Daily Devotions

Thanksgiving to Almighty God

This Thanksgiving holiday is a special time to praise God our Father. We worship Him, remembering our nation’s Christian heritage expressed in President Abraham Lincoln’s decree that established this day for Americans to gratefully remember the Lord’s mercy, kindness and His great love for our nation.

Today we also consider family members faced with especially difficult times. We are people of faith – we know to believe God and trust His Word for them. As we gratefully praise and thank God this Thanksgiving Day, we join our hearts with family members, friends and fellow Christians whose day will be difficult. For them, today is another in a very, very long and grave challenge.

In their honor we declare this day to be a day “before the Lord” – one of high praises while asking Almighty God to make it the “day of salvation” for them. We give thanks to you, Lord and consider your love for us our greatest national treasure. We join every voice to shout your praise and send portions of prayer to all those expecting a Thanksgiving Day miracle.

Thank God.

Amen – so be it.

Psalm 100, Psalm 150, Psalm 27, Psalm 33:12, Psalm 144:15  Psalm 146:5, Verses@Once

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler. This document is the 1863 proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln setting apart the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise” for citizens of the United States of America.

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they 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, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State


Disciplined behavior is a built-in safeguard to keep the path ahead aligned with God’s purposes . What would we do without discipline’s training for life and what would we do without teachers who mentor and train us according to discipline?

We also see the snare that comes with refusing discipline. For those who despise oversight and corrective input from others, a path is carved by flesh-desire . . . avoiding authority, manipulative, resistant to godly principle, presumptuous and self-destructive, self-willed, pretending to be wise, and emboldened to thwart the Lord’s plan.

Undisciplined flesh speaks loudly. Undisciplined areas reveal the true story, usually a distortion of the one believed by undisciplined flesh and usually precursor to its downfall. Pride comes before a fall.

As Christians we are doubly blessed—trained biblically by mentors and led by the Holy Spirit, a distinctive unique to Christianity. In Bible examples, those who modeled God’s leadership praised such training. Today also, we recognize the worth and are grateful to the Lord for mentors who train us to recognize discipline, and for the Spirit’s leading to mature us spiritually.


2 Peter 2:10 | 2 Corinthians 3:2 | Verses@Once

An Increase of His Government

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Is 9:6-7)

Believers do business with full conviction of divine authority as agents of His promise to increase. As His people we are to occupy, understanding what the will of the Lord is; we are governors and tutors who advance the Kingdom with prayer and righteous living. As blessing carriers, we are His government on Earth—demonstrators of the promised increase, divine government for the blessing and benefit of the whole world.

Father, we pray for Your government to fully occupy everything that concerns us—to go ahead of us and open the way of increase and peace. We see Your government established in places of influence, granting promotion where You choose! Lord, send Your government ahead of us, as a forerunner for us: Crooked paths, be straight: rough places, be smooth! Hallelujah!


Isaiah 9:6-7Luke 19:13Psalm 115:16Isaiah 40:4, Verses @ Once

Lost Things Recovered

When you pray for recovery of anything lost or misplaced always believe for complete recovery. Believe for total restoration spiritually and emotionally of anything precious that’s been snatched away. Believe the Lord’s hand is stretched out to save. Believe Him to restore anything lost from your life.

Think of it this way. For the believer anything lost is already found. That’s the key. The Lord knows the exact location of anything that’s lost. If it’s something really precious, like a relationship due to misunderstanding or devilish intrusion, or something material like a home disaster or financial failure, the principle of recovery still holds.

The Lord is there! He is LORD of everything that concerns you and anything lost or stolen is already in recovery mode. It begins instantly, literally as soon as you ask for the Lord’s help. In the case of something that’s literally destroyed, the possibility is great your situation may end better than it was before. If you will stay in faith.

And, if you can believe it—don’t miss this part—the Lord is moving now to restore and recover, sooner rather than later, so it’s important for you to open your heart to believe, and by faith, work with the Lord in prayer to see the desired outcome.

Ask Him to restore. Declare restoration.

“The Lord shall come and behold, His reward is with Him!” Isaiah 40:10, Isaiah 62:11

Amen – so be it!

Kingdom Demonstrations

As you pray today expect an unusual turn-around in your family and nation. Declare God’s Kingdom and His will in specific demonstrations of His love. Take your stand on the Lord’s side. You are highly favored in unlikely settings and among unlikely people. You have divine ability for strategic, important, and world-changing opportunities. Expect miraculous outcomes in answer to prayer—one after another, like dominoes.

