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A Thanksgiving Message…

This is a good season. This is the beginning of the holidays and specifically, Thanksgiving week. That’s a good time to think about our blessings, our families and how each has executed these past 12 months. May you find happiness and blessings in your life as we look back on our lives and look forward to our dreams. I get a little sentimental this time of year.
Tomorrow, the vast majority of us will feast.. But we cannot forget those who have not been so blessed. A few days ago I needed to prepare a Thanksgiving message for my church and came across Dr. Patricia Moseley Stanford’s “Five Kernels of Corn.” Most all of us know the story but let’s look at it one more time in Dr. Stanford’s words.
“…In the fall of 1621 the Pilgrims had a good harvest of Indian corn. However, the garden seeds they had brought with them did not reproduce well in the New England climate. With the foods they have grown and preserved, the Pilgrims decided to celebrate what they called Harvest Thanksgiving. They invited their Indian friends to join them, and much to their surprise about 90 Indians came and stayed for three days.

“A few days after the Harvest Thanksgiving, the ship Fortune arrived bringing 35 colonists from England. Most of the new arrivals did not have much more than the clothing on their backs. The sailors aboard Fortune also needed food for the voyage back to England, which was an unexpected drain on their food supplies.
“As the food supplies dwindled, every colonist knew daily hunger. They lived on half rations for six months. During the summer, many of the men and boys were two weak and thin to do the heavy labor of raising crops. It was not a good growing season. The harvest of 1622 was slim, and some of the crops that matured were stolen by the Indians.
“They Starving Time came upon the colony in the spring of 1623. Tradition tells us that each person received only five kernels of parched corn a day. When the corn supply was exhausted, they had neither bread nor corn for two or three months, and their entire diet consisted of fish and water.
“For the descendants of Mayflower passengers, the five kernels of corn are symbols of the Pilgrims’ willingness to fight great hardships for their beliefs, and must importantly, of their greatest legacy—a government by consent of the people with just and equal laws.”
A great story that has endured for nearly four centuries. The Pilgrims had a difficult time those first three years, but, Dr. Stanford forgot one thing. The Pilgrims were also looking for, and found, religious freedom.
By the way, if you find yourselves with guests for Thanksgiving dinner may there be less than 90 and may they not stay for three days!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my West Virginia home!