Salvation comes through grace—it is a gift from God. It’s in the Bible, Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Everyone can receive the grace of Christ, which develops grace inside the receiver. It’s in the Bible, John 1:16, NKJV.
“Andof His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
God’s grace is our only hope! It’s in the Bible, Nehemiah 9:31, TLB.
“But in your great mercy you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!”
Does grace do away with God’s law? It’s in the Bible, Romans 3:31, NIV.
“Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”
Grace is not a license to sin, but power unto salvation and righteousness. It’s in the Bible, Romans 6:15-18, NKJV.
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness”
In the grace of Christ, is power and strength. It’s in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
“Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Grace is available to us at all times we need it. It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 4:16, NKJV.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Christ’s life and sacrifce are the embodiment of both grace and truth. It’s in the Bible, John 1:14, NKJV.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”
Christ’s death show God’s law and grace are not enemies, but go hand in hand. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 85:10, NKJV.
“Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.”
God’s grace is offered to us through Christ’s death and justifies us without compromising the holy law. Through Christ’s death, justice can forgive without sacrificing any part of its exalted holiness. It’s in the Bible, Romans 3:23-25, NKJV.
“Gor all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed”
God’s grace makes our salvation possible. It’s in the Bible, Ephesians 1:7-8, NIV.
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
God’s grace is patient. It’s in the Bible, Romans 2:4, TLB.
“Don’t you realize how patient He is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that He has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.”
My son Jack remembers doing this at his grandfather, Pastor John Osborne’s church at Lake Buchanan, Texas some years ago.
“It is a good memory because we were gifting and sharing the Word of Jesus Christ with children around the world who may have never had the opportunity,” Jack recalls. “Plus it is good to experience and share goodness in this tough world.”
Today, we are proud of Dodie because she is sharing duties of organizing this annual outreach box packing event at First Baptist Church of Medina nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
Led by Jo Walters, with Dodie, the small community is pitching in to help. Even the Medina Library is donating age appropriate books for the boxes.
In the summer of 1993, Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham received a call from a man in England asking if he’d be willing to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in war-torn Bosnia. Franklin agreed, but figured Christmas was months away. He forgot about the promise until he received a call back around Thanksgiving asking about the gifts.
Franklin asked his friend, the late Pastor Ross Rhoads of Calvary Church of Charlotte to see if he could help with the need. A Sunday shortly afterward, Pastor Rhoads demonstrated for his congregation how to fill a shoebox with simple gifts and encouraged them to include a letter to the child as well. Within weeks, the church had 11,000 shoeboxes lining their hallways.
Due to their generosity and additional gifts from Canada, Samaritan’s Purse sent 28,000 shoebox gifts to children in the Balkans that Christmas.
Through these gifts, they communicated to children and their families what the angel said to the shepherds about Jesus’ birth: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10, ESV).
Every year since, Samaritan’s Purse has collected shoebox gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children around the world. Since 1993, more than 198 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love.
Tens of thousands of volunteers from local churches around the world partner to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at festive outreach events where children are surprised with these shoebox gifts.
Over the years they trained over 1.5 million volunteers from these congregations to teach The Greatest Journey, our dynamic follow-up discipleship course for shoebox recipients.
Since 2009, 30.9 million children have enrolled in this 12-lesson program to learn how to follow Christ and share Him with others. More than 14.9 million of these boys and girls have made a decision to accept Jesus as their Savior during the course. Many are now praying for and sharing their faith with family and friends. As a result of this ever-expanding witness, new churches are starting and communities are being transformed!
In 2021 alone, more than 10.5 million Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts were collected throughout Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Thanksgiving holiday typically brings families and friends together in a celebration of common gratitude for all the good things that have happened during the previous year.
People celebrate the holiday in various ways, with parades, football marathons, and attending religious services, but food remains the over-arching theme. For astronauts embarked on long-duration space missions, separation from family and friends is inevitable, and they rely on fellow crew members to share in the tradition and enjoy the culinary traditions as much as possible.
Thanksgiving 1973. Left: Skylab 4 astronauts Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson, and William R. Pogue, the first crew to celebrate Thanksgiving in space. Right: Gibson, left, and Carr demonstrate eating aboard Skylab.
Skylab 4 astronauts Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson, and William R. Pogue were the first crew to celebrate Thanksgiving in space on Nov. 22, 1973. On that day, their seventh of an 84-day mission, Gibson and Pogue completed a 6-hour, 33-minute spacewalk, while Carr remained in the Multiple Docking Adaptor with no access to food.
All three made up for missing lunch by consuming two meals at dinner time, although neither included special items for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving 1985. Left: STS-61B payload specialists Charles D. Walker, left, and Rodolfo Neri Vela of Mexico enjoy the first Thanksgiving aboard a space shuttle in Atlantis’ middeck. Middle: The STS-61B crew enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner while floating in Atlantis’ middeck. Right: Mexican payload specialist Neri Vela, who introduced tortillas to space menus.
