Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

  

 It’s the time of Thanksgiving! 

and 

 We are THANKFUL

Thanksgiving should be a special event, one of the most special events of our year.

But for many it’s been reduced to eating turkey, watching football games  and ‘black’ Friday (or is it Thursday and Wednesday or the entire month now?)

Thanksgiving should be much more than food, football and shopping. But  then, that was how it started – right?
A legal day of food, football and shopping by an act of Congress –  wasn’t it?

Everyone knows the story of the 1st Thanksgiving…the Pilgrims…starvation… the Native Americans… salvation.

Today it’s popular to belittle that event – that time – and those extraordinary   times and people. Some would like to claim it never happened.

 But there was a man who believed it did happen.

October 3, 1789 was an especially cold day, when the country’s newly elected  President, a man by the name of George Washington, stood in the new nation’s  capital of New York City, and issued a Proclamation of Thanksgiving.

    

I wonder how many Americans have ever read it.

Have you? Want to?
Here – take a look…

He proclaimed a national day of food – football and shopping for everyone to applaud their good fortune and self-indulgence of material things…

…not.

Actually, it says some pretty amazing things, like:

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
“… to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and  prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many  signal favors of Almighty God…”
And
“… I 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…”
And
“…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…”

Wow! So much for separation of church and state. I wonder how  many schools teach this.

Almost a hundred years later, in 1864, another President thought that having a day set aside for food, football and shopping was so  important he made it into an annual National Holiday.
Take a look at what Abraham Lincoln said about it:

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year,  defending us with His guardian care…”
And
“…It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens  in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the  rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to  use new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards…”
And
“…Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do  hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day  which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may  then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the                             beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe…”
And – here where the shopping cart comes in…
“… And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on  that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.”

These are the words of our Presidents – Our Leaders! It would do us well today to listen.

Now – am I some kind of miserable, scrooge – being negative and having somekind of hatred against football – shopping and ‘black Friday’?

No No No

Let it not be said!

I love football (yes I’m a Buffalo Bills fan)

Shopping is good – Greed is bad.

Do you know what’s the unspoken secret of  Thankfulness?

Thankfulness is not one-directional. It’s not only a ‘giving’ event –    it’s as much if not more of a receiving event. It’s a benefit to those  who are thankful. 

Giving thanks transforms us. By nature we like to complain.            Whining and griping comes naturally – but are unproductive and         unattractive. Expressing gratitude is attractive and productive. Giving  thanks transforms us from complainers into people of                gratitude. 

Giving thanks changes our perspective about the Creator-creature relationship. It causes us to acknowledge that God is the source of every  good thing. When we thank God, we have to realize that our health, our  family, our food, our shelter, our job, our talents – any abundance we  may have – come from Him.

Giving thanks teaches us grace. It’s human nature to take credit for  our accomplishments. Thankfulness teaches us that we have not earned  anything – all we do is by the Lord’s grace. Each gift, whether it’s a job  or a friend or family, or place to live or a freedom we enjoy or a spiritual  blessing we have received, shows the grace of God.

Giving thanks humbles us. We walk through life selfish and self-absorbed.   We are proud and self-centered. We think we deserve a lot. The world owes  us. When we are truly thankful, we see we have much more than we  deserve.  Pride fades when we understand that every good thing comes  from God. Thankful people are humble people – for they know they can  do nothing on their own.

It’s easy to give thanks when things are going well.It’s harder when  things are not going so well. We want to come to the place where we  can give thanks for all things.

After suffering numerous “bad” things – Joseph said                            “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”

Paul said, all things work together for good for those who love God.

I am “Thankful” to the Pilgrims – and to President George       Washington and to President Abraham Lincoln –  thankful for the ‘commitment’ they made.

There is so so much we have to be thankful for – I’m not even going to attempt to start naming them – the list is way, way too long.

Actually, Thanksgiving should be a time of commitment renewal and  strengthening.

