Thanksgiving is a Holy Day (ft. Bonnie Johnson Fite)

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Most Americans know the story of Thanksgiving – the Pilgrims, the Natives, and their feast. They know the character of Squanto and they might even know of William Bradford and Chief Massasoit.

But there is another character in the story, and He’s the most IMPORTANT character.

Bonnie Johnson Fite joined me again to look at another of her beautiful books, and she explains who The Hand of Providence is, what He did for those Pilgrims, and why it makes Thanksgiving not just a holiday – it’s a Holy Day.

Check out Bonnie’s website: https://profoundpromises.com/product/hearts-full-of-thanksgiving/

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Transcript

Elaine Beck 0:11
Hi, everyone, Elaine back here. And we are, It’s Not About Us. That’s our show and as you know, we’re on CPAC Now, and we’re also on podcast and Facebook and all these other ways. And the best way to reach us is just go to ElaineBeck.com. And you’ll get to see all of the wonderful shows we do. But today, my special guest, Bonnie Johnson Fite is back with me and she’s the lovely lady that we did a show about previously. And she shared the 12 New Days of Christmas, which is a book that she wrote, that is musical, obviously, it’s like, the 12 days of Christmas that you’ve heard for all these years, she did a newer version. And it’s been quite a while ago that you did the book and not everybody knows. So what a great thing to get to get that out. And so Bonnie, welcome again. And today we’re going to show you some of the books. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about the other two books, and especially how it is sort of coming together with something we’re doing right now. So let’s start Bonnie, you want to show him that 12 New Days of Christmas, the one we’ve already done a show about? The illustrations are really beautiful.

Bonnie Fite 1:38
Would you like me to show a picture?

Elaine Beck 1:41
that would be great. In each one, we could pick a picture or two and show them.

Bonnie Fite 1:48
I bought this into the schools with fourth, fifth and sixth graders, hundreds of kids gave him a post it note to find out what they liked. This was hands down the boys favorite page are five Roman guards.

Elaine Beck 1:59
Somehow I’m not surprised that boys and guards, you know, the big game.

Bonnie Fite 2:05
And the girls, the favorite page of the girls was nine sheep bleating Oh precious. And it was a tie between them and the angels. 12,000 angels, the multitude of the heavenly host.

Elaine Beck 2:22
Wow, that’s beautiful. I love it. And then of course, the other books that you did was let’s go to Easter. So this one’s called…

Bonnie Fite 2:38
Easter is coming. And basically, the 12 New Days of Christmas is obviously based on the numbers and we’re following the song. But for Easter, I decided to move chronologically through Passion Week. So it’s 12 groups of people that interact with Jesus during that the most important week on our planet was Easter Week. And so the first group are the cheering crowd of Palm Sunday. And so with my illustrator, I told her, I said, Look, I said, this is a kid’s book, I said, obviously, there are places where it would not be appropriate for a child to have been. But definitely Palm Sunday, there would have been children along the road to Jerusalem, of course. So I said, I want you to make sure that you paint children into the picture.

Elaine Beck 3:24
So let’s see it.

Bonnie Fite 3:28
So there we have it, and you can see some kids waving the branches this. And then it’s like, you know, the Easter story. I mean, there’s some gory, scary parts to that, for sure. And so I thought from my hidden picture, I wanted to give the kids hope even on the dark, you know, even with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I wanted them to have hope. And so I said, I think the most important hidden picture would be Jesus, our risen Savior, to remind them that he will rise again. So, so we have a hidden picture of our risen Savior on every page for the kids.

Elaine Beck 4:06
I love that. So now we’re going to move on, okay, because we want to focus today, on this show, we want to focus on the fact that you did one for Thanksgiving. And I think that’s amazing. Can you show us the bit about why you did this one?

Bonnie Fite 4:26
Yes. You know, I mean, I knew that the next holiday would have to be Thanksgiving if I’m going to, you know, do another book. And I knew all my books. I’m a Christian author. Every one of my books is deeply anchored in Scripture. And yet for me to do American history was literally like going off road as an author for me, and I thought if I’m gonna write about history that happened 400 years ago, then I need to do my homework and read from the eyewitnesses. You know, at the beginning of the gospel of Luke, Luke says after carefully interviewing I witnesses, I made an accurate account of the things about Jesus. Yeah. And I’m like, Okay, I’m going to be like Luke. And I’m going to read from eyewitnesses. I don’t care about people’s opinion today of those pilgrims. I want to know what the Pilgrims had to say for themselves, I want to see the story through their eyes. And then on top of that, of course, I live in Virginia. And I know that Jamestown happened first, it was our first English colony, and I’ve been to Jamestown. And so I thought, if Jamestown had not survived, the Pilgrims never would have come, there were so many. if you were to look at the failed colonies, there were tons of them. And so ultimately, I had to say, Okay, who are the two most essential people for the survival of Jamestown and hands down, it has to be and they’re on the front cover, even Pocahontas and John Smith, you know, those were the two. So we start out with the kids learning about the two from Jamestown, and then we move over and then the rest of our our cast of Pilgrim characters, again, moving chronologically, through you know them on the voyage, one man falls overboard. So we got a picture of that. And we tell about, you know, what God was doing, how He protected him. The interesting thing as I was doing my research, whether it be Jamestown, or Plymouth, they used a phrase, when they referred to God Almighty, they called him the hand of Providence, which of course, you know, there’s that song, he’s got the whole world in His hands. Well, you know, this is the hand of Providence. And over and over in the narrative, the hand of Providence would reach into that story, and rescue somebody or guide them when they were lost.

