A Visit to Plimoth Plantation for Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 | 3 comments

A Visit to Plimoth Plantation for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here are some thoughts I wrote down following our vacation to New England in 2014.

Wandering Wednesdays

Nothing in the 21st century can enable us to comprehend what we owe to the brave men, women, and children who set sail on the Mayflower on August 5, 1620. In the nightmare journey and first horrendous year in the new land, they epitomize an American Dream that has ceased to exist for many in our land.


We read the news of pastors being subpoenaed to court for what they preach, of Christians being forced to decide between their livelihood and their faith, and believers being beheaded for refusing to deny Christ as their Savior. In the almost 400 years since the 102 brave souls set sail for the New World, the rights the people we call pilgrims sought are once again in grave peril.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I reflect back on a trip to Maine and Massachusetts that my husband and I recently took. Among the sites we visited were Plimoth Rock, the Mayflower II, and Plimoth Plantation.  Plimoth Rock 10-6-14 1

“It’s only a rock with 1620 carved in it,” my husband said.

“No,” I answered. “It is more like visiting a cemetery. It is a monument to people who once lived and are remembered with reverence for the lives they led.”

Dropping anchor on November 11, 1620, William Bradford wrote, “Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element…What could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and His grace?”

Mayflower II 10-6-14 1These brave individuals were the first ever recorded to make a covenant with each other and establish a new government where freedom was the hallmark. Three weeks later, on December 6th, sixteen men set sail in a small boat to discover what sort of place they had landed in. That foray ended in an attack by a band of Native Americans, though none of the pilgrims were injured. However, by God’s grace, the next natives they encountered, Massasoit, Samoset, and Squanto, were to teach them the rudiments of survival in this new place.

Many had left England previous to their departure to the New World and lived in Leiden in The Netherlands. They were united in this venture to a place where they could live and worship in freedom with many who had remained in England and suffered the persecutions of the Church of England for their failure to submit to its headship.

Plimoth Plantation 10-7-14 1Events of the past few years in the United States of America have made those of us with a firm commitment to Jesus Christ feel that we are once again entering a period of persecution and a lack of freedom to worship and conduct our daily lives and business within the confines of our faith. Like our forefathers, we must choose to stand firm. There will be no opportunity to escape by moving to a new land. Foreign governments are also taking the lives and livelihoods of those who call themselves Christians. Those who urge tolerance of all manner of lifestyles and behaviors contrary to the word of the God of the Bible reveal their own intolerance for any who choose to submit to Christ and the obedience to His commands.

And so we gather to give thanks tomorrow. We fill our stomachs with turkey, cranberries, and pie, remembering our forefathers, but also Plimoth Plantation 10-7-14 2identifying with them. As our pilgrim forefathers banded together, committing to honor God in their daily lives, we too, must choose whom we will serve.

The descendants of those brave men and women we call the “pilgrims” would later “mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” in the Declaration of Independence. Now their progeny must once again choose to stand against the destruction of religious freedom. The tyranny fought against by the Founding Fathers, who signed their names, declaring “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” once again find themselves embroiled in arguments over what freedom really means.

quote at Mayflower II 10-7-14As stated by Rose Briggs in 1968 in Plymouth Rock: History and Significance, in the display at the Mayflower II, that “It is the fact that they landed—and remained—that matters, not where they landed. Yet it is no bad thing for a nation to be founded on a rock.” If we do not stand strong, that rock will further erode and crumble. That life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is now misconstrued as a freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion. It has become the pursuit of personal pleasure outside the law of God, as opposed to the pursuit of the freedom to follow God’s law.

We must return to our foundation symbolized by the rock in Plymouth, the symbol of the liberty to be what God created us to be. We cannot sit idly by while those who have no god but their own desires turn this nation into a land where hedonism reigns. As Abraham Lincoln stated in his Gettysburg Address, “that this nation, under God…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.” Without God as the foundation and the underpinnings of our government, no man is free.

Freedom is lost when it has no foundation. It means nothing when it is not bound to the guiding light of the commandments of God. 2 Plimoth Plantation 10-7-14 4Corinthians 3:17 says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” If we allow the current state of this country to progress, we shall all be slaves to those who are subject to no law and we shall be under a worse tyranny than anything our forefathers could envision. They could not imagine a nation where God was banned and outlawed from every public and private institution. However, if the downward slide of this nation is not turned around, the United States of America shall cease to exist.

Our pilgrim forefathers stand as a symbol of all who would live in freedom to serve God according to their conscience. They could never have foreseen a nation where God and His word would be abandoned. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, make a promise as they did, that “Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith…” to “covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politick….” We must work together to proclaim freedom in Christ, rather than freedom from Christ, which leads to anarchy and injustice, rather than the “liberty and justice for all” that all true Americans should be willing to die for.

Where God is not known, we must make Him known. And where freedom is not understood, we shall proclaim the truth of freedom in Christ. Only then will this land be what God intended that it should. Only then will the pilgrim’s vision be reclaimed.

All quotes taken from Marshall, Peter, & David Manuel. The Light and the Glory. Fleming H. Revell a division of Baker Book House Publishing, Michigan, 1977.

The United States Declaration of Independence

The Constitution of the United States of America

By Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, 2014

About the author:

Norma Gail headshot rockhouse GoogleNorma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, set in Scotland and New Mexico released in April 2014. She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. Her devotionals, poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 38 years. They have two adult children.

Connect with Norma:








Book Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail/dp/1941103170/ or Land of My Dreams cover sm

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/land-of-my-dreams-norma-gail/1119606864 ?ean=9781941103173


  1. Prayers for healing, Norma. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. So many changes have taken place in our country in the past few years, probably more years than I even realize as I believe that what has happened has had a slow deliberate progression, to where we are now. Prayers lifted that people will awaken before it is to late. “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO4uIyz_d90

  2. Hope you have a fast recovery after surgery! #LandofMyDreams

    • Thanks!

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