Giving Thanks

 Robert Weir 
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

What beautiful, beautiful words. The song above, "Now Thank We All Our God", was originally written by pastor Martin Rinkart. -You should read about him, & his story of incredible faith & perseverance, during a time of extreme hardship & heartbreak, in the year 1636. After & during the Thirty Year's War had ended. During which time, Martin was living in a world dominated by death, as he conducted funeral services for up to 50 people a day… 

Norman Rockwell
My Thanksgiving was good. The fam & I were invited over to two dear friends' houses for two huge meals. Lunch & dinner. Whewh! That's a lot of pie. :) We all have so much to be grateful for. Friends, family, food, clothing, a roof over our heads, technology & so many comforts that others don't have. The majority of Americans only set apart one day a year to be grateful, by eating lots of food, & maybe mentioning a brief something, vaguely about the pilgrims. But the reality of it is; is that sadly many people have lost the true meaning of what thanksgiving represents. 
We should be thankful & look to the Lord with praise & thanks for all things, each & every day. All things come from Him.  - the good & the bad. The Lord remains steadfast to us, our rock & anchor, through all things. He will never abandon nor forsake us, just as He preserved 50 of his pilgrims, that first hard winter on the shores of New England. 

Our friends had a copy of William Bradford's book: Of Plymouth Plantation. For Thanksgiving we read the 4th chapter - it was really good; hearing an accurate historical account of the arrival to America from a Christian perspective, was both sobering & insightful. Christianity is what our country was founded on. Christianity is why the pilgrims left England, sailed for over two months across an ocean, leaving family & loved ones behind in England. All for the love of Christ, they did what they did. Those brave men & woman stood up for their faith, promoting the Gospel & were unwilling to compromise to anything that rose up against them. Think of England & it's tyrannical government & church, in the  1600s. (Our government is so much worse now, then it was then, & the true Christians of that era didn't tolerate it.) 1608 was when the pilgrims first left for Holland- the start of their perilous journey for freedom that would last for another 12 years by the time they made it to the Americas. Many did not survive the first cold winter on American soil. Can you imagine doing something like that? Men & women, boys & girls of true grit, sacrificing nearly everything for the freedom of worshiping the true God. I would recommend the book, (though I've only heard the 4th chapter). Also online, there is some great history, if you get to reading & searching. A documentary called Monumental: The Search For America's National Treasure is an excellent film that tells the true story of America's founding people, the decline of patriotism, & Christianity. It is well made & engaging.
So look to Jesus, our Savior & King, & let us fearlessly press onwards with strength & courage through the days & years to come. Happy Thanksgiving! 
Jean-Leon Gerome 

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