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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Give Thanks


By Kathy Graumann

November 7, 2012


Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

First Thessalonians 5:18


Our Heavenly Father created a perfect world, a world that was flawless, without sin or shame. When mankind chose to sin, our Father’s world became corrupted. Yet, our Father loved mankind and sent His Son to redeem us. In the midst of the turmoil and pain our sin has caused, our Father beseeches us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

“In all circumstances,” He commands. Even when Hurricane Sandy destroys my home or when a United States ambassador has been murdered by terrorists? Even when I have lost my job or the farmland is dry and parched? Does God call me to obey His command to give thanks even when cancer invades my body or dementia overtakes a parent or when my candidate is defeated in the national election?

Our Father did not say, “…in most circumstances” give thanks; instead, He commanded, “…in all circumstances” give thanks. Obeying God’s command to give thanks is a choice He alone empowers us to make.

Even when I am in pain and the world about me is in turmoil, even when our religious liberty is threatened and infringed upon, I know that my Father has everything in His control, even when I cannot perceive it. I know that He loves me perfectly and that every situation and event in my life is filtered through Him for my best. I can walk through troubles with quiet confidence in God’s sovereignty and divine purpose for everything He allows. Every frustration, every disappointment, every spiritual battle, and—yes, every joy in our lives—has a purpose and is used by our Father to refine us, to produce within us godly character, to draw us closer to Himself, and to fulfill His unique plan for our lives.

The poem, “The Tapestry of My Life,” expresses these truths:

My life is but a weaving

Between my Lord and me.

I cannot choose the colors

He works so steadily.


Oft times He weaves in sorrow

And I, in foolish pride,

Forget He sees the upper

And I, the underside.


Not ‘til the loom is silent

And the shuttles cease to fly,

Will God unroll the tapestry,

And explain the reason why.


The dark threads are as needed

In the Weaver’s skillful hand,

As the threads of gold and silver

In the pattern He has planned.


Let us, therefore, with joy, give thanks to our God and Father in all circumstances.


Dear Father, we, who call ourselves Christian, come to You today, humbling ourselves before Your holiness. Where we have each personally sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, we ask for Your forgiveness. Where we, as a nation, have dishonored You and rejected what You value, forgive us. Cause the people of this great country, especially those who are called by Your name, to turn from sin and seek Your face. You call us, Lord, to give thanks in all circumstances. We choose to obey You. Your purposes are good, and we know that You have control over all things. Transform our anxiety into peace that passes all understanding. Your goal is to accomplish what is best for us in our lives. You work for our eternal good, for our eternal, sustaining joy. Thank You for the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross.  Thank You for being the Light shining in a dark and desperate world. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Honor the Military

In the United States, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The armistice ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.” Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. It is marked by parades and church services and, in many places, the American flag is flown at half-mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11 AM.

In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The Congress also requested that the president should issue a proclamation calling upon officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) was approved on May 13, 1938, that made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States. American forces also fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans’ service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans". Congress approved this change, and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

Honor Our Military

Let's honor our military,
The men and women who serve,
Whose dedication to our country
Does not falter, halt or swerve.

Let's respect them for their courage;
They're ready to do what's right
To keep America safe,
So we can sleep better at night.

Let's support and defend our soldiers,
Whose hardships are brutal and cruel,
Whose discipline we can't imagine,
Who follow each order and rule.

Here's to those who choose to be warriors
And their helpers good and true;
They're fighting for American values;
They're fighting for me and you.

By Joanna Fuchs