• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • March 2023
    M T W T F S S
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Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5 ESV)

Pilgrims giving ThanksIt is proper that we should have a day when all the Christians in our nation give thanks to God for His many blessings. At Thanksgiving each year I am reminded of the instructions God gave the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6, “… when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Indeed, we too, have been brought out of the house of slavery to sin.

We have every reason to bless the Lord and remember all His benefits. He forgives our iniquity, heals our diseases, redeems us from the pit, and crowns us with unwavering love and mercy. (Psalm 103:2-4) Yes, it is good to praise Him. How will you keep Thanksgiving Day?


Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
                Serve the LORD with gladness!
                Come into his presence with singing!
        Know that the LORD, he is God!
                It is he who made us, and we are his;
                we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
        Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
                and his courts with praise!
                Give thanks to him; bless his name!
        For the LORD is good;
                his steadfast love endures forever,
                and his faithfulness to all generations.

(Psalm 100:1-5 ESV)

The Proper Place of Thanks in our Lives

Pilgrims giving Thanks

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)

Donald Schanzenbach:

The proper place of thanks giving in our lives not only sanctifies us but it condemns the world. The unredeemed are perplexed and angered when they see in us a thankful spirit. We often love the world, and this explains why we are so nervous when we give thanks for our food in public (also, it confuses the waiters who do not know what to do when our heads are bowed). Our thankful attitude is a public testimony to the power of God in our lives. However, unredeemed men have no true heart desire to give thanks. Listening to NPR on Thanksgiving (Turkey Day), my wife told me she heard hours of talk about feasting, but nary a syllable regarding thankfulness. Worldlings have taken the thanks out of Thanksgiving, just as they took Christ out of Christmas. They do not know who to thank. True religion terrifies them.

Paul further wrote, “We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” (Colossians. 3:1), and “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2), and “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day “ (2 Timothy 1:4). Paul fixes the thankful heart to the practice of prayer. It is impossible to be soulfully thankful but neglectful in prayer. Thanksgiving drives us to the throne of God. It is there we are reminded to pray for the brethren. Our thankfulness redounds to the church which, through Christ, redeems the world. (Don Schanzenbach is the author of two Christian Worldview books, and writes a weekly column on Christian Culture. His articles may be found at http://missiontorestoreamerica.com/blog/)

Praise the Name of God

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-JonesI will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalm 69:30 ESV)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“We tend to take all the gifts and pleasures and happiness and the joy without saying much to God. We take our health and strength, our food and clothing and our loved ones, all for granted; but the moment anything goes wrong we start grumbling and complaining and we say ‘Why should God do this to me, why should this happen to me?’ How slow we are to thank and swift to grumble.”

Thoughts on Thanksgiving 2012

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:1-5 ESV)

When most of us think of Thanksgiving, we think of pilgrims, Indians, turkey, a great meal, and football games. The significantly important question for us today, however, is whom do you give thanks to? Today is a good day to come together with family and friends in order to give thanks to God for His many blessings. It would be a shame to simply let this day pass by as “Turkey Day”.

Consider with me this morning why it is good to give thanks to the Lord. If we look to Deuteronomy 16, we find there God’s command to His people to observe times of thanksgiving. We do so to thank God for His blessings, both spiritual and physical.

Today we should celebrate God’s provision for all of our needs. We thank God for the harvest that provides our food. We thank God for our jobs that enable us to earn money for food, clothing and shelter. While doing so, we remember to pray for those who are unemployed and are in need. We thank God for our health and remember to pray for those who are sick. We recognize that it is only by God’s grace that we are blessed at all.

We should above all, be thankful to God for our salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus rescued us from the chains of sin by taking upon Himself the punishment for our sin. Especially today, our thoughts should be on God’s wondrous gift of salvation.

Today is also a good time to separate “perceived needs” from “real needs”. “Perceived needs” in our culture are inflamed by advertisements and advances in technology. Our hearts then deceive us by making us believe we will be happy if we can just have …. We focus on the desire for so many material goods that it actually becomes an idol standing in the way of appreciating the blessings we already have. This Thanksgiving give thanks to God with joy for all your blessings. Give joyous thanks for family and friends. Thank God for the food and other material goods He has already blessed you with. Remember the prayer of the psalmist: “Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:8-9 ESV)

Today, thank God for the people who have given time to be a blessing in your life. Speak to them personally or give them a call today to let them know what a blessing they have been to you. Such actions will help you remember God’s love for you. Thanksgiving is also a great time to share our abundance with others. There are many people who are much less fortunate and needy. Helping others helps us to appreciate the many blessings we have received from God.

