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True Thanksgiving

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A Holiday Message From Our President

Thanksgiving in the United States originated as a harvest festival. In October 1621, the pilgrims celebrated the first harvest in the New World — an event that we Americans commonly refer to as “The First Thanksgiving." It lasted three days, and, according to Edward Winslow — one of the  attendees — 90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims were there. 

Albert_S_2_Web.jpgFollowing that first harvest festival, the concept of Thanksgiving as we know it today took some time to catch on. It was celebrated throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, although not as a federal holiday.

Then in 1863, during a bloody war that was crippling America, President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday. At the height of the Civil War, Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

To declare Thanksgiving a federal holiday when our country was in the middle of one of its darkest periods is interesting, isn’t it? I am guessing that Lincoln knew the New Testament command to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and the Psalms passage, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”
First_Thanksgiving.pngBut Lincoln’s actions aren’t so far-fetched. Remember that Jesus demonstrated a thankful attitude when he celebrated The Last Supper on the evening before his crucifixion and death. According to Scripture, “He took the bread, and gave thanks, and broke it and gave it to His disciples.”

May we all take heart from these examples and always be thankful. Whatever we’re facing, regardless of our circumstances, we always have cause to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. While we do not delight or find joy in pain, we can still give thanks in the midst of it.

We at Home Instead are so thankful for the opportunity to teach others about Love (v). Being able to serve and care for others is truly purposeful work. My wish for you is a Thanksgiving of contentment and reflection on the blessings you have, and an inner joy that comes from this.

Love (v),
Albert Selker
President, Home Instead Cedarburg


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