TEENAGERS, TEMPTATION, THANKSGIVING,
DAY, TIME, TRINITY, HOLY TRINITY, TROUBLES
Example teaches better than precept. It is the best
modeler of the character of men and women. To set
a lofty example is the richest bequest a man can
leave behind him.
-- Samuel Smiles
Never was any considerable good or evil done without
producing its like. We imitate good actions through
emulation; and bad ones through the evil of our nature,
which shame conceals, but example sets at liberty.
Comment: If we have a conscience and a heart for God, we would all lead holy and devout
lives if we could see the effect our life has upon others, day to day, person to person,
generation to generation.
My son came home from school one day,
A smirk was on his face.
He'd decided he was smart enough
To put me in my place.
Guess what I learned in Civics Two,
That's taught by Mr. Wright?
It's all about the laws today:
THE CHILDREN'S BILL OF RIGHTS.
I don't have to clean my room,
Don't have to cut my hair.
No one can tell me what to think,
How to speak, or what to wear.
I have freedom FROM religion,
And regardless what you say,
I don't have to bow my head,
And I sure DON'T HAVE TO PRAY.
I can wear earrings if I want,
And pierce my tongue & nose.
I can read & watch just what I like,
Be tattooed from head to toes.
AND if you ever spank me,
I'll charge you with the crime,
I'll back up all my charges,
With the marks on my behind.
Don't you ever touch me,
This body's for MY use,
Not for your hugs and kisses,
That's just more child abuse.
HE CONTINUED WITH:
Don't preach about your morals,
Like your mama did to you.
That's nothing but your mind control,
And it's illegal too!
Mom, I have these children's rights,
So you can't influence me,
Or I'll call Children's Services,
Better known as C.S.D.
Well, of course, my natural instinct
Was to toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach a lesson,
Made me think a little more.
I mulled it over carefully,
I couldn't let this go.
A little smile crept to my face...
He was messing with a pro!
AND AWAY WE GO!
Next day I took him shopping,
At the local Good Will store,
I told him, "pick out all you want!
There are shirts & pants galore."
I've called and checked with C.S.D.,
They said they didn't care,
If I bought you K-Mart shoes,
Instead of Nike Airs.
I've canceled that appointment
To take your driver's test.
The C.S.D. is unconcerned,
So I'll decide what's best.
No time to stop and eat,
Or pick up stuff to munch,
And tomorrow you can start to learn
To make your own sack lunch.
