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The World and Everything in It: November 24, 2022

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WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: November 24, 2022

A ministry in South Texas is reaching out to migrants; some helpful people are ready to answer any last minute questions about turkey preparations; and some reasons for thankfulness from a few of WORLD’s staff. Plus: commentary from Cal Thomas, and the Thursday morning news.


MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!

Today we head back to the southern border—this time we’ll meet a ministry to vulnerable asylum seekers.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Also today—help for those wrestling with last minute turkey preparation. We’ll chat with someone from the Butterball Talk Line.

Plus Thanksgiving reflections from a few of our reporters and staff.

And Cal Thomas on Scrabble words and Thanksgiving.

BROWN: It’s Thursday, November 24th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

EICHER: And I’m Paul Butler. Good morning!

BROWN: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Ukraine » In Ukraine, an airstrike on a maternity hospital in Zaporizhzhia killed a newborn baby early Wednesday morning.

BARYSHEVA: [Ukrainian]

Emergency services spokeswoman Yulia Barysheva said the mother was removed from the rubble of the second floor with the help of a ladder.” But her newborn son was killed.

Hours later, the European Parliament voted to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism after repeated attacks on civilian targets and infrastructure in Ukraine.

AUDIO: The vote is closed, and it is broadly adopted. Congratulations...

Ukrainian President Volydymyr Zelenskyy celebrated Wednesday’s vote.

ZELENSKYY: [Ukrainian]

In a video address, Zelenskyy thanked European lawmakers. And he added that Russia promptly proved that declaration to be accurate by—quote … “launching 67 missiles at our infrastructure, at our energy sector, at ordinary people."

Moscow’s attacks have plunged Ukraine into darkness. Most Ukrainians were without power or heat Wednesday. Authorities had to take three nuclear power plants offline after Russian strikes cut them off from the power grid.

The United States has announced that it’s sending an additional $400 million in aid, including generators to help restore power.

Iran sanctions » The United States on Wednesday also imposed sanctions against three more Iranian security officials. That’s in response to the continued violent crackdown on protests.

Demonstrators took to the streets after a 22-year-old Kurdish woman died in police custody more than two months ago. The so-called morality police arrested her for violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code.

Unemployment » The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in several months. WORLD's Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Labor Department reported Wednesday that 240,000 people applied for jobless aid last week. That was up 17,000 from the week before, and it’s the sharpest increase since August.

The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, rose two-and-a-half-percent.

But unemployment remains low by historical standards.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Aftermath Walmart shooting » It is an extremely difficult Thanksgiving for several families in Virginia after a workplace shooting that killed six people at a Walmart.

AUDIO: I looked up, and my manager turned around, and he just opened fire on everybody in the breakroom. And it is by the grace of God that a bullet missed me.

The shooter also wounded at least six people, one critically. He apparently then shot and killed himself. There was no clear motive for the shooting,

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin told reporters:

YOUNGKIN: Today our job is to support families who are facing the unthinkable today; families who have lost a loved one or have a loved one who is injured.

The gunman was identified as 31-year-old Andre Bing, an overnight team leader who had worked for Walmart since 2010.

Georgia heartbeat law » The Georgia Supreme Court has reinstated pro-life protections in the state. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.

JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: In a one-page order, the justices paused a lower court ruling overturning the state’s heartbeat law, which protects unborn babies as soon as they have a detectable heartbeat.

The top court ordered facilities that had resumed abortions past six weeks to stop immediately.

But while the lower court’s order is on hold, the Georgia Supreme Court will consider an appeal that argues the law violates the state’s constitution.

For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.

Shopping » Many retailers are continuing a recent trend—or a reversal of a trend—by remaining closed today.

Around 2011, waves of major chain stores began launching Black Friday sales early on Thanksgiving Day. But recently, a growing number of chains have opted to let employees spend the holiday with their families.

Among the stores not open today are Academy Sports, Best Buy, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Target, Macy’s, and Walmart—all of which will open early tomorrow morning.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: what we’re thankful for.

Plus, the Butterball Talk Line.

This is The World and Everything in It.


PAUL BUTLER, HOST: It’s Thursday the 24th of November, 2022.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Paul Butler.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. First up on The World and Everything in It: protecting the vulnerable.

