JOY for Today - Columbus Day 2022

Oh, Columbus Day, the years have not been kind to you. Once, this federally recognized holiday meant schools and all other government agencies closed so we could celebrate the Renaissance era discovery of the Americas that shifted the course of history. Now, it is a source of conflict and many of us avoid the topic altogether. To find JOY for this day, I challenge you to embrace Columbus' spirit of adventure, his persistence in pursuing his dreams, and extending grace to others as you remember the abundant grace that has been extended to you.

The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria sail over a watercolor ocean with colorful sky above; Text overlay quotes Hebrews 11:1 and mentions that Columbus Day is celebrated the second Monday in October
October 10, 2022

JOY for Today Offerings:

Did You Know:

  1. Columbus survived a pirate attack? As a teenager he worked on a merchant ship and remained at see until 25 when pirates attacked his ship off the Portuguese coast. His boat sank, but Columbus survived by floating on a scrap of wood to Lisbon. There he studied academics that helped inspire the plan that changed the world. (
  2. The ships weren't actually named Nina, Pinta, and Santa MariaTwo of the names were nicknames. Their actual names: Santa Clara, Unknown, and Santa Maria. Ships, in the time of Columbus, typically bore saint names but were called by their nicknames. The Santa Clara was nicknamed the Nina because of its owner: Juan Nino. The Santa Maria's nickname was La Gallega or The Spaniard.  ( and
  3. He supplied faulty evidence to support his theories? The calculations Columbus made involving the size of the earth were faulty - rendering it 25 percent too small - but backed his theory that India was closer than most people believed. In addition, he reportedly recorded longer distances than the ships traveled in his logs to keep his crew at ease. However, Columbus' original log has been lost to history, leaving us to interpret the gaps. ( and Christopher-Columbus.Eu)
  4. Columbus never actually walked on United States' soil? Christopher Columbus made four journeys to the New World and initially landed in the Bahamas. His explorations additionally took him to Cuba, Jamaica, and parts of Central America, but never modern-day United States. (
  5. He died never knowing the extent of his discovery? While Columbus suspected that his journey led him to a new and mighty continent, it was not confirmed until Amerigo Vespucci's explorations of the New World. Cartographers then named the continents America after the explorer who confirmed they were previously unknown to the Europeans. (History of My America)

We'd Love to Know:

Which fact are you sharing with others?

Wolfe Stew Connects

Openly honoring Christopher Columbus Day these days is a source of contention. On whatever side of the debate you stand, I posit that we can learn a lot from the journey of Christopher Columbus. Like:

Be tenacious about the things you believe in. He knew there was a faster route to the Indies and was determined to prove it. He gathered evidence even though everyone told him he was wrong. He pursued support despite the numerous rejections he received. He secured financial backing even though the mission was believed to be doomed. Regardless of what people thought of his beliefs, he pressed on in his faith. So should we in ours (Philippians 3:14).

Check your motives for integrity and righteousness. Columbus is reported to have falsified data in support of his theory. This unethical act is called confirmation bias (Very Well Mind) and of it, we are all guilty. It is human nature to look for and supply only the evidence that supports our theories. Furthermore, Columbus claimed the exploration was for God, yet it seemed like gold and fame truly fueled his passion The Bible cautions us that we do not even understand our own motives (Jeremiah 17:9 and I Corinthians 4:4) and we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). So, be patient with yourself and with others; none of us is perfect.

When given much, give much. Columbus searched for a westerly route to the Indies but received something even better than he could ever imagine. That is precisely God does for us (Ephesians 3:20) But the question is, how do you handle that gift? Luke 12:48 tells us that when we are entrusted with much, more is expected of us.

Accept that despite your work and faithfulness, you will never know your full impact. Columbus died never knowing the full impact of his expedition. He died rejected, despised, and ridiculed. Only after his death was it confirmed Columbus landed on a previously unknown continent to the Europeans and even now many people refuse to acknowledge his contribution. Like Moses, he never saw his "promised land" (Deuteronomy 32:51-52). We will never know the full impact of the life we live, but God does (Jeremiah 29:11). So, keep living for His glory (Romans 14:8).

Hold on to the hope of what God has promised. We, too, are called to experience a "New World" (Isaiah 65:17). In many ways, we face similar skepticism (John 15:18) as Christopher Columbus. The difference is our "New World" is promised by the living God (Jeremiah 10:10), who is faithful (Hebrews 10:23), whose word is true (Proverbs 30:5), who does not change (Hebrews 13:8), and whose love endures forever (Psalm 118:1). So, let's prepare to leave the "Old World" by following the light of the Son (apologies to Christopher Columbus).

If you struggle with defining your faith or are unsure of the love Jesus has for you, we invite you to join us. Remembering what we see now is our GROWTH focus next week. Each day we will undergo short, but impactful, Bible based exercises to train us in remembering the basic tenants of our faith. Let's together fix our eyes on Jesus, Warrior!

We'd Love to Know:

Which lesson could be marked "shows improvement" on your faith report card?

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead." Hebrews 11:1 TLB
  • "Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God." - Ephesians 4:1 NLT
  • "For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?" - Luke 9:25 KJV
  • "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." - Hebrews 11:13 KJV
  • "For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death." - Psalm 48:14 KJV


  • "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." - Christopher Columbus
  • "I went to sea from the most tender age and have continued in a sea life to this day. Whoever gives himself up to this art wants to know the secrets of Nature here below. It is more than forty years that I have been thus engaged. Wherever any one has sailed, there I have sailed."  - Christopher Columbus
  • "By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination." - Christopher Columbus
  • "It was the Lord who put into my mind the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures." - Christopher Columbus
  • "Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World." - Christopher Columbus

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote most encourages you to embrace pursuit of your faith?


Activity Suggestions

Embrace the spirit of adventure and perseverance with these activities we've stewed on for you!

Our Nephew's Suggestion:

Eat a pineapple.

This suggestion stems from a discussion we shared regarding food brought back from the New World. Among the many contributions (Wikipedia), pineapple was a favorite among royalty (BBC News).

Our Suggestions: 

Read a Book or Poem

Do an Activity

  • Preschool to First Grade Columbus' Hat from The Mailbox
  • Second to Third Grade Position continents and Columbus' ships using these cutouts (Pinterest image) and a large piece of construction paper. NOTE: The continents and ships are not scaled properly, but at least it will give learners an idea of their orientation on a map.
  • Fourth to Sixth Grade Plan (and prepare) a MyPlate meal (opens "Create Your Own MyPlate Menu PDF from My Plate) using only foods from the New World (Wikipedia).
Discuss "Would You Rather...?" Questions. Download my current work-in-progress for daily holiday themed Would You Rather questions that will eventually include three questions for each September, October, and November day.  I will continue updating it on OneDrive as I work toward completing it. Would you rather...
  • Sail across the open sea or ride the wind in an air balloon?
  • Visit the Bahamas or Spain?
  • Swab the decks or plug the leaks?

Family Challenge 

Encourage each other to stay true to your dreams. Find a song in your heart and be willing to sail the open seas toward it.

We'd Love to Know:

What's your go-to Columbus Day activity?

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for...Reptile Awareness Day!

Fighting the Good Fight with You,

Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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