​November holds two special holidays, Veteran’s day and Thanksgiving. One we have already celebrated; one we will celebrate in just a few short weeks.  While writing today, it occurred to me that both celebrations are built around thankfulness and gratitude. 
When I think of the pilgrims, I can’t help but honor their boldness to leave the familiarity of what they knew to cross the unforgiving sea. They left everything they had to come to a new and untamed land. It is interesting that their foundation motive was simply to be able to live life as they chose. They wanted to be free of the dictates of government that told them how to worship and severely punished those who would not bend. Taxation, land ownership, involuntary military conscription were also reasons, but religious freedom was the highest priority. 
Our military was formed to protect and preserve that freedom. I would challenge us to collectively be thankful for the men and women who have served to protect those values. As a veteran, I took an oath that declared that I would “defend America and the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic ….”  There is no expiration date on that oath. The freedom we enjoy has become a beacon of light for every nation of earth. American soldiers have helped vanquish the foes of freedom on every continent, we have every reason to be grateful to them.
Too often our thanksgiving is wiped out by the political division that assaults us. However, being thankful or grateful is one of the healthiest habits we can adopt, both emotionally and physically, for one greatly impacts the other.
I have spent a great deal of time cross culturally in impoverished areas. I am familiar with all the things that so many do not have. Things many Americans now consider rights. This Thanksgiving Day, I urge you to be grateful for all you have been given and all the unhindered potential that lies before you. I encourage you to be thankful for the faithful convenience of electricity and water, and the ability to peacefully assemble and worship as you choose. I want to compel you to celebrate the privilege to vote on issues that affect you and rejoice in the peace and safety that you currently enjoy. Oh, and don’t forget to Thank God for His providence.