Last week you heard about the toll the illegal immigration crisis is taking on ranchers and law enforcement around Eagle Pass, Texas. The nearly half million people crossing the border there this year have dwarfed the city’s population of 30,000.

BUTLER: Today WORLD correspondent Bonnie Pritchett brings us her final story about the human toll of illegal immigration—this time on the migrants and those who care for them.

BONNIE PRITCHETT, REPORTER: A metal warehouse turned waystation reverberates with voices—mostly speaking Spanish. It’s a late Friday afternoon and Mission Border Hope staff and volunteers are helping new arrivals. The immigrants are contacting family, buying bus or plane tickets, wiring money. At one end of the 8000-square-foot room, a Texas National Guardsman hands out sandwiches to immigrants patiently waiting for the bus that will take them to New York City.

WHEELER: There is no bus station here and Eagle Pass is just a stop. It's twice a day…

That’s Valeria Wheeler, director of Mission Border Hope in Eagle Pass. She’s small in stature and eight months pregnant, yet deftly maneuvers through the crowd. Each day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement transports about 800 people to the mission from a Border Patrol processing facility. The mission assists migrants on their journey north.

VALERIA WHEELER: And so when they arrive, they come here they sit in here and we have intake processors that receive them…

Within about 8 hours, most are on their way to other cities throughout the nation.

Last fiscal year, U.S. immigration authorities arrested about 475,000 people crossing the border illegally into the Del Rio Sector, where Eagle Pass is. U.S. authorities turned some away under a pandemic policy known as Title 42. But many of them got a chance to apply for asylum and were released into the United States with orders to appear before an immigration court. Since April, Mission Border Hope has processed 70,000 of those asylum-seekers from around the world.

The ministry used to help the 30,000 residents of Eagle Pass.

WHEELER: Well, we are a 501c3, our what we used to do is to support the community, vulnerable population like children, elderly people and families in poverty…

Then, in 2018, Border Patrol agents realized that scammers were victimizing newly released immigrants with promises of assistance. They asked the ministry for their help.

WHEELER: They need a lot of help in every way, you know, spiritual, psychological, economic, they've been through a lot of things…We don’t provide economic support. We don't provide travel for them. We help them to communicate to their families, to help them make things easier for them, so they can continue their journey…

Transportation company representatives stationed at the mission book travel beyond Eagle Pass.

WHEELER: They are in here because as they have passed through a lot of fraud, a lot of price gouging, a lot of different unfair things. So, they charge them in here in front of us, and if they need to get money back or something they have to. And we guarantee that they are getting the service...

Some bus rides are free courtesy of the State of Texas. And there’s a waiting list.

One of those buses is going to New York. Venezuelans Ronald Aguilera and Carlos Araujo will be on it.

Wheeler interpreted our conversation.

WHEELER AND AGUILERA: (IN SPANISH)

Economic conditions forced Aguilera and his wife to leave Venezuela for Colombia. His government job paid $8 a month – enough to buy two pounds of rice and two pounds of flour.

AGUILERA: He wants a better future for his family.

Araujo also came to the U.S. via Colombia. He was in the Venezuelan military but left fearing President Nicolas Maduro’s persecution of his political rivals, including Araujo’s family.

ARAUJO: [SPANISH]

WHEELER: He wants to work and he wants to make money so he can support his family because he they are farmers…His mom always tried to do her best to give them food. And he has 11 siblings…

Araujo’s story reminded Aguilera of his mother.

AGUILERA: [SPANISH]

WHEELER: Something he wanted to share is that his mom passed away four days after he left. And he wasn't able to go to her service or anything. So that's something that was very hard for him…

Aguilera looks older than his 41 years. He’s also 40 pounds thinner than when he began his two-month journey. He lost 12 of those pounds as he, Araujo and their fellow travelers passed through the Darien Gap. It’s a treacherous route through the mountainous rainforest between Columbia and Panama.

That 8-day trek haunts them.

Ajauro describes what they saw.

ARAUJO: [SPANISH]

WHEELER: It's corpses on the left and corpses on the right…Because they just get too exhausted. The jungle it's river. It's animals. It's the mountains are so steep. The mud goes up to here...

