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Celebrating the Miracle of Thanksgiving

Celebrating the Miracle of Thanksgiving

Best-selling author Eric Metaxas tells the incredible story of the history of Thanksgiving, focusing on Squanto, a Native American man of faith who was called by God to help the Pilgrims in their hardships.
Original Air Date: November 24, 2016

Excerpt:

Eric Metaxas: And in the case of Squanto, sometimes he gives us stories from history to show us, look, I am faithful, you may not see it every single time, but I want you to know I’m faithful. And this is such a crazy story. I don’t know what other, uh, moral you can pull from it, except God is real.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Happy Thanksgiving from Focus on the Family. That’s Eric Metaxas reflecting about how God works through people all through history to accomplish His purposes. And our host today is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Yeah. Today, John’s, one of my favorite days of the year because, uh, first of all, you get to eat. (laughs)

John: Always a good thing.

Jim: Yeah, that Turkey is so good with gravy, isn’t it? And then, uh, watch a little football maybe.

John: A lot of football.

Jim: (laughs) Maybe too much football. Uh, but most importantly, spending time together with family. I love Jean’s tradition where we go around the table. I’m sure many of you do the same thing, which is to say, what are you thankful for? We tease Jean about it, but she rolls with that punch and we do it. We just go around the table and to hear Trent and Troy give an idea of what they’re most thankful for in the past year is really rewarding as a parent. Um, I know you’re going to be celebrating with your family and friends, and we want to take a look back at a great story that is directly related to Thanksgiving. It’s part of our history, and it’s the story of Squanto. And the reason this story is important to all of us is because of the way God worked in his life at an early age well before the first Thanksgiving ever happened. And I am so impressed with that story. I didn’t know it, John, until I heard uh, this story written by our guest Eric Metaxas.

John: And Eric is a radio host. He’s a popular speaker and the author of a number of books, including one for children called Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving.

Jim: Eric, it’s great to have you back at Focus on the Family.

Eric: It’s always a pleasure to hang out with you guys. Thanks for having me.

Jim: Hey Eric, uh, you love history that comes out in all the work that you do with your books, your biographies, those things. Why Squanto? What caught your attention with Squanto that you said this is someone I need to write about?

Eric: I honestly… I’ll never forget this. This is a long time ago. This was about 1991 or 1990. Uh, I was working for a company called Rabbit Ears Productions. They produce all these uh, kids’ stories, just a wonderful time in my life. And uh, somebody said, we’re going to do these stories on America, folktales, Paul Bunyan, whatever. “Uh, oh, have you heard of the story of Squanto?” “I never heard of the story Squanto, what’s Squanto?” And he said, “Oh yeah, he’s the one that helped the pilgrims plant corn and you know, put the, the fish in with the corn so that it provided fertilizer and you know, yeah, tells a story Squanto.” So, I said, “Okay.”

Jim: (laughs)

Eric: So, I go to the library and I look up the story of Squanto. And that’s pretty much, if anybody’s ever heard of Squanto, that’s what they’re taught in school.

Jim: Right. He was good at agriculture.

Eric: Right? He’s the Indian that comes of the woods and he helps the pilgrims, that’s all we know, right? Well, I start reading the story. And there’s all these children’s books on him and they’re kind of boring, like I, I don’t really get it. And then I start reading the original documents. Now the original documents, we’re talking about, you know, 1621, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony wrote his memoirs, his journal, his diary in it. And there’s a couple of documents that refer to Squanto, and I realized, oh, they all got their information to write these other children’s books and stuff from this. This is all we know about Squanto. So, I read these other documents and I piece the story together, and like my hair stands on end. I say, how come nobody’s noticed what I’m noticing right now? And what I’m noticing is that the story of Squanto is one of the freakiest miracles in history. It doesn’t make any sense, but then you read through it over and over and over and you go, this is what happened, why is nobody recognizing this as a crazy miracle of God? It is just an outrageous story. And so, I wrote the miracle-

Jim: Ta- take us back, yeah.

Eric: Well, I’ll tell you this, obviously I got to tell you the story. But it’s so crazy, and I obviously I put it in my, uh, If You Can Keep It booked because I want to inspire people to say that God has had His hand on this country, whether you like it or not. God has blessed America and called America into existence for His purposes. Not to say, “Hey, you’re great. I love you.” No, no, no. He blesses you to be a blessing. And America has been blessed by God outrageously to be a blessing to the rest of the world and to history. And so, the story is basically this, and you have to listen carefully to the details because this is so nuts. Basically, uh, nobody had come to, you know, when I say North America, I, I’m saying, you know, Massachusetts, Virginia, whatever.

