Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

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 favor; 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 public thanksgiving 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 26th 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 favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled 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 favors 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 trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public 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 shown kindness to 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 1789.

Go. Washington

americas-first-thanksgiving-observance

Reasons for Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:1-6 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”

More Reasons to be Thankful from Al Bryant

  1. We thank God for life and health. These we share together. When plague strikes a city, terror reigns. Thank God for conscious well-being and supply of daily needs.
  2. We are thankful for the benefits of civilization, for ordered government, for scientific improvements, for education, good streets, institutions of benevolence, industry, and art. America has done much to improve the lot of the common men and women like ourselves. We must share it with the world.
  3. We are thankful for a Christian environment where temperance and goodwill are encouraged, and fellowship with kindly folk is possible for us all. What would we be without the church, the open Bible, and the Gospel of Christ? These are values beyond man’s power to estimate.
  4. We are thankful for faith in the midst of tragedy. There is a God who understands and cares. Dark and mysterious is our life, but His way is good and true. Our trust is in our salvation.
  5. We are grateful for the vision of better things to be, for the promise of Christ’s kingdom and universal brotherhood in Him. It is our highway from despair, cynicism, and degeneracy.
  6. We thank God for the hope eternal. This life is but the seed of a life that will blossom into unimaginable glory according to the promise of God.

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

Journey vs Destination

Titus 3:8I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

Paul isn’t telling us that good works saves us, as he clears that up earlier in Titus 3:4-5. He does, however, reminds us that since we are part of the human race living along side of each other, working both in and for God’s Kingdom, we ought to be “already” mindset’ed. That is to say focusing attention on people around us (Paul calls this “excellent and profitable”) instead of solely “not yet” mindset’ed, focusing on the heavenly reward.

You have heard it said that “it’s not about the destination but the journey”. What are we doing today to make the journey for others a better place?

journey

Facing Giants

DAG1 Samuel 17:37 “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

We all will face giants at one time or another in our lives. We try to defeat these giants. It could be a giant of fear. It might be a giant of some type of personal sin that you fall into again and again. It might be the sin of pride, envy, lust or something else. Your giant might be one of addiction, something that has a grip on your life.

How do we deal with giants? The answer is in the Old Testament account of David and Goliath.

David boldly defeated the giant Goliath, armed only with a slingshot and five stones. The will of the Philistines was broken. The Israelites were reinvigorated. And it was all because a shepherd boy answered the call of God and cut down the giant.

What can we learn from this story about facing off with our own giants in life?

First, recognize that we all have giants. We all face severe hardships, seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We all have problems.

Second, realize that the battle belongs to the Lord. David told Goliath, “For the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hand.” (1 Samuel 17:47). That is why giants defeat us again and again, because we face them in our own strength and we lose. We need to realize this is the Lord’s battle.

Finally, trust in the Lord. Don’t look at God in the light of your giant. Instead, look at your giant in the light of God.

Bad News

Seems like all we see is bad news, either in the news or social media. God gives us hope and peace when we feel hopeless or distressed.  bad news

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

If Silence is Ever Golden

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

On May 30, 1868, a crowd of 5,000 gathered at Arlington National Cemetery for the first Decoration Day exercises. Before strewing flowers upon the graves of the dead, the crowd listened to an address by James A. Garfield (1831–81), then an Ohio congressman who had also served as a major general in the Civil War. In this first of such annual addresses at Arlington National Cemetery, Garfield, who in 1881 would become the 20th president of the United States, sets a standard by explaining what Decoration Day is all about and why it should be commemorated?

James-A.-Garfield“I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. With words we make promises, plight faith, praise virtue. Promises may not be kept; plighted faith may be broken; and vaunted virtue be only the cunning mask of vice. We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue. For the noblest man that lives, there still remains a conflict. He must still withstand the assaults of time and fortune, must still be assailed with temptations, before which lofty natures have fallen; but with these the conflict ended, the victory was won, when death stamped on them the great seal of heroic character, and closed a record which years can never blot.”

Mighty To Save

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

rio-jesus-with-light-shining-through (1)He cannot contain Himself of the thought of you and with the greatest of joy spins around wildly in anticipation over you and has placed you above all other creations and in the highest place in His priorities. In fact He shouts and sings in triumph, joyfully proclaiming the gladness of His heart in a song of rejoicing.

Dismayed, No Way

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The Lord is with us we need not fear. His presence guarantees strength to endure every trial, to bear up courageously under all suffering, persecution and affliction. God with us assures that we are never without help. The God of no limits is ever present to help when we have reached the end of our proverbial ropes.

Finally, God upholds us with His mighty power. When our own strength is small and spent, when we fall and have no might to raise ourselves up, the loving Lord reaches down His powerful right hand and lifts us. As long as we confidently know that God is with us, we can boldly proclaim, “I am not afraid; my God is ever with me! I am anxious for nothing; the Lord is my God!”

Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

black_passengers

Doubt, Reach Out

JesusChristLove1-e1393989333893Luke 24:36-40 “As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you!’ But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.”

What are those things bringing chaos or doubt into your life? The ultimate doubt and chaos for Jesus’ disciples was “what’s next”. How many times have we tried to “give it up”, “let it go” or “get over it” one for time?  What’s next?

Jesus tells is disciples not to be troubled and not to doubt. He simply showed himself and said “touch me”.

Today is an opportunity to reach out and experience His grace, mercy, love and care. Doubt? Reach out.