God's Roadmap

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10 NASB).


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving in America

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, try to test your knowledge of the founding of our country and the beginning of the Thanksgiving celebration we have today.

The following post from www.wallbuilders.com outlines for us the truth about our history and contains many facts you may be unaware of.
 

The tradition of Thanksgiving as a time to focus on God and His blessings dates back almost four centuries in America. While such celebrations occurred at Cape Henry Virginia as early as 1607,[1] it is from the Pilgrims that we derive the current tradition of Thanksgiving.
The Pilgrims set sail for America on September 6, 1620, and for two months braved the harsh elements of a storm-tossed sea. After disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they had a prayer service and began building hasty shelters, but unprepared for a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring.[2]
Yet, persevering in prayer, and assisted by helpful Indians,[3] they reaped a bountiful harvest the following summer.[4] The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast in December 1621 to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends[5] America's first Thanksgiving Festival. This began an annual tradition in the New England Colonies that slowly spread into other Colonies.[6]
The first national Thanksgiving occurred in 1789. According to the Congressional Record for September 25 of that year, immediately after approving the Bill of Rights:


Mr. [Elias] Boudinot said he could not think of letting the [congressional] session pass without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them. With this view, therefore, he would move the following resolution:


Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. . . .


Mr. Roger Sherman justified the practice of thanksgiving, on any single event, not only as a laudable one in itself but also as warranted by a number of precedents in Holy Writ. . . . This example he thought worthy of a Christian imitation on the present occasion.[7]


The resolution was delivered to President George Washington, who heartily concurred with the congressional request, declaring:


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 appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.[8]


National Thanksgiving Proclamations occurred sporadically following this one,[9] and most official Thanksgiving observances still occurred only at the State level. Much of the credit for the adoption of an annual national Thanksgiving may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book. For over twenty years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day,[10] contacting President after President until Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November, declaring:


We are prone to forget the Source from which [the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies] come. . . . 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. . . . I do, therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States . . . to observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens.[11]


For the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed LincolnÌs precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day. Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.[12]
As you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this year, remember to retain the original gratefulness to God that has always been the spirit of this, the oldest of all American holidays.


[Congress] recommended [a day of] . . . thanksgiving and praise [so] that the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and join . . . their supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ to forgive [our sins] and . . .to enlarge [His] kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Continental Congress, 1777 - Written by Signers of the Declaration Samuel Adams and Richard Henry Lee)[13]


[I] appoint . . . a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God. . . to [ask] Him that He would . . . pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would . . . spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; . . . and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue. (Governor Thomas Jefferson, 1779)[14]


I. . appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . [by giving to] us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. And [to] present our supplications...that He would forgive our manifold sins and . . . cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth. (Governor John Hancock, 1790)[15]



[1] Benson Lossing, Our Country. A Household History of the United States (New York: James A. Bailey, 1895), Vol. 1, pp. 181-182; see also National Park Service, "Robert Hunt: Jamestown's First Chaplain" (at http://www.nps.gov/archive/colo/Jthanout/RHunt.html).
[2] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), pp. 74, 78, 80, 91.
[3] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 100.
[4] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 105.
[5] Ashbel Steele, Chief of the Pilgrims: Or the Life and Time of William Brewster (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co, 1857), pp. 269-270.
[6] William DeLoss Love, Jr, The Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England (Boston: Houghton,, Mifflin & Co, 1895), pp. 87-90.
[7] The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United State (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, pp. 949-950.
[8]George Washington, Writings of George Washington, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Russell, Odiorne and Metcalf, 1838), Vol. XII, p. 119, Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving on October 3, 1789.
[9] See, for example: H.S.J. Sickel, Thanksgiving: Its Source, Philosophy and History With All National Proclamations (Philadelphia: International Printing Co, 1940), pp. 154-155, "Thanksgiving Day- 1795" by George Washington, pp. 156-157, "Thanksgiving Day -1798" by John Adams, pp. 158-159, "Thanksgiving Day-1799" by John Adams, p. 160, "Thanksgiving Day- 1814" by James Madison, p. 161, "Thanksgiving Day-1815" by James Madison.
[10] Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, James Grant Wilson & John Fiske, editors (New York: D. Appleton & Co, 1888), Vol. III, p. 35.
[11] The Works of Abraham Lincoln, John H. Clifford & Marion M. Miller, editors (New York: University Society Inc, 1908), Vol. VI, pp. 160-161, Proclamation for Thanksgiving, October 3, 1863, The American Presidency Project, "Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation- Thanksgiving Day, 1863" (at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=69900&st=&st1=)
[12] The National Archives, "Congress Establishes Thanksgiving" (at http://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/thanksgiving/); see also Pilgrim Hall Museum, "Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations 1940-1949: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman" (at http://www.pilgrimhall.org/ThanxProc1940.htm), Proclamation 2571: Days of Prayer: Thanksgiving Day and New YearÌs Day, November 11, 1942, referring to a Ïjoint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day.
[13]Journals of the Continental Congress (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907), Vol. IX, p. 855, November 1, 1777.
[14] The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Julian P. Boyd, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), Vol. 3, p. 178, Proclamation Appointing a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, November 11, 1779.
[15] John Hancock: Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving (Boston, 1790), from an original in possession of the author.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lessons From A Turkey


