Thanksgiving seems to get pushed aside a little more each year in America. I refuse to forget this great and important holiday -- it is one of my two favorite holidays of the year. I don't even start thinking about Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving; I would like to say that it's because I put so much emphasis on Thanksgiving, but that wouldn't be completely true. It's mainly because I'm a procrastinator and shopping is not my favorite thing in the world. But I do like to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and with much thankfulness to God who gives us all things.
Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for work, I was listening to Christian radio, Focus on the Family. They were talking about the origins of Thanksgiving. They mentioned that in public schools today, children are being taught that the Pilgrims came to this new land and after surviving the harsh conditions of a brutal winter, the Indians came and befriended them and helped them; because of this they had Thanksgiving as a way of thanking the Indians. The truth is, they had this feast of Thanksgiving to thank God, not the Indians, for that first harvest in 1621. A Captain Christopher Jones decided he wanted to leave the new land and go back home. He offered for any of the Pilgrims to go with him but they wouldn't leave because they felt called by God to stay in the new land where they would have religious freedom. They said they would rather die here and remain true to what God called them to do than to turn their backs on God. Despite all the hardships they suffered, the Pilgrims had the feast of Thanksgiving to give thanks to God Almighty.
In 1789, our first president, George Washington, signed a proclamation of General Thanksgiving. It is amazing to read this proclamation today, knowing how much our government has changed since then. It starts out like this..."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..." Isn't that great? This proclamation was signed by the President of the United States! Read the original document, or the full text version.
I hope that every person who reads this blog will take some time this week to think about the blessings that have been given to you by God, and thank Him for them. I hope that you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30
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