With apologies to the old Jimmy Buffet country music song that it is “Always 5 O’clock Somewhere”; I saw where Monday, October 12 is “Thanksgiving Day” — in Canada; so I have to assume that it is always Thanksgiving Day somewhere – anywhere there are Believers gathered!

Incidentally, October 12 is “Columbus Day” here in the United States; so I guess the Canadians are thankful that Columbus never got as far north as their fair land.

By the way, it doesn’t come as any great surprise to regular readers of this column that I don’t get all excited about “Columbus Day” since he apparently never got as far north as OUR fair land either!

Surprised? Don’t be! Many people have known about that for years; but nobody ever composed a poem and set it to music about the first people groups to hit these shores: remember it? I first heard the gist of Jean Marzollo’s work in Miss Thomas’ Sixth Grade at Newport Grammar.

“In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain. He sailed by night; he sailed by day; He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know, how to find the way to go.

Ninety sailors were on board; some men worked while others snored.

Then the workers went to sleep; and others watched the ocean deep.

Day after day they looked for land; they dreamed of trees and rocks and sand. October 12 their dream came true, you never saw a happier crew!

“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried; His heart was filled with joyful pride.

But “India” the land was not; it was the Bahamas, and it was hot.

The Arakawa natives were very nice; they gave the sailors food and spice.

Columbus sailed on to find some gold to bring back home, as he’d been told.

He made the trip again and again, Trading gold to bring to Spain.

The first American? No, not quite. But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.”

Did Chris and crew land on these here United States before we were states and united? No, they made four incredibly dangerous journeys between 1492 and 1502 and landed on The Bahamas, Hispaniola, Central America, and South America Coasts; but, no, the people he called “Indians” were not from India as he thought; and they were already here; even before Eric The Viking came to Newfoundland 500 years before Chris and crew got all the credit – you know, because of the poem and song; but, you know, it’s funny that we never heard that last line in our education those oh so many years ago:

“The first American? No not quite! But Columbus was brave, and he was bright”.

Oh well, back to the point; it is still Thanksgiving somewhere – everywhere Believers are gathered to Praise The Name of Jesus The Christ; and our wonderful land – even if Columbus didn’t plant the first flag at St Augustine, Florida.

No, I’m not advocating a name change for Columbus, Ohio and all the other communities and counties that have borrowed his name; or tearing down all the statues that depict his journey.

I’m just glad that The Gospel of Jesus The Christ made it over here; and I am very willing to carry His Name – no matter who gets the credit!

You DO know about Jesus? Right?

First or last or anywhere in between; you can be just as saved as anyone else – as long as you ARE saved!

You can be; and if you don’t know how; well, I do, and I will share!

Tom Mooty has served as pastor of the West End Baptist Church of Newport for an aggregate of over thirty-three years. His columns appear in the Wednesday and Weekend Editions of the Newport Plain Talk (when he can remember the new deadlines). Your comments about these columns will be welcomed at tommooty15@gmail.com; or write to Tom Mooty at P.O. Box 851; Newport, TN 37822.

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