Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thought For The Day 11/30/11

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Frustration!

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Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

Kurt Vonnegut

from The Quote Garden

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OK, I’m working on an advertisement which I would love to post in every newspaper from here to San Diego and wanted to give you all first crack at editorial review:

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  • Faith based ministry seeks person with media technology skills willing to work any and all hours (since minister is hormonally challenged woman of middle age who sleeps poorly) to assist and teach said insomniac the finer points of radio broadcast to include, but not limited to conversion of WMV files to WAV files, taping and editing broadcasts and setting up of music files to be run during live and/or taped radio program. Salary to consist of the undying gratitude of said minister and the willingness of said minister to petition God to watch over and keep safe the prospective employee and his/her family. Interested parties should email resume’ and employment history to mandyspath2011@aol.com and indicate date available to begin!

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I fully expect to have my in box positively packed by the inquiries of interested parties, don’t you think? (Age not a factor….would be willing to accept the services of the baby from that investment commercial who has his iPad in his crib!)

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OK, I feel better. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of getting whatever that’s bothering you off your chest and out into the open that is all that’s needed to gain some perspective. I know you all have experienced just this exact same degree of frustration in your lives as well. And we all know that being frustrated is seldom a matter of anger but more a feeling of helplessness. And there are few out there that would admit to liking the feeling of emotional impotency that seems to keep itself firmly attached to the back of frustration, like some parasite!

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So just how do we stop these feelings of frustration? How about just 5 little steps!

  1. Decide the day before the things you need to try to accomplish tomorrow. Somehow planning things helps give us the control we sometimes need to keep things in perspective.
  2. Begin your day with a prayer or meditation. Sometimes admitting to God that you need some help makes the way you need to walk suddenly clearer.
  3. Keep focused on the goals you have set. Only an emergency warrants altering your plans. The rest generally won’t be impacted negatively by waiting just one more day.
  4. Acknowledge and be thankful for all the things that you have accomplished….even the small things!
  5. Never say never and DON’T QUIT! Just like the tortoise who won the race against the hare, so can we all win our own races against the things that frustrate us!

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“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 ESV

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 11/29/11

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T’is The Season?????

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Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year – and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority.

W.J. Cameron

from “The Quote Garden”

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With Mother Nature’s tender nurturing of God’s divining creation that is our world, this fall we have been blessed with the most exquisitely beautiful weather I can ever remember having so late in the year. And while I moved south from the NYC area for just this reason in 2000, we generally continue to have seasonal weather here in SC, unlike our more southern siblings, GA and FL which remain more temperate year round. Now I offer proof by way of my waking at 2 AM feeling overly warm which required a quick check of the thermostat only to discover that it was 80 degrees in my house on a late November night. And, of course, also necessitating a quick flick of the switch to turn my air conditioning on for a few minutes to cool things down a tad.

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Now I said before that this was one reason I moved southward so many years ago, and while my joints are saying thank you for the reprieve they have received with the warmer weather, I am finding it a bit harder to begin to really get myself revved up for the Christmas season. Somehow that was so much easier when I worked in NYC. Once we turned that calendar page to November, the city transformed into a beautiful fairyland of twinkling lights and green wreaths adorned with huge red bows. Even the people there seemed to step a bit more lively and there were definitely more smiling faces to be seen as I walked the blocks in and around my job in mid-town Manhattan.

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But wait one minute!!!! I am remembering something else as I daydream about that time in my life. Yes, the city was so much more beautiful. Yes, the store windows morphed into magical scenes of Dickens’ winters, minus Ebenezer Scrooge. But my feeling of magic was much more than the world around me. My feeling of magic was from within. It was me that stepped a bit more lively. It was me smiling more as I walked the city streets. It was all the beauty and joy that I had within that I was sharing with the world. And then I realized something else. That feeling doesn’t come wrapped in the pretty paper that is NYC. It is a feeling that comes in spite of the warmer weather here in SC.

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No matter who you are, or where you live, it is you that holds the key to bringing the magic into your world and into your heart this Christmas.  All you have to do is believe! And I BELIEVE!

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And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.

Luke 1:35

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 11/28/11

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How Much Control Do We Really Have?

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Photo courtesy of Rev Michael Weissman

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Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.

Author Unknown

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Well today’s blog probably will come as a huge surprise to many…not the least of which will be my husband, Dan, because I am going to talk about the NFL  …… in a way! Now those of you who know me know that, for the most part I am a football widow. Sunday afternoons and evenings in my house see my “hub-stud” transformed into the ultimate couch potato. In other words, when the NFL is on TV …. ANY game …. well let me put it this way, Dan would think twice about getting out of his chair and leaving our house if it was on fire and burning down around his ears! And the closest I come to an occasional glance TV-ward is if the GIANTS, JETS or EAGLES are playing. Otherwise, just think of me as lacking that internal, grid-iron loving gene!