Twelve years passed before the next orbital Thanksgiving celebration. On Nov. 28, 1985, the seven-member crew of STS-61B, NASA astronauts Brewster H. Shaw, Bryan D. O’Connor, Jerry L. Ross, Mary L. Cleave, and Sherwood C. “Woody” Spring, and payload specialists Charles D. Walker from the United States and Rodolfo Neri Vela from Mexico, feasted on shrimp cocktail, irradiated turkey, and cranberry sauce aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.
Neri Vela introduced tortillas to space menus, and they have remained favorites among astronauts ever since. Unlike regular bread, tortillas do not create crumbs, a potential hazard in weightlessness, and have multiple uses for any meal of the day.
The crew of STS-33, NASA astronauts Frederick D. Gregory, John E. Blaha, Manley L. “Sonny” Carter, F. Story Musgrave, and Kathryn C. Thornton, celebrated Thanksgiving aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1989.
Gregory and Musgrave celebrated their second Thanksgiving in space two years later, joined by fellow STS-44 NASA astronauts Terrence T. “Tom” Henricks, James S. Voss, Mario Runco, and Thomas J. Hennen aboard space shuttle Atlantis.
Thanksgiving 1996. Left: STS-80 astronauts Tamara E. Jernigan, left, Kent V. Rominger, and Thomas D. Jones enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in Columbia’s middeck. Right: The STS-80 crew during aboard Columbia exchanging Thanksgiving greetings with John E. Blaha aboard the Mir space station.
In 1996, Blaha celebrated his second Thanksgiving in space with Russian cosmonauts Valeri G. Korzun and Aleksandr Y. Kaleri aboard the space station Mir. Blaha watched the beautiful Earth through the Mir windows rather than his usual viewing fare of football.
The STS-80 crew of NASA astronauts Kenneth D. Cockrell, Kent V. Rominger, Tamara E. Jernigan, Thomas D. Jones, and Musgrave, now on his third turkey day holiday in orbit, celebrated Thanksgiving aboard space shuttle Columbia. Although the eight crew members were in different spacecraft in different orbits, they exchanged holiday greetings via space-to-space radio. This marked the largest number of people in space on Thanksgiving Day up to that time.
One year later, NASA astronaut David A. Wolf celebrated Thanksgiving with his Russian crewmates Anatoli Y. Solovev, who translated the holiday into Russian as den blagodarenia, and Pavel V. Vinogradov aboard Mir. They enjoyed smoked turkey, freeze-dried mashed potatoes, peas, and milk.
Also in orbit at the time was the crew of STS-87, NASA astronauts Kevin R. Kregel, Steven W. Lindsey, Kalpana Chawla, and Winston E. Scott, Takao Doi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Leonid K. Kadenyuk of Ukraine, aboard Columbia. The nine crew members aboard the two spacecraft broke the one-year-old record for the largest number of people in space at one time for Thanksgiving, also setting the record for the most nations represented, four.
Thanksgiving 2001, Expedition 3 crewmembers enjoying Thanksgiving dinner aboard the space station. Left: NASA astronaut Frank L. Culbertson, left, and Vladimir N. Dezhurov of Roscosmos. Middle: Dezhurov, left, and Mikhail V. Tyurin of Roscosmos. Right: Tyurin, left, and Culbertson.
The Expedition 1 crew of NASA astronaut William M. Shepherd, and Yuri P. Gidzenko and Sergei K. Krikalev of Roscosmos celebrated the first Thanksgiving aboard the International Space Station on Nov. 23, 2000, three weeks after their arrival aboard the facility.
The crew took time out of their busy schedule to enjoy ham and smoked turkey and send words of thanks to the people on the ground who provided excellent support to their flight. Crews have celebrated Thanksgiving in space every November since then.
In 2001, Expedition 3 crew members NASA astronaut Frank L. Culbertson, and Vladimir N. Dezhurov and Mikhail V. Tyurin of Roscosmos enjoyed the first real Thanksgiving aboard the space station, complete with a cardboard turkey as decoration.
The following year’s orbital Thanksgiving celebration included the largest number of people to that time, the combined 10 crewmembers of Expedition 5, STS-113, and Expedition 6. After a busy day that included the first Thanksgiving Day spacewalk aboard the space station, the crews settled down to a dinner of smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, and green beans with mushrooms. Blueberry-cherry cobbler rounded out the meal.
Thanksgiving 2008. Left: The Thanksgiving dinner reheating in space shuttle Endeavour’s food warmer. Right: The crews of Expedition 18 and STS-126 share a meal in the space shuttle middeck.
Expedition 18 crew members NASA astronauts E. Michael Fincke and Gregory E. Chamitoff and Yuri V. Lonchakov representing Roscosmos, welcomed the STS-126 crew of NASA astronauts Christopher J. Ferguson, Eric A. Boe, Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, Donald R. Pettit, Stephen G. Bowen, R. Shane Kimbrough, and Sandra H. Magnus during Thanksgiving in 2008.
They dined in the space shuttle Endeavour’s middeck on smoked turkey, candied yams, green beans and mushrooms, cornbread dressing and a cranberry-apple dessert.
Thanksgiving 2009. Left: Crew members from Expedition 21 and STS-129 share an early Thanksgiving meal. Right: The Thanksgiving dinner for the Expedition 21 and STS-129 crews.