Jim: New England.

Eric: We, we all know that, uh, you know, in 1607 they went to the Virginia Colony, that didn’t go so well, there was some problems there or whatever. But in 1620, uh, some ship called the Mayflower with, you know, a group of a hundred religious dissidents, right? Come across and they, they’re what we call the pilgrims. They land, they go through hell, 50% of them die. Now that’s like one of these statistics, it means nothing. Think about it-

Jim: Yeah.

Eric: … think about you and your family and some other families are going to go on a trip because God has led you to do this. And half of you get sick and die and you bury each other. It’s like out of one of the darkest tales of history, okay?

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Eric: So, we know about that. But what we don’t know is what happened before 1620. And this is what shocked me, I had no clue, is that just because the pilgrims were the first ones to settle there, they were not the first ones to travel there. There had been a number of trading ships from England that would come down, you know, maybe they’d hit Greenland or Iceland, they’d go to Newfoundland, they come down the coast, uh, to what is Maine and all the way down Massachusetts, and they would trade with the native Americans. They would come down to the shore and they would trade them, you know, whether it’s pots and pans for beads or, or beaver pelts or whatever, that there had been trading that was going on, but nobody had settled.

So, it’s only these crazy pilgrims that come from, you know, they were obviously, uh, persecuted for their faith in England. But they went to Holland to escape the persecution, and then they’re in Holland for a few years. And they say, this is not working out, our kids are becoming Dutch, we’re going to go across the Atlantic. So, they go across the Atlantic in 1620 and they settle. But as I say, it’s what happened before that that makes the story understandable.

And here’s what happened, in about 1608, 12 years before the pilgrims come one of these trading ships, uh, led by a Captain Hunt, uh, is coming down the main coast to what’s today Massachusetts to trade, okay? And again, there’ve been a number of these, but this was one, uh, that happened around 1608. And Captain Hunt was a wicked man. Uh, he, and I’m sure many other of these wicked traders, uh, we’re not just interested in getting beaver pelts and things. They said, you know what? We can make a lot of money if we can kidnap some of these young native Americans, throw them in the hold of the ship, drag them across the Atlantic and sell them as slaves. Won’t we make a lot more money? Hey, slavery is not illegal, let’s make some money. So, they land the ship in 1608, the trusting, uh, Indians come down. Now by the way, this is right where Plymouth, Massachusetts is today. Uh, so it was the Pawtuxet tribe. They come down and as I said, John Hunt, this wicked captain, they, you know, hit them over the head, whatever, they drag them on the long boat, throw them in the hold of the ship, take them across the Atlantic and sell them at a high profit in Malaga, Spain.

Jim: And there’s no real record, uh, small record, but we don’t know the number of-

Eric: No.

Jim: … native Americans that were actually taken-

Eric: No.

Jim: … into slavery.

Eric: No, it’s complicated, and even this story has some things that people aren’t clear on, but the stuff I’m talking about is we know for sure, okay? So, one of these, uh, braves is a 12-year-old named Tisquantum. Now, where the story gets insane is that Tisquantum is bought by friars, by monks, who by all accounts treated him very well. Uh, we don’t know if they rescued him or they just bought him and treated him well, we don’t know. But he learns the Christian faith. And then somehow, they conspire to figure out, can we get him back to his people? Now, can you imagine what we’re talking about right now?

Jim: Right, he’s in Spain.

Eric: We are talking like now it’s like 1611, 1612, and we’re talking about you’re in Spain. That’s like saying, hey, I’m stranded on the moon, when’s the next bus heading back to earth? There ain’t no bus. Like what, what are you talking about? There’s no uh, railroad or flights or-

Jim: Right.

Eric: … that, you’re, you’re in Europe and it’s 1612. They somehow felt if we can get him back to London, there are trading ships, maybe we can connect him with one of these trading ships to get back home. I mean, the odds against this are like one in a billion, but somehow after five years he gets to London, he works for a, a family as a stable hand. So, imagine this, this Indian who’s come from what’s Plymouth is now in the England of Shakespeare and whatever. He learns perfect English and everything, and he’s working there waiting for an opportunity to get a ship back. So, it’s, the year is probably 16… I’m guessing 1618 is the year that they finally find a ship that needs a translator. So Tisquantum, who’s now this young man, he is picked and for passage across, he’s going to be the translator or whatever. So, I think they winter in Iceland or something-

Jim: Ah.