Elaine Beck 6:37
Well you do know that a lot of people don’t realize that holiday is a holy day, a lot of people don’t think of it that way. Because we’ve become so much- so far away from God’s thinking and teaching all of our children, the principles of the Bible, and what God has done. And the whole idea that the Pilgrims had was to thank God for all of the plentiful things that He had given them, for the land, for the food, for the harvest, for, you know, their children for everything. That’s why Thanksgiving happened, or that was the beginning of our thankfulness to God Almighty, because all of them were here because they wanted to serve their God am I right?

Bonnie Fite 7:36
Oh, yes. And they were being thrown in prison back in England, because the Church of England didn’t like their way of serving God, right.

Elaine Beck 7:44
And so it’s only right, that now that we serve a God as well, the same God in heaven, and He’s done all of this all the years, you know, over 200 years, this country has been here and has flourished. But now, even in times of trouble, we need to remember that these holy days are there for us. And I think it’s wonderful that you made this book. And I wanted to share with everybody that we’re doing something this year, and we particularly picked Thanksgiving. And the reason that we did is because it is a holy day. And that things the Thanksgiving weekend this year, Thanksgiving will be on Thursday, the 23rd. And we will enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner with our families. And I love it that families come together over Thanksgiving, that that seems to be the meal of the year where we all get together and rejoice in God’s grace, and the way that we can thank him for each other and for all the things that he does for us. But this year, we’re going to do something very special in this country. And that is three days later on Sunday. That is the Lord’s Day. We are going to ask that everybody join us in a day, a National Day of Forgiveness. And on this day of forgiveness, we are going to ask God to understand that we know that we need to ask for forgiveness of our sins, but not only our own, but to humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness and forgive our enemies. Because as we’re saying, The saying is We Are Not Enemies. And so it just seems so appropriate today when I met you, Bonnie, and I saw your beautiful books, and I heard that one of them was for Christmas and the 12 day is that It’s perfect. And Easter, of course, is our holiest of days. And then when you said you did one for Thanksgiving, I thought, isn’t this beautiful? You know, this comes together- what a way to spend an entire weekend though this year, remembering that we are not enemies, and that God wants us to quit with the anger and the hate, and all of the the bitterness that’s going on our country right now. And He gave us a wonderful Scripture He had given to me five years ago when He first gave me my vision. And I just think that it’s so wonderful that He gave me the scripture, that is all about how God, if we seek His face, we turn from our wicked ways, we humble ourselves, and He will heal our land. And isn’t that what we need more than anything right now. And I believe that what He was saying to us was that this can only happen if we follow what He said in that Scripture. And we all on that day, on November 26, start this by humbling ourselves, and I think, you know, humbleness, we’ve all think of it as you know, Lord, I’m sorry, please forgive me. You know, we humble ourselves and admit to our sins. But I think it’s also realizing that we’re not to compare ourselves that no one man’s sin is worse than the other. And then we’re not to look at people and compare ourselves and think that we’re better because we’re not, and that we need to humble ourselves and say, Lord, you know, we pray for our enemies. They’re not the people with guns and knives and stuff. They’re the people who have been lied to just like Jesus said, on the cross, forgive them for they know not what they do. And that’s what we have to understand. And I think God’s calling us to do that right now in this year, and to humble ourselves, and to pray, and forgive our enemies, and know that we are not enemies. So this is just been a joy to have you and to see all of this. So share a little bit more with this about the Thanksgiving book. And this is just what a great day to have met.

