Although Thanksgiving Day dates back to the Pilgrims, it didn’t become a national holiday until 1863 when America was in the midst of a bloody Civil War. Abraham Lincoln thought it might help to unify the country and it has been celebrated annually ever since.
An attitude of gratitude can do much to heal the country, but it also can heal the hurts that one inevitably suffers in this life and can make us healthier, happier and more successful. These are scientifically proven facts.
Most of you are familiar with the song “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)” from the 1954 movie classic “White Christmas.” It begins,
“When, I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep counting my blessings.”
These are not simply pretty lyrics. A 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being found that spending just 15 minutes jotting down grateful sentiments before bed, helps one sleep better and longer. Better sleeps leads to better overall health and well being and more productivity. Continue reading “An Attitude of Gratitude”
These last few months have been filled with a series of tragedies too horrible to have been imagined: hurricanes, one after another, brought death and devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Nature’s wrath was accompanied by man-made tragedies in Las Vegas and Sutherland, Texas. The loss of life and property brought pain and suffering that will continue for years to come and, for some, may never be overcome.
This Thanksgiving will be celebrated by many in shelters or bleak circumstances without running water or electricity. For others there will be empty spots around the table. Some may not feel like giving thanks at all and may be asking, “Where is God?” Continue reading “Thanksgiving 2017: Where is God?”
Never in my lifetime have I seen so many disgruntled people in this country which has stood as a beacon of hope for oppressed people around the globe.
Our country has withstood a civil war, two world wars, a great depression, the cold war, terrorist attacks, a housing crisis and numerous recessions but we’ve stood together, as one people, through these difficult times and come out stronger as a result of the trials.
Now it seems we are being torn apart by activists among us who want to separate us by race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, political persuasion and all manner of economic and educational strata for their own selfish ends. Continue reading “A Day of Thanksgiving (Not Since the Civil War Has Our Nation been so Divided)”
The world appears to be spinning out of control. This once great country of ours is no longer trusted. We are in debt up to our eyeballs. Our friends cannot count on us. In fact, we often bully them.
Our president has become a source of ridicule. Russian President Vladimir Putin taunts him. Terrorists execute our citizens and dare him to do something about it.
Closer to home, we call right, “wrong” and wrong, “right.” Marriage is denigrated. Having children out of wedlock is rewarded. Personal responsibility is out. Government benefits are in. Continue reading “How to be Thankful when Your World is falling apart”
The holiday table is prepared for the annual feast. There is turkey, stuffing, hot rolls and pumpkin pie, but something is missing.
The holiday spirit has taken a dive. The abundance of food on the table is in sharp contrast to the condition of our country. We are in debt up to our eyeballs to the communist Chinese. The economy is stagnant and there is no relief in sight. Unemployment is high along with the price of energy and every other necessity. The promised health care reform has proved to be a sham, leaving us worse off than before.
The once powerful United States of America has become a paper tiger in the eyes of the world. We are no longer respected, admired or feared. What is to become of us?
Despair and uncertainty has griped the nation. Not since Jimmy Carter, in 1979, has the country suffered such malaise. As we prepare to celebrate with family and friends, we are searching for something, anything, to lift us out of this downward spiral. Continue reading “Thanksgiving: What’s Missing”
Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings and thank God for them. For the early pilgrims, these blessings were simple and few. The first thanksgiving celebrated at Plymouth was for a bountiful harvest following a year the colonists suffered great loss from hunger and disease.
In the years that followed, days of thanksgiving were solemn yet joyful occasions. Hard work was a fact of life but no guarantee that a family would have the necessities needed to survive. Our ancestors understood that they could plant and plow but only God could make things grow. Continue reading “Thanksgiving and the Welfare State”
Not since the Great Depression has there been such a time of economic uncertainty in this country and around the world. The stock market has taken a dive. Foreclosed homes dot the landscape. Companies are going out of business. Bankruptcies are commonplace. People are being laid off. The job market is drying up. Natural disasters have taken their toll. Our sons and daughters are in harm’s way, serving in far off lands. It is rare to find anyone, who has not been adversely affected in some way. You see fear, anxiety and worry on the faces of family, friends and co-workers.
We need this day of Thanksgiving to put our lives in proper perspective. Continue reading “Thanksgiving: The Antidote for Worry and Fear”
Last week, Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue held a prayer vigil in front of the state’s capitol to ask God for rain. The media had a field day. He was the subject of much ridicule and scorn – for a day. The next day it rained.
It wasn’t what folks in the south would call a “gully washer.” However, the media coverage dried up a lot faster than the parched earth. Continue reading “Where have all the Thankful gone?”
What does it mean to be truly thankful? It is an attitude of gratitude toward our Maker.
Gratitude is not passive. It is more than offering up a traditional prayer before you sit down to a feast, followed by an afternoon of watching football in front of the television. It is an acknowledgment that all that we have, our very existence, is a gift from God – a God who made man in His image in order to have communion with him.
Communion is more than a conversation. It is a relationship. A relationship requires communication to be sure, but have you ever tried to have communion with a rock? Continue reading “What Does It Mean to be Truly Thankful?”