A thanksgiving thought.

As Christians we are commanded to  Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thes 5:16-18).

This is my life verse, but as with so many things I had misunderstood the verse to mean “for everything give thanks”, which turned out to be impossible. With the meaning “in everything give thanks” that makes it possible to give thanks, no matter the circumstances.

So was the situation with the Prophet Jonah. God had told him to go to Nineveh and prophesy so that they would repent. Now Nineveh was the very enemy of the Jews, so Jonah refused and boarded a ship going the other way. A storm arose, and the crew wanted to know who to blame for the storm. The lot fell on Jonah, he confessed and told them to throw him overboard so the storm would end. They did and God    had prepared a big fish that swallowed Jonah whole. Jonah stayed in the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah was in dire straits. What could he do? He did obey God and said:

“I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me.

“Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.
For You cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the floods surrounded me;
All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.
Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight;
Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul;
The deep closed around me;
Weeds were wrapped around my head.
I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord, my God.

“When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the Lord;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple.

“Those who regard worthless idols
Forsake their own Mercy.
But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord.”

10 So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:1-10)

The story goes on Jonah went to Nineveh (think ISIS), they repented, which displeased Jonah. Pouting Jonah sat outside the town and in one day a gourd grew up, gave him shelter. But in the evening the plant withered, which also displeased Jonah (he was not a good rejoicer)

 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”

10 But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”

This is the true meaning of thanksgiving; In everything give thanks.

1 Thess 5 continues: 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

This too is good advise, more than that, it is a command.

Thought for the day: In everything give thanks.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  (1 Thesslonians 5:18)

After being reborn from above early in 1974 i felt challenged to find my life verse, a Bible verse that would best define me and my new life in Christ.

It was late February, lots of snow on the ground, it started to snow, mixed with sleet. I was in church, and the Pastor happened to mention the verse: Rejoice always. This seemed unrealistic to me, but my eyes fell on the next verse, and I made up my mind to give thanks for everything. Going out, there was a lot of slush in the parking lot, and as I started the car (an old Volvo with manual transmission), after putting the car in reverse my foot slipped on the clutch, breaking the gearbox.

This was the first test, and it was easy to thank God for his protection from something worse. So I gave thanks for the broken transmission.

Years passed and I found it more and more difficult to give thanks for everything that befell me. Then, 40 years later, after revisiting the verse many time I suddenly realized. It doesn’t say “For everything give thanks” but “In everything give thanks”.

Thanks God, that feels much better. With times being what they are it is still possible to give thanks, no matter the circumstances.

In everything give thanks. Two Limericks.

Say, What does it mean to give thanks?

In this world, full of rockets and tanks

it is hard to express

when you are in a mess.

Your thanksgiving meal: Beans and franks.

Yes, the thanksgiving spirit is to give thanks. For what? We may be entering WWIII with terror all around. That is why the verse (my life verse) is 1 Thessalonians 5: 18. In context here is 1 Thessalonians 5: 18-24

15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Notice it did not say we are to give thanks for everything, but to give thanks in everything. This helps, when we are reading the new regulations coming out of the Government trying to regulate every aspect of our life. As the Limerick goes:

Now don’t get me started. You are what you eat.

Don’t eat the hot dogs, they are processed meat.

And the new EPA,

they must have the last say.

With beans you fart methane, which gives greenhouse heat.

On to Paris with the Climate change conference! According to Kerry, Obama, Clinton and Sanders Climate change is the biggest and most urgent threat to mankind.

In everything give thanks.

FDR Thanksgiving day proclamation 1942 versus BHO Thanksgiving day proclamation 2014. A timely reminder.

In the year 1942, with WWII raging and the outcome was far from certain, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made this Thanksgiving day proclamation:DSC_0415
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.” Across the uncertain ways of space and time our hearts echo those words, for the days are with us again when, at the gathering of the harvest, we solemnly express our dependence upon Almighty God.
The final months of this year, now almost spent, find our Republic and the Nations joined with it waging a battle on many fronts for the preservation of liberty.
In giving thanks for the greatest harvest in the history of our Nation, we who plant and reap can well resolve that in the year to come we will do all in our power to pass that milestone; for by our labors in the fields we can share some part of the sacrifice with our brothers and sons who wear the uniform of the United States.
It is fitting that we recall now the reverent words of George Washington, “Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy Protection,” and that every American in his own way lift his voice to heaven.
I recommend that all of us bear in mind this great Psalm:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Inspired with faith and courage by these words, let us turn again to the work that confronts us in this time of national emergency: in the armed services and the merchant marine; in factories and offices; on farms and in the mines; on highways, railways, and airways; in other places of public service to the Nation; and in our homes.
Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby invite the attention of the people to the joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day; and I request that both Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1942, and New Year’s Day, January 1, 1943, be observed in prayer, publicly and privately.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

