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Give Thanks, The First Thanksgiving
November 20, 2017
Another whirlwind week has past.
Yet more appointments and running around to do.
Still, between appointments and dodging raindrops, I managed to mow the lawn, hopefully for the last time.
Last season mows should be a nice tight cut, this prevents against matting and excess thatch next spring.
This week is Thanksgiving in America, I'm sure many of you will be very busy in preparation, or in travel.
Thanksgiving is more than full bellies.
It is a day set aside to truly give thanks.
Around the Patterson house, we are truly thankful for a relatively healthy year.
Yolanda has managed quite well, and for this we truly give thanks to our Lord.
Yes, Karen and I have the typical aches and pains that come with age
Toss in wrestling with Yolanda, and well, you get the idea.
Karen's mom went home to be with our savoir, that too was a blessing.
I am also thankful for you.
As a whole, I feel I have the best bunch of readers and many have become cyber friends, from around the world.
This week, I am sharing with you parts of a letter I wrote 10 years ago.
It is a bit of history on how Thanksgiving came to be in the United States of America, and a bit on Canada's Thanksgiving.
The First Thanksgiving:
The early settlers of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts were particularly grateful to Squanto, the Native American and former British slave who taught them how to both catch eel and grow corn and also served as their native interpreter.
Without Squanto's assistance, the settlers might not have survived in the New World.
The Pilgrims did have a feast in 1621, after their first harvest, and it is this feast which people often refer to as "The First Thanksgiving".
This feast was never repeated, though, so it can't be called the beginning of a tradition, nor was it termed by the colonists or "Pilgrims" a Thanksgiving Feast.
In fact, to these devoutly religious people, a day of thanksgiving was a day of prayer and fasting, and would have been held any time that they felt an extra day of thanks was called for.
Nevertheless, the 1621 feast has become a model that we think of for our own Thanksgiving celebration and we do know something of the truth about it.
We can assume, for example, that the harvest feast was eaten outside based on the fact that the Colonists didn't have a building large enough to accommodate all the people who came.
Native People were definitely among the invited guests, and it's possible. even probable, that turkey (roasted but not stuffed) and pumpkin in some form, found their way to the table.
And it gets better.
This is the way the feast was described in a first-hand account presumably by a leader of the colony, Edward Winslow.
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner of rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl to serve the company almost a week.
At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, Many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest 'King Massasoit', with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others.
And although it be not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”
From this we know that the feast went on at least three days.
included ninety "Indians" (Native People), and food was plentiful.
In addition, to the venison provided by the Indians, there was enough wild fowl to supply the village for a week.
The fowl would have included ducks, geese, turkeys, and even swans.
The National Thanksgiving Proclamations:
National Thanksgiving Proclamations proclaim thanks for God's providence in the events of the nation and, as President Washington explained in his Thanksgiving Proclamation, for the many signal favors of Almighty God in the lives of the people.
As congress recognized the importance of Thanksgiving observance, President George Washington issued a national Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789.
"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".
President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a Federal holiday as a "prayerful day of Thanksgiving" on the last Thursday in November.
Since then every U.S. President has always made an official Thanksgiving Proclamation on behalf of the nation.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941).
History of Thanksgiving In Canada:
The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher who had been futilely attempting to find a northern passage to the Orient.
He did, however, establish a settlement in Canada.
In the year 1578, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey.
This event is widely considered to be the first Canadian Thanksgiving, and the first Thanksgiving celebrated by Europeans in North America.
In 1957, the Canadian Parliament declared Thanksgiving to be "a Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed," and officially decided that the holiday take place on the second Monday in October.
There you have it, a short history lesson on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving truly is a day to give Thanks.
However, we don't need a national holiday to give thanks, You can have a moment anytime to give thanks.
Do you notice that 'God' and prayer are a central part of it all?
Until the 1960's, when the Supreme Court started to play god, God and prayer were part of this great nation (The United States of America).
The so called separation of church and state the Government now wants to impose, is totally different from when we were a God Fearing, God Loving, Nation.
When we need God more, we continue to walk away from Him, and make dangerous laws that force ignorance on us.
People, we have always had a choice.
Do we need laws that take that away from us?
The Bible teaches this about God.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding".
"If my people, who are called by my name,will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land".
2 Chronicles 7:14
A very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to all of you, my friends.
Well, it is time to fly for now.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."
"Give thanks to the LORD because he is good, because his faithful love endures forever".
1 Chronicles 16:34
"Treat the earth well:
It was not given to you by your parents,
It was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our
Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."
Ancient Indian Proverb.
Your friend indeed,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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