The BIBLE VIEW #885 — Thanksgiving

In This Issue:
First Thanksgiving Proclamation
1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
In Everything, Give Thanks!
Mother of Thanksgiving 

Volume: 885     November 21, 2022
Theme: Thanksgiving

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First Thanksgiving Proclamation
William Bradford, Governor of the First American Colony, 1623

Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.

Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

William Bradford
Ye Governor of Ye Colony

Thanksgiving is a time when the world gets to see just how blessed and how workable the Christian system is.  The emphasis is not on giving or buying, but on being thankful and expressing that appreciation to God and to one another.  — John Clayton  


1789 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;

WHEREAS, Both the 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 enabled 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.

George Washington – October 3, 1789

“The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart.  — Plutarch 


In Everything, Give Thanks!
Author Unknown

‘Mid sunshine, cloud, or stormy days,
When hope abounds, or care dismays,
When trials press and toils increase
Let not thy faith in God decrease —
“In everything, give thanks.”


All things we know shall work for good,
Nor would we change them if we could;
‘Tis well if only He command;
His promise will ever stand —
“In everything, give thanks.”


He satisfies the longing heart,
He thwarts the tempter’s cruel dart,
With goodness fills the hungry soul,
And helps us sing when billows roll.
“In everything, give thanks.”

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” — I Thessalonians 5:18


Mother of Thanksgiving
Author Unknown

President George Washington proclaimed the national observance of Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 26, 1789.  After a few years, presidential proclamations lapsed.  Although most New England communities continued the observance faithfully, they did not always celebrate at the same time.  In other parts of the country, the holiday was frequently overlooked altogether.  Nobody appeared to care very much whether the day was observed except a woman named Sarah Josepha Buell Hale.

Mrs. Hale was a widow with a will.  When her husband died, leaving her with five children, she went to work.  This took several varieties of courage, for Mrs. Hale was a great lady of an old New England family of important ladies and gentlemen.  Several of her peers did not approve of a lady working beyond her home.  Others were especially outraged at the nature of their kinswoman’s job.  Mrs. Hale became editor of the periodical “The Ladies’ Magazine.” 

Mrs. Hale had a rare editorial writing gift.  She began an editorial campaign for a national set observance of Thanksgiving Day.  For twenty years, she wrote scores of editorials on the subject.  Men, as well as women, read them.

One man who read them was Abraham Lincoln.  In 1864, he declared that thereafter, by annual presidential proclamation, the last Thursday in November should be a national Thanksgiving Day.  Since then, every president has followed his suggestion.

After President Lincoln acted, Mrs. Hale was called “Mother of Thanksgiving,” a title by which she deserves to be remembered.

“Count your blessings, not your problems.— B. B.


“You Should Be Thankful.”
Author Unknown

A train was crowded, and many were standing in the aisles and on the platforms.  They took that opportunity to express themselves by complaining to the railway company.  Some moaned they had been standing for three hours.

At a station, others came aboard, one of whom was an invalid and had to be carried on.  As the passengers made room for him, one repeated his complaint, “Yes, we’ve been standing here for three hours.”

The invalid looked at him and quietly said, “You are fortunate.”

They were tired, but the invalid’s rebuke changed hearts.  The complaining stopped, and many silently counted their blessings.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done…”
Words from the hymn “Count Your Blessings, by Johnson Oatman

The BIBLE VIEW #860 — Gratefulness

In This Issue:
Be Grateful
Be Thankful
Count Your Blessings
Be Thankful for…

Volume: 860     May 30, 2022
Theme: Gratefulness  

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Be Grateful
Bill Brinkworth

Christians too often get so encumbered with the cares of this world that they forget who they are and what they have.  They have the promise of Heaven, a caring heavenly Father, His guidance and protection, hope, blessings none of us deserve, and we know God’s truths (or should).  With all we have, we still forget we are on the winning side and how good God is to us.

The well-known Psalm 95:1 is an encouraging eraser for the “woe is me” or “everything is so terrible in my life” attitudes. That verse suggests that instead of complaining, we should “sing” to the Lord.
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1

“Sing,” besides singing a song, means to shout aloud for joy, cry out, be joyful, rejoice, and triumph.  The negative poor-mouthing we often utter spurns defeat quickly and robs one of hope. However, if we find something to be joyful about and exclaim the victories we have gotten, our attitude will change. 

