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Thursday, November 15, 2007
Weber Thanksgiving 1988
Thanksgiving at our place in 1988
I am quite sure "We all ate and were satisfied!"

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"They all ate and were satisfied" (Mark 6:42).
Here in America and perhaps in other western countries the typical social greeting is "How are you?" or "How are you doing today?"  I'm not sure how often we really want to hear their answer (the unabridged version, anyway).  Generally the response is "Fine thank you" or they respond in kind, "Fine, how are you?"  Perhaps we picked a moment when all is going very well and they simply respond "Great" (regardless of how they really are!)  One friend almost always responds with a big smile as he emphatic
ally replies with a drawn out, "Fantastic!!"
Yesterday I learned a new perspective about our cordial greetings. Sooner (this is probably not the correct spelling) is a Laotian-American who has been in the states 27 years, immigrating as a young adult. He speaks good English and supervises the other Laotians in his department. (This was the area I mentioned yesterday encountering a lady eating a chicken foot.)
Sooner asked me if I knew the typical greeting similar to "How are you" that is used in China and other parts of Asia. Well I didn't and I suppose I never really thought much about it. I wonder if many readers know the answer before I share this bit of trivia.
I'm so glad he told me and I've been thinking upon its meaning ever since.  According to Sooner the earnestly asked question upon greeting one another is "Did you eat?"  Due to poverty and lack of resources this is a very meaningful and thoughtful question in expressing concern for others.
If I used it here in America it would be seen as rather peculiar at the very least. We eat three times a day (more often than that for many) and we take our more than adequate resources for granted.
As we approach Thanksgiving season let's contemplate the familiar cliche', "We have much to be thankful for." If we go beyond just repeating the cliche' and consider the myriad of things we have to be thankful for we will indeed overflow with thanksgiving.
The daily text is from the Feeding of the Five Thousand in Mark 6:30-44.

Before Jesus fed the multitude "looking up to heaven, He gave thanks" (v. 41). What a great pictoral and verbal model for our usual custom of giving thanks before we eat.
Mark's summary of the result was that "They all ate and were satisfied."  The KJV states, "They did all eat, and were filled."  

Today and every day let us go before our Father with thankful hearts so that we do not take His abundant provisions for granted!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, just as we received Your Son, Christ Jesus as Lord, we continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as we were taught, and overflowing in thankfulness.  May our words, our actions, and our thoughts be full of praise as we consider all that we have and choose not to dwell on that which we have not.  Above every other blessing is the gift of Your Son, Jesus, who came into the world to save us from our sins.  And the greatest gift yet to come is the inheritance that awaits Your faithful saints when we cross the stormy Jordan banks to our eternal dwelling in heaven.  It is in the name of Jesus that we come to You in prayer as we are overflowing with thanksgiving.  Amen.

Thanksgiving Resources

Brooksyne Weber
Last night I dressed as a pilgrim (kind of) and spoke about the way pilgrims worshipped on the Sabbath.  When I lived in Massachusetts I visited Plimouth (old English spelling) often and read a lot of books on pilgrim history.  I've shared in schools and churches over the years and always find this to be a delightful way to remember God has blessed us here in the U.S. over the past nearly 400 years.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading -
A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) Suitable for printing out and copying.

A Thanksgiving family exercise - We have used this Questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.  (pdf)

A Day of Rest in Plimouth Colony - This is a summary of a chapter in the lives of the pilgrims that Brooksyne uses to teach about their Sunday worship.  (pdf)

Two of the deacons were recruited to be "tithingmen" assigned to keep the church in order using long bamboo sticks with bones dangling from them (based on the history of the church in Plimouth.)  In those days youngsters often received a surprising sharp rap from the bone-headed rod for such things as "fidgeting in their seats, stamping their feet, pinching one another, giggling, sitting down during two hour prayers, sitting with their hats on during church, or running out before the benediction (which followed the two hour sermon.)  Elders could be tapped on the head for falling asleep during the sermon.  (If we instilled this disciplinarian measure in our churches today I'm afraid there would be a good number of church members exiting worship services with big bumps on their noggins.)

