Joey Adams told a joke that goes like this: Did you ever hear about the ungrateful lady at the beach who had a little child with her? She was too close to the water, and a big wave came in. By the time the water went back into the sea, she realized her son was missing.
She looked all around for her little boy and cried out: “Melvin … Melvin … where are you, Melvin?” She realized he had been swept out to sea. So she prayed, “Oh, dear and merciful Father, please … please … take pity on me and return my beautiful child. I will promise eternal gratitude to you. I’ll never cheat on my income tax again. I’ll be kind to my mother-in-law. I’ll give up smoking. Anything … anything … only please grant me this one favor and return my son.”
Just then the next wave washed in, and there he was, safe and sound. The lady then looks up to God and says, “But he had a hat!”
Ingratitude runs deep in the human heart. Dostoyevsky once called man “the ungrateful biped”. . .
I think in many ways our nation is rife with ingratitude. We have been blessed in innumerable ways, yet through it all, we have forgotten the source of that blessing.
America’s history was summed up well in 1702 by the great Puritan minister Cotton Mather. He said, “Religion begat prosperity, and the daughter hath consumed the mother.” America became prosperous because of our Christian roots. But in our prosperity, we have forgotten God. As Pastor Paul Jehle of Plymouth, Massachusetts, says, “We like the fruit, but not the root” . . .
I hope for more Americans that this Thanksgiving may be a meaningful time of genuine thanks to the Lord. To paraphrase a great Puritan prayer: “God, you’ve given me so many things. Give me one more thing–-a grateful heart.”
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A Lesson in Thankfulness
By Stephanie Joy.
Have you ever noticed that you don’t really truly appreciate something until it’s no longer there? For example, you never start thanking the Lord so much for your health, as when you begin to feel sick. Or how about the fact that a true appreciation for things such as electricity, running water, or heat in your house never come so much into play as when the power goes out or when the gas or water isn’t working.
We experienced just such a thing in our house a few days ago. We were out visiting some ministry friends of ours and we came home in the evening to a freezing house. I thought we had left a window open while being gone, but that was not the case. Somehow our gas tank, which is supposed to be monitored and filled automatically by the gas company, completely slipped through the cracks and we had no gas in our tank. Keep in mind this was on a night when it was literally 1° outside and it was evening time, so it was passed normal business hours.
On top of being gone and needing to unpack, do laundry, and get situated, I had to call the gas company for them to make an “emergency visit” to our home. Our oldest son bundled up all the children in layers of clothing and snuggled them up in our bed to keep warm while Bradlee and I got things situated with the gasman. So, I did what needed to be done still wearing my winter jacket from the car ride while Bradlee worked with the gasman to get our heat back on. Needless to say, we were thankful for our heat once we got it back!
Can you imagine getting up out of your bed tomorrow morning and going downstairs to find your furniture gone? You then proceed to the kitchen to make some breakfast and find that your cupboards are emptied of their food. You then decide to go to your bathroom so you can take a nice warm shower and forget about all that has happened to you and find that the water is not working.
Isn’t it amazing how many things we take for granted without even realizing it? Think about it, you do not have to wake up every morning and go outside to hunt to try to find some food or berries to eat. You can simply go to the grocery store and buy some. Now, your pockets may not be filled with money, but at least you have food on the table to eat while there are millions across the world who are starving. Or how about this? Do you have to fear for your life because you attend a Christian church, own a Bible, or are a true follower of Jesus Christ as other people do in other countries such as Iraq and China?
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John Adams on Thanksgiving: Ask God to Make Our Schools ‘Nurseries of Sound Science, Morals and Religion’
By CNSNews.com Staff.
On March 6, 1799, President John Adams issued a proclamation “Recommending a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer”–for “thanksgiving to the Author of All Good…”
Americans, Adams said, should ask God to “smile on our colleges, academies, schools, and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of sound science, morals, and religion…”
As no truth is more clearly taught in the Volume of Inspiration, nor any more fully demonstrated by the experience of all ages, than that a deep sense and a due acknowledgment of the governing providence of a Supreme Being and of the accountableness of men to Him as the searcher of hearts and righteous distributer of rewards and punishments are conducive equally to the happiness and rectitude of individuals and to the well-being of communities; as it is also most reasonable in itself that men who are made capable of social acts and relations, who owe their improvements to the social state, and who derive their enjoyments from it, should, as a society, make their acknowledgments of dependence and obligation to Him who hath endowed them with these capacities and elevated them in the scale of existence by these distinctions; as it is likewise a plain dictate of duty and a strong sentiment of nature that in circumstances of great urgency and seasons of imminent danger earnest and particular supplications should be made to Him who is able to defend or to destroy; as, moreover, the most precious interests of the people of the United States are still held in jeopardy by the hostile designs and insidious acts of a foreign nation, as well as by the dissemination among them of those principles, subversive of the foundations of all religious, moral, and social obligations, that have produced incalculable mischief and misery in other countries; and as, in fine, the observance of special seasons for public religious solemnities is happily calculated to avert the evils which we ought to deprecate and to excite to the performance of the duties which we ought to discharge by calling and fixing the attention of the people at large to the momentous truths already recited, by affording opportunity to teach and inculcate them by animating devotion and giving to it the character of a national act…
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