Daily Archives: November 24, 2011

Thomas Fleming on America's First Thanksgiving (in England) after World War II

Cpl. Heinz Arnold of Patchogue, N.Y., played “Onward Christian Soldiers” on the mighty coronation organ. With stately strides, Sgt. Francis Bohannan of Philadelphia advanced up the center aisle carrying a huge American flag. Behind him came three chaplains, the dean of the Abbey, and a Who’s Who of top American admirals, generals and diplomats. On the high altar, other soldiers draped an even larger American flag.

Their faces “plainly reflected what lay in their heart,” one reporter noted, as the visitors sang “America the Beautiful” and “Lead On O King Eternal.” The U.S. ambassador to Britain, John G. Winant, read a brief message from President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord. Across the uncertain ways of space and time our hearts echo those words.” The Dean of Westminster and one of the Abbey’s chaplains also spoke. “God has dealt mercifully and bountifully with us,” the chaplain said. “True, we have had our difficulties . . . but all of these trials have made us stronger to do the great tasks which have fallen to us.”

Throughout Britain, the first global Thanksgiving gave men and women from the New World and the Old World a much-needed feeling of spiritual solidarity. Let us hope that today’s overseas service men and women can have a similar impact on a troubled and divided world. Happy Thanksgiving””and our nation’s sincerest thanks”” to them all, wherever they may be deployed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Foreign Relations, History, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry, Politics in General

Simple blessings: Thankful hearts gather at old country church

The church is ageless yellow pine, with wood panels, cross sills and lumbered pews worked by hand more than a century ago. It echoes with the past.

On Thanksgiving Eve, the Sauldam Baptist Church congregation goes back into the old sanctuary under the live oaks for a night of skits, readings, songs and worship that opens with recitations like Rudyard Kipling’s “If” and closes with timeless hymns such as “How Great Thou Art.”

The service is a throwback to another time, a sort of harvest celebration that isn’t as common these days.

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

C.J. Grisham–Happy Thanksgiving from Afghanistan

As I write this, the majority of Americans are tucked safely into bed in anticipation of the next day’s food and festivities. Here in Afghanistan, Soldiers are beginning to wake up. Breakfast is just being served and others are out exercising. I want to take a moment and just tell you what I’m thankful for this year.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for a forgiving God. I’m thankful for the atonement of his Son, Jesus Christ, that made it possible for me to live again in spite of my sins and shortcomings. Though many, I have been provided with opportunity and grace through humility and repentance.

I’m thankful for my life. As some of you know, I had a close call last year and the past 18 months have been rebuilding and strengthening my mental and emotional well-being. It’s been a rough journey for me and especially my family. Which leads me to my next thanksgiving.

May all who serve and their families be remembered this day–read it all (and do not miss the picture).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Military / Armed Forces, War in Afghanistan

Music for Thanksgiving (I): Randall Thompson's "Alleluia"

The group is the Woodson Select Vocal Ensemble from Fairfax, Virginia.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

C.H. Spurgeon on the Power of Joy

There is a marvelous medicinal power in joy. Most medicines are distasteful; but this, which is the best of all medicines, is sweet to the taste, and comforting to the heart. We noticed, in our reading, that there had been a little tiff between two sisters in the church at Philippi;””I am glad that we do not know what the quarrel was about; I am usually thankful for ignorance on such subjects;””but, as a cure for disagreements, the apostle says, “Rejoice in the Lord alway.” People who are very happy, especially those who are very happy in the Lord, are not apt either to give offence or to take offence. Their minds are so sweetly occupied with higher things, that they are not easily distracted by the little troubles which naturally arise among such imperfect creatures as we are. Joy in the Lord is the cure for all discord. Should it not be so? What is this joy but the concord of the soul, the accord of the heart, with the joy of heaven? Joy in the Lord, then, drives away the discords of earth.
Further, brethren, notice that the apostle, after he had said, “Rejoice in the Lord alway,” commanded the Philippians to be careful for nothing, thus implying that joy in the Lord is one of the best preparations for the trials of this life. The cure for care is joy in the Lord. No, my brother, you will not be able to keep on with your fretfulness; no, my sister, you will not be able to weary yourself any longer with your anxieties, if the Lord will but fill you with his joy. Then, being satisfied with your God, yea, more than satisfied, overflowing with delight in him, you will say to yourself, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” What is there on earth that is worth fretting for even for five minutes? If one could gain an imperial crown by a day of care, it would be too great an expense for a thing which would bring more care with it. Therefore, let us be thankful, let us be joyful in the Lord. I count it one of the wisest things that, by rejoicing in the Lord, we commence our heaven here below. It is possible so to do, it is profitable so to do, and we are commanded so to do.