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BUT …….. even I have been glued to the antics of one particular Detroit Lion player, commonly called the “dirtiest player” in the NFL today. His Thanksgiving Day antics  against the Green Bay player whereby he continually pushed that player’s head into the ground and then proceeded to stomp on him after the whistle was blown has me positively dumb founded.

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Today I saw an interview by this talented young man where he said that in his everyday life he is kind and gentle (in fact, his charitable works are a matter of public record) but that somehow, the grid-iron creates within him some kind of bi-polar transformation where he morphs into a mean, aggressive and nasty player. And I guess that some would see this as acceptable. However, it seems likely that the NFL will be suspending him from at least 2 games for these Thanksgiving antics, and which, if I do the math semi-right, could amount to a $250,000.00 fine if his annual salary is $2,000,000.00. Plus there is the probability that he will be required to complete “Anger Management” training.

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In no other area of business would such behavior be tolerated. Imagine your local banker behaving this way. How long would your money remain in that particular institution? If such behavior were exhibited by a dog, such an animal would surely be put down. And yet, professional athletes, a role model for young people world-wide, are somehow often exempt from censure, for displaying behavior such as this in their professional arena. Which leads me to ask one presumably simple question of everyone ….. How Much Control Do We Really Have?

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I guess this is that “fate or destiny” question we must always ask ourselves each and every day. And the bottom line is, we each have complete control over the actions we take and deeds that we do in our own lives. We control what we think,  how we act. We most certainly control the people that we choose to associate with and have in our lives. It is exactly this innate ability of human-kind that separates us from the lower life forms that share our world with us all.

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God does not control this part of our lives for us either. What He does manage to do is endow each of us with the capacity for self-determination. It is what we each choose for our own lives that counts. God has given us all the rules by which He HOPES we will choose to live our lives, but the final decision for each of us is to be found within those every day decisions we each make! However, I can pretty much guarantee that He is surely pleased when those choices we make are good and of some benefit to others, just as He is surely displeased when our choices hurt those around us. But He does not live our lives for us! So perhaps it is time we all become a bit more vocal regarding the types of behavior we find acceptable for our own community, state, country, and world!

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For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

2 Peter 1:5-7

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 11/27/11

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Dearest Friend!

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Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.

Ramona C. Carroll

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Another post of pure genius found purely by accident! How is it that there are so many in the world who are such talented authors? (I fear that green beast that is envy is showing its ugly head!) Except there is one important thing about the heart of the true author of this piece! No other alive today can match the brilliance of this special person!

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Dearest Friend!

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated.

During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.

It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me. As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago. At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration.

Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don’t know the meaning of the celebration. I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were many, many beautifully wrapped gifts.

But, do you want to know something? I wasn’t invited. I was the guest of honor and they didn’t remember to send me an invitation. The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my face .. and I wanted to be with them and share their table.

In truth, that didn’t surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me. Since I wasn’t invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner.

They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a grand time. To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him, saying: “Santa Claus, Santa Claus” as if the party were in his honor!

At midnight all the people began to hug each other. I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and do you know no-one hugged me.

Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me. What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one? I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left.

Every year it gets worse. People only remember the gifts, the parties, to eat and drink, and nobody remembers me.

I would like to find that this Christmas you allow me to enter into your life. I would like to find that this Christmas, that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you. All I want is that this year you believe this with all your heart.

I want to share something with you. As many didn’t invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party, greater than any ever imagined! A spectacular party, indeed. I’m still making the final arrangements.

Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book. Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party. Those who don’t answer the invite, will be left outside.

Be prepared because when all is ready you will be part of only a lucky few attending my great party.

I hope to see you soon!

With much love and best regards,

Jesus

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He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

James 1:18

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 11/26/11

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Family Ties!

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Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.

Paul Pearshall

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This is the time of the year when family ties seem to be stronger than at any other time of the year. And while the ties that bind us all together, my family and me, are inviolable and as strong as iron,  we (I) all too often become so consumed by our (my) own concerns of the moment, that we (I) neglect to do what we (I) must, to keep those that we (I) love feeling that love. Yes, I added the I’s to this piece because I must confess and plead guilty to doing this.

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My father is visiting my sister in Colorado and while he will be coming home soon, I have been remiss is not calling him more to say “hi ….. how are you doing? I miss you! I love you!” Shame on me for that! Yes, we have been busy, with Sabrina moving, Landon’s surgery, and me “gimping” about. But too busy to keep in touch? That is inexcusable and I will promise him (yes, my dad is my most faithful reader each and every day) right here and now that I will rectify this!