.
One generation has passed, and under similar circumstances, the war on Radical Islam has been waging since Sep 11 2001, ISIS is gaining strength, genocide against Christians and other religious minorities is increasing, riots, arson and anarchy in the streets, President Obama makes this
Presidential Proclamation — Thanksgiving Day, 2014
– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION
Thanksgiving Day invites us to reflect on the blessings we enjoy and the freedoms we cherish. As we gather with family and friends to take part in this uniquely American celebration, we give thanks for the extraordinary opportunities we have in a Nation of limitless possibilities, and we pay tribute to all those who defend our Union as members of our Armed Forces. This holiday reminds us to show compassion and concern for people we have never met and deep gratitude toward those who have sacrificed to help build the most prosperous Nation on earth. These traditions honor the rich history of our country and hold us together as one American family, no matter who we are or where we come from.

Nearly 400 years ago, a group of Pilgrims left their homeland and sailed across an ocean in pursuit of liberty and prosperity. With the friendship and kindness of the Wampanoag people, they learned to harvest the rich bounty of a new world.
Together, they shared a successful crop, celebrating bonds of community during a time of great hardship. Through times of war and of peace, the example of a Native tribe who extended a hand to a new people has endured. During the American Revolution and the Civil War, days of thanksgiving drew Americans together in prayer and in the spirit that guides us to better days, and in each year since, our Nation has paused to show our gratitude for our families, communities, and country.

With God’s grace, this holiday season we carry forward the legacy of our forebears. In the company of our loved ones, we give thanks for the people we care about and the joy we share, and we remember those who are less fortunate. At shelters and soup kitchens, Americans give meaning to the simple truth that binds us together: we are our brother’s and our sister’s keepers. We remember how a determined people set out for a better world — how through faith and the charity of others, they forged a new life built on freedom and opportunity.

The spirit of Thanksgiving is universal. It is found in small moments between strangers, reunions shared with friends and loved ones, and in quiet prayers for others. Within the heart of America’s promise burns the inextinguishable belief that together we can advance our common prosperity — that we can build a more hopeful, more just, and more unified Nation. This Thanksgiving, let us recall the values that unite our diverse country, and let us resolve to strengthen these lasting ties.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 27, 2014, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States to join together — whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors — and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA
The contrast could not be greater. The only reference left to God is God’s grace taken for granted. All the other references are about our dependence on each other, apart from God.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. While Obama speaks of getting together, his actions are driving us apart. This 2014 proclamation giving thanks to each other for a very successful year is not in the spirit of Thanksgiving, but is a symptom of the times we live in, “A Nation, divided, apart from God”.

Obama’s 2013 Thanksgiving proclamation vs Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation.

THANKSGIVING DAY,obama_swearingin2

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Thanksgiving offers each of us the chance to count our many blessings the freedoms we enjoy, the time we spend with loved ones, the brave men and women who defend our Nation at home and abroad. This tradition reminds us that no matter what our background or beliefs, no matter who we are or who we love, at our core we are first and foremost Americans.

Our annual celebration has roots in centuries old colonial customs. When we gather around the table, we follow the example of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags, who shared the fruits of a successful harvest nearly 400 years ago. When we offer our thanks, we mirror those who set aside a day of prayer. And when we join with friends and neighbors to alleviate suffering and make our communities whole, we honor the spirit of President Abraham Lincoln, who called on his fellow citizens to “fervently 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 enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”

Our country has always been home to Americans who recognize the importance of giving back.

Today, we honor all those serving our Nation far from home. We also thank the first responders and medical professionals who work through the holiday to keep us safe, and we acknowledge the volunteers who dedicate this day to those less fortunate.

This Thanksgiving Day, let us forge deeper connections with our loved ones. Let us extend our gratitude and our compassion.

And let us lift each other up and recognize, in the oldest spirit of this tradition, that we rise or fall as one Nation, under God.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 2013, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States to join together whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentysixth Day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty eighth.

BARACK OBAMA 

This time Barack Obama quoted directly a part of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation that mentions the Almighty hand. Unfortunately the quote is hanging without reference to what the Almighty hand refers to.  Unfortunately the Almighty hand has gotten a wider connotation in modern use. Sen. Orrin Hatch among many others has mentioned “the almighty hand of the federal government”. We get a hint that it must refer to God since he puts it in the last part of the proclamation One Nation, under God. When he recited the Gettysburg address just a few days earlier he omitted the two words “Under God”.

