breaking news

Atlanta schools to remain closed Thursday

Opinion: We all have reasons to be thankful

Some surviving family writings from the 1800’s provide perspective on being thankful for a wide variety of things. Thus we may be thankful:

For natural beauty — Cumberland Gap, 1895

Since the train tunnel through the mountain had collapsed, Mary Hosbrook found herself taking a treacherous wagon ride over the mountain at sunrise. “On the summit we were in three states — Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and I was in a fourth, a state of bliss. As far as the eye could see rose one mountain after another, a smoky blue haze hovering around the tops. Beautiful flowers grew out of the sandstone road.”

For God and Country — India, 1898

As a missionary in remote India, my ancestral cousin had a fresh perspective and appreciation for America. “Righteousness has exalted our nation. The American people have free speech, a free press, free schools, freedom of conscience, separation of church and state, and the most valuable institutions man can have — all bought at great sacrifice.”

For parental guidance — Indianapolis, 1865

Percy Hosbrook was raised on a farm and wrote a touching letter to his father on his 80th birthday. “Respected father, looking over the list of your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, I believe there is not a drunkard, swearer, vagabond, or beggar among them, and I pledge that none of my children ever shall be. I have the spelling book you gave me 47 years ago and also the Whitney compass that you surveyed with half a century ago, and I sometimes use it yet.” Percy’s father had been a county surveyor and state legislator in Ohio as son Percy was in Indiana.

For family help when death comes — Indianapolis, 1870

Percy’s uncle Hervey Bates was one of the founders of Indianapolis. Hervey’s older brother had been raised with Percy’s father, Dan Hosbrook, and the two bonded — until Moses Bates died at age 21 and was buried on the farm. When Dan died 56 years later, one of Dan’s other sons, Mahlon, proposed to bury the two together in a new cemetery. Hervey was touched by his nephew’s kindness.

“Dear Mahlon, Grateful am I to you, very grateful, that you have undertaken to gather up the dust of my deceased brother and lay it in your lot in the new cemetery. There existed between your father and my brother in their early years an affectionate regard, a warm friendship, passing common. It is therefore fitting they should thus sleep side by side.”

For God’s blessings even when adversity strikes—1844

Nancy and Cyrus Mills received two letters from their son-in-law in the summer of 1844. The first told them of the death of their daughter; the second of the death of their granddaughter, age 2.

Each grandparent wrote a letter in reply. Nancy was so heartbroken by the tragic news that she could barely write. “I write a few words and then stop and give way to my feelings.” Likewise, Cyrus said that the deaths of their daughter and granddaughter were “the most trying circumstances I have ever met with.” Yet he still managed to soften his searing pain with an appreciation for his blessings.

“The all-wise Giver of every good thing bestows on his unworthy subjects the necessities and comforts of life — and yet how little do we appreciate the unbounded love and mercies, both spiritual and temporal, that He is constantly bestowing upon us. I feel at times that I should blush at my ingratitude, especially when I am disposed to complain at my lot and consider it a hard one.”

This has been a trying year for our bitterly divided nation — mass murders, new lows in civic discourse, and allegations of misconduct. And rather than seeing ourselves as unworthy subjects, an air of entitlement abounds. Pray that we may see through the negatives to unbounded blessings that should make us blush at our ingratitude. May we give a humble “thank you” this Thanksgiving holiday.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

The left just wants a DACA deal done and finished
The left just wants a DACA deal done and finished

The fate of thousands of Dreamers should not depend on the political whims of the members of Congress and the president. From the Orlando Sentinel: Both parties need to step up their game on DACA and avert a government shutdown. From Message to party leaders – both Democrats and Republicans will be blamed if there is no DACA deal...
The right is ready for DACA as long as there is a strong border behind it
The right is ready for DACA as long as there is a strong border behind it

Is diversity really what we want in the United States? Plus, a look at DACA from a Dreamer’s perspective and from the governor of Florida. From The Citizen Times: A DACA recipient argues his case for a deal to keep Dreamers in the U.S. From Florida Gov. Rick Scott: How can someone be against securing our borders in this day and age? From the...
Opinion: Trump, meet a hero whom you maligned

In 1885, a poor, uneducated 16-year-old boy arrived in our country from Germany at a time when immigrants were often looked down on by affluent Americans. This boy was ambitious and entrepreneurial, and, despite language problems, he earned some money and then traveled up to the Klondike during the gold rush to operate a hotel that became notorious...
Opinion: Republicans must lead in upcoming abortion debate

This year, as every year, I will be joining the hundreds of thousands who will be arriving in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life, noting the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion on demand in our country. The event has taken place every year since 1973 and will continue to take place every year until this disastrous...
Opinion: We have a racist in the White House

For U.S. Sen. David Perdue, memory works in a very odd way. Or so he claims. Last Friday, Perdue and a colleague, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, told the world that they “do not recall” racist comments made a day earlier by President Trump in an immigration meeting. That lack of recollection seemed astonishing. In that meeting, Trump...
More Stories