I have a current true story on the humor blog that happened last night due to some confusion. Read it here.

Today's suggested music:

"Thank You Lord"  

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

Recommended Resources by Brooksyne

Three Young PilgrimsThree Young Pilgrims  By Cheryl Harness / Simon & Schuster Trade Sales
Brooksyne's Note:  This is the children's book that piqued my initial interest in the pilgrim's history about 12 years ago.  Written for children, but it has excellent historical facts and the layout of the Mayflower that adults will find very interesting.  The names of all passengers that boarded the Mayflower along with those who died and those who became leaders is included.

When Bartholemew, Remember, and Mary Allerton and their parents first step down from the Mayflower after sixty days at sea, they never dream that life in the New World will be so hard. Many in their Plymouth colony won't make it through the winter, and the colony's first harvest is possible only with the help of two friends, Samoset and Squanto. Richly detailed paintings show how the pilgrims lived after landing at Plymouth, through the dark winter and into the busy days of spring, summer, and fall. Culminating with the excitement of the original Thanksgiving feast, Three Young Pilgrims makes history come alive. Recommended for ages 5 to 10

Saints & StrangersSaints & Strangers  By Vision Video
Brooksyne's Note:  I have not seen this video but I have read the entire book of Saints and Strangers.  It is an excellent commentary on the book written by Governor William Bradford, "Of Plimouth Plantation."  If you really want to dig into the history of the pilgrims (years before their arrival in the new world and the years that followed) this is an excellent, informative resource.

What role did faith and religion play in the founding of our country? From the landing of the Mayflower to the Great Awakening, from the fervent patriotism of the pre-Revolutionary era to the War of Independence, this survey examines groups of the faithful who wielded important spiritual influence during the colonial period, including the Anglicans, Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, and others.

Keeping Cake (Single Recipe)
We have had requests to share Brooksyne's "Keeping Cake" recipe referred to in a footnote to Tuesday's message.

1 pkg. (12 oz. or 3 ½ C.) cranberries, separated – (6 oz. chopped)
¾ C. Granulated Sugar
½ teaspoon orange peel
½ C. (1 stick) butter or margarine
2 ½ C. All-Purpose flour
2 C. brown Sugar
½ tsp. nutmeg
½  tsp. allspice
½  tsp. cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
¾ C. Sour Cream
1 C. pecans, coarsely chopped
Crystal Like Sugar (optional)

tsp.= teaspoon

Prepare loaf pans by spraying with Pam.  In large saucepan combine 6 oz (1/2 pkg.) of cranberries, ¾ C. sugar and ½ tsp. orange peel.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly until berries pop and mixture thickens.  Remove.  Add  1 stick butter to melt and other 6 oz. of cranberries, chopped.  Cool.

Combine in large bowl 2 ½ C. flour, 2 C. brown sugar, spices, 2 tsp. soda and 1 tsp. salt.  Stir in 2 eggs with ¾ C. sour cream.  Add egg mixture to dry ingredients.  Stir in cranberry mixture and 1 C. pecans (glazed are excellent if you can find them.  (Diamond brand makes them.)

This will make about seven very small loaves or two large loaves.  Bake at 350 for about one hour or till done (less time for small loaves). Cool in pans for ten minutes before removing from pan and inverting on cake rack.  Wrap cakes in foil at least one week to age in cool, dry place.

I sprinkle raw sugar or better yet large sugar crystals inside the sprayed loaf pan before pouring batter in pans and on top of the batter after filling the loaf pans.  Keeps up to three months in cool, dry place. 

From Gifts of Good Taste, P. 29 and passed onto you from Brooksyne Weber.  No Mixer needed for this recipe.  I usually serve this more as a sweet bread with soft cream cheese than I do a cake.  When I give this as gifts at Christmas it is always a winner!!

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