Monday the 16th of February is Presidents Day this year. It always falls on the third Monday in February. Originally it was George Washington Day and was celebrated on his birthday. I thought we could talk a little about the first president of our country.
George Washington grew up in Virginia on his father’s farm. His dad died when he was just 11 years old. His older brother Laurence helped raise him, taught him how to be a gentleman, and made sure he had an education. He was 57 years old when he was inaugurated and served as president from 1789-1797.
As you share that information with your child, it is a good time to point out that hard things in life don’t have to stop us from being who God created us to be. The Bible tells us that God is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). He will make a way to care for those who need His help. In this case a family member stepped up to the plate. Often, however, we need to reach out to others in need who may not be in our family.
Let me suggest one way you can make that a family project. As a family you can adopt a child through an agency called Compassion. Here is their web site: http://www.compassion.com/. They will let you pick a child waiting for your help and you can not only help financially but also have opportunity to correspond with that child. I have heard wonderful stories of how much this association has changed the life of the child and the hearts of the family that reached out.
Now back to George. At 16 he went to work as a surveyor.
Ah, here is a wonderful lesson and project for you and your child. The dictionary tells us to survey is to determine the area of any portion of the earth’s surface, the lengths and directions of the bounding lines, and the contour of the surface and with accurately delineating the whole on paper.
How about surveying your property and making a map?
A few years later George became a leader with the Virginia militia and became involved in the start of the French and Indian War. As a very young man George Washington showed those around him that he was a very responsible and capable person.
God gives us several examples in His word of young men fulfilling their destiny. Daniel was only 15 when he was taken to be in the Kings courts away from all he knew and loved. Yet he was able to stay true to God and found favor where he was placed. We need to encourage our young people that their giftings are ageless and can be used properly in their youth.
In 1Timothy 4:12 Paul instructs Timothy: “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” So should we also encourage our young people.
After that war George, along with other landowners, became upset by the unfair treatment by their British rulers. No reasonable settlement was made, so war became the only solution to freedom.
He was chosen to be Virginia’s Delegate at the First and Second Continental Congress, and then in May of 1775 he became general of the Continental Army.
The story sounds a bit like King David and his original mighty men. General Washington had a ragtag army of colonial farmers. Through their struggles and many losing battles, however, he led the army to victory over the course of 6 years.
Here is a fun web site I found for you with a crossword puzzle on the revolutionary war.
Our nation was actually fully formed on April 30th, 1789. That day we had our first Constitution, the start of our government consisting of the House, the Senate and our First president.
The House and the Senate gathered together to inaugurate George Washington and dedicate the nation.
After being sworn in as President, Washington went inside the Capitol Building and made his first presidential address. He said this:
“We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and the right which heaven itself has ordained.”
After the address all present left the place of Inauguration and walked to a small church where for two hours they prayed and committed our nation into God’s hands. That place of consecration was New York City, lower Manhattan. America was dedicated to God on the day of its birth at the corner of a plot of land known today as Ground Zero.
The place where George Washington knelt on the day of America’s birth was St. Paul’s Chapel. Also in St. Paul’s Chapel is the national seal, the depiction of America’s power: the Eagle with the arrows and shield and olive branches. The words on the plaque above Washington’s Pew in St. Paul’s Chapel:
“Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that you will keep the United States in Holy protection.”
I think that says it all.
God Bless America,