The following year saw the largest, internationally diverse group to celebrate Thanksgiving in space. The six Expedition 21 crew members, astronauts Jeffrey N. Williams and Nicole P. Stott of NASA, Roman Y. Romanenko and Maksim V. Suraev of Roscosmos, Frank L. DeWinne of the European Space Agency, and Robert B. Thirsk of the Canadian Space Agency hosted the six members of the STS-129 crew, NASA astronauts Charles O. Hobaugh, Barry E. Wilmore, Michael J. Foreman, Robert L. Satcher, Randolph J. Bresnik, and Leland D. Melvin.
The twelve assembled crew members represented the United States, Russia, Belgium, and Canada. The celebration took place two days early, since the shuttle undocked from the space station on Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving 2010. Left: Expedition 25 commander and NASA astronaut Scott J. Kelly awaits his crewmates at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Right: The Expedition 25 crew of Oleg I. Skripochka of Roscosmos, left, Kelly, NASA astronaut Douglas H. Wheeler, Aleksandr Y. Kaleri and Fyodor N. Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, and NASA astronaut Shannon Walker sending Thanksgiving greetings to the ground before digging into their dinner.
Thanksgiving 2013. Left: Expedition 38 NASA astronauts Michael S. Hopkins, left, and Richard A. Mastracchio showing off food items destined for the Thanksgiving Day dinner. Right: Close-up of the Thanksgiving dinner items, including turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, green beans and mushrooms, and dressing.
Thanksgiving 2014. Left: Eager for Thanksgiving, Expedition 42 commander and NASA astronaut Barry E. “Butch” Wilmore sets out his meal several days in advance. Right: Expedition 42 crew members Wilmore, left, Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, Aleksandr M. Samokutyayev and Anton N. Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Terry W. Virts, and Elena O. Serova of Roscosmos enjoy the Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Thanksgiving 2015. Left: Expedition 45 crew members Mikhail B. Korniyenko, left, Oleg D. Kononenko, and Sergei A. Volkov of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Kjell N. Lindgren, Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and NASA astronaut Scott J. Kelly pose before the Thanksgiving dinner table. Right: Kelly, left, and Lindgren show off the Thanksgiving dinner items.
Thanksgiving 2016. Left: Expedition 50 crew members Oleg V. Novitsky, left, Sergei N. Ryzhikov, and Andrei I. Borisenko of Roscosmos, Thomas G. Pesquet of the European Space Agency, and NASA astronauts R. Shane Kimbrough and Peggy A. Whitson pose before the Thanksgiving dinner table. Right: The Expedition 50 crew tucks into the feast.
Thanksgiving 2017. Left: The Thanksgiving table is set. Middle: The Expedition 53 crew of Paolo A. Nespoli of the European Space Agency, left, NASA astronauts Joseph M. Acaba and Mark T. Vande Hei, Sergei N. Ryazansky and Aleksandr A. Misurkin of Roscosmos, and NASA astronaut Randolph J. Bresnik patiently awaits the start of the dinner. Right: The Expedition 53 crew digs in.
Thanksgiving 2019. Left: The turkey is in the oven, or more precisely the smoked turkey packages are in the Galley Food Warmer. Right: Expedition 61 crew members NASA astronaut Christina H. Koch, left, Aleksandr A. Skvortsov of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Jessica U. Meir, Oleg I. Skripochka of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Andrew R. Morgan, and Luca S. Parmitano of the European Space Agency celebrate Thanksgiving aboard the space station.
Thanksgiving 2020. Left: Expedition 64 NASA astronaut Kathleen H. “Kate” Rubins prepares the Thanksgiving dinner. Right: The Expedition 64 crew of NASA astronaut Michael S. Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Sergei V. Kud-Sverchkov and Sergei N. Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, and NASA astronauts K. Meghan McArthur, Victor J. Glover, and Rubins enjoying the Thanksgiving meal including frozen treats for dessert.
We hope you enjoyed these stories and photographs from Thanksgivings celebrated in orbit. We would like to wish everyone here on the ground and the seven-member crew of Expedition 66 aboard the space station a very happy Thanksgiving!
By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
After a close vote, Americans chose “Corn,” a 42 lb. bird from Iowa, as this year’s honoree. “Cob,” the runner-up and first alternate, will join Corn for a well-deserved retirement at Iowa State University following today’s festivities.
“The first turkey to dodge the White House dinner table received unofficial clemency when President Abraham Lincoln’s son, Tad, begged his father to spare his new friend,” President Trump said. Beginning with President George H. W. Bush, the National Thanksgiving Turkey now receives a formal pardon each year.
“On behalf of the entire Trump family, I want to wish every American a healthy and very happy Thanksgiving,” President Trump said.
“Every American can be united in thanksgiving to God for the incredible gifts He has bestowed upon us—the blessings of family, community, and this exceptional, beautiful, and great country.”
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their Joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of AlmightyGod, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—
That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks
—for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation
—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war
—for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed
—for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions
—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually
—to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed
–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord
—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us
—and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving from Clever Journeys, Jack & Dodie Dennis