Guides offered aid—for a price. Those who couldn’t pay got left behind.

ARAUJO: [SPANISH]

Migrants survived the jungle only to find themselves at the mercy of armed bandits in Mexico and Guatemala. That grieves Wheeler.

WHEELER: I feel very bad because a general comment is that the worst of their trip was in Mexico. And I’m Mexican! So, I feel horrible to hear that…

The daily logistics of getting each person beyond Eagle Pass consumes the ministry’s 14 employees and 10 volunteers. They convey the gospel message through a weekly worship service and pastoral counseling for those who ask. And, more fundamentally, by treating each immigrant with the dignity worthy of an image-bearer of God.

Wheeler understands Mission Border Hope is doing God’s work for this time. She’s humbled to witness his provision for the task.

But she also longs to restore what’s been lost in the wake of the bigger crisis.

WHEELER: So, we want to help the community again. Because we are in pause. We are doing this, but Eagle Pass also the residents need a lot of help, too.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Bonnie Pritchett in Eagle Pass, Texas.


MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: talking turkey.

Today, millions of home cooks are preparing the traditional turkey Thanksgiving meal. If it’s your first time, or something unexpected pops up, turkey experts are standing by to talk you through it.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Bill Nolan is a supervisor at the Butterball Turkey Talk Line. He’s a chef, and loves to help people prepare memorable meals. He joins us now from Naperville, Illinois, with some last minute tips and reminders.

Good morning Bill—I know the talk line has been around for a while, but why don’t you start by telling us a little about the service…

BILL NOLAN: Sure, the Butterball Turkey Talk Line is something that has been in existence—we're in our 41st year. Started out with six home economists, and they were answering phones with a rolodex behind them and that was it. Today, we have about 50 experts in turkey. It can be a very stressful thing, the holidays, right? I mean, people are entertaining. So we're here to provide comfort to folks. We're here to lower the anxiety level. And they take calls, they take texts, they take emails, they take chats, we've changed with the times. People prefer texting, so we let them text us. We're open from November 1st to December 24th.

I wonder how many cell phones end up in turkeys or turkey water?

NOLAN: Yeah, probably more than should (LAUGHTER)

Well I know that you track all fo the questions that come into the call line. What’s the most common one?

NOLAN: The number one question is how do I thaw my turkey?... and that has historically been our number one question across the board since inception…

I remember the very first Thanksgiving dinner that we hosted as a newly married couple. And we had the turkey, we had everything ready, but I was missing one thing. So I quickly ran to the grocery store. So this is Thursday, you know about 9am. And someone in front of me purchased a frozen turkey. If someone by this point hasn't thawed the turkey, is there any hope for them?

NOLAN: There is hope—actually a lot of people don't know this—you can actually cook a turkey from frozen. It takes about one and a half to two times as long. It's going to be a little drier than regular turkey. But you can do it, you know. And at this point, if it's nine o'clock in the morning, unless they want to eat later in the evening on Thursday, I would recommend they cook that turkey frozen. That would be the way to go and have fairly decent result and save the day.

How do you adjust the cooking conditions for frozen turkey? Anything different?

NOLAN: Don't raise the temperature. We always recommend an oven temperature for a turkey at 325 degrees, you just want to monitor it. So I wouldn't even think about opening the door to check it for at least three hours. And then you can look through the window, see if it's starting to brown but it's going to take some time.

And just to clarify Bill, if you’re preparing a frozen turkey, this is not the time to deep fat fry right?

NOLAN: Yeah, not a turkey to deep fat fry. Absolutely not. You know, it's a recipe for disaster, no pun intended. I mean, deep fat frying is dangerous enough as it is—it is a great way to cook a turkey. But there are a lot of precautions you need to take into consideration, even if it’s thawed.

Well I’ll tell you that the growing number of peanut oil pallets at my local Walmart demonstrate how popular this preparation technique has become. So what do we need to know about frying a turkey?

NOLAN: The most common thing people do with deep fat frying with the turkey is they overfill the pot with oil. If you think about it, the amount of liquid that is displaced when you put something heavy into it is substantial, you know, it really will raise the level in there. So people will fill too much oil into the pot, then they'll turn it and get it up to 350 or 400 degrees. And then lower this turkey in and, you know, pretty soon it's over the top. The second thing you need to do is always turn that burner off when you're lowering that Turkey in.

