Food for Thought

Food for Thought: Constitution Sacredly Maintained

Bumblebee on wildflower

From George Washington's Farewell Address

George Washington - 1796

 ... I shall carry it with me to my grave as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution which is the work of your hands may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.


Food for Thought: Pardon

Morning Glory

Isaiah 55:6-13 (New International Version)

 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
       call on him while he is near.

 7 Let the wicked forsake his way
       and the evil man his thoughts.
       Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
       and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

 8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,"
       declares the LORD.

 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 10 As the rain and the snow
       come down from heaven,
       and do not return to it
       without watering the earth
       and making it bud and flourish,
       so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
       It will not return to me empty,
       but will accomplish what I desire
       and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

 12 You will go out in joy
       and be led forth in peace;
       the mountains and hills
       will burst into song before you,
       and all the trees of the field
       will clap their hands.

 13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
       and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
       This will be for the LORD's renown,
       for an everlasting sign,

                                                                               which will not be destroyed."



Food for Thought: No Fear - No Worries

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Jeremiah 17:7-13 (New International Version)

 7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
       whose confidence is in him.

 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
       that sends out its roots by the stream.
       It does not fear when heat comes;
       its leaves are always green.
       It has no worries in a year of drought
       and never fails to bear fruit."


Food for Thought: Quaker Edward Burrough

Beautiful Summer Sky
In 1659 Quaker Edward Burrough wrote the following:

We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other...but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound. 

Food for Thought: From George Washington's Farewell Address

Rainbow over Uwharrie Mountain

On Political Prosperity

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, "where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?" And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

On National Debt

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in times of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.

From George Washington's Farewell Address - 1796


Today's Food for Thought: John Adams - Safety and Prosperity of Nations

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John Adams - 03/23/1798

This is the text of President John Adams' March 23, 1798 national Fasting and Prayer proclamation; as printed in the The Phenix/Windham Herald, April 12, 1798.



By the President of the United States of America

A PROCLAMATION

AS the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God; and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him,

Tiger Swallowtail

but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety, without which social happiness cannot exist, nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity are a loud call to repentance and reformation...

And finally I recommend, that on the said day; the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent Thanksgiving to the bestower of every good gift, not only for having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many and great favours conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation.

Given under my hand and seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, this twenty-third day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, and of the Independence of the said States the twenty-second.

JOHN ADAMS

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Food for Thought: John Adams - Our Constitution

Birkhead Wilderness AreaJohn Adams
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States

[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

(Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)


Patriotic Quote: Regard to Moral Character - John Witherspoon

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John Witherspoon

Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. . . .[And t]he people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.

[John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, pp. 266, 277.]


Patriotic Quote: Noah Webster - Preservation of Government

Uwharrie Mountains

Noah Webster

In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look to his character. . . . When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.

[Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), pp. 18, 19.]

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be sqandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.

[Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, �49.]

Today's Food for Thought: Dec. 29, 2009

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Daniel Webster

Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.

[Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1853), Vol. II, p. 108, from remarks made at a public reception by the ladies of Richmond, Virginia, on October 5, 1840.]


Patriotic Quote: William Penn

Snow on Uwharrie Mountains

William Penn

Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them; and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good and the government cannot be bad. . . . But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn. . . .[T]hough good laws do well, good men do better; for good laws may want [lack] good men and be abolished or invaded by ill men; but good men will never want good laws nor suffer [allow] ill ones.

[William Penn quoted from: Thomas Clarkson, Memoirs of the Private and Public Life of William Penn (London: Richard Taylor and Co., 1813) Vol. I, p.303.]

Thanksgiving: Let us Remember

Bronze Turkey
   
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of
Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly
to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress
have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the
United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by
acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God
especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of
government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November
next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that
great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that
was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto
him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the
People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal
and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence
which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the
great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since
enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been
enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and
happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--
for the
civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have
of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the
great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and
supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to
pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in
public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties
properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all
the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and
constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to
protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn
kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and
concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue,
and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto
all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be
best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the
year of our Lord 1789.

G. Washington

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Today's Food for Thought: People are responsible for the character of their Congress

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James Garfield

Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.

[James A. Garfield, The Works of James Abram Garfield, Burke Hinsdale, editor (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883), Vol. II, pp. 486, 489, "A Century of Congress," July, 1877.]

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Today's Food for Thought: I have one great political idea...

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Frederick Douglass

I have one great political idea. . . . That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance, "Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my politics - the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics. . . . I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people.

[Frederick Douglass, The Frederick Douglass Papers, John Blassingame, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), Vol. 2, p. 397, from a speech delivered at Ithaca, New York, October 14th, 1852.]

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Today's Food for Thought: "Watch over your liberties and privileges"

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Matthias Burnett

Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. . . . To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. . . . [L]ook well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust. . . . Think not that your interests will be safe in the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed by the impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who acknowledge not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be uncorrupt in office, firm in defense of the righteous cause against the oppressor, or resolutely oppose the torrent of iniquity. . . . Watch over your liberties and privileges - civil and religious - with a careful eye.

[Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford, on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803 (Hartford: Printed by Hudson & Goodwin, 1803), pp. 27-28.]


Today's Food for Thought: 10-12-09

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Daniel Webster

Early American Jurist and Senator

[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

(Source: Daniel Webster, The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1903), Vol. XIII, p. 492. From "The Dignity and Importance of History," February 23, 1852.)

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Today's Food for Thought: Sept. 25, 2009

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Matthew 5:44-46 (King James Version)

 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

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Today's Food for Thought: 9-18-09

Uwharrie River

Psalm 23

 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
       he leads me beside quiet waters,

 3 he restores my soul. 
       He guides me in paths of righteousness 
       for his name's sake.

 4 Even though I walk 
       through the valley of the shadow of death,
       I will fear no evil, 
       for you are with me; 
       your rod and your staff, 
       they comfort me.

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Today's Food for Thought: 8-14-09

White hydrangea


Samuel Adams

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

(Source: William V. Wells, The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1865), Vol. I, p. 22, quoting from a political essay by Samuel Adams published in The Public Advertiser, 1749.)

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Today Food for Thought: 8-4-09

PeeGee Hydrangea


John Adams
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States

[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

(Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)


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Today's Food for Thought: 6-27-09

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Deuteronomy 4:25-31 (New International Version)

 25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.



Today's Food For Thought: May 28, 2009

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Philippians 4:11-13 (New International Version)

11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


Today's Food for Thought: 5-2-09

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psalm 91


1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.


Today's Food for Thought: 4-10-09

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John 15 (New International Version)
 9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.


Today's Food for Thought: 4-1-09

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                   Happiness

    People are fleeing here and there
    Looking for happiness everywhere.
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could see
    That happiness is given to you and me;
     But not when we look here and there
     And try to find it just anywhere.
     You see in seeking it, it can't be found,
     But when we give it to others
     With us it abounds!
                                      Judy McPherson


Today's Food for Thought: 3-4-09

Uwharrie Mountains

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:  he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
                                                                                                                      Psalm 121: 1-3  KJV