Thursday, November 23, 2006

Give Thanks To God

A Time Of Thanks To God

On Thursday, we will be gathering with our families to celebrate God’s goodness to us and for His blessings upon our nation. There is much to be thankful for this year. We can be thankful that we live in a free democratic nation and can still worship freely.

We are so thankful that our Lord Jesus Christ offered His life for our sins and that the Holy Spirit gives us His power to overcome the sins in our lives.

We can be thankful that our nation is not being ravaged by street-to-street warfare with the enemies of freedom.

We can be thankful that we can freely vote for our leaders.

We can be thankful for our nation’s natural resources and for an economic system that enables hard-working individuals to get ahead and prosper.

We can be thankful for the many godly Founding Fathers who devised a system of government designed to maximize individual freedom and creativity—and to protect religious freedom, free speech and freedom of conscience.

We can be thankful for our churches, for pastors, and elders who faithfully serve the body of Christ.

We can be thankful for our loved ones—our children, grandchildren, wives and husbands.

What are you thankful for today?

God bless you and your family this Thanksgiving Day.


Thanksgiving Day, 2006

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

As Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks for the many ways that our Nation and our people have been blessed.

The Thanksgiving tradition dates back to the earliest days of our society, celebrated in decisive moments in our history and in quiet times around family tables. Nearly four centuries have passed since early settlers gave thanks for their safe arrival and pilgrims enjoyed a harvest feast to thank God for allowing them to survive a harsh winter in the New World. General George Washington observed Thanksgiving during the Revolutionary War, and in his first proclamation after becoming President, he declared November 26, 1789, a national day of "thanksgiving and prayer." During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, reminding a divided Nation of its founding ideals.

At this time of great promise for America, we are grateful for the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and defended by our Armed Forces throughout the generations.

Today, many of these courageous men and women are securing our peace in places far from home, and we pay tribute to them and to their families for their service, sacrifice, and strength. We also honor the families of the fallen and lift them up in our prayers.

Our citizens are privileged to live in the world's freest country, where the hope of the American dream is within the reach of every person. Americans share a desire to answer the universal call to serve something greater than ourselves, and we see this spirit every day in the millions of volunteers throughout our country who bring hope and healing to those in need. On this Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the year, let us show our gratitude for the blessings of freedom, family, and faith, and may God continue to bless America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 2006, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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President George Washington On Thanksgiving Day on October 3, 1789

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; -- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

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America’s First Thanksgiving

In the Fall of 1621, the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts gathered for a holiday feast with their Indian friends to give thanks to God for surviving a harsh New England winter the year before. Nearly half the population had perished before Spring arrived.

Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth has been one of the primary sources of information on the first Thanksgiving. It notes that the details about the first Thankgiving come from two documents written by Edward Winslow and William Bradford of Plimoth Plantation.

According to a letter written by Winslow: "Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

In a book written 20 years later, William Bradford wrote: "They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports."

6 comments:

Susan Smith said...

Amen... thank you for this encouraging and uplifting post Christine.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday. Love to the West Coast from the Holy Land... (ss)

Anna said...

Hi Christine -

I'm thankful I have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life and that I have eternal life through Him.

My husband and I are thankful that after a very trying season, he is in full remission from leukemia.

We're also grateful for family, friends and our nation.

We traveled 4 hours each way to be with our loved ones. It was definitely worth the trip!

Blessings,
Anna

P.S. Hi Susan - nice to see you commenting here.

Richard Dawkins said...

Hello Christine,

I regard your dissertation on life to be in a way up-lifting, and munificent. Yet, I would request your audience to consider an alternative vision of the world.

You vaunt, and indeed, sanctify your president, and all that comes forth from your undoubtedly esteemed yet comparatively fresh nation, in a disconcertingly forthright fashion. While I appreciate such audacity from the New World, I decry those that will espouse such abject supremacist, and blatantly unsecular sentiments, without having the due background of ancient history to substantiate such grandiose claims on humankind.

Indeed, on encountering such sentiments, I am sometimes reminded of the very reasons that my ancestors allowing the New World to accede to British rule, were profoundly misguided.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan,

Thanksgiving Day IS an encouraging and uplifting day...isn't it? I truly believe so. It puts our focus on where it should be...praise to God for Who He Is, and thankfulness to Him for all of His marvelous provisions in our lives.

Love,
Your West Coast Lil' Sis!

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Anna!!

Praise God for your husband's full remission from leukemia! I'm sure I can't even imagine the arduous road you both have been going through on a day by day basis. Knowing how strong in faith you both are, the Lord has been faithful and merciful!

Isn't it always worth the trip to be with loved ones? We usually get our company at Christmas, so our little ole' family celebrates together at Thanksgiving. We keep in touch by phone and catch up on the news that way.

God bless!
Christine

Christinewjc said...

Richard D.,

Perhaps there is hope for your pessimistic outlook on life since you found the Thanksgiving post uplifting and "munificent." Had to look up that last word. For the vocab-challenged (like me!) here's the definition:

1. extremely liberal in giving; very generous.
2. characterized by great generosity: a munificent bequest.

Synonyms 1. bountiful, bounteous, lavish.


After looking at your profile, I can see just how similar you are to your screen name hero. Just one word in it explains much of why you feel as you do.

Pessimism.

Of course, having such an attitude would probably lean your feelings regarding our nations' history into the negative portions rather than focusing on the positive strongholds that often resulted; even through facing difficult conflicts and battles.

Despite our missteps, while at the same time, keeping in view our most high triumphs, we are not naive enough to think that our nation is anywhere near perfect. But in comparison to most (especially when you take into consideration nations that do absolutely nothing to relieve the killing and oppression that goes on in rogue states)we are a beacon of light. There are far worse out there! When President Bush named the "axis of evil" rogue countries, he was absolutely correct! (But, if I were to guess at your political leanings, you would most likely tend to disagree.)

Back to the main subject.

Recognizing the fact that our nation has experienced and participated in many good, some bad and some terribly ugly situations, does not in any way take away the fact that our nation has triumphed and done well mostly because we are a nation under God. Every nation has had to face, at one time or another, evil... due to fact that we live in this fallen world. However, the good that has transpired through our America's involvement throughout the world far outweighs any of the negative traits/results that other do-nothing nations would tend to criticize us for and unabashedly continue to point out. (IMHO, of course).

Pessimism. Personally, I would find that an extremely sad way to live...

One would surmise that an intellectual "giant" like you might come up with something better?

My next post might give you some ideas. Since this brief post did indeed counter at least some of your pessimistic attitudes, perhaps that means that there is always HOPE! Even for you...

Christinewjc said...

NOTEWORTHY QUOTE:

“Remember ever, and always, that your country was founded, not by the ‘most superficial, the lightest, the most irreflective of all European races,’ but by the stern old Puritans who made the deck of the Mayflower an altar of the living God, and whose first act on touching the soil of the new world was to offer on bended knees thanksgiving to Almighty God.”
- Former U.S. Senator Henry Wilson (1855-72), and Vice-President under Ulysses S. Grant (1873-75), AMERICA’S GOD AND COUNTRY, William J. Federer, 1994.