The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 23, 2013

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven

Patsy Sorrels, columnist
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — “I invite my fellow citizens ... in every part of the United States and also those who are at sea and those in foreign lands to set apart and observe ... Thursday ... as the day of thanksgiving and prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

Abraham Lincoln

Oct. 3, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln also said in his proclamation:

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown.

“But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, April 30, 1863.


I am so very humbled by the truth of this proclamation, so very thankful to be a recipient of the choicest bounties of heaven. Please, Lord, let me never forget the gracious hand which preserves me and keeps me in times of trouble, strengthens me in times of weakness, enriches me and provides for me and my house in times of lack. Please, Lord, let me never become too proud to pray to the God who made me, rather let me humble myself, confess my sins and pray for forgiveness.

When I think about all my choicest bounties of heaven, I think about my children and grandchildren and just how close I came … were it not for the grace of God. I think about my life and how I almost … but for His goodness and His mercy. When I think about what could have and should have been ... I think about Psalm 103 and I gratefully bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all, not even one, of His benefits.

Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “The best things are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you.”

I leave you with this short recipe for Thanksgiving:

“Dig a hole in your garden of thoughts. Into it put all your disillusions, disappointments, regrets, worries, troubles, doubts and fears and — forget.

“Cover well with the earth of fruitfulness, water it from the well of contentment.

“Sow on top again the seeds of hope, courage, strength, patience and love.

“Then, when  the time of gathering comes, may your harvest be a rich and plentiful one.”

~ Anonymous author

“Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing — a grateful heart!” ~ George Herbert.

Happy Thanksgiving my wonderful friends and may God bless you with His best.

Keep the faith and worship somewhere today.

Sorrels is News & Eagle editorial assistant and can be reached at or at (580) 548-8140.