Monday, December 8, 2008

The meaning of Thanksgiving?

According to Webster’s Online Dictionary the meaning of Thanksgiving is: giving thanks, returning thanks; grace, praise, glorification, benediction, doxology, hosanna; hallelujah.1. Fourth Thursday in November in the United States; second Monday in October in Canada; commemorates a feast held in 1621 by the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians.2. A short prayer of thanks before a meal.

The History of Thanksgiving
Old Testament
And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will (Leviticus 22:29).Thanksgiving can be traced back to ancient times. In Exodus 15 where Moses sings thanksgiving to God after God took him and the Israelites through the red sea. The Bible, especially the Psalms is loaded with verses of thanksgiving to God. Psalm 100, 50:14, 69:30, 95:2 136, Num. 6:22-27, 2 Chronicles. 7:5-6, 1 Kings 8:62-64, 1 Chronicles. 29:14, Lev. 7:11-15 .

New Testament
For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:15).Heb. 13:15, John 1:14, John 1:29.
We did not celebrate Thanksgiving in Jamaica, so when I came to the United States and heard that the celebration of Thanksgiving is a tradition in the United States; I wanted to know more about its origin. So I did some research and found out that it was first celebrated in 1621. This holiday started with a meal held in by the Wampanoag Indians and the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Pilgrims came from England on the Mayflower and in the cold winter the Native Americans helped them to plant crops. They harvested the crops and decided that a huge celebration of thanksgiving was in order.
Webster Online Dictionary gives the following report of the History of Thanksgiving: “Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with a feast shared amongst family and friends. In the United States, it is an important family holiday, and people often travel across the country to be with family members for the holiday. The Thanksgiving holiday is generally a "four-day" weekend in the United States, in which Americans are giving the relevant Thursday and Friday off.

Thanksgiving is closely related to harvest festivals that had long been a traditional holiday in much of Europe. The first time one of these festivals was celebrated in North American was by the Frobisher Expedition in 1578. Another event claiming to be the first Thanksgiving occurred on December 4, 1619 when 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish in England disembarked in Virginia and gave thanks to God.

Most people recognize the first Thanksgiving as taking place in December 1621, when the Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate the bountiful harvest they reaped following their first winter in North America.
Two American colonists have personal accounts of the 1621 Thanksgiving in Massachusetts:George Washington, leader of the revolutionary forces in the American Revolutionary War, proclaimed a Thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British at Saratoga. The Continental Congress proclaimed annual December Thanksgivings from 1777 to 1783, except in 1782.It was President Abraham Lincoln that set the holiday as a regular yearly event for the final Thursday of November in 1863.”

Let every day be a day of thanksgiving, when you give thanks to the Lord. Give Him thanks in the morning when you are waking up, throughout the day and at night when you are going to bed. Pray always in thanksgiving.Pauline LewinsonGo to , to read Part 2, a continuation of this article.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008


I went to church today and my Pastor, Ben Barfield taught about life's toughest questions. He focused on prayer. Prayer is one of my all time favorite topics. I pray every day throughout the day, looking for opportunities to pray. Last week I spent time examining my prayer life and decided that I need to listen more.

So I am leaving room to hear from God in every prayer moment. But how can I pray without ceasing and listen to God at the same time? By considering the listening a part of the prayer. That is how important it is to listen. I call the listening part of my prayer meditation. This allows me to focus in on what God is saying to me.

I find it especially important to do this in the mornings when I first wake up and at nights before I go to sleep. This helps me to have more clarity.

Pauline Lewinson