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Now my second confession concerns the man I love most …. my wonderful husband, Dan. Now my husband is a person who can be tested only so far and then his eruption compares to Mt Vesuvius, whose eruption decimated an entire culture. He is patient and understanding most of the time, but I have definitely been taking him for granted lately. Now my blessing in this is that he has his outlets for his passions which include his golf as well as the kids he helps as a Guardian Ad Litem. But I have not been there for him lately as I should have been and for that I am very sorry. And that is another thing I will correct! ASAP!

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How often must each of us plead guilty to these very same things? We become all too consumed in the “I”, “Me”, “Mine” and we neglect the “Our”, “We”, “Us”. My dad is 84 and my husband has cancer, and has had recurrences off and on for the last 13 years. And we, none of us, know what is in store for us in a year, month, day, hour, minute, or second from now! So let’s never forget to let those around us, and most especially our family, know how very much we love them and need them and cherish each and every thing they bring into our lives every second, minute, day, month, year and forever … whatever the days are that God has in store for our lives!

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Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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My friend Michael Fawcett wrote this beautiful song as tribute to his wonderful dad, Wayne Fawcett, who passed away earlier this year. I hope your enjoy it! I send it to my dad and to my family, whom I all to often neglect but for whom my love is undying! Please click the link below to see this wonderful video tribute entitled, Thank You, Dad!

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 http://youtu.be/og7HeWXSiO8

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 11/25/11

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An Ode To Black Friday!

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The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants.

John Andrew Holmes

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An Ode To Black Friday!

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The people crowd the entrances at Malls all over town.

To seize the choicest bargain deals, They’d gladly knock you down.

The retailers all hold their breath as shopping gets in gear.

Will Santa fill his sleigh as hoped? Or lay off more Reindeer?

There are plastic toys from China colored with suspicious paint.

Whip out your last credit card (when you see the bills, you’ll faint.)

“The children must have Christmas! ” No request will be denied.

Never mind your youngest child has just turned thirty-five.

Don’t forget a gift for you, don’t you deserve the best?

Shopping is such good therapy for the financially depressed !

John F. McCullagh

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My community is a seasonal one. Although we are a premiere beach destination for the East coast from May through October, the winter months often see our many restaurants closing for the winter and our resorts and entertainment venues laying off employees until business picks up again come the warmer weather. Even our golf courses suffer through the colder months when golfers, determined to play, travel to more southern states! And while our “local” population has steadily increased by those who want a retirement destination where they will not (usually) have to shovel snow from walkways but where there are still four seasons, our locals are not sufficient to sustain the many small businesses dotting Highway 17 from North Carolina to Georgia. And so, I want to reinforce to you all ….. and this is not just a message for my community, but is a national plea ….. do not forget to support your local small business this holiday season! We must not only keep our revenue dollars in our community coffers but thriving small business mean jobs for our local men and women. And, after all, are we not our brother’s keepers?

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But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

John 3:17 ESV

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 11/24/11

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Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

Edward Sandford Martin

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On November 24th, most Americans will be joining together with family and friends to celebrate a day, set aside by our national leaders, as a day for which we offer thanks for our many blessings. As not only a federal but one of the most popular holidays as well, Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year, and, together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader “holiday season”. Now make no mistake, by my words, I do not condone the “Happy Holiday” wishes that are pervasive in today’s society. I firmly believe that the “Christmas Season” was ordained as such by a higher authority than that of man. However, I do accept that the collective weeks encompassed by Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, are, indeed, times for joy, laughter, and love, which we all must share with those we hold dear.

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I do want to share with you all a bit of history about this day of thanks shared by the people of this nation but I thought it might be fun to test your Thanksgiving “smarts” with a little quiz. The answers to the questions, will appear at the bottom of this post…..DON’T PEAK!!! And while I know we all knew the answer to these questions at one time, having been taught about our nations early years while in school, I suspect that you and I both have forgotten some of the history that has led us to proclaim this Thursday as a national day to offer thanks!

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The Thanksgiving Quiz

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What year did the pilgrims have their first Thanksgiving feast?

  1. 1620
  2. 1621
  3. 1624
  4. 1777
  5. 1985

What type of meat probably was NOT on the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving menu?

  1. beef
  2. fish
  3. lobster
  4. fowl
  5. venison

The Horn of Plenty which symbolizes abundance is also called what?

  1. dunce cap
  2. corn you cope
  3. fruit basket
  4. cornucopia
  5. bushel basket

In 1676, a day of thanksgiving was proclaimed to take place during what month?

  1. May
  2. June
  3. Oct
  4. Nov
  5. Dec

What President didn’t like the idea of having a national Thanksgiving Day?

  1. Lincoln
  2. Truman
  3. Jefferson
  4. Roosevelt
  5. Kennedy

Who is credited with leading the crusade to establish Thanksgiving Day?