Even singing a hymn will help one return to being grateful and appreciative. The rest of the scripture verse also removes the excuse for not “singing” because they believe they have an unworthy voice. Verse 1 says to make a joyful noise if that’s all you can muster.  It’s not the quality of the “song,” it’s the exuberant, thankful heart that glorifies a great God and not the stumbling blocks we dote over.

There was a time when I found myself in the dumps. All I could see were the obstacles and defeats that I encountered. To flip the doldrums around, I sat down and made a list. In the blank leaf in the back of my Bible, I made a list of victories and things I had. It included salvation, a good wife, a home, a church family, and on and on went my inventory of blessings. After reading what I had written several times, I forgot about all I did not have and was most grateful for God’s goodness in my life. To this day, whenever I find myself being ungrateful, I reread that list. It is my “song” that helps me remember how good God is to me.


Be Thankful
Bill Brinkworth

Many of the Psalms reminds believers to be thankful for a mighty God and all He has done for His people.  Psalm 135 is no different.  The chapter starts with “Praise ye the Lord,” and it ends with the same reminder.

Old Testament and New Testament believers should have one grateful emotion in common. We both have so much to be thankful. There are so many reasons we should praise the Lord. 

Some of which we should appreciate the Lord include:

  • His controlling of the weather (Psalm 135:7).
  • God’s deliverance of Egpyt’s bondage of Israel (Psalm 135:8). Today’s believers also need to be thankful for safety in this life and liberation from sin.
  • The miracles God allowed to happen in lives (Psalm 135:9).
  • Deliverance from enemies (Psalm 135:10-11).
  • The land God gave Israel (Psalm 135:12)!  We also need to be grateful for the freedoms and opportunities we still have.
  • His enduring faithfulness to His people (Psalm 135:13).
  • His future judgments (Psalm 135:14). Many believe they have gotten away with their sin or wrong-doing. They have not. Judgment day has not yet come for them, but it will one day!

All have so much for which to praise the Lord. Unfortunately, the majority are blind to His working in their lives.

“The praise that comes of love does not make us vain, but humble rather.”  
— Barrie


Count Your Blessings
Hymn by Johnson Oatman (1897)

1 When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

2 Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.  [Refrain]

3 When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in Heaven, nor your home on high.  [Refrain]

4 So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.  [Refrain]

“Count your blessings, not your troubles, and it will make you grateful rather than discouraged!” — Bill Brinkworth


Be Thankful for…
Bill Brinkworth

Much of the good in our lives comes from the benevolent hands of God. However, He gets so little credit for what He has done. Psalm 107, along with many other hymns found in the Psalms, reminds the singer to proclaim to the unrealizing world what we are thankful for.

This chapter alone starts eight of its 43 verses with “O give thanks.” Five times “praise” is used, and five times God’s “goodness” is mentioned in Psalm 107. There is a great focus on counting our blessings and being thankful for what He has done in our life.

Among a plethora of what we should be grateful for, this chapter reminds us to be thankful for God’s:

  • Goodness (Psalm 107:1, 8-9, 21, 31).
  • Mercy (Psalm 107:1). The previous chapter also reminded believers of God’s generous, undeserved mercy.
    “Praise ye the LORD.  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 106:1
  • Redemption and deliverance (Psalm 107:2, 6, 8, 10, 13-14, 16, 19-20, 28). Our salvation is redeemed by the blood of Jesus, and many times our situation is bought by the work of our mighty, protecting God.
  • Guidance, as He led, provided, and directed Israel (Psalm 107:3-5, 7, 9).
  • Changing situations (Psalm 10:24-27, 29-30, 33-38, 41) that hinder His people.

Israel’s worship songs often were reminders of what they should be appreciative. Although America has a holiday dedicated to being thankful (Thanksgiving Day), ALL people, especially Christians, should be grateful every minute of every day. Just think where we would be if He withdrew His goodness to us. We certainly would be most miserable.

Give thanks to the Almighty that has done so much for you.  Write on a piece of paper or a blank page at the back of your Bible things for which you are thankful. When times are more challenging, just a glance at those reminders of His goodness to you will help a grateful attitude return to an encouraged spirit.  Some even keep a journal of all the wonderful things God has done in their lives. We should never forget the mighty help of our God in our lives.

Thank you, Lord!

“The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart.”Plutarch