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One President Forgot Thanksgiving

by Stephen Davey

You may not recognize the name Sarah Hale, but you know her work. Sarah was born in 1788. She was, among other talents, a poet. Her most famous poem begins with the phrase “Mary had a little Lamb . . .” Her poem became so universally known that Thomas Edison used that opening line when he delivered the first speech ever recorded on his newly invented phonograph.

Sarah became the editor of at least two different magazines for women. She used her influence to argue for the end of slavery. And she also appealed to several United States presidents to set aside one day each year as a National Day of Thanksgiving to God.

After decades of persistence, Abraham Lincoln was the president who finally agreed with her request.

Lincoln was the least likely candidate to launch a National Day of Thanksgiving. It was a time in American history when few people were interested in thanking God for anything. The Civil War had been raging for several years.

But Lincoln proclaimed it so, and the first observance was in 1863, right in the middle of the Civil War, and only a few short months after the deadly Battle of Gettysburg.

President Lincoln’s proclamation included these words:

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States . . . to observe a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up [statements of praise] due to Him for . . . blessings . . . they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience.”

In other words, Abraham Lincoln wanted Thanksgiving Day to become nothing less than a day of national confession and revival.

Since that time, every president has proclaimed Thanksgiving a national observance on the final Thursday of November. Well, almost.

I find it humorous that one year, Thanksgiving was celebrated in December because President Andrew Johnson forgot to make the annual declaration!

The truth is that we sometimes tend to resemble Andrew Johnson. For some, Thanksgiving is just a speed bump on the way to Christmas. To others, Thanksgiving is a day to eat and shop and watch football. It’s easy to forget to be thankful.

This year, don’t forget thankfulness in your celebration of Thanksgiving. Take time to pause and heed the advice of Abraham Lincoln. “. . . Observe a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

What do you have to be thankful for? Leave a comment below and share your testimony of thankfulness.