Pray for the Kingdom of God to come and His will to be done. The mission side of that prayer is we are responsible to advance the Kingdom of God daily. Our mission sends us to unlikely places, among unlikely people. For one thing, a love revelation of the Kingdom changes fenced-in notions that where we work is a job that earns a living. Instead, Kingdom-minded believers know the work place factors into our life-assignment, a gift from God. We have a position, not a job.

Another Kingdom-minded principle is that our life in the home often starts one way then develops into an unexpected opportunity to “shine the Light.” We do what we do, first and foremost, in demonstration of God’s love. For parents in the home, workers in an office, business owners or the entrepreneur – at every level of what we do – the call to walk in love in demonstration of God’s will sets the stage for everything else.


Press For The Prize

The measure of any individual’s character is known when, despite difficult odds, they continue to press for the prize. Our Lord pressed. He moved toward Redemption’s plan and without hesitation resolved to go through as the Son of Man, ensuring victory over the plans of wicked and deceitful men for future generations.

As we press and remain insistent on the outcome we desire, others who have gotten away with a great deal will come to a punctuated stop. While we continue to press (in prayer and actions), we expect to undo corruption with expressions of the Lord’s righteous cause – redemption!

In prayer announce a turn-around for your family and nation. Call forth the Lord’s plan. In covenant and with bold prayer and action, believe God for corruption to break. In prayer, turn the tide, set a right course and lead generations out!

And for you specifically, in prayer and by faith, press toward the prize!


Proverbs 13:33-35, Deuteronomy 28:7-9

Everything Else

To the merciful person God shows Himself merciful. To the innocent He IS innocence and to those who are pure God reveals Himself in purity; but to the devious person who is sometimes faithful and other times master of His own way, God is shrewd and the devious person’s sowing is the future he will reap. Those who sow carelessly receive in like kind.

Christianity represents the Lord, a priority of His perspective over one’s own. In prayer we seek Him. In His Word we hear Him. In promptings of the Spirit we are directed and re-directed by our Omnipotent Father who oversees the ebb and flow of our lives. Having sought and heard Him, we obey. With obedience comes assurance that all things work together for a right (righteous) outcome.

It takes as much faith to wait as it does to forge ahead. Either way the goal is to be faithful to hear AND obey. A faithful man always receives from God, his faithfulness in following matched by the Lord who faithfully takes care of everything else.


Psalm 18

Follow Me

In the early days of the church, the Apostle Paul encouraged fellow believers to imitate his example of conduct and leadership; he encouraged them to follow him as he followed the Lord, a same principle for leadership roles today, parents to presidents.

Applying the principle to those who lead us, we look for righteous qualities in their lives, and then imitate those qualities. We are disappointed any time men and women we have come to esteem in this way fall short of the expectation. At such times we carry an added weight of sadness, realizing that aside from the Lord’s close watch upon our lives, none can stand against the complex, often satanic challenges heaped upon leaders.

On the positive side, in response to these challenges, new resolve is often a result—resolve for greater integrity, greater commitment to guard personal behavior, and greater determination to imitate the Lord so others will see His example through us.

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing . . . And who is sufficient for these things? . . . we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” (2 Cor 2:14-17)


1 Corinthians 11:1, Romans 3:23, 2 Corinthians 2:14-17, Verses@Once

Man The Deck!

Two things are important: Faith to continually see ahead, and confidence in faith’s belief so that I can stand, no matter what! One without the other reduces my ability to prevail in the ‘kind of prayer’ that leads to action and daily demonstrations from the One who is the Kingdom. Selah!

The responsibility of influence has been given to me. No question. That responsibility succeeds on the basis of my faith and confidence—my faith to believe God and confidence that comes from faith to persevere, no matter what.

Glancing at the storm outside the ark or a frantic reach for what to do next lessens my hold. But confidence knows and refuses to haplessly grasp about. Revelation of who I am and my purpose in God is greater . . . neither storms nor crowds move me.

Faith isn’t just belief or hope. Faith is revelation of the written Word, activated in the heart to build upon hope and reward what I believe. Faith doesn’t fluctuate with winds or whim or threat. Faith is the real thing, operating above, a divine perspective from my seat in heavenly places—right beside the Lord.

What did the Lord say? Stay with that. Keep moving.



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Thank you for your daily devotions. I look forward to reading them every day. -D.L., Missouri

Thank you for your timely messages Shirley. They are always such a good word for the day, week, month & always! We appreciate you here. -B.W. Washington, DC