Eric: … and then they go down to the coast, and when they get to Patuxent, which is the Southern part of Massachusetts, they go, hey, this is where you wanted to go, you’re done, goodbye.

Jim: This is your bus stop.

Eric: Thank you very much. This is your bus stop; you get off the bus. So, he gets off the bus-

Jim: (laughs)

Eric: … and he runs through the woods after… Now, just imagine… he’s learned the Christian faith, he speaks English. 10 years he’s been longing to return home.

Jim: Hmm. Amazing.

Eric: He gets home, there’s nobody there. The village is empty, where he grew up. He goes to a neighboring tribe and finds out that some kind of a plague epidemic, probably smallpox, wiped out all of his people. There’s like one or two left and they’re living with the neighboring tribe. So, it’s kind of like, we kind of think, well, what do we care? He’s back with the Indians. No, no, no, his tribe was dead. The neighboring tribe was as foreign to him as the English. So, he lived with them for a little while, then he goes off to live in the woods alone. This is so heartbreaking and strange.

Well, while he is there wondering what has God done with my life? Why would God allow me to come all the way back against the odds for nothing?

Jim: Right.

Eric: At the same time, a group of Puritans called the pilgrims land the Mayflower on what is today Plymouth, but in those days was Patuxent, the very place where this young man had grown up. We know that they go through the winter. We know that they die like flies. They are crying out to God, “Lord, how could you lead us to this place? We know you led us, but we’re dying like flies.” And frankly, they were planning to go back because they’re not succeeding.

Jim: Huh.

Well, in the Spring out of the woods walks an Indian named Squanto. Uh, he’s led there by a Samoset who’d been talking with the pilgrims. And he speaks perfect English. Imagine, put yourself in the shoes of the pilgrims. They’re stranded on this, you know, they’re all alone, they’re dying. An Indian comes out of the woods and basically says, uh, I speak perfect English. I have been in London more recently than you have.

Jim: Hmm.

Eric: And where you have settled is where I grew up. And I know everything that is necessary about how to plant crops, about where to fish, where to get lobsters, how to get eels out of the muddy streams. And by the way, I have nothing else to do with my life. I am here for you to help you. I mean, if he didn’t speak perfect English, it would still be a miracle-

Jim: Yeah.

Eric: … but he spoke perfect Eng- like it’s just insane. And so, he gives himself to these pilgrims. And because of him they stay, they flourish. It’s one of the miracles of history, and it goes one step further is that if they had not succeeded there, 10 years later on the Arbella, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was even much more significant, that would have never happened if the pilgrims hadn’t succeeded at Plymouth. So you could say that the cradle of liberty, Boston, everything that comes out of the Revolution, that whole culture, never would have happened if Squanto had not walked out of the woods prepared by God like Joseph. What man meant for evil, God meant for good. It’s one of the craziest stories in history. It’s documented, not that many people know it. So, I put it in my book, If You Can Keep It, because as far as I’m concerned, every American needs to know the story.

Jim: Well, and that’s why today on Thanksgiving it’s so critical for us to highlight this story and to better understand the founding of our nation.

Eric, I’ve got to ask this question though, some people would say that his suffering, uh, by being taken into slavery and all that he had to go through, and to say that it was needed for America to start and to flourish-

Eric: Right, right.

Jim: … you could scratch your head over some of that and think, wow, okay.

Eric: Well, if you don’t scratch your head, you’re, you’re not paying attention. I mean, there, there are mysteries here that will never gonna unravel this side of heaven. I mean, why does any of the suffering have to happen? But I tell you, there’s a lot of meaningless suffering in life. He could have gone all through this and died a miserable death. Instead, he gets to play a role in history where we’re talking about him today because his kindness, his generosity, his nobility helped suffering people at a time that they were on the ropes.

Jim: Yeah.

Eric: They were ready to go home weeping because they’d lost everything. It’s just one of these things that we don’t have an answer, but we do know that God used him. And in his last years on earth, he had joy.

Jim: He wasn’t bitter.

Eric: He said, look, one, the opposite of bitter. He was like, I can’t even believe that I… In fact, and this I quote in the book, he said that he prayed that the Englishman would pray for him that he would go to their God in heaven. He asked them to pray that he would go to their God. He understood this faith and he wanted to go to heaven, and he asked them to pray for him. And John Winthrop says that this man, Squanto, was a special instrument sent of God. And it was, it was clear to the pilgrims that God has heard our cries. He sent this man on this circuitous horrible path just for the right time to save us and to start a nation that by the way would uh, bring blessings to the whole world.