Well there are a lot of considerations when frying a turkey, and I think we can’t really get in to all of those here in a short segment, so let’s just encourage people reach out to the Butterball Turkey Talk Line—representatives are standing by to answer those questions if you have them. But Bill, let’s turn our conversation here for just a moment, you’ve been at this a long time, what’s the most memorable call you’ve taken at the Butterball Talk Line?

NOLAN: The most memorable to me was—I think it was my second year and I was on the phones—it was a Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and a gentleman called up. And he needed to know how to cook a turkey from start to finish. He had never done it before. I could tell he was an older gentleman. And we got to talking and he proceeds to tell me that his wife had passed away in the past year. And she had always done Thanksgiving and he wanted to make Thanksgiving for his family to show that he could do it in memory of her. You know, I mean, it was a tear jerker, right. And I was like, I’ll help you. I wanted to go over and cook it for him, but I talked him through it, and it just a neat thing, you know, to be able to help somebody like that. It was a touching call, I thought.

So why is this important to you? I mean, a well prepared turkey is one thing, but it seems to me like there’s something more that drives you to do this.

NOLAN: I've been a chef for about 25 years, but the reason I went to culinary school when I did was because I did a lot of cooking on my own and people really enjoyed my food. And I was in my 20s at the time, and I thought this is really cool that you could make something for somebody that will help sustain them, and it's doing something for the ones you love. And so to me, that's why I got into instructional culinary arts because I want to teach people to be able to do that for themselves and learn how to cook. And there's a great deal of satisfaction you get from it. We have 50-53 people on staff of our experts that I don't know anybody here that complains about working on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, we look forward to it. You know, it's a little bit of an adrenaline rush. You know, we're really getting busy, and gives you a little goose bumps. It's fun. And we're helping people and to me, that's what it's all about.

So if you’ve got a turkey question today, 50 experts like Bill are standing by, ready to help. You can call them at 1-800-BUTTERBALL, or visit them online and chat with a turkey expert. Also this year, Bill, I understand that you have another way that people can get help if they have a smart speaker:

NOLAN: So if you have Alexa at home, all you have to do is enable the Butterball skill. And you can say, Alexa ask Butterball…so that's great if you have one of those in your kitchen and you don't have to worry about dropping that phone into the turkey right?

I appreciate your time so much today, and thank you again for all your help for people.

NOLAN: My pleasure. Thanks for having me on. I enjoyed it.


PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Some world records are feats of strength or great skill. Others are…well…real chin scratchers.

Two weeks ago in Casper, Wyoming,a gaggle of men put their heads together—or rather their long beards—in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest beard chain.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: A what?

BUTLER: A beard chain.

BROWN: I’m not picturing it. How do you make a beard chain?

BUTLER: Well, picture this. 72 men with beards eight inches long or longer standing side by side in a large circle. Each beard is parted in half—think pigtails but with whiskers—then the two ends of each beard are temporarily clipped to the neighboring one.

The chain more than doubled the old record! The final measurement was 150 feet long!

BROWN: A lot of hairy guys!

BUTLER: Yep, they were all together for the National Beard and Mustache Competition.

The event raised money for good causes— homelessness and service dogs for veterans. So it was a successful fund razor and the beard chain was definitely the mane attraction.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, November 24th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: giving thanks. 

Maybe your family does that old tradition: going around the table, everyone saying what they’re thankful for this year. Today we thought we’d pass the mic around our WORLD family table. Myrna, let’s start with you. What are you thankful for this year?

BROWN: How much time do you have? I’ll make it quick: I’m thankful for my prayer journals. Nothing fancy—just pen to paper. But in these prayer journals, I get to record what God is doing in my life, my family, my church, here at WORLD. And then I get to rewind and re-read what I prayed about over the year—and remember—as the psalmist says, how God has multiplied His wondrous thoughts and deeds towards me. And sometimes I get to share these experiences with others. Here’s an example: On Saturday, April 9th of this year, I texted a friend and WORLD colleague. Here's what I texted on April 8, 2021, I wrote in my prayer journal a prayer for you and another colleague of ours. I prayed for y’all God’s wisdom and guidance. One year to the date later, look at God and the leaders he has brought together. To God be the glory for all He has done. My friend was encouraged.