In Abraham Lincolns address on the other hand it is obvious that it is to God we give thanks, not neighbors friends, first responders etc. We should and must be thankful for that.

But first we must give thanks to God. That is what Thanksgiving is all about.

See his proclamation below.

 

October 3, 1863abraham-lincoln-picture

By the President of the United States
A Proclamation

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently 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 enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United Stated States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln

 

Obama’s 2011 Thanksgiving proclamation vs. George Washington’s 1789 proclamation. A contrast.

 Left: President Obama at second swearing in ceremony in the White House. Notice the absence of the Holy Bible.

Things like that are not important to this President.

Obama’s 2011 Thanksgiving Proclamation: One of our Nation’s oldest and most cherished traditions, Thanksgiving Day brings us closer to our loved ones and invites us to reflect on the blessings that enrich our lives. The observance recalls the celebration of an autumn harvest centuries ago, when the Wampanoag tribe joined the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony to share in the fruits of a bountiful season. The feast honored the Wampanoag for generously extending their knowledge of local game and agriculture to the Pilgrims, and today we renew our gratitude to all American Indians and Alaska Natives. We take this time to remember the ways that the First Americans have enriched our Nation’s heritage, from their generosity centuries ago to the everyday contributions they make to all facets of American life. As we come together with friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate, let us set aside our daily concerns and give thanks for the providence bestowed upon us. Though our traditions have evolved, the spirit of grace and humility at the heart of Thanksgiving has persisted through every chapter of our story. When President George Washington proclaimed our country’s first Thanksgiving, he praised a generous and knowing God for shepherding our young Republic through its uncertain beginnings. Decades later, President Abraham Lincoln looked to the divine to protect those who had known the worst of civil war, and to restore the Nation “to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.” In times of adversity and times of plenty, we have lifted our hearts by giving humble thanks for the blessings we have received and for those who bring meaning to our lives. Today, let us offer gratitude to our men and women in uniform for their many sacrifices, and keep in our thoughts the families who save an empty seat at the table for a loved one stationed in harm’s way. And as members of our American family make do with less, let us rededicate ourselves to our friends and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand. As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives. Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.

 NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 2011, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States to come together whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors to give thanks for all we have received in the past year, to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and to share our bounty with others. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

God is not mentioned until the second paragraph, where He is referred to as a generous and knowing God. The original 1621 Thanksgiving celebration is now referred to as a feast which only purpose was to thank the Wampanoag tribe. Nothing could be more incomplete. While they did invite and thank the Indians, the primary object of their thanksgiving was the Sovereign and Almighty God for his bountiful provision.

Compare this 2011 proclamation with:  George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving 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 becomming 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 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 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

This reminds me of a famous quote from Fiddler on the roof: Chava: The world is changing, Papa! Tevye: [rounding on her] No! [calmly] Tevye: No. Some things do not change for us. Some things will never change.

And so it is: God is still God Almighty and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Thanksgiving without God. Barack and Esther. A Limerick.

Can folks have Thanksgiving and not mention God? (1)

Esther does not even once mention God. (2)

“If I perish, I perish” (3)

An expression to cherish.

T’was Sarah’s and Bibi’s Thanksgiving, Thank God! (4)

(1). President Obama in his Thanksgiving radio address reflected on how truly lucky we are. He gave thanks to the troops and volunteers in soup kitchens and spread it around. In fact, he gave thanks to just about everybody, but not God.

(2)There is a book in the Holy Bible that does not mention the name of God, not even once. The book is Esther (Hadassah in Hebrew). Yet God is everywhere between the lines, just not expressed in words.

(3)When Sarah Palin abruptly resigned as Governor less than 3 years into her term, she went fishing. The press was there and asked her many questions. She claimed the reasons for her resignation were so obvious that anybody should get it. Liberal interviewers are not just anybody, so they kept asking. In one of her answers she said the phrase from Esther, slightly concealed “If I die, I die”. This was too deep for the interviewers, for they do not even know there is a book in the Bible called Esther, and if they do they would never admit it, for the Bible is not something about which they are supposed to acknowledge any knowledge.

(4)In March 2011 Governor Sarah Palin’s arrived in Jerusalem just as Israelis celebrated the festivities of Purim.

Purim is the day Jews celebrate the story of Esther. It’s a very festive day. Kids dress up and food gifts are distributed to family and friends. People are very joyous and there is a lot of singing and dancing in the streets. It’s customary to drink lots of wine on Purim. It is also a day of giving a plenty of money to charity.

Governor Palin joined Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his family for dinner in Jerusalem on Monday evening; The Purim dinner!