Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln

Black Thursday? No. Happy Thanksgiving!

In this age of American consumerism run amok, as large retailers battle one another for our Christmas shopping dollars even on this national day of Thanksgiving, I hope and pray that each of us will use this day for its original intention:

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. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Today, let us set aside our seemingly endless desire for more. Let us take stock of what we’ve been given and take nothing for granted. Let us look beyond ourselves to the Creator of all things, and humbly approach His throne in a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving. The shopping can wait. Today let us give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy as a nation, as families, and as freedom-loving Americans.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving postcard circa 1900 showing a tur...

Thanksgiving postcard circa 1900 showing a turkey and football player. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Independence Day 2013 ~ A Promise

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

~ Declaration of Independence, closing paragraph

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 4, 1776, our founding fathers signed what I believe is one of the greatest documents ever authored by humanity. Today we celebrate the signing of our Declaration of Independence – the document that marks the birth of the great nation we call the United States of America.

By this Declaration and our subsequent victory in the Revolutionary War, we gained the status of a truly independent nation. With that status comes rights and responsibilities shared by each of us whose citizenship resides with these United States of America.

Our greatest responsibility is to protect and defend this great nation; to preserve the freedoms that so many have fought and died to win and preserve. The colonists sought freedom from oppression and freedom from the tyranny of an overreaching government. These men fought and died so that individuals were free to pursue their God-given rights, among those being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I often wonder what our founding fathers would think about today’s America. Would they be proud? Or would they be troubled? Are we fulfilling our obligation to defend the freedoms that so many have fought and died to win and preserve over the years? If they could speak to us today, what would they say to us?

English: Abraham Lincoln, president of the Uni...

English: Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States of America. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe that the greatest threat to any organization, be it a club, a company or a country, comes from within. When a group loses focus on it’s commonalities – it’s mutual goals and objectives – it begins to break apart. President Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand…” I believe he hit the nail on the head.

Today’s immediacy of communication via cable television and the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because, treated responsibly, these media can facilitate a level of communication and discourse among the American people that was never before possible. It’s a curse because it facilitates an unprecedented level of personal attacks and abuse. Many issues are before us as a nation about which most of us hold passionate and often opposing views. To support our positions and further the causes we hold dear, we take to the Internet. Sadly, our discourse often quickly degenerates into nothing more than personal attacks and cheap name-calling. The issues get lost in the mudslinging, and we contribute to the breaking apart of our nation. If we, the people of this great land, participate in this lowest level of discourse, we are guilty of ripping apart the fabric of this nation so carefully sewn together on July 4, 1776. And at some point, America will no longer be free.

English: Flag of the United States of America ...

English: Flag of the United States of America Deutsch: Flagge der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make no mistake; people will disagree and we are only human. The fact that we disagree is not a problem; the manner in which we often address those with whom we disagree is very troubling. On this Independence Day, will you join me in a promise? Will you join me in promising to discuss the issues, and only the issues? We will disagree, sometimes passionately, and that’s OK. We are free to disagree and passionately discuss the issues of our disagreements! But as we do so, let us always bear at the front of our minds the sacrifices made by so many who came before us. Let us not disrespect those sacrifices by tearing each other down; rather, let us honor their sacrifices by standing shoulder-to-shoulder for the common good of this great land, even as we disagree.

Happy Independence Day!

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died and gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA!

~ Lee Greenwood

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