And I get to rejoice over God’s steadfast love, his goodness, his grace and mercy and his countless promises, whatever the circumstances.

BUTLER: Myrna, that reminds me of what we’re hoping to do during the last week of December on this program. In years past we had people pray for the new year or offer a scripture passage for encouragement. But this year, we wanted to do something a little different—it was inspired by Whitney Williams’ recent commentaries.

We want to hear from listeners: how God has answered prayers this year. So dig through those prayer journals and testify to God’s work in your life. Email those to [email protected].

BROWN: So Paul, what are you thankful for this year?

BUTLER: Well, last year each of my three children got married. During that time my wife frequently told that old joke: Do you know what every mother-in-law wants to be called? Grandma. Or in her case: “Gran.” I’m not sure I feel old enough for my title “gramps,” but I’m getting used to it as this year we became grandparents! Proverbs 17:6: “Children's children are the crown of old men.” I’m grateful for the granddaughter I can hold, and ones I won’t meet on this side of glory. So that’s what I’m grateful for this year.

Here are a few more reflections from our radio team. Starting with daily host Mary Reichard.

MARY REICHARD: Well this is Mary Reichard, and you ask, what am I thankful for? I’ve got so many blessings, too many to count, but here are two: I’m thankful for fire and rain. Now, let me explain. I turned 60 this year. Last year, which according to executive editor Lynn Vincent, was when I was still a middle-aged 59 year old, I hired a personal trainer. Big mistake. Long story short, too much weight, lifted too soon, left me with four bulging disks. I’m not thankful for the injuries obviously. But one happy consequence is that I’ve discovered the pain goes away when I’m in a hot bath in a room lit by candlelight. Ahh. That’s the fire and rain, see? Candles and bathwater. And it all comes from God our Creator. John 1:3 says, “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” So thanks be to God for fire and rain.

KIM HENDERSON: I’m Kim Henderson, and this Thanksgiving when our family gathers we will welcome a new face at the table. She won’t actually be at the table, I guess, but she’ll be snuggled somewhere nearby - Baby Bethany, our newest granddarling. She arrived 9 weeks early back in July, and she’s taught us all about life with preemies. The NICU. The anticipated weight gains. The setbacks. The fragility of life. She’s big enough now to fit into our eager arms and into our grateful extended family. We thank our great God for that this Thanksgiving.

WHITNEY WILLIAMS: Hi, I’m commentator Whitney Williams; happy Thanksgiving! A few months back, a powerful storm swept through our neighborhood on trash day.

AUDIO: [Post-storm neighborhood chatter]

Some say it was a straight-line wind, others suspected a tornado that didn’t quite touch down. Huge, ancient shade trees downed across driveways, gates ripped from their fencing, a horse loose…

“There’s croissants in the yard!” one of my sons exclaimed. I didn’t even know he knew that word.

Crusty, work-from-home neighbors (myself included) congregated in the midst of the mess, most of us meeting one another for the first time, though we’ve lived on the same street for years. One neighbor gave my sons popsicles for helping him clean up his yard. Another gave them a twenty.

AUDIO: [Chainsaw]

Within a few hours, bearded burly men armed with chainsaws came to the aid of widows and the elderly in their distress. My husband was one of these—pulled across town to a neighborhood much different than our own to help a person who lived and looked much differently than we.

But that day, whichever side of the tracks you were on, physically, politically, racially, religion-ally (is that a word?) … it didn’t matter. God used the storm to bring us together, to unite us as humans, as Texans, as Americans, as His children created in His image for His good purposes.

That day, and today, I’m thankful for a God who, in the midst of the storm, dawns on those who fear Him like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, thankful for a God who never lets a good storm go to waste.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN: I’m Anna Johansen Brown. People talk about how hard it is, being a parent. A lot of women seem to resent all the things that kids take away from them. All the things they have to give up. When I first found out I was pregnant, two months after getting married, I grieved the loss of my newlywed life.

Then I held Beckett and heard his happy baby pterodactyl squawk.