Jim: Hmm. Um, Eric, let me ask you this, and of course we have the background sounds-

Eric: Yeah.

Jim: … of New York City.

Eric: Just to prove we are in New York.

Jim: (laughs) But let me ask you this, how do we take the lesson from Squanto as believers-

Eric: Yeah.

Jim: … fellow believers-

Eric: Yeah.

Jim: … with him-

Eric: Yeah.

Jim: … to say that we can’t look at just our life as the end all of God’s plan.

Eric: That’s-

Jim: That it’s all about me. That there is something at work that is bigger than us, that is more important than us.

Eric: God asked us to trust Him, and He doesn’t always give us the proof that we’re looking for. I mean, here, here’s the bottom line. Sometimes He does, and sometimes He doesn’t, but He’s still the same God. If He doesn’t give you the results you’re looking for, it doesn’t mean that He’s not there. And in the case of Squanto, sometimes He gives us stories from history to show us, look, I am faithful, you may not see it every single time, but I want you to know I’m faithful. And this is such a crazy story. I don’t know what other, uh, moral you can pull from it, except God is real.

Jim: Hmm.

Eric: It’s just one of those things, if you’re doubting where you’re in life right now and why you’re here, God knows the rest of the story, and all you need to do is trust Him, uh, and know that He won’t fail you. He will not fail you.

John: To that end Eric, did, uh, the man we know as Squanto, did he get to see a, a good ending to his personal story?

Eric: Squanto actually died very young. He died only a few years after this. They don’t know what he died of. But before he died, he was able, and I forgot to say this, to broker a deal. Imagine this, to broker a deal with the surrounding Indian tribes so that there was peace between the English settlers and the surrounding Indian tribes that lasted for 50 years.

Jim: Hmm.

Eric: I mean, you cannot even imagine. That makes any diplomatic effort that you’ve ever heard about seem not that amazing. This is just amazing because we know the horrors with Phillips, King Philip’s war in 1670, but for 50 years there was peace.

John: Bu my point is he did not see that 50 years of peace.

Eric: He saw it. That’s right.

John: We don’t always see what our life-

Eric: He did not see.

John: … has been about until afterwards.

Eric: He did not see. We see, but he did not see most of what he had accomplished.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Yeah. I mean, that’s something. Hey Eric, as we wrap up here, um, I’m thinking of the celebration of Thanksgiving. One of the things that we did was Radio Theater, which is a dramatization of a variety of stories, but one of the stories we did was Squanto.

Eric: I know.

Jim: And, uh, you know, along with your highlighting of this, maybe talking about it around the table so that your children better understand the contribution Squanto made to this nation-

Eric: Right.

Jim: … that he was in the early days before people came here.

Eric: Well look, I wrote a, I wrote a children’s book about it, uh, which many people have said to me, “Oh, we read that at Thanksgiving.” I think that is my fondest dream that you’d read this with your kids. You know, the adult version is in my book, If You Can Keep It, and obviously there’s the folks on the family Radio Theater, which I’ve heard for years, people said, “Did you know they did a Squanto story?”

But I think that we have to tell these stories to our kids. It’s an obligation as parents, we’ve got to put these things in their hands because this is who we are as a people, God has had His hand on us, therefore we have responsibility.

Jim: Hey Eric, one of the traditions my wife, Jean, does around the table, and we kid her for it, but it is a wonderful tradition that I know my boys are going to do with their children someday, is to go around the table and say, what is it that you’re thankful for? Given the context of, of what you’ve written about the way that historically you’ve looked at these figures, not just Squanto, but all the biographies-

Eric: Right.

Jim: … that you’ve done. What is something that you take away on this day of Thanksgiving, if you were sitting at our table-

Eric: Right.

Jim: … today and Jean said to you, Eric, what are you thankful for?

Eric: It’s, it’s pretty easy actually, uh, for me. That God would allow me to be used to tell these stories. I am filled with gratitude. Those aren’t just words, I just, I praise the Lord every day that He’s allowed me to be a part of what He’s doing in this generation. Because that, that to me is the whole point of life. And so, the fact that He allows me to know and to hear from people who’ve said, I’ve read your books, and this has meant that… I just praise God for that-

Jim: Hmm.

Eric: … every single day.

