With all of the falderal over prohibiting prayer in schools and nativity displays on public property, it is worthy of our time to review a couple historical facts regarding religion and the passage of the First Amendment. After months of debate, the House of Representatives passed the First Amendment on September 24, 1789.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” — Source: http://www.archives.gov
The House, it’s members best qualified to understand the intent of the amendment, passed by a 2/3 majority the following resolution on the very next day:
“We acknowledge with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peacefully to establish a constitutional government for their safety and happiness.” — M. Stanton Evans, “The Theme is Freedom” p.285
The same body went one step further and called upon President George Washington to officially establish a national day of prayer and thanksgiving. The following is an excerpt of Washington’s proclamation:
“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 implore his protection and favor … That great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that ever 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…” — M. Stanton Evans, “The Theme is Freedom” p.285
The tradition continues, cluttered as it is with the trappings of football games, anticipation of holiday sales and other distractions, America still sets aside a special time to be thankful for her abundance.
What one is thankful for is always personal and sometimes private. I think that’s why reading or hearing genuine expressions of appreciation reaches inside and touches our hearts deeply. How different would the world be if everyone responded every day to the proclamation of President Washington?
“It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.” — Seneca (5 BC – 65 AD)
“Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for.” — Terry Lynn Taylor
“Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” — Bible, Psalm 106:1
“For what I have received, may the Lord make me truly thankful. And more truly for what I have not received.” — Storm Jameson
“One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.” — G. E. Lessing (1729-1781)
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
— Author Unknown
© Copyright November 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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