” collage? Notes, pictures, special items or collectibles: anything that brings back memories of things or people for whom/which you’re thankful. 

 

list of gratitudes

Are You Ready for Autumn?

by Carole Brown

I LOVE Autumn. One of my favorite seasons, when the end of September is nearing, I began to get antsy w/anticipation of decorating for it! I thought I’d share a few photos that might give you a little inspiration for the season.

First, here are some ideas of WHAT can be used: 

The obvious and not-so obvious:

  • Gourds and pumpkins
  • Nuts, berries (like wild ones: bittersweet, etc.), leaves, acorns, 
  • Containers: jars (unique and old), cans (big and little), outdoor objects like wheelbarrels, bicycles, chairs, benches, window sills, porch steps, wooden stumps, picnic tables, discarded toys, etc.
  • Other stuff: hay bales, hay stacked into tall shapes, veggies, fruits, herbs, farm equipment, old wheels, trash cans

Now, the pictures:

barrel n gourds free

 

Love this old barrel topped with harvest gourds, pumpkins and vines. 

 

erika free

 

Totally adore these blues, purples and yellows! What an eye-catching decor. Already planning on using this idea!

 

 

drawing on wood free

 

 

If you’re good with art work, you might love this one. I can’t draw a straight line, so it’s out for me…but stencils and other sort of things might help create this or many different designs.

 

 

twig pic frame free

 

 

Love this too! Planning on using it this fall with my own “adaptations” to it! 🙂

 

 

thanksgiving outdoor decor free

 

So cute! I can’t stand the one-eyed thing (just me!) but you could decorate it to suit your fancy

 

 

What is your favorite you use? Want to include a picture? Would love to see it!

Thanksgiving Tables for Even the Laziest and the Most Busy

By Carole Brown

I love Autumn decorations almost as much as Christmas decorations. Here’s a few suggestions that can inspire you to adjust them to suit your capabilities and budget. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

blue-dishes-free

If you’re not a fan of the traditional oranges and browns, try softer hues such as light greens, blues, white and grays. Those beautiful white pumpkins and squashes are elegant and perfect with touches of leafy greens. Why not use those blue dishes with white or gray decorations?

 

Use pumpkins to build a topiary. Choose your colors, remove stems from all but the top one, then stack. Finish the centerpiece with sprigs of leaves, nuts and pine cones.

Have a multitude of different plates? Chose varying ones to match for each place setting, then stack them with the napkin on top and a small pumpkin, squash or other holiday ornament or even a large name tag tied to the pumpkin’s stem.

white-pumpkins

Tired of the pumpkin-themed decorations? Use what you have, like fruits and vegetables. After all, we’re being thankful for what we have, for the bountiful harvest God’s given us!

 

chandelier-free

 

Have a chandelier? Don’t forget to decorate it too with magnolia or holly leaves, pine coves and even–wait for it; I love the idea!–turkey feathers! Beautiful and elegant.

 

 

Add a table runner or place mats of your own design and making. Don’t be afraid to be creative and use what you have. Linen, burlap, and crisp cotton can add to the look you especially favor. Have children? Have them add your choice of painted creations on a long piece of cotton material.

antique-dish-free

 

Use the dishes you have. Antiques or hand-me-downs from parents or even unique pieces you seldom use? Use them as centerpieces or for whatever you have need of. Sometimes old is better. And they definitely make a statement.

 

 

Use pedestal-ed cake plates of candle stands. Wrap middle of candle with rope, surround with greenery and other items. Lovely.

Fill smaller pitchers like creamers, etc., with dried bittersweet, wheat sprigs, and skewered fruits of small twigs. Give each place setting their own creation, or set several here and there on the table.

lavender2free

 

And lastly: Put together small, sweet bouquets by tying dried wheat sprigs and
goldenrod together with twine. Use hearty fresh foliage that will look nice out of water for hours, so they don’t wilt on the table. Tie a tag onto each bouquet, with the guest’s name, a verse, poem or favorite saying, and give to them as a favor.

 

be-thankful-girl

 

 

Most of all, stay relaxed.

Enjoy the day.

Be thankful!