Jim: Well, you’ve done well as an English major-

Eric: (laughs)

Jim: … for the moms and dads that are worried about their sons and daughters-

Eric: (laughs)

Jim: … majoring in English-

Eric: Oh man.

Jim: You’ve paved the way.

Eric: It’s okay to major in English but pray hard.

Jim: (laughs) Eric, it’s been great to have you. Thanks so much.

Eric: Always my joy. Thanks Jim and John.

John: Well, we’ve heard a really amazing story today from Eric Metaxas. Uh, this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, I really loved the way Eric brings history to life and we recommend you get a copy of his children’s book, Squanto And the Miracle of Thanksgiving. This will be a great resource for your family, something to share with your kids or your grandkids. In fact, it would make a great Christmas gift this year.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And if you send a gift to Focus on the Family of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of this book as our way of saying thank you.

John: And our call center and offices are closed today and tomorrow for the holiday, but you can donate online and get that book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Okay. What we want to do next is play a short excerpt from our Radio Theater dramatization of Squanto, which was so well done, and it will inspire your imagination about the story that Eric has shared with us.

John: And Focus on the Family’s Radio Theater is a collection of award-winning audio dramas with really terrific stories, gifted actors and original music. And here now is a clip from The Legend of Squanto.

Squanto: Is it a French ship? Do you think they’ve come to trade?

Squanto’s Father: It is not French, it is English.

Tisquantum (Squanto): How do you know?

Squanto’s Father: Sattosqua of the Nauset’s told me of the English ships and the colors they carry. They have been negotiating trade with many of the tribes in this country.

Patowak: Why haven’t they traded with us?

Tisquantum: They may be here to trade with us now. Will you meet with them father?

Squanto’s Father: Hmm… if they come to greet us in peace, yes. But I see no scouts, no canoes, no representatives.

Tisquantum: May I go around to the ridge? I can see more clearly from there.

Patowak: I’ll go with you.

Tisquantum: No Patowak, stay here.

Squanto’s Father: I want Patowak to go with you, Tisquantum. Then he may run back to telling me what you see from the ridge.

Patowak: I will be your messenger.

Squanto’s Father: Yes, son you will. Now go, both of you.

Tisquantum: Yes, sir.

(Squanto takes off with Patowak hot on his heels. Music transition to next scene)

Patowak: Slow down, Tisquantum.

Tisquantum: If you want to be a messenger you’ll have to keep up.

Patowak: You are trying to get rid of me. Father said I could come.

Tisquantum: Well come then, but please be quiet. How can I scout with you chattering on? (Quietly) Wait. Look.

Patowak: What?

Tisquantum: Don’t you see it? A small boat around the cove. There on the beach.

Patowak: Ah.

Tisquantum: They’ve come to ashore. Quickly Patowak! Run and tell father that the English are already… Ahhh….

(Suddenly Tisquantum is caught up in a net, with resulting commotion.  Several sailors surround him along with Captain Hunt.  Squanto cries out as he struggles.)

Tisquantum: Run, Patowak, run!

Patowak: Tisquantum, help! Help!

(Patowak shrieks as he runs off)

First Mate: That was easy enough. Do you want me to go after the little one?

Captain Hunt: No, too scrawny. We’d never got a good price for him and he probably wouldn’t survive the voyage. This one looks strong. Hey there lad, do you speak English? I didn’t think so. Parlez vous francais? Obviously not the talkative type. Take him back to the ship.

First Mate: They are spying, Captain Hunt. Should we look for more?

Captain Hunt: I’d like to, but I’m afraid that we won’t have the room on the ship. He’ll be enough for now. Hey savage, how would you like to see the world? Well, you’re going to see it whether you want to or not.

First Mate: (laughs)

Captain Hunt: At least you’re going to see Spain. Let’s go.

Tisquantum: No.

First Mate: Oh. I think he wants to say goodbye.

Captain Hunt: These savages aren’t like you and me. They don’t care about goodbyes. But they’ll learn our ways or die trying.

(Music transition to the next scene. We are in the hold of The Wayfarer.  The sailors roughly throw Tisquantum to the floor. There are other Indians there, including Maneda, Sassacomet and Skettwaroes.)

Sailor: Now keep quiet and maybe you won’t get hurt.

First Mate: Here are some of your mates to keep you company, you can grunt at each other. (laughs)

(The sailors laugh as they leave and lock the hatch behind them.)

Sassacomet: Another brother joins us.

Tisquantum: What has happened? Who are you?

Sassacomet: I am Sassacomet of the Wampanoag tribe.

