Proclaiming Thanksgiving!

This is Thanksgiving Week. As such it seems appropriate to restate the facts that surround Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is celebrated in only 3 countries around the world: The United States, Canada and The Philippines.

The original Europeans who came to America were searching for religious freedom from an oppressive government, not freedom from religion itself. Those hardy folks came over in small boats carrying very few resources with them. They survived because they were able to depend on God, adapt to a new environment, and create a self-sufficient society.

America was founded on this ideal and the willingness to adapt, learn and create are still very evident in our modern times.

In 1789 George Washington signed the following proclamation to establish the holiday of Thanksgiving in America.

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 becoming 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 transgressions; 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. Signed by George Washington.

No matter where in the world we live, it is important to remember and learn from history.

If you have comments, I would love to hear from you. Please leave the comments here or email John at

The Sublime Art of Thankfulness

As we prepare for another Thanksgiving with the usual turkey, parades, and sports, it’s time to consider the sublime art of thankfulness. For many people, please and thank you, when offered at all, are quickly proffered sentiments, rushed out at a moment’s notice. However, on this particular day, something a little more noble is required, in keeping with the holiday. After all, the very act of breathing is reason for praise for someone with emphysema. Why not for the rest of us?

It’s a privilege to discover the source and emanation of true thanksgiving at times when life has handed you something less than ideal gifts in the minds of those around you. Seeing the foot of a loved one move when the doctors have said that she’ll never walk again is a wonderment beyond measure. A joyous occasion evoking streams of tears at something so small and commonly accepted as normal. The delight of a sunrise, flowers in fall, family togetherness, and more all provide reasons for thankfulness because they can be so easily taken away, never to return.

Thankfulness is a process of the heart, not of the mind. The mind doesn’t understand it, but heart feels it to the bottom of the soul. An overflowing cup rarely consists of the material, but rather those things that can’t be purchased with any amount of money nor with any labor, no matter how monumental. So on this day of Thanksgiving, take time to consider thankfulness, the divine moment of gratitude for all that we have and not the rash expression of any lack. It’s my sincere wish that you have an amazing Thanksgiving filled with the delights of laughter and the closeness of those you love most.

Rebecca and I will be taking Thanksgiving weekend off. For this reason, you won’t see any posts from me either Thursday or Friday. We’ll continue working through the GrabAPicture program next week. Thank you for your continued support of me and the materials I write. I’m truly grateful that you’ve given me the opportunity to serve your needs.