PDT Staff Writer
There is one thing I have learned over the years - great people, successful people - seem to know they are not alone, and that providence plays a major role in whatever they do. For centuries, presidents took the time to thank God publicly for his role in our nation’s successes, whether it was deliverance from an economic downturn or war.
Here is an excerpt from one of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, on Thanksgiving.
“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they (soldiers) should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”
I, for one, am humbled by the fact that Lincoln knew where our blessings came from, and who to turn to when things became overwhelming. I have so many things to be thankful for during this season. God allowed me to start over several years ago with a clean slate. I want to acknowledge his mercy and grace because, I know first-hand that God is able to take someone with more imperfections than most and turn them around. He did that for me, so for that I am eternally grateful.
I am thankful for a wife, who has stuck with me through thick and thin (mostly thin) for 46 years. To this day I would rather spend the day with her than anyone else on Earth. I am thankful for two wonderfully intelligent sons who have inherited from their mother and me a work ethic that means they get up every day and go to work, never looking for the shortcuts in life, instead, understanding that things are much more appreciated when they are worked for. They both have worked since they left college many years ago. I am thankful for two bright and academic grandchildren who are teenagers now. How time flies when you’re having fun.
While I haven’t acknowledged it enough, I need to make sure I let people know that I am thankful that Rick Greene, former managing editor of the Daily Times, saw something in an old guy who had just spent 40 years in the broadcast industry and took a chance on me. Now I work for a great company that gives me the opportunity to be creative, insightful, and downright aggressive to get the story. I work with great writers who have a passion for truth - Wayne Allen, Ryan Ottney and Portia Williams. They are, to borrow a phrase from a news source that shall remain anonymous, “fair and balanced.”
I am supervised by probably the most honest and hard-working person I have met in this industry. Bob Strickley is a consummate professional and keeps our feet to the fire. He’s blue-collar and will go into the trenches with you. You can’t ask for anything more than that.
I don’t want to fail to mention friends. I have a lot of them. Chief among them are Richie and Lynda Purdy. Great friends are a great asset. Close friends are even greater. I am truly thankful for them.
Now, the most important thing I have to be thankful for - my church. I teach this wonderful class every week at New Life Family Worship Center. God has blessed me with the ability to study the bible and to bring what he has taught me to a group of people who have a hunger for the Word of God. They keep me on my toes, and I am proud to serve alongside the man I consider the finest pastor I have ever known, Mike Gifford. I am honored to be his associate. In a day in which it is easy to become cynical by watching big national evangelists who take and take and take some more, I have the privilege of serving with a man who takes literally nothing. Instead he gives and gives and gives.
So I am blessed beyond measure, and I am thankful that I live in a community that is trying to pick itself up by its boot straps, in a nation that, though it is ever evolving, still believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and to serve a God of love and grace. I am truly thankful this Thanksgiving season.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.