Maneda: From the Algonquins, I am Maneda.

Skettwaroes: Skettwaroes from the Noble Pennacooks.

Tisquantum: I am just Tisquantum of the Pawtuxets. I don’t understand. Why have they put us here?

Maneda: Because they are cowards and would not fight us as honorable men. They sneak and steal like foxes among chickens.

Tisquantum: We are hostages then. Will they use us to get food or supplies?

Skettwaroes: We do not know their minds or their schemes.

Tisquantum: It’s a mistake.

Maneda: Hmm.

Skettwaroes: I said the same thing a week ago. Even as one of their leaders, the one called Captain Smith, smoked the pipe of peace and exchanged gifts with our leaders. This one with the wolf’s eyes-

Maneda: Captain Hunter.

Skettwaroes: … made his plans to capture us as slaves.

Tisquantum: Slaves?!

Sassacomet: It is true young one.

Tisquantum: We must fight. We must find a way to escape!

(He rushes to the door and pounds on it furiously, shouting as he does.)

Sassacomet: It’s of no use young one. Even if you escape this place in darkness, there are many men to capture you outside.

Tisquantum: No, my father will take action. My tribe will wage war.

Skettwaroes: I’m sure they would. But how will they wage war against a ship like this? Listen to the waves against the side of the boat, young one. We are moving from the land.

Tisquantum: No, the Great Spirit would not allow innocent men to die this way.

Maneda: Die? We will not die. But we may wish it were otherwise.

(End of The Legend of Squanto Radio Theatre excerpt)

John: What a powerful story. And you can listen to it over and over again when you get a copy of The Legend of Squanto as produced by the Focus on the Family Radio Theater team. Learn more about our collection of Radio Theatre audio dramas at our website.

And don’t forget, we can send a copy of the book by Eric Metaxas, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving, when you donate and make a gift of any amount at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Here at the end John, I’d like to express a big thanks to our listeners. Uh, we have been so honored to be a part of your lives each week on the broadcast here. And thank you for sharing your stories with us in response.

John you’ve often remarked about those divine moments where a listener just happened to hear Focus on the Family on the radio or something in a podcast that spoke directly to their heart. And that’s exactly what happened to a woman, we’ll call her Karen, who heard one of our recent programs about infidelity in marriage. The broadcast wasn’t relevant to Karen in that moment, but a few days later she found text messages that revealed her husband was having an affair. Karen was so devastated and was ready to leave with their children and never return. But here’s what she said, “God worked a miracle on my heart that day, in no small part thanks to the Focus broadcast I listened to. I did not want to participate in a fatherless generation, and I felt compassion for my husband as he confessed fully and repented of his transgressions. After talking with our church pastor, my husband also found a Christian counselor through your website. We are currently attending counseling sessions together. In the strangest way, we already feel our marriage is stronger because we are actively talking and praying together. Thank you for the work you do, it changes lives and families.”

Well, that’s all God’s doing. And thanks to Him, this family has found a powerful reason to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. And let me add, thanks to you, uh, heeding the call to help us.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I love hearing stories like that. Uh, we’re so encouraged. And we’re going to just ask you to contact us about ways God has used Focus on the Family in your family. Call and share a story with us next week or stop by our website anytime. That’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

And coming up next time, understanding the power and the impact of being generous.

Teaser:

Focus Listener Named Jay: This couple we had helped before brought in groceries like you would not believe. And they were trying to teach their children uh, that were I think at the time six and 10, that it is better to give than to receive.

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What Wives Can Do to Bless Their Marriage

Angela Mills offers wives practical suggestions for cultivating a thriving marriage in a discussion based on her book, Bless Your Husband: Creative Ways to Encourage and Love Your Man.

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Practical Ideas for Loving Your Wife

Radio producer and best-selling author Jay Payleitner offers encouragement and practical guidance for husbands to take initiative and become the kind of man their wives need most. He addresses topics like knowing your wife’s likes/dislikes, being a spiritual leader, how to avoid drifting apart, and much more.

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A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

Popular Christian vocalist Larnelle Harris reflects on his five-decade music career, sharing the valuable life lessons he’s learned about putting his family first, allowing God to redeem a troubled past, recognizing those who’ve sacrificed for his benefit, and faithfully adhering to biblical principles amidst all the opportunities that have come his way.

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll explains how listeners can find freedom from self-imposed and unrealistic standards of perfection in a discussion based on her book, Breaking Up With Perfect: Kiss Perfection Goodbye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You.