Thanksgiving should be an occasion to remind us of our commitments  and to strengthen those commitments. Lacking that – it’s little more than spending time with family and shopping.

“Commitment.” you say?  “Commitment to what?”

Commitment to those things for which we’re thankful.

Things like life – liberty – family – food in our stomachs – a roof over our heads – a pillow – a bed – friends and loved ones.

I am thankful.

Thankful to God for His Goodness and Blessings.

Thankful for the ‘Light’ He brought into the darkness. 

And no matter what happens in this world – I will always be thankful that God remains in control.

Always giving thanks for all  things (Ephesians 5:20).

Let us never forget those who simply have nothing – to be thankful for.

Those millions upon millions of helpless victims of darkness and inhuman treatment by their fellow man.

Those countless children born into misery – born into death – having no hope for joy in life.

We must never forget them –   for they only have –                           those who remember.

It is only through our compassion and love that we bring joy to others and also find that inner joy that comes with bringing joy to others.

                                       Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

Read Full Post »

It’s the time of Thanksgiving! 

Thanksgiving (1)

The harvest is full – creation is vibrant, overflowing with a bounty of blessings. The scent of crisp apples – fills the air while field after field of corn, soybean, cabbage and potatoes  – fill the silos…  

 Thanksgiving

Large, orange pumpkins are magically being transformed into spicy, sweet pies…

 pumpkin-pie

Turkeys run in fear – knowing their time is short…

 60314

And we rejoice in the richness of blessings our God has provided for us.

Yes – it’s Thanksgiving and we have much to be thankful for, and from all of us at

Original FAWN logo – we extend our sincerest wish that you and yours have a…

.

Joyful – Enriching – and Happy Thanksgiving 2013.

Happy-Thanksgiving_2

And while we are thankful –  let us never forget those who are hurting…

…those among us who have suffered setbacks and huge financial and personal losses from fires, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, mud-slides and natural disasters of all sorts and types creating tragedies, loss of property and most of all – loss of loved ones.

Our hearts go out to you and we feel your sorrow and your pain – but we also feel your strength.

And let us not forget that… 

Monday – November 11th is Veterans Day –

No – it’s not a bargain shopping day – it’s a day for us to show honor – appreciation and to give thanks for those who, across the years, from one war zone to another, heard and answered the call – paying the price – for the freedoms we hold, enjoy and cherish so dearly. Freedom doesn’t come without a price. To those who fought the fight yesterday and to those who continue to fight the fight today – across the oceans – on foreign soil…to those who returned home whole and well – and to those who returned home not well in body or mind, and…lastly…to those who didn’t return home….

…we honor you!            

vetsday96

veterans-day-courage-poster1602.VeteransMemorialDay

veterans_day_4   

veterans

Thank you veterans – you men and women who heard the call – who felt the need and who said:

 

“Here am I – send me.”

honorvet1

May God bestow a special blessing upon you and your families.

And we must not forget, in our prayers and in our hearts, those who are persecuted…

 locked up against their will, away from their families, who will see no Thanksgiving dinner – no pumpkin pie – feel no hugs or kisses. Those who are beaten, abused and left in a dark, disease ridden hole – those who are tortured, gunned down and murdered for nothing more than what they think, believe and hold dear.

Each of us must always stand against tyranny and against those who work to destroy the human mind, seeking to kill that human spirit that thirsts after truth. Whether it’s our own belief or others – we must never allow the freewill to be stomped on. God gave us that gift and once we step over onto that slippery slope – then there is no belief that is safe.

images (1)

And let us never forget those who simply have nothing to be thankful for – and never have had.

Those millions upon millions of helpless victims of AIDS, starvation, malnutrition and inhuman treatment by their fellow man. Those countless children born into misery – born into death – having no hope for joy in life.

We must never forget them – for they only have – those who remember them.

woman-with-family  

frank-7_copy

It is only through our compassion and love for our fellow men and women that we can bring joy to others but also find that inner peace that comes with finding our own purpose and happiness.

children2

When the final rolls are called – we must be found vigilant and working diligently for those who cannot do so for themselves…

.