Happy Thanksgiving

Add a Comment


Greg Hartline says:
I am thankful to God for everything He gives us as 1st Thessalonians 5 -18 says “in all things give thanks for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus most of all for Calvary and the Cross of Jesus Christ
Robbie says:
I’m thankful for knowing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ! I’m thankful for experiencing Him in every aspect of my life and continuing to learn of His plan for life! Especially for this ministry which continues to teach me of His Will for us in the Bible so faithfully and effectively ❤️
Wanda Jones says:
I am thankful for my salvation. I was saved May 29th of this year. i am 76 years old. I went to church from an infant. I know all the facts but it was not in my heart. People at church thought I was saved. I know I was not. I can see a difference in my life at home even though I live alone. This is the first Thanksgiving that it means a lost to me. I am greatful for Wisdon of the Heart and Wisdon Journey. Happy Thankisgiving to all. Praise the Lord.
Cynthia Hicks says:
We need another Sarah Hale!! It is interesting what we remember to be important! As A day of thanksgiving and praise to our Heavenly Father should be a priority during that time and even more so now! I thank God for all He has walked me through in this life and most of the time carried me!!I could never thank or praise him enough! One day we will see each other eye to eye and I know I will be so overwhelmed to finally see my faith realized! Amen!
Annelle Saunders Cruz says:
I am so thankful that God loves me and has sent HIS Only Begotten Son to save my soul. I am also thankful for my family and for the many Brothers and Sisters that I have in the Family of God. Besides that I am thanking and praising the Lord that HE has marvelously worked healing in my life. Four weeks ago I had back surgery and it was very successful and I know that it is through "Jehovah Raphi, I am the Lord that healeth thee." that this has happened. I also believe that Thanksgiving Day is a day that Christians should celebrate every day of the year, we have so much to be thankful for. God bless "Wisdom for the Heart" ministry now and in the coming year, Lord willing.
MrKporta says:
Thankful for you all and the clear presentation of the Word!
Donna Kinsey says:
I am so thankful that the Lord helps me each day to do all things which I no longer can do for my self. His strength each day blesses me. He has been so faithful in all things. He has provided for every need. I know I can come before His throne of Grace at any time for any reason. I am also so thankful the Lord brought your ministry to me. I have been encouraged so many times Having the email each day lets me save them on my computer to hear and read the transcript any time. Thank you and God Bless you. Donna
Dave Keesee says:
As I reflect on my life I am thankful of Godly parents that took me to church every Sunday where I received the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 12. I'm thankful of all the Godly people that God put in my life to help me along the way in my 80 years life. That includes you Pastor Stephen.
Tina Pittman says:
I'm thankful that I'm going on 52 December 19, and most of all I'm thankful for The love of God first that he sent his son down to die for me and my family that I have the blood applied over my life I am saved.Also thankful God answered my prayers everyday not like I thought but he saved my son in more ways than one.See, on August 9, 2021 my son Ethan Nathaniel Pittman died accidentally in a accidental target practice.He was born January 27, 2001.God says your death day is more important than your birthday.God has protected me and delivered my mind ,body and soul from alot evil.God is my father as he is Ethans, I always insisted he really had a heavenly father that loves him way more, as he was denied from his father here.This Thanksgiving is more raw and harder so I appreciate your prayers Ethan is my heart and my Daughter Ashley that's on drugs please keep my health my husband lifted as satans mad he didnt get Ethan, so Praise Praise God My Jehovah God, Nothing is impossible for my ABBA father..
Thomas Layfield says:
I am thankful for Radio and being able to get your broadcast ever morning to begin my day. And your podcast every weekday.
Patricia Bostic says:
I am so thankful for men (and women) of faith. I listen to Pastor Davey almost every morning. I have been strengthened, encouraged, and heightened in my faith because of his obedience and love to bring God's Word to his radio audience. Many thanks.
Faith Hagl says:
I am thankful to be alive! God has me here for a reason! I live despite the physical trials God has brought me through. Type 1 diabetes, organ transplants, amputations, nearly dying on (3) different occasions, severe vascular disease, etc. The only reason I am alive today is due to God's mercy, grace, love & divine plan. One day when I am see Him face to face I will know and understand why He has allowed me to continue living here on this earth. I owe Him EVERYTHING and Thanksgiving is another day to give Him thanks for all His blessings!
Irene Evans says:
I’m thankful every day of the year for the Love and Grace of God for my three sons my husband my two grandsons and my family. I am also thankful for the ministry of wisdom for the heart and I don’t miss one day of fellowship with you.
Kwame Amissah Cudjoe says:
I am thankful for the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour. I am thankful that my Dad's cancer has receded and he's now able to walk after he was made immobile by the disease after we prayed for him. I am thankful to God that there has been no death in my family this year. I refuse to take this for granted. Thank you Lord Jesus!!
Rita Helton says:
I am so very thankful to be a child of God. To know how much he loves us and so freely wants to give it to everyone. I am blessed.
Deanna says:
I am thankful for a Sovereign Lord, whose timing is perfect. I am thankful that after 12 1/2 years my mother is finally about to close my grandfather's estate. The property final sold. It will bring her closer. God is good all the time. All the time God is good.
Stanley says:
I’m thankful to God for his grace over my life
James Kraker says:
I am thankful for the manifest presence of the Almighty God. For what good is anything without Him. May He always go before us.
Nancy Ocken says:
I am so thankful I have been given the gift of salvation and that the Lord patiently reminds me when I am thinking I had anything to do with it! I chuckle sometimes at my own pride and humbly thank God for reminding me I can do nothing except through Him. Thank you, Lord!!
Amanda Johnson says:
I’m thankful for Jesus’s sacrifice, through which I have eternal life! I’m also thankful for the Shepherd’s Church, my parents, family and dear husband.
Chris says:
I'm thankful for a God that, even now, performs miracles on our behalf as spectacular as the parting of the Red Sea, and simultaneously saddened that too often we blind ourselves to His hand so active in our lives, marginalizing and miss-crediting His work on our behalf as the work of our own hands or the random or coincidental work of the imaginary universe, as if without His grace and His steadfast love we could take another breath...Praise His name
Teri says:
I’m thankful that God kept me safe until at age 20 I accepted Jesus as my savior ! Jan 2023 will be 50 years saved! To Tina: prayed for you & husband & daughter & the fact that Satan didn’t get Ethan !! The journey is ongoing, home going very near! Look for the blessed Shout & trumpet! 🙏
Michele Friel says:
I’m especially thankful that our Lord cams from glory to put on human flesh in a womb and was willing to be subject to those parents He created knowing He was born to die upon Calvary. As I watched our beloved English Matiff take her last breaths during her final days recently, it made me think ablout all that my Saviour went through for my sins to be paid and in exchange I received The Homy Dpirit, a white robe of righteousness and everlasting life in Heaven as well as becoming His child. Now I have brothers and sisters worldwide. Alleluia! I’m so thankful for your ministry , brother Davey. My husband and I listen to your teachings most every evening. God bless you and thank you. I’m very thankful for freedom to have and read my Bible and go to church. Also to give out tracts. I’m thankful for my husband and his salvation as well and for our two daughters and their husbands who are pastors. I’m thankful for the ability to see and hear both physically and spiritually. I have a praise book that gets me in the thankful mood that I like to write in. I’m thankful that I could walk and use my arms and hands. I’m thankful for Gods daily provisions. God bless you and your family and ministry brother. 😃🙏🏼
Bonnie Peden says:
I am deeply thankful to my Lord and Savior for my salvation, which he accomplished with terrible humiliation, suffering and death on my behalf. I am very thankful for our family and for my husband. God has been so gracious and has blessed us beyond measure.
Veronica says:
I am thankful to my Holy Father for sending my savior to save me ,,, as bad as I was , a drinking, fornicating, weed smoking heathen ,,,,saved by grace. I’m thankful for every beat of my heart and every breath he allow me to take till I see him one glorious day . Praise His Holy Name
Mel says:
How thankful I am to know by faith that God is moving by His Spirit in the USA and in the World to bring people to Him! I am His child! I see! Thank You Jesus . . . Thank You that more people will see also,
PJ says:
For the very breath I take; God's sustaining my body's functions--that I am able to move and think, see and hear, smell and feel. For the sunshine on my face, the rain on the field, the gloriously painted sky every day. To participate and live with others and to love them. My God continues to extend His grace to me more than I deserve or can count. For His willing Son who died for me. Praise be to Him who covers me. Thank you, Jesus!
Andrew Whatley says:
Thank you for reminding us to not only be Thankful but as Abraham Lincoln said to be a time of confession and a time of revival that we all desperately need
Harvey Parrish says:
I am very thankful that my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. My prayer is that people will wake up before it is to late. The Bible tells us that hell has enlarged it self.
Laverne Strother says:
It’s almost hard for me to tell of the unspeakable grace, and mercy God have blessed me with through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My spirit is overflowing with joy, and peace, I’m so grateful! Thanksgiving for me is being Thankful for how Jesus have guided, instructed, reviled, and corrected my life “ Greater is he that’s in me, then he that’s in this world ”. All Glory be to Jesus!!. I’m thankful this day also that Jesus love is alway shines through all of BBN’s programs, I am one particulars listener….Smile…and the Holy Spirit in me always touch in agreement with your teaching. Simultaneously at times imagine how joyful that is…smile ….Thankful in Jesus, always L Strother
Lillie Hinnant says:
I am thankful for another year of the Grace of Jesus; the love and mercy of God the Father, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit and Christian friends, and especially thankful for the 72 family members who came to the family farm Thanksgiving day for dinner, lots of fun and laughter. Also thankful for BBN Daly ministries, Gospel songs, music and honest news.