Not being a history buff, all I know about the establishment of Thanksgiving is what I was taught in school, which was that the Pilgrims – those who had undertaken the long pilgrimage to the new world to find freedom of religion and get out from under the thumb of an oppressive European Monarchy and its attendant assortment of Lords, Earls, Dukes, and aristocracy – got together to give thanks to God for providing for them in the new world.
I know that the official holiday of Thanksgiving was set by President Roosevelt in 1941 to be the fourth Thursday in November and has remained that way ever since.
Our peripheral view of Thanksgiving has, unfortunately, been reduced to displays of fall colors, turkeys, stuffing, football and an excuse to begin the Christmas shopping season.
As in so many things the true meaning of Thanksgiving, a day set aside to give thanks for all things, has been shoved to the side by the secular circus of sales, specials and the vision of tables loaded with enough food to feed a small village.
My family and myself have an awful lot to be thankful for. There will be a prayer of thanks at our house, with all family and dinner guests holding hands and ending in The Lord’s Prayer and hopefully giving all in attendance pause to stop and think about their own blessings.
I have so many things to be thankful for that if they were committed to writing they could well paper the south wall of the Grand Canyon.
Did you ever stop to think that every beat of your heart, every breath you take, every step, the ability to see, speak, hear, comprehend, communicate, think, the motor skills you take for granted, reason, make decisions, to love, and the conscience that guides you are all blessings from our Creator?
In my case, God has given me a wonderful woman to spend my life with, and after 53 years of marriage I can honestly say that I love her even more than I did on that Sunday morning in 1964 when we were married.
My son has been a constant source of joy to me, and God has brought two grandchildren into our lives.
God has healed me from cancer, stroke, some heart problems and various broken bones that could have put an end to my career. Had He not intervened in a couple of accidents, they could have been devastating.
He has protected me through millions of miles of travel, traversing icy roads and moving around war zones while entertaining our troops.
He has let me live in a free nation, where, despite all our problems, we still have the rule of law and the constitutionally protected freedom to pursue our dreams just as far as our individual talent and tenacity will allow us.
He has given me so many desires of my heart and let me follow my dreams and do exactly what I want to do for a living for sixty years.
He has surrounded me with an extended family of employees who all pull their weight and can be depended on to get the job done.
He constantly provides me with new opportunities, fresh ideas, different projects to pursue.
Yes, God has been so good to me.
But far and away the most valuable and precious thing He ever did for me, for you and for all mankind is to send His Son, Jesus, to – by the shedding of His spotless blood – establish a New Covenant that offers eternal salvation to all who will believe and accept it.
I have lived 81 years, and don’t ever let anybody tell you that productive life should stop at 65 or some other arbitrary retirement age.
Every day is a miracle; every day is a wonder; every day is an opportunity; and every day is a blessing.
From all us folks at the CDB, Twin Pines Ranch and our immediate and extended family, we wish you a blessed, safe and joyous Thanksgiving.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.