The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Mass., in 1621. Their crops had been fruitful beyond expectation so Governor Bradford decided to have a feast and invite the Indians who had been friendly to the strangers to come and rejoice with the white men. The Indians came bearing gifts of venison and the harvest feast lasted three days. The Pilgrims sat down with the Indians, and gave thanks for all the blessings God had bestowed upon them during their struggle to live in a new world.

I haven't read this proclamation since I was in the 5th grade and I thought you might like to reread it. General Washington perfectly expressed the spirit of the day in his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789 signed Oct. 3, 1789. Here is a part of what he wrote. (The complete proclamation is available at many sites on the internet.)

"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... Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th of November next, to be devoted by the people of the United States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, and that will be; that we may then unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country."

I think every month should be "Thanksgiving month". Being thankful for the things God has given to us is the same as praising God for the things He has given to us. He gives us blessings every day; we just have to do as the old hymn says "Count Your Blessings One by One" to see that we are always under God's care. Just for fun, write down all the things you are thankful God has provided for you. Don't forget the little things that we take for granted every day. I could not begin to list them all, but I do give thanks every day several times for even the smallest blessings.

That is God's wish for us to talk to him every day. He is our friend, our confident, our umbrella in times of rain, our sympathizer in time of sorrow, our healer in time of pain, our forgiver when we sin. Whatever your need, God is there to provide it. You just have to ask and have faith that he will hear you and provide whatever you need. How wonderful to wake up every morning and know that God is going to be with you throughout every minute of the day.

Psalm 100 is a "Psalm of Thanksgiving." It says "Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be Thankful to Him, and bless His name, For the Lord is good." Philippians 4:6 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God." The first verses in both Psalms 106 and 107 say "Oh give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His loving kindness is everlasting." 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 says "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give Thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." My wish is for us to sail on the "Thanksgiving Ship" with Jesus as our skipper every month. May we always have a Thankful heart.

Fern McCallum

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