AUDIO: [BECKETT]

Yeah, I have less time, less ability to focus. I can’t leave the house without advance planning and coordination. I can’t do most in-person interviews anymore.

But I also have so much more. Life is richer, fuller, more vibrant, has more dimensions, more colors, more elements on the periodic table. People talk about “the joy of motherhood,” but that doesn’t really cover it. Why does nobody talk about the fundamental soul change that happens, this deep well of joy and a kind of satisfaction I never knew existed until now?

Maybe I just didn’t believe them when they did.

God gave us Beckett and when he did, he added a new facet to the core of my being. As a mom, I am more of myself, not less. And because he is a gracious God, I also have more of his strength to face the many days when my own fails.

So I am grateful to the God of abundance who is himself our father.

JENNY ROUGH: I’m Jenny Rough. Earlier this month, my husband and I arrived at Zion National Park. The golden leaves of cottonwood trees looked spectacular against the red rock landscape. As the sunlight moved across the cliffs, the rock color changed from red to pink to salmon to yellow to white. Bonus: Zion has a variety of hiking terrain: narrow canyons, natural tunnels, even a trail along a ledge with a steep 1500-foot drop-off on each side (I skipped that one). This season, I’m thankful for God’s creation. Holidays can be crazy busy. Stepping outdoors for a hike gives us time to pray, to thank Him, and to enjoy what He’s made, like the rivers, rocks, and trees. My husband and I have an annual tradition: Go for a hike the day after Thanksgiving. I hope you’ll adopt the tradition, too. I think you’ll be thankful you did. On that note, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Hikesgiving.

BROWN: From all of us at WORLD, Happy Thanksgiving.


PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Today is Thursday, November 24th, 2022. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Paul Butler.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. It’s that time of year again when, after the big meal, many family and friends like to pull out a favorite board game.

Commentator Cal Thomas now on the classic game of Scrabble. He says you don’t need a triple word score to express true thanksgiving to God.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Merriam Webster has announced it's adding 500 new words to its seventh edition of the official scrabble players’ dictionary. I doubt most people will ever use them in conversation or writing, but they will be beneficial when playing the board game.

Meanwhile, the corruption of the English language continues. Words and their use which are better known than these new scrabble entries continue to be misapplied. Misapplied–that's a great 10 letter word. Well, pronouns and nouns are increasingly used in the same sentence in violation of good grammar rules. And why do so many spell the contraction of you and are as “your” instead of “you’re”? English teachers take note.

I digress, but only partially. Partially–now that's a nine letter word. One definition of Thanksgiving is the public celebration acknowledging divine favors. The word implies an object to whom thanks should be given. In our increasingly secular age in which growing numbers of especially young people claim no belief in God, or are indifferent to him, to whom will they give thanks? The person who prepared the meal? What if the hosts ordered dinner from a store? I doubt those feasting on the repast would thank store employees.

True some churches will hold services on the day and many will still pray and give thanks before violating whatever diet they're on, or the advice of their doctors about cholesterol. Those who first came to America credited God for His blessed favor. Though many died from various causes in the early 17th century, those who survived express their gratitude to the One who brought them safely here and sustained them.

So it was with William Bradford, the first governor of Massachusetts, who issued a proclamation on November 29, 1623. It read in part, “The Great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes and garden vegetables, and has made the forest to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.”

In the middle of the horrific Civil War, Abraham Lincoln found something for which to be thankful as he established Thanksgiving as an official national holiday.

While noting that no foreign nation had taken advantage of America's division, and that harvest continued to be plentiful, Lincoln wrote, “It has seemed to be fit and proper that they should be solemnly reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people.” And so it was and so it has been ever since.

The word “Thanksgiving” is too long for the Scrabble letters on one's tray, but its synonym “gratitude” will fit. You might even land on a triple word score. But more than that, you'll be expressing something that seems in all too short supply today, to the one who deserves our thanks and praise for the undeserved blessings He's bestowed on America.

I'm Cal Thomas.


PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Tomorrow: John Stonestreet returns for Culture Friday.

And, Collin Garbarino reviews a couple Thanksgiving weekend movies coming to theaters.

Plus your listener feedback and our music of Advent series kicks off! It’s a full program.

I’m Paul Butler.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: Thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV)

Go now in grace and peace. 


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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