On this day, giving thanks reminds us that we do not have life apart from God. As Paul said, “In him we live and move and have our being” … (Acts 17:28 ESV) Therefore, be constant in prayer. Prayer is an important way to communicate your thanksgiving and praise to God. Every man has much to thank God for. Today and every day is a good day to give thanks to God.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)

Happy Thanksgiving,


Acknowledging The Favor Of God

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

Houses of Congress have …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. (Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving, October 3, 1789)

George Washington On The Foundation Of National Policy


George Washington

George Washington in his First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789 said:

The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.

Thanksgiving Meditations

Pilgrim Thanksgiving

Below is an excerpt from a sermon preached at the Second Baptist Church of Boston by the Rev. Thomas Baldwin (1753-1825). He preached this Thanksgiving Sermon in accordance with the national Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by President George Washington in 1795:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (Psalm 33:12 ESV)

In obedience to the call of the President of the United States, we are now, my brethren, assembled in the house of God to offer thanksgiving and prayer to the “great Ruler of nations, for the manifold and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation” [a direct quote from the 1795 Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by President George Washington]. And as God is this day publicly to be praised in the assemblies of His people, I have thought the [Bible] passage now read might be a suitable foundation of our present meditations.

This beautiful psalm, whoever might be the penman of it, is evidently designed to set forth the power and goodness of God in such an amiable [agreeable] light as to excite our confidence, awaken our gratitude, and warm the devout passions of the soul with sacred joy.

If we contemplate God either in His word or works, we shall find abundant matter for joy and thankfulness: “For the word of the Lord is right, and all His works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment; the earth is full of goodness of the Lord” [Psalm 33:4-5].

From this view of the righteousness, equity, and benevolence of the Divine government, the pious psalmist was led to exclaim, as in the text; “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom He hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

Consider the following verses as points of meditation through which the Lord may speak to you today:

Psalm 50:23

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;

to one who orders his way rightly

I will show the salvation of God!”

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Psalm 107:22

And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,

and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Jonah 2:9

But I with the voice of thanksgiving

will sacrifice to you;

what I have vowed I will pay.

Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Colossians 4:2

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

1 Timothy 4:4

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

1 Chronicles 16:8

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;

make known his deeds among the peoples!

1 Chronicles 16:34

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 136:1-3

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

Ronald Reagan’s 1985 Thanksgiving Proclamation

President Ronald Reagan


Proclamation 5412. November 15, 1985


Although the time and date of the first American thanksgiving observance may be uncertain, there is no question but that this treasured custom derives from our Judeo-Christian heritage. Unto Three, O God, do we give thanks, the Psalmist sang, praising God not only for the wondrous works; of His creation, but for loving guidance and deliverance from dangers.

A band of settlers arriving in Maine in 1607 held a service of thanks for their safe journey, and twelve years later settlers in Virginia set aside a day of thanksgiving for their survival. In 1621 Governor William Bradford created the most famous of all such observances at Plymouth Colony when a bounteous harvest prompted him to proclaim a special day to render thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings. The Spaniards in California and the Dutch in New Amsterdam also held services to give public thanks to God.

In 1777, during our War of Independence, the Continental Congress set aside a day for thanksgiving and praise for our victory at the battle of Saratoga. It was the first time all the colonies took part in such an event on the same day.

The following year, upon news that France was coming to our aid, George Washington at Valley Forge prescribed a special day of thanksgiving. Later, as our first President, he responded to a Congressional petition by declaring Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving Day of the United States of America.

Although there were many state and national thanksgiving days proclaimed in the ensuing years, it was the tireless crusade of one woman, Sarah Josepha Hale, that finally led to the establishment of this beautiful feast as an annual nationwide observance. Her editorials so touched the heart of Abraham Lincoln that in 1863 – even in the midst of the civil War – he enjoined his countrymen to be mindful of their many blessings, cautioning them not to forget the source from which they come that they are the gracious gifts of the Most High God… Who ought to be thanked with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

It is in that spirit that I now invite all Americans to take part again in this beautiful tradition with its roots deep in our history and deeper still in our hearts. We manifest our gratitude to God for the many blessings he has showered upon our land and upon its people.