Bonnie Fite 12:44
Believe me, it’s a delight. I’m delighted that you were able to come by, you know, I’m trying to figure out like a favorite page that I would like to share on I think, here we go. Let me read one of our characters. You know, of course, there were some famous Native Americans already mentioned Pocahontas. Yeah. But up there in Plymouth. There was a top chief, okay. There were many little tribes. But chief Massasoit was like the Big Chief overall little tribes. And, and God worked on his heart to give him a heart for the English. One time he was upset, because French, French sailors would come over and they would do fishing, and of course, English sailors. Somehow he knew the difference. Maybe they were flying. I don’t know. I was like, how can you tell but anyway, but one time when he saw the pilgrims, he said, you know, he says, the French came here and they were fishing and he says, This is King James land. He says the French don’t belong here. And he really wanted the pilgrims to chase the French ships away. I mean, they don’t have like a huge military force to be fighting with the French but he and then he says, Massasoit is King James man, you know, and so it was just amazing to think that God put that kind of loyalty with the chief Massasoit. Right. But anyway, so let me just read a little bit about chief math, he was definitely a dear friend. And each one of the the 12 characters that I mentioned, there’s a character trait because I want kids to have positive role models as they step into life. And so, the character trait we have for Chief Massasoit. He’s called the promise keeper, Chief Massasoit from 1580 to 1661. Yes, he lived 81 years. The Lord is my portion. I have promised to keep your words. Psalm 119:57. Chief Massasoit led the Wampanoag tribe. He also ruled over many chiefs from other tribes. Several 1000 Native Americans lived in the area we call Massachusetts, a few years before the Pilgrims arrived an epidemic destroyed many. When Captain Dermer returned Squanto Massasoit received him. In March of 1621. Sam has set bright Squanto to visit the pilgrims and arrange a meeting with Chief Massasoit. Chief Massasoit arrived with 60 Braves. The Pilgrims said King James accepts you with love and peace. He accepts you as his friend and ally. Our governor wants to meet you, trade with you and confirm peace. Massasoit agreed. He sat with the governor in a Plymouth home. Squanto told Massasoit about each part of the treaty. Squanto was there translator, right. He, he agreed with all six parts, and then they both signed it. A few months later, the Pilgrims visited chief Massasoit, they gave him a suit, a Horseman’s coat with a red coat, and a copper chain, he eagerly put on his English coat. One day, Massasoit was very sick, they thought he would die, his pilgrim friends visited him and fixed chicken soup with herbs, and he quickly recovered. Chief Massasoit was a faithful friend, he kept his treaty until his death, his son and heir, Juan Sudha also kept the treaty, it lasted 54 years,

Elaine Beck 16:17
I’m going to stop you there. Because I want everybody to get this book. Okay, read everything, because I’m telling you, I know that there’s people out there right now that would like to see these books, hear them, hear them sung, and you get to sing them with your kids. I’m looking forward to that I really am. Like I said, I have a granddaughter, her name is Ciana, a great granddaughter, excuse me, she’s 11 years old. She has an older sister, by the way. And the 11 year old loves to sing. And I bet she, when she sees this, she’s gonna feel like, you know, grandma gave her the greatest gift. And she’ll be singing all the songs. And I’m very excited about all this. And I mean that in all sincerity, you know, I love that. God puts people in our lives right at the right moment. His timing is so perfect. And, you know, when I think about what God has just given me about the National Day of Forgiveness, and how important that is. And then to run into somebody that- you speak to children, you understand their heart, you’re willing to take the time, and investigate the stories of thanksgiving and the people in real time, and what their thoughts were and their prayers were, and that you took the time to rewrite a song that it’s a beautiful song, and it had its own meaning, but to make it the right meeting, the meeting about the baby Jesus. And I’m just so impressed, Bonnie but, you know, I know you’re like me, we’re not here to be impressed. Or to have people impressed by us. We give God all the glory. He’s the one that made us and created us. He’s the one that taught us. He’s the one that has given us the gift of song, or the gift of gab, or whatever it is that He wants us to do and use us for. And I just feel really blessed today that you’ve become part of my circle. And so thank you so much for being here, sharing what you’ve done. You’re welcome. And again, since this is a different show, please share your name. How people can reach out to you to get the books and the information.

Bonnie Fite 19:00
Fantastic. Yeah. I’m Bonnie Johnson Fite. My business, my pro my publishing companies called Profound Promises, you can find me on the web.

Elaine Beck 19:09
Is that Profound Promises?

Bonnie Fite 19:11
Profound Promises. I’m on the web at WWW dot profound promises.com Or you can even I even answer my telephone and I can take credit cards over the phone is well, that 703-449-7751

Elaine Beck 19:31
You might want to repeat that one again.

Bonnie Fite 19:33
Okay. 703-449-7751.

Elaine Beck 19:38
You know, I’m one of these people that you know, I’m not expecting somebody to give me an address or telephone number. And now I’m running frantically marzipan. So it’s sort of fun to repeat things and help people to know because, really, you know, you you you wrote these books how long ago?

Bonnie Fite 19:57
The Christmas book I wrote in 2001, okay. And then the Easter book came out in 2018. Right. And then Thanksgiving came out in 2020.

Elaine Beck 20:11
So two of them are recent, but one of them is 22 years. And yet, how many of us really knew about it? What an exciting thing, that right now, when our children need good, sound grounding in God’s love to get that book, you know, the holidays are coming. You need to buy one for your grandchildren, your children, your nieces, your nephews, whatever. I mean, I bought three, three sets, you buy them by the set as well get all three of them. I bought three sets for three different families. Today, the minute I saw what Bonnie did. And so you need to do that, too. They make wonderful Christmas gifts, especially grandparents, you know, you can’t give a kid anything better when you’re a grandparent, or a great grandparent, and I’m both, you can’t give them anything better than something that will strengthen their love of Christ, that will take them in the right direction, that will give them a reason to seek God on their own, and knowing better. So God bless you. Thank you so much, Bonnie, for sharing for singing for being here today. It has meant the world to me and I know that the world is going to enjoy what you’ve done. Many more people in this country and maybe even some from other countries. So God bless you all and as you all know, I’m always praying for you. I hope you’re praying for us. God bless you.

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