Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks!

"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 can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. . . . 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" ~ “Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation – Thanksgiving Day, 1863”

I want you to think over the past 11 months. What has the Lord blessed you with? We may not be concerned with fruitful fields & healthful skies, unless you are a farmer. But how has the Lord been fruitful in your life? Has he blessed you with good health? Provided work so that you could make money for your family? Blessed you with a new home or worked out a hard situation that seemed hopeless ? Whatever blessings you have received this year do not forget from which they come.

The Lord has blessed our family with so many things! Food on our table, good health for all of us, not only a roof over our heads but a fine place to live. A place where my kids can run and play, explore and experience nature close up. Clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet. Clean running water and heat for the winter. Electricity to bring light to the dark places so we can see and a vehicle to get us from here to there. So many people are not as blessed as we. Our family may not be rich in wealth or have an abundance of things but we are rich in the Lord, love & laughter :) Those things are important to me and I feel blessed.

I am thinking back to a time when the Pilgrims first came to the New World. They didn't have any of the amenities that we have today. None of the comforts and entertainments that we enjoy. Nearly half of them died due to the harsh winter. These brave & courageous Christians sailed to the new world in hopes that they would be able to practice their faith freely, without persecution. The Lord blessed them with two Indian friends Samoset & Squanto. Squanto, taught them how to live in the New World while Samoset, forged a long lasting peace treaty between the Pilgrims & Indians. Both accepted their christian faith. Governor William Bradford described Squanto as a special instrument sent of God for our good...and never left us till he died.

That summer through prayer and assisted help from the Indians, they reaped a bountiful harvest. The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three day feast in December 1621 to thank God and celebrate with their Indian friends which included shellfish, lobsters, turkey, cornbread, berries deer and other foods of play. They engaged in races, wrestling matches, athletic events and prayer. While the Pilgrims enjoyed times of prosperity they also had times of drought. There was a time where they knew if the weather didn't change that there would be no harvest. Governor Bradford told the Pilgrims to set aside a time of prayer and fasting to seek God's intervention. I like the encounter given by an Indian who witnessed the rain when it came..

"It came without wind or thunder or any violence, and by decrees in abundance, as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith, which did so apparently revive and quickened ye decayed corn and other fruits as was wonderful to see, and made ye Indians astonished to behold; and afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as well. Through His blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing."

The drought had been broken and yielded and abundant harvest giving cause for another Thanksgiving.

How great and amazing is our God!

I don't want to get so caught up in life that I don't stop and realize how much the Lord has blessed me with. God, has provided for our family so many times and in so many wonderful ways. I do not want to be ungrateful or overlook the real reason why we are celebrating this Thanksgiving holiday. To give thanks to God through prayer and thanksgiving.
Enjoy this holiday season with your families :)

Speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart unto the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 5:19 & 20

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