Now I come to the text itself, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

It will be our first business at this time to consider THE GRACE COMMANDED, this grace of joy; “Rejoice in the Lord,” says the apostle.

In the first place, this is a very delightful thing. What a gracious God we serve, who makes delight to be a duty, and who commands us to rejoice! Should we not at once be obedient to such a command as this? It is intended that we should be happy. That is the meaning of the precept, that we should be cheerful; more than that, that we should be thankful; more than that, that we should rejoice. I think this word “rejoice” is almost a French word; it is not only joy, but it is joy over again, re-joice. You know re usually signifies the reduplication of a thing, the taking it over again. We are to joy, and then we are to re-joy. We are to chew the cud of delight; we are to roll the dainty morsel under our tongue till we get the very essence out of it. “Rejoice.” Joy is a delightful thing. You cannot be too happy, brother. Nay, do not suspect yourself of being wrong because you are full of delight. You know it is said of the divine wisdom, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Provided that it is joy in the Lord, you cannot have too much of it. The fly is drowned in the honey, or the sweet syrup into which he plunges himself; but this heavenly syrup of delight will not drown your soul, or intoxicate your heart. It will do you good, and not evil, all the days of your life. God never commanded us to do a thing that would really harm us; and when he bids us rejoice, we may be sure that this is a delightful as it is safe, and as safe as it is delightful. Come, brothers and sisters, I am inviting you now to no distasteful duty when, in the name of my Master, I say to you, as Paul said to the Philippians under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

”“C.H. Spurgeon (1834 ”“ 1892)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Open Thread II: For What are you Particularly Thankful on Thanksgiving 2011?

Posted in Uncategorized

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

Posted in Uncategorized

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, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History

The 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, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History

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

Posted in * By Kendall

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

We give thee humble and hearty thanks, O most merciful Father, for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men, for the blessings of this life and for the promise of everlasting happiness. And as we are bound, we especially thank thee for the mercies which we have received: for health and strength and the manifold enjoyments of our daily life; for the opportunities of learning, for the knowledge of thy will, for the means of serving thee in thy Church, and for the love thou hast revealed to us in thy Son, our Saviour; to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit be praise and glory for ever and ever.

–B. F. Westcott (1825-1901)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

“When you come into the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, and have taken possession of it, and live in it,
you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the LORD your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place which the LORD your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there.
And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, ‘I declare this day to the LORD your God that I have come into the land which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.’
Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God.
“And you shall make response before the LORD your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father; and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.
And the Egyptians treated us harshly, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage.
Then we cried to the LORD the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice, and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression;
and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror, with signs and wonders;
and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which thou, O LORD, hast given me.’ And you shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God;
and you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.

–Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) Susan Pulliam –an upsetting Article about the Federal Reserve giving Tips to the Connected

Ms. [Nancy] Lazar is among a group of well-connected investors and analysts with access to top Federal Reserve officials who give them a chance at early clues to the central bank’s next policy moves, according to interviews and hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal through open records searches. Ms. Lazar, an economist with International Strategy & Investment Group Inc., wouldn’t comment for this article.

The access is part of a push by hedge funds and other traders to get more information about the inner workings of government. Developments in Washington have become more important after the financial crisis in 2008 spawned new regulations and a stronger hand by lawmakers in businesses.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, Politics in General, Stock Market, The U.S. Government, Theology

Apparently Comments are not Working at Present

We apologize for the troubles it is part of a transition that was necessary….

Update–The problem is now solved.

Posted in * Admin, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

German bond auction 'disaster' rocks markets

In one of the least successful debt sales by Europe’s powerhouse economy since the launch of the single currency, the low returns offered – just 2pc annually over 10 years – deterred investors made uneasy by the escalating cost of the crisis to Germany.

That meant the central bank had to pick up 39pc of the €6bn (£5.2bn) of debt Germany had hoped to sell after commercial banks bought just €3.644bn of the issue.

“It is a complete and utter disaster,” said Marc Ostwald, strategist at Monument Securities in London.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Germany, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--