  1. Sarah Jessica Parker
  2. Sarah Josepha Hale
  3. Sarah Lee
  4. Sarah Todd
  5. Sarah Palin

Which vegetable or fruit was NOT on the menu at the first Thanksgiving feast?

  1. watercress
  2. berries
  3. pumpkin
  4. corn
  5. potatoes

Which President moved the date of Thanksgiving twice?

  1. F D Roosevelt
  2. Nixon
  3. Teddy Roosevelt
  4. Lincoln
  5. Jefferson

The reason Thanksgiving was moved up a week was…?

  1. because the public wanted it
  2. to lengthen the Christmas shopping season
  3. to ward off evil spirits
  4. to put it in line with the original Thanksgiving ceremony
  5. so it would be warmer weather

When Congress made Thanksgiving an official holiday, they set the date as…?

  1. the 3rd Thursday in November
  2. the 4th Thursday in November
  3. the last Thursday in November
  4. November 24th
  5. the second Monday in October

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Most people have been taught that the first Thanksgiving was held in 1621 with the Pilgrims and Indians. The Pilgrims, a separatist English church, negotiated a pilgrimage to this new world, to escape religious persecution. Arriving on the shores of this country, many were ill-equipped to survive this hostile environment and the frigid climate of the New England region. Many did not survive. However, the Native American community of that region, adopted, if you will, this community, teaching them the techniques necessary to survive life in this new land. And to celebrate the generosity of heart of the people, and the successes of lessons well learned about farming, the two cultures joined together. We all know that the harvest celebration began in the fall and was celebrated jointly. Lasting three days, this gathering, while not really a feast, was a three-day celebration and was, most probably, a simple gathering with feasting on such delicacies as boiled pumpkin, fried bread, fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums.

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It is known that subsequent days of celebration did not include the Native population, who, by this time had been deemed to be a group of heathens as well as a hindrance to their quest for more land, so the good will shared at the first feast had long been lost. However, the celebratory feasting tradition continued and  in October of 1777 all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration. Now while President Washington wanted to proclaim a National Day of Thanksgiving, many opposed celebrating a time of hardship for so many of the early settlers. However, Sarah Josepha Hale wrote articles and championed the cause to designate this day a holiday. And, finally, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving and it has been a fixture of late November ever since. Finally, in 1941, Thanksgiving was sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

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And so, this special day, join with those you hold dear. Think about all that you have to be thankful for. Then bow your heads, pray, and ask for God’s mercy on the many who are suffering in, not just our country, but our world as well. With each news story we see and each new person from every nation added to our community as one collective group, under God, our world is becoming smaller and smaller…..our neighbors across the ocean nearer and nearer.  What a wondrous thing if the concept of a day set apart, worldwide, to give thanks, grew and grew with a life of its own. Let us dare to dream of the time, hopefully within our lifetimes, when the WORLD joins together on the fourth Thursday of November to offer thanks for our collective blessings!

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The Thanksgiving Quiz Answers

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What year did the pilgrims have their first Thanksgiving feast?

  1. 1620
  2. 1621  (X)
  3. 1624
  4. 1777
  5. 1985

What type of meat probably was NOT on the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving menu?

  1. beef  (X)
  2. fish
  3. lobster
  4. fowl
  5. venison

The Horn of Plenty which symbolizes abundance is also called what?

  1. dunce cap
  2. corn you cope
  3. fruit basket
  4. cornucopia  (X)
  5. bushel basket

In 1676, a day of thanksgiving was proclaimed to take place during what month?

  1. May
  2. June  (X)
  3. Oct
  4. Nov
  5. Dec

What President didn’t like the idea of having a national Thanksgiving Day?

  1. Lincoln
  2. Truman
  3. Jefferson  (X)
  4. Roosevelt
  5. Kennedy

Who is credited with leading the crusade to establish Thanksgiving Day?

  1. Sarah Jessica Parker
  2. Sarah Josepha Hale  (X)
  3. Sarah Lee
  4. Sarah Todd
  5. Sarah Palin

Which vegetable or fruit was NOT on the menu at the first Thanksgiving feast?

  1. watercress
  2. berries
  3. pumpkin
  4. corn
  5. potatoes  (X)

Which President moved the date of Thanksgiving twice?

  1. F D Roosevelt  (X)
  2. Nixon
  3. Teddy Roosevelt
  4. Lincoln
  5. Jefferson

The reason Thanksgiving was moved up a week was…?

  1. because the public wanted it
  2. to lengthen the Christmas shopping season  (X)
  3. to ward off evil spirits
  4. to put it in line with the original Thanksgiving ceremony
  5. so it would be warmer weather

When Congress made Thanksgiving an official holiday, they set the date as…?

  1. the 3rd Thursday in November
  2. the 4th Thursday in November  (X)
  3. the last Thursday in November
  4. November 24th
  5. the second Monday in October

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC