When I was a little girl I loved being in the Thanksgiving program. I loved dressing up as a pilgrim and wished that I really had lived during that time. As an adult I realize what a hard time it was n the pilgrims and I am grateful to have been born in the 20th century. I love Thanksgiving then and now. I grew up over 600 miles from my grandparents so my Thanksgiving was spent with neighbors, my uncles and aunt, anyone who had no family, or no where to go. My mom's table was never empty and I looked forward to helping fix the stuffed celery, making the relish tray, opening the cranberry sauce, and setting the table. I took great pride in preparing for this holiday. In fact...I think it is one of my favorite holidays next to Easter. While my mom was cooking my dad would tell the story of the first Thanksgiving. I love the story of Sept 16, 1620 when two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower, set sail from Plymouth England. The Speedwell encountered major difficulty as they began their journey springing many leaks in the ship. So when the 2 ships went to port in Plymouth England, the Speedwell decided to go no further and 42 passengers from the Speedwell joined the 60 passengers and 30 crew members aboard the Mayflower. This was an overcrowded ship for sure. It kind of reminds me of when airlines overbook flights today. Anyways, of the 102 passengers on board the Mayflower the majority were devout Christians. They were coming to America to shake lose from the bonds of the church of England so they could worship God as they believed scriptures taught. Can you imagine how great their excitement was? Even with the state of excitement being what it was it was not long before the trip became difficult. According to William Bradford, the resident historian on the Mayflower, many of the passengers became sea sick as huge waves would crash over the deck of the ship. I don'ty know about you....but choppy seas and ships do nothing for me. Their nights were cold, damp and dark. There was no indoor plumbing or electricity. Many of the deathly ill were cursed and abused by members of the crew. The crew member threatened to throw the sick passengers overboard and keep their belongings. According to the records he was one of the first to be thrown overboard. The storms they encountered were very fierce and shook the ship so that the passengers felt they would go down. The battered ship finally came within sight of Cape Cod on November 19, 1620. Two had died at sea and two had given birth. The Pilgrims scanned the shoreline just to the west of them and described it as, "a goodly land wooded to the brink of the sea," William Bradford writes, "After long beatings at sea they fell with that land which is called Cape Cod,; and they were not a little joyful..."Before going ashore they decided to write a document know as the Mayflower Compact. At the heart of the compact lay an undisputed conviction that God must be at the center of all law and order and the law without a moral base is really no law at all. The day the Pilgrims signed the May Flower Compact, according to William Bradford, "they came to anchor in the Bay, which was a good harbor...and they blessed the God of Heaven, who brought them over the fast and furious ocean... and a sea of trouble. And they read the following from the Geneva Bible (the Bible the Pilgrims used) "Let them, therefore praise the Lord, because He is good and His mercies endure forever." The day after tomorrow we will be continuing this grand celebration we call Thanksgiving Day. Some of us will be busy cooking turkeys, making stuffing/dressing, baking pumpkin pies, traveling, watching the Macy's Day Parade, and watching football games. And that is fun stuff . What we need to remember is that it is important to get together with loved ones. But that is not what thanksgiving is really about -- it’s not about food and fun... it is about giving thanks to the Lord God Almighty. So as we begin to make preparations for this Thanksgiving Day....what are you thankful for? I mean really thankful for. Have a wonderful Turkey Day and remember to "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow...."
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.