…until that day when all will rejoice!

africa-day

 Yes – we are thankful at FAWN for what we have and who we are.

We are thankful we are able to respond to our fellow man.

And we are thankful for you.

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

Read Full Post »

Being the old man that I am, when I think of Christmas, I get a visual of Bing Crosby singing “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas”.

Remember the ‘white’ Christmases?  I do.

They were good. They were warm. They were about people – loving – giving and appreciating people.  They were when the first snowfall was a thing of joy and happiness.  When people sang songs to one another on the street corners, in the stores and in their homes. When the giver meant more than the gift.

I watched the news this weekend and all I heard about was something called ‘black Friday’.  What’s a ‘ black’ Friday? And where did Thanksgiving go?  In early September, I seen lots of candy and costumes in the stores for a celebration of the darkside – Halloween.  By mid-September, this was backed up by decorations and sales for Christmas.  Did I miss something?  Halloween still wasn’t here – and where did Thanksgiving go?

When Halloween finally receded into history (on November 1st – didn’t take long), then it was all about something called ‘black Friday’.  Seems like Thanksgiving had moved from Thursday to Friday and had taken on a color – and from the results on the news broadcast – a not so very nice color. Pictures of mobs pushing, shoving and wrestling with one another over ‘things’. Fights. Children getting hit by adults. Shoppers getting pepper sprayed by other shoppers or police trying to control the mobs.  People dropping dead in the store and shoppers stepping on and over them. All for a piece of plastic or an electronic circuit board.  Where did Thanksgiving go?

I heard little about Thanksgiving.  When I did, it was about eating – parades and football.  Lots of the ‘giving’ and ‘taking’ part – little of the ‘Thanks’ part. Talk around Thanksgiving tables centered around the ‘game plan’ for this thing called ‘black’ Friday.  Many even totally erased any symbolise of Thanksgiving and bypassed it completely by pitching tents and camping out for the entire day in a line at their chosen ‘black’ Friday staging area.

Well, now this ‘black’ Friday has come and gone.  But has it?  Everytime the TV is turned on, they’re taking about ‘black’ Friday sales – on Saturday – Sunday – Monday – and onward right up to Christmas.  In fact, I seen a commercial talking about ‘post-Christmas’ sale.

It appears the color of Christmas has changed.  ‘Black’ Friday is no longer a day – but is now the official kick off of ‘black’ December. It seems to me, what used to be a happy time of Thanks and Joy has merged together into a dark time of greed, anger, resentfulness, rudeness, stress and unhappiness.  No one sings on the corners or to their neighbors, but the airways are saturated with the commercial songs for days on end, without let up until they have no meaning and we’re only happy when they’ve stopped. Christmas has evolved into gifts; the biggest, the best, the coveted, the ‘what will so and so get me so that I can get something equal for so and so? Trees and lights and yards that compete one against another. And again I ask – where did Thanksgiving go?

I wonder what God thinks about all this. I wonder if this is what He had in mind. I’m not trying to say I know – I don’t. But I wonder all the same.

No matter what God thinks – I don’t think it’s what most people think it should be. I think everyone wants to have a Merry and happy Christmas – and that’s why there’s so many nostalgic and sentimental Christmas movies and stories flooding the markets and airways.  Some do have that and that is good.  But most, dream about having it and then merge into the chaotic streams jamming the roads and stores of ‘black’ December.  I know, many will say ‘Christmas and Thanksgiving’ are in the heart and I’m being wrong for judging others.  Yes, I agree – Christmas and Thanksgiving are in the hearts, and what’s in the hearts is reflected outward. And yes, I’m judging, but I think we each need to judge what is being reflected outward – don’t you?

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” is no longer just a song – but is a cry going up from the earth – from a world that dreams it but doesn’t know how to find it.  I think it would be nice to close all the stores on ‘black’ Friday and see if we can have a ‘white’ Christmas again.

How we miss Bing.

Read Full Post »