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Friday, November 27, 2009

2009 Weber Thanksgiving Meal
Our 2009 Thanksgiving Meal
We were joined by Ester's boyfriend, Brian, and our longtime friends, the Pierce family, including Baby Seth, who is sleeping in his carrier in the background.

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"Thanksgiving Memories And A Challenge"

"Remember the days of old, consider the generations long past" (Deuteronomy 32:7).

Yesterday we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day in our home. As we gave thanks prior to our Thanksgiving feast I considered how once again we had gathered in peace, freedom, and with a bountiful table as I have experienced all though my life. Perhaps our musing today will cause you to also do some reminiscing, if you haven't already done so over this Thanksgiving holiday weekend!

Steincross farm
I have over 50 years of Thanksgiving Day recollections, some more distinct than others. Times have changed as have the people around the table. As a child we usually gathered at my Uncle Gentry and Aunt Dora's farm outside of Harwood, Missouri (pictured above). It was sure a big crowd and Aunt Dora was well known in our family for her fine cooking. As I look at the photo I have specific recollections such as crossing the road in front of the farmhouse and being allowed to fire a deer rifle.

Weber family 1988 Thanksgiving
Years later, throughout the earlier years of our marriage, we had either our folks or extended family visit us or we'd visit them. Due to the thousand miles that separated us from our parents we also celebrated holidays with our spiritual family in churches where we ministered.  Above all, we always had lots of good food and much reason to express thanksgiving. The photo above shows a family gathering at our home in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania in 1988.

Still living at a great distance from our siblings, with the exception of my brother Pat who is only 100 miles away, we try to stay connected, but admittedly when the parents are no longer alive it is much more difficult to bring the whole family together.  Now that we see how life quickly passes and after we experienced the loss of a generation in our family we've come to realize the importance of staying in touch and expressing love and appreciation regularly for one another.  It's interesting that for many of us it comes more easily to express our love to brothers and sisters in the faith than our blood brothers and sisters.  Perhaps it's because our family knows us far too well, foibles and all!

We also have some distinct memories from our years in New England when we weren't with family.  Several years
on Thanksgiving Day we went to Plymouth, which was only about 25 miles from our home in Taunton, Massachusetts. Of course that's where the first Thanksgiving meal was held.

But one year we went to Old Sturbridge Village, a living museum which depicts a typical New England village set in the 1830's. The village residents dress in the costume of the period, work the land so they had food to eat,
preserved and prepared their foods according to customs of that period, and sought to make an income in their various pursuits.  Each time we visited the village we realized how far we've come in 150 years!  I saw in their roles a strong commitment to the virtues that made our country great: deep religious convictions, love for family, hard work, honesty, etc.

We attended the church service one Thanksgiving Day which the whole Sturbridge Village Community attended.  We sat in the pew boxes characteristic of Congregational churches of that period.  Ours had a seat pad, a foot rest and an arm rest.  Actually it was quite comfortable, though a little cool since the church was not heated!  The parson preached a good message on thankfulness (a message actually written during the 1830's.)

It was very Biblical and its truths were just as applicable over 150 years later.  Among his points was the statement (to the effect) "If we cease being a religious and moral people we will lose our way as a nation."  How true this warning was for hearers in the early 1800's; it was true and prophetic some 14 years ago when we heard it repeated and the warning reverberates to our present generation.

We have ceased to be a religious people based on Biblical faith and the result is that we have ceased to be a moral people.  How long before we lose our liberty?  Only God knows.  We are seeing a systematic dismantling of these qualities of greatness and surely the foundations are being destroyed.  I consider scores of recent events that are further evidence of the crumbling of these foundations.

As we remember the days of old; as we consider generations long past let us hold fast to that which was passed onto us that was rooted in Biblical teaching, regardless of what the future may hold.  As we look back and express our thankfulness let us also renew our steadfastness!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, help us to be faithful to Your Scriptures no matter the tidal wave of evil that spreads across our land.  Truth is not based upon the popular opinion polls, but instead it is based upon Your eternal Word.  May we be found faithful, no matter the price we pay!   In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

2009 Thanksgiving pies
Our pie collection for 2009: cherry, apple, pecan and pumpkin, and a bowl of pumpkin seeds (for those watching their diet)!  Guess which of the five offers was not touched!

2009 Thanksgiving at Longwood Manor
Two month old Seth greeting Bea.
After our feast and before our dessert we visited Longwood Manor and sang some traditional Thanksgiving hymns.  The elderly residents of Longwood Manor are so blessed to see children.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"If We've Ever Needed You"  Video
  Casting Crowns  For several years I have appreciated the thoughtful lyrics to Casting Crowns songs. This is from their new album "Until The Whole World Hears" and addresses the conditions mentioned in today's message.

"This Little Child"  Video  Scott Wesley Brown  This song also has a strong message even some 20 years after it was written.

Old Sturbridge Village  We recommend a visit to Old Sturbridge Village for any one living in or visiting New England.

Some of our readers may, like me, be terminally curious, and wonder where in the world is Harwood, Missouri?  See on this Google map.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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