Daily Archives: November 26, 2009

Dana Loesch: Thankfulness

I’m especially thankful that my not-little-anymore cousin, B, had her life spared a couple months ago. On her way home in the wee hours of the morning she had a wreck and laid by the side of a lonely country road for four hours, her neck broken in four places plus severe spinal damage, until a conservation worker found her on his way to work.

Her life has not been easy, some of that is by her own choosing, and the people who were supposed to be her safety net failed her early on. She’s one of the first people I saw grow from a baby – and I’d visit my grandparents’ house and sit on the sofa in my Easter dress to hold her – until now, in her early 20s. Now she’s lying in a hospital bed. Her birthday was la few weeks ago. She spent it staring at the ceiling.

Doctors weren’t sure that she’d live, much less breathe on her own again yet here she is. She’s paraplegic now, but she’s eating a bit of food and has some use of one of her arms. Considering that she almost lost her second chance, I consider this wonderful progress, wonderful news.

A lot of people ask me why I believe in God. Why I sought Him out when I was a kid growing up in an quasi-apathetic household. I had one father truly forsake me and the search for that brought me home. My only exposure to Christ came from my maternal grandma who’d take us to her fire and brimstone church in the south. I’ve been given chances that I should not have had and at times I’ve seen the tangles of my life flipped – and that’s when I caught a glimpse of the beautiful tapestry those knots were creating.

Read it all.

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"Now Thank We All Our God": the story behind the hymn

I think of Martin Rinkart every thanksgiving; his gift of this hymn is simply stunning given the circumstances in which it was written. Read it all–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Lutheran, Other Churches

Open Thread II: For What are you Particularly Thankful on Thanksgiving 2009?

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Thanksgiving: America’s religious holiday

IN AN AGE in which students can get suspended for wearing religious T-shirts to school and pre-game prayers have been dropped lest they offend someone, it is a wonder the Supreme Court has not ruled Thanksgiving unconstitutional. It is, after all, an official recognition of religion.

To deny Thanksgiving’s religious basis is to ignore the spark that ignited the Pilgrims’ productive labors. They worked hard, and the bounty this work created was the product of human exertion. But their efforts were not entirely motivated by a desire for prosperity.

In his 1995 book, “Creating the Commonwealth,” historian Stephen Innes argues that the secret to Massachusetts Bay’s economic success ”” for which the colonists gave thanks ”” was its religious underpinning. “Massachusetts Bay was a commonwealth that flourished in large part because its notion of redemptive community endowed economic development with moral, spiritual, and religious imperatives,” he wrote. “The settlers’ providentialism ”” the belief that they were participating in the working out of God’s purposes ”” made all labor and enterprise ”˜godly business,’ to be pursued aggressively and judged by the most exacting of standards.”

The Pilgrims did not work only to feed, clothe, and house themselves. They worked to glorify God, and work so motivated produced abundant profits”¦.”

–The New Hampshire Union Leader in 2004

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History

The 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. a 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”“and whereas both 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 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 which we experienced in the tranquillity, 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 hath 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 shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord”“To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease 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.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History

On Giving Thanks

One day near the middle of the last century a minister in a prison camp in Germany conducted a service for the other prisoners. One of those prisoners, an English officer who survived, wrote these words:

“Dietrich Bonhoeffer always seemed to me to spread an atmosphere of happiness and joy over the least incident, and profound gratitude for the mere fact that he was alive”¦ He was one of the very few persons I have ever met for whom God was real and always near”¦ On Sunday, April 8, 1945, Pastor Bonhoeffer conducted a little service of worship and spoke to us in a way that went to the heart of all of us. He found just the right words to express the spirit of our imprisonment, and the thoughts and resolutions it had brought us. He had hardly ended his last prayer when the door opened and two civilians entered. They said, “Prisoner Bonhoeffer, come with us.” That had only one meaning for all prisoners”“the gallows. We said good-bye to him. He took me aside: “This is the end; but for me it is the beginning of life.” The next day he was hanged in Flossenburg.”

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Germany, History

Open Thread I: How, Where and with Whom are you Spending Thanksgiving this year?

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Kendall Harmon: Thanksgiving

People in the early twenty-first century seem to struggle to be thankful. One moving story on this topic concerns a seminary student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. On September 8, 1860, a ship called the Lady Elgin went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later he died in California at the age of 81. In a newspaper notice of his death, it was said that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

Today is a day in which we are to be reminded of our creatureliness, our frailty, and our dependence. One of the clearest ways we may express this is to seek to give thanks in all circumstances (Philippians 4:6).

I am sure today you can find much for which to give thanks: the gift of life, the gift of faith, the joy of friends and family, all those serving in the mission field extending the reach of the gospel around the world, and so much else. I also invite you to consider taking a moment at some point today to write a note of thanksgiving to someone who really made a difference in your life: possibly a teacher, a coach, a mentor, a minister or a parent. You might even write to the parish secretary, the sexton, or the music minister in the parish where you worship; they work very hard behind the scenes.

”“The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall S. Harmon is the convenor of this blog and takes this opportunity to give thanks for all blog readers and participants and to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving

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Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

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 unequalled 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 had 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 consciousness 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 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.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History

NPR: Laughter, Tears And Kisses As Marines Come Home

Two families of Marines who died are here. Steve Posey is among them. He’s wearing a button with a photo of his son, Lance Cpl. Gregory Posey, of Knoxville, Tenn., who was 22 years old when he died in July. His dad remembers him as a lovable prankster.

“He would loan out anything, sometimes even if it didn’t belong to him,” Posey says. “He had a good heart.”

Posey’s son loved being a Marine. That’s why the family is here.

“We had planned on being here. We’re sticking to our plan,” he says, fighting back tears. “These guys meant a lot to us, so we’re here for them.”

Touching and inspiring. Take the time to listen to it all (a little over 5 minutes).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Iraq War, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, War in Afghanistan

The World According to Americans

It helps to laugh at ourselves–take a look.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Globalization

Diocese of Huron: Protocols and Guidelines for a Civil Marriage for same-sex Couples


1. These celebrations are understood to be a pastoral response to same-sex couples in our communities. The rite is to be part of a Celebration of Holy Eucharist.
2. The clergy involved must seek the Bishop’s support and written permission a minimum of sixty (60) days before the proposed celebration.
3. Matters pertaining to the use of facilities, ceremonial planning and local arrangements will be made with the approval of the Rector of the parish in which the celebration is to take place.
4. It is required that at least one member of the couple be a baptized member of a congregation in the Diocese of Huron.
5. Appropriate pastoral support and instruction must be given at the local level in order to prepare the couple for the celebration and their ongoing Christian life in relationship.
6. As with all liturgical celebrations of the church, these events will be entered into the Parish Register (Vestry Book).
7. Clergy from beyond the Diocese of Huron shall obtain permission from the Bishop of Huron and their own Bishop.
8. Any member of the clergy may decline to preside at these celebrations.

Read it all and follow all the links too.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Washington Post: Church's influence on politics shifting

It wasn’t that long ago that “there was no such thing as putting a pastor on hold” when the leader of a D.C. church called city hall, said the Rev. Patrick J. Walker of the New Macedonia Baptist Church in Southeast.

But when Walker, whose church has 2,000 members, asked to sit down with D.C. Council members this summer to discuss same-sex marriage, some of them wouldn’t meet with him, he said.

“This city certainly is no longer church-friendly,” Walker said.

The clout of the local faith community, particularly the black church, in D.C. politics has been declining for decades. But with the council heading for a vote next week on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, the near-certain passage of the legislation has come to symbolize both political and spiritual changes in the District.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Jim DePorre on the Trading Tax

From here:

One of the things many people overlook in the discussion of a tax on trading is how different the market is today than it was before the Internet and all its associated technologies were developed. Trading has been greatly democratized over the years — now just about anyone can be a trader and earn a living in the market if they have a little capital and are willing to work hard.

Fifteen years ago you had to be live and work in one of the major financial centers if you wanted to be a “real” trader. There was no way someone like me sitting on the beach in Florida or the hills of North Carolina could participate in the market. Now we can all become self-sufficient if we have the desire and inclination to do so.

The Internet made trading an even playing field, and as a result a major industry developed around it to assist the man on the street who wanted to participate in the markets. I know many individuals who now consider trading to be their primary job. They run small businesses that support them and their families, employ people and pay substantial taxes on their profits. Instead of using stock brokers, people now do research on their own using the many sites and tools available on the Internet, which has created productive businesses like TheStreet.com and RealMoney.

When I hear the discussions about a tax on trading, it is clear that the politicians are after the big investment banks like Goldman Sachs or the irresponsible banks that helped to create the subprime crisis. I never hear any talk about how different the world of trading is now and how so many ordinary people look to the market as a way to produce income.

A tax on trading will not only hurt the way the market operates, it will hurt many innocent individuals who never had any responsibility for the excesses of Wall Street in the first play and probably helped the market recover much faster than it would have otherwise.

I hope that those who back a tax on trading figure out that they aren’t just going to extract some fees form powerful institutions. They are going to hurt the lives of thousands of people on Main Street.

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