Daily Archives: November 24, 2016

Returning to God with a Thankful Heart

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

thanksgiving-image“[It is] announced in Holy Scripture and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.” Abraham Lincoln

It was President Abraham Lincoln who signed an act in 1863 passed by Congress for Thanksgiving Day to be recognized on the last Thursday of November. We’ve come so far and yet there is so much we continue to take for granted.

Battling the elements and the challenges of living in a new land, the Pilgrims made many more graves than huts, and yet these brave pioneers thanked Almighty God by setting aside a day of Thanksgiving! This is the American spirit; the same spirit that led brave men and women to leave England in pursuit of a…

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Thanksgiving Through the Years

Lee Edwards, distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation, reminds us that as the name implies, Thanksgiving Day is about giving thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings we enjoy. Edwards writes:

thanksgiving-dinnerGeorge Washington was first in war, first in peace, and in November 1789 the first president to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving, openly acknowledging God as the source of all “the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.”

Among the “favors” were a Declaration of Independence that inspires us to the present day, a remarkable military victory over the most powerful nation in the world, and an ingenious Constitution of checks and balances that places “we the people” at the center of our government.

For the next fourscore and seven years, most states honored a November date as a day of prayer and fasting, but there was no national celebration. Of the early presidents, only James Madison, in 1814 and 1815, issued proclamations.

Then in November 1863, with the Civil War still raging, President Abraham Lincoln officially declared the last Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving. Echoing Washington, President Lincoln asked Americans to “implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full employment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.”

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Here Comes (U.S.) Thanksgiving: The Unbreakable Link Between Gratitude and Joy

Blogger, author and book reviewer Tim Challies shares some thoughts on one of the first three fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5: Joy.  He writes:

joyWhat are people willing to give for joy? What price are they willing to pay? Consider what people spend on vacations, luxury goods, entertainment, and stimulants and it’s clear the cost is sky-high. And yet all that time, money, and effort never seems to be enough. For so many people, joy remains elusive. And if they do find it, it is fleeting and unsatisfying.

It’s ironic that during the holiday season—when we talk about joy the most—it seems to be the hardest to find. The holidays are stressful. We have a lot to do. We are pressed for time and money. Family conflicts tend to rise to the surface. But even in the midst of these things we can remain genuinely joyful. This sounds paradoxical, but as Bill Farley discusses in his recent book, The Secret of Spiritual Joy (to which this article is indebted), it is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.

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Thanksgiving: A Christian Celebration in a Post-Christian Society

Every once in a while, I hear the claim that America is not in any sense a Christian nation, and did not have Christian beginnings. It’s true that we have never had an official state religion, which is one of the things that makes America great—freedom of religion for all people. However, it was the Judeo-Christian values of our founders that allowed for this freedom in the first place.

Nothing makes this more evident than when we celebrate Thanksgiving. Why? Let me tell you a little story.

Mary had a little lamb and a mission.

In the late 1700’s, there was a little girl from New Hampshire, who was homeschooled in a time when women were not allowed to attend college. She was quite intelligent, and at eighteen years old she began to teach school and write poetry. Six years later, she married a lawyer who believed in her talents and challenged her to pursue intellectual endeavors.

As a result,  the couple spent two hours each night together in study. She recalled how much she enjoyed those nightly study sessions, and how they encouraged her and gave her confidence in the powers of her thinking mind.

Nine years after their vows, her husband died of a stroke just two weeks before she gave birth to their fifth child. Her name was Sarah Josepha Hale, and she is the reason we officially celebrate Thanksgiving as a nation.

After her husband’s death, Sarah had to find a way to provide for her five children. She was able to have a small volume of children’s poems published, including her now famous Mary Had a Little Lamb. After that, she wrote several books and went on to become one of the most influential women in America…

Read more: Thanksgiving: A Christian Celebration in a Post-Christian Society – Alisa Childers