With Thanksgiving Day just around the corner, we are all getting our menus planned and our shopping lists ready so our celebration meal will be as free of hassles as possible. However, it seems no matter how much planning I do, something always goes wrong and has to be fixed or improvised.
One year we had two friends coming over. I decided to try some different side dishes to go along with our traditional Thanksgiving fare of turkey and dressing. I found a recipe that seemed simple enough and would be a good compliment to the rest of the meal. The directions stated to heat some Catalina dressing in a skillet and saute baby carrots for a few minutes until heated through. Then sprinkle with parsley and serve.
When our plates were full and we started to eat, I bit into the “supposed to be good” carrots and felt like I was eating a tree limb. At this point, I was wishing no one else had these orange roots on their plates, but it was too late. We all had a laugh about it, but no one took seconds. They did, however, want to go outside and use them for skeet shooting.  Even though the recipe directions didn’t state to boil them first, common sense should have told me carrots are not going to be done in the few minutes they were in the pan.
Lesson learned: Don’t use an untried, new recipe on guests or for a special occasion.
My almost turkey disaster occurred just a few months after my husband and I were married. It wasn’t Thanksgiving, but he wanted me to cook a turkey and have his family over for dinner. I was petrified. I had cooked lots of chickens before, but never a turkey. I knew the giblets were inside the cavity of the bird and I removed them before cooking. I barely got the giant bird in the apartment sized oven we had, because he had bought a 20 pound turkey even though we were only serving six people. I was amazed at how good it looked when I removed it from the oven, steaming hot, smelling good, and golden brown. I placed it on my beautiful platter and carried it to the head of the table for my husband to carve.
The first few slices were smooth and juicy. However, the deeper into the bird he cut the more the meat was covered in pieces of something white. After a few “what is that?” comments, we uncovered the mystery. Even though I had remembered to remove the giblets, I didn’t know the other end of the bird contained a plastic bag of gravy. This time the gravy was inside the bird and not on it.(I always look for that packet now!)
Lesson learned: Look all through the bird for surprises.
Despite these mishaps, thankfully, we have been able to overlook them and still have good celebrations. What about you? What catastrophes or hazards have you encountered while preparing a special meal?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thank You Is Not Enough


America has many scars and battle wounds, but they have never kept us down. We have more victories than defeats, more heroes than cowards, more great leaders than traitors. We have a military force unequal to any, and it is all voluntary.

For this I say “thank you.” Those words are hardly enough to appreciate the giving of a life or the sacrifice of health. But they are all I have. To all veterans of our military, you are honored and appreciated.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, I would like to give a special tribute to all those who fought during this conflict. Sadly, you were not honored by some the way you should have been when you returned home, but thankfully those days are over.

May we never forget our heroes (which is anyone who was willing to serve) and may we always acknowledge what they have bought for us. Our country has fought many wars since the fight for independence in 1776. Each one cost many lives. Because of the bravery of thousands, we can be the free and independent nation we are today. We have been blessed because we were willing to stand up and fight for our freedom. God’s light has shone from America as a beacon to the world of His goodness because we made the sacrifices necessary to fight against evil.

Take some time this week to thank a vet.

I would like to honor the veterans in my family:

Ken Latta, US Navy                         Kenny Latta, US Army
Jonathan Latta, US Air Force          Lloyd Watson, US Navy
William Watson, US Army               E.J. Thornton, US Navy
Donald Thornton, US Navy             Billy Ray Thornton, US Navy
Jack Thornton, US Navy                 Hubert Watson, US Army Air Corp          

If you would like to honor some veterans here, please feel free to do so.