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The Heart of Thanksgiving

| thu, november 27, 2008 |

"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 favors."

-George Washington, Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789

"It is therefore recommended... to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn Thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor..."

-Samuel Adams, Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1777

In October 1863 president Abraham Lincoln announced that the last Thursday of November would be dedicated "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

So as my fore fathers before me, I too will humbly give thanks and praise to the Almighty God who dwells in the Heavens.

I will start with where my life first began.

I give the Lord thanks for my wonderful mother, who through difficulty brought me into this world, but through this difficulty found the Lord she now serves. I thank the Lord for being with her during the deepest of struggles, for taking the darkest days of her life and replacing the darkness with His light. He has been her strength when mine was lost to her, her dependable friend when I wasn't, and loved her when my love wasn't apparent. My God I am truly thankful for the faithfulness You have always given my mother, and for the love, strength, and hope that she has always found in You. Thank You for comforting her when I caused so much discomfort. Thank You for the fulfillment of the promise You took time with her to share. Thank You for her love and uncompromising devotion, thank You for my wonderful mother.

I would like to thank the Lord for my father. A father who has always been my role model, a real example of a Godly man, a faithful man, and a man of great character. My father has shown me that gentleness and kindness are qualities that can also be manly. If I manage to walk even a quarter of the footsteps my father has walked before me, then I will have achieved a truly admirable feat. I pray I too will have the fortitude that I saw day in and day out in this man that I am privileged to call my father.

I have a sister who too I would like to thank the Lord for. She has been my friend since she was born. As a kid she was my little brother, my playmate, my friend, and I would stomp anyone in the dirt who came close to touching a hair on her head. I thank God for all the adventures we made, even if we didn't leave our back yard. I thank God for all the incomparable fun and memories we shared as brother and sister. I thank God that as we grew older she was there for me in my darkest of days, helped to encourage me, and always prayed for me. She forgave me when I wasn't so brotherly, when I neglected her with my love, and forgot who I was. God has rewarded her love and sisterly dedication with a brother who has seen where he failed, a brother that by the grace of God is still here to live the rest of my life showing her just how much I care. Thank you dear Jesus for this only sibling I call my sister and my friend.

Father I give you thanks for my beautiful wife. In no woman have I found such beauty, love, kindness, and faithfulness. She is truly the apple of my eye, a gem of heaven, I see not how I am even worthy to hold with these earthly hands such a priceless gem. She is my comfort, my love, and the wonderful mother of my child. I am truly blessed among men. Father you gave unto me an angel, one to whom I promise forever to cherish and defend. Thank you Father for my wife who has made me a complete man, with who the rest of my time will be spent.

Father thank You for my daughter, who is so small and tender. She is refined in her beauty, sweet in spirit, and priceless in blessing. She has made us a complete family, a daily reminder of Your creative ability. I will raise her in the truth of Your Word, a woman of God she will be. Thank You for the smile upon her lips and the joy that she bring our hearts. Thank You Father for this child You have entrusted within our care.

I would like to thank You Father for my grandparents, the memories, and the time I still have with them. Thou one is not with us anymore, I hope for the day that I will once again see him. I am truly blessed to have the time with my grandparents, the time that so many have never had. I thank You for their wisdom and instruction, for the love that only grandparents can give.

I thank You father for my friend Jeremy who through his example and conversation rekindled a fire that I had for so long neglected to fuel. Thank You for his encouragement, for his ear that You spoke to, for his tongue that You used. Bless him and his family, use him for Your purpose, and reward his dedication. Thank You Father for this man I truly call a friend, a man that You purposely placed in my path.

Father my list is forever long, an eternity I plan to spend thanking You for the blessings in which You have so freely poured from Your hand. I can't help but thank You for every person that You have used to show me love, how to live, and as an example of how to grow within Your Spirit. All of these people you know, I pray that You would send out a blessing to them from me, as a thank-you from a gracious friend.

Father You have provided all of my needs, everything You have taken care of. You have prepared a way even before my need has become apparent to me. You have given me a comfortable home, bills are paid, food is plenty, reliable car, loved ones, peace within our home, friends, a church that loves You and us, nice clothes, furniture, health, and a perfect job. Father I cannot possibly acknowledge every blessing You have bestowed upon my imperfect soul. All I can inadequately attempt is a general thank You for such bountiful gifts and blessings.

I am truly thankful for everything, whatever I have not to be thankful for is a grain of sand compared to the beach of things in which I give thanks. I am reminded that as I write this thank you letter, I am free to write it because of the freedom my fore fathers acquired. This nation in which I live, a nation that I can only continue to pray for, but none the less be grateful that as I look back in our history, from day one Your hand was there. Thank You Father for this nation, please forgive her I pray.

I must save the greatest gift for last. This gift is the greatest gift anyone can receive. It is the blood of Jesus, the salvation of all who will accept. The victory found only in the redeeming embrace found only between nail scared hands. Your selfless sacrifice, one never before or after can such a sacrifice be topped. This is the gift that no other compares, all of my blessings combined cease to exist if not for this single gift of salvation. This is the gift that I proclaim as the greatest reason to be thankful, not just today, but every day of our lives. Thank You Jesus for taking my place, our place, every soul known and unknown, and dying in our stead. For You I am truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

God Bless, daniel