In this season of Thanksgiving we are grateful for our abundant harvests and the productivity of our industries; for the discoveries of our laboratories; for the researches of our scientists and scholars; for the achievements of our artists, musicians, writers, clergy, teachers, physicians, businessmen, engineers, public servants, farmers, mechanics, artisans, and workers of every sort whose honest toil of mind and body in a free land rewards them and their families and enriches our entire Nation.

Let us thank God for our families, friends, and neighbors, and for the joy of this very festival we celebrate in His name. Let every house of worship in the land and every home and every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude and praise and love on this Thanksgiving Day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, in the spirit and tradition of the Pilgrims, the Continental Congress, and past Presidents, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 1985, as a day of national Thanksgiving. I call upon every citizen of this great Nation to gather together in homes and places of worship and offer prayers of praise and gratitude for the many blessings almighty God has bestowed upon our beloved country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.


President Grover Cleveland’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Grover Cleveland

By the President of the United States:

The goodness and the mercy of God, which have followed the American people during all the days of the past year claim our grateful recognition and humble acknowledgment. By His omnipotent power He has protected us from war and pestilence and from every national calamity; by His gracious favor the earth has yielded a generous return to the labor of the husbandman, and every path of honest toil has led to comfort and contentment; by His loving kindness the hearts of our people have been replenished with fraternal sentiment and patriotic endeavor, and by His Fatherly guidance we have been directed in the way of national prosperity.

To the end that we may with one accord testify our gratitude for all these blessings, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fourth day of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by all the people of the land.

On the day let all secular work and employment be suspended; and let our people assemble in their accustomed places of worship and with prayer and songs of praise, give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all that He has done for us while we implore the forgiveness of our sins and a continuance of His mercy.

Let families and kindred be reunited on that day and let their hearts, filled with kindly cheer and affectionate reminiscence, be turned to the source of all their pleasures and to the Giver of all that makes the day bright and joyous.

And in the midst of our worship and enjoyments let us remember the poor, the needy, and the unfortunate; and by our gifts of charity and ready benevolence let us increase the number of those who with grateful hearts shall join in our Thanksgiving.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-fifth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twelfth.

1822 New Hampshire Proclamation Of Thanksgiving

October 28, 1822

State of New Hampshire.

By the Governor,

A Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving.

Gratitude to God, whose power upholds, and whose bounty surrounds us with innumerable sources of enjoyment and of happiness, is our obvious duty as intelligent and dependent beings.

That opportunity may be afforded us publicly and united to cultivate dispositions of heart correspondent to our obligations to the Divine Goodness; to render to our Supreme Benefactor an affectionate tribute of thanks and praise; to acknowledge our past ingratitude, humbly implore the pardon of our sins and the continuance of His parental kindness; it has been thought fit to appoint, and with the advice of the Council, I do hereby appoint, Thursday the twenty-eighth day of November next, to be observed as a day of prayer and thanksgiving throughout this State.

I recommend to the ministers and people of every religious persuasion to assemble on that day in their respective places of public worship and unite in devout and humble acknowledgments to Almighty God for the many favors, personal, civil, and religious, which we enjoy from His Goodness; That the past year has been peculiarly distinguished by His Mercy and Beneficence; That health has diffused its blessing generally throughout the State; That the earth has repaid the labors of husbandry with an abundant increase; That all the pursuits of our industry have been favored with success; and that Providence has bountifully bestowed and continued to us all that variety of good, which is adapted to sustain and extend our individual and social happiness; That a free and enlightened Government continues to afford the most perfect security to our civil and religious rights; and that with the enjoyment of liberty we possess the means of knowledge and the inestimable instructions of divine Revelation, which clearly communicate our duty to God and man, and disclose to us the path to temporal felicity and future happiness.

Whilst we render thanks to our Heavenly Father for his mercies, let us penitently confess our sins, seek his compassion and forgiveness, and humbly pray, that He would direct us in the performance of our duties; That He would guide all men to the knowledge of the truth, and cause the religion of the Gospel to be every where known and obeyed; That its benign and holy doctrines may so influence the hearts of men as to restrain every vicious inclination, and unfold and strengthen every virtuous and pious affection; That ignorance and vice, tyranny and superstition may ever where give place to knowledge and virtue, to liberty and pure religion; That he would prosper our seminaries of learning, and all our means of education; give success to our laudable pursuits, and continue to us the enjoyment of health and prosperity; That He would beneficently regard the Government of our State and Nation, and direct them to such measures, as may preserve the purity of our institutions, and continue to our remotest posterity the blessings which flow from liberty connected with knowledge, virtue and piety.

The people of this State are requested to abstain from all unnecessary labor, and from recreation unbecoming the occasion.

Given at the Council Chamber at Concord, this twenty-eighth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States the forty-seventh.

Samuel Bell.

By His Excellency’s Command, with Advice of Council.

[signed] Richard Bartlett

Deputy Secretary

President James Madison Proclaims A Day Of Thanksgiving

James Madison



The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace, I have deemed it proper by this proclamation to recommend that Thursday, the 12th of January next, be set apart as a day on which all may have an opportunity of voluntarily offering at the same time in their respective religious assemblies their humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe, of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance and amendment. They will be invited by the same solemn occasion to call to mind the distinguished favors conferred on the American people in the general health which has been enjoyed, in the abundant fruits of the season, in the progress of the arts instrumental to their comfort, their prosperity, and their security, and in the victories which have so powerfully contributed to the defense and protection of our country, a devout thankfulness for all which ought to be mingled with their supplications to the Beneficent Parent of the Human Race that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses against Him; to support and animate them in the discharge of their respective duties; to continue to them the precious advantages flowing from political institutions so auspicious to their safety against dangers from abroad, to their tranquillity at home, and to their liberties, civil and religious; and that He would in a special manner preside over the nation in its public councils and constituted authorities, giving wisdom to its measures and success to its arms in maintaining its rights and in overcoming all hostile designs and attempts against it; and, finally, that by inspiring the enemy with dispositions favorable to a just and reasonable peace its blessings may be speedily and happily restores.

Given at the city of Washington, the 16th day of November, 1814, and of the Independence of the United States the thirty-eighth.


A Thanksgiving Day Proclamation From President George Washington

George Washington



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 course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquility, 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 unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase 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.


A Proclamation Of Thanksgiving By Congress In 1779


By the United States in Congress assembled.


Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our forefathers to this western world; for his protection to them and to their posterity amid difficulties and dangers; for raising us, their children, from deep distress to be numbered among the nations of the earth; and for arming the hands of just and mighty princes in our deliverance; and especially for that he hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyment of health, and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labors of the husbandmen, and spreading plenty through the land; that he hath prospered our arms and those of our ally; been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; that he hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes; that he hath stayed the hand of the spoiler, and turned back his meditated destruction; that he hath prospered our commerce, and given success to those who sought the enemy on the face of the deep; and above all, that he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory: therefore,

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States; to beseech him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our public councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness, and success; that he would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that he would grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel; that he would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that he would smile upon the labors of his people and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance; that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that he would take into his holy protection our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him signally great, as the father of his people and the protector of the rights of mankind; that he would graciously be pleased to turn the hearts of our enemies, and to dispense the blessings of peace to contending nations; that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor, and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue, and support and protect them in the enjoyment of peace, liberty and safety. as long as the sun and moon shall endure, until time shall be no more. Done in Congress, ∥ the 20th day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, and in the 4th year of the independence of the United States of America.

Samuel Huntington, President.


Charles Thomson, Secretary.

The Pigford Settlement May Be More About Race Than Farming

Another Mouth At The Government Trough!

Republican lawmakers are warning against Congress approving a massive discrimination settlement that passed the Senate last week. The so-called Pigford settlement seems to be marred by thousands of potentially fraudulent applications.

Just before breaking for Thanksgiving recess, the Senate approved by voice vote a $4.6 billion package to settle claims against the government by black farmers and American Indians. The payments to black farmers account for $1.2 billion of that amount but have been the subject of intense criticism.

Lawmakers raising alarm about the payments say whistleblowers from the Department of Agriculture have come to them in confidence to warn that the money is going to claimants who have no connection to farming. One elected official raised the concern that this settlement has more to do with politically correct reparations than farming.

You can learn more here. . . .

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