Thursday, November 25, 2010

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Declaration

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards 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 even 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 to provoke their aggression, 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 theatre of military conflict; while that theatre 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 defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe 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 battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness 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, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United 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 Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Note:

I have seen depictions of Abraham Lincoln in things like PBS specials on him, and they leave out his reverence for God and the things he said that reveal the relationship that he had with the Almighty. So, I had no idea until one day when I read a prayer by Abraham Lincoln, the depth of his relationship with God. He was a true believer - a devout man, and it is a shame if he is not remembered in this way.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hallelujah!

Handel's Hallelujah Chorus: In Macy's

For you older folk who are wondering which store this is, it's actually the old Wanamaker's in Philadelphia, but you know, many old stores were bought out by Macy's, so it's now Macy's. Anyway, for you younger folk, that old store has this humongous organ going back to its early days and for the holidays an opera company in Philadelphia came in to play the organ and sing the Hallelujah chorus. This drew people from all over the store, and people from just off the street were singing along with the chorus. I could not keep the tears back!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Encouragement

‎"One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement. It is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word." ~ William Barclay

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The story of Esther

I saw the movie One Night With The King last night, about the story of Esther in the bible. It is a Hollywood version of the story, so I looked up the story in the bible and read it today.

What an amazing story of God's redemption.

While originally God was angry with His people for not totally annihilating a people, and those people eventually became the enemies of Israel, the story ends up that the people befriend Israel. Instead of Israel wiping them out, they become Israel's friends, and it says later on in the book, that there were those who even became Jews as a result of the influence of the Jews in the land.

That is so amazing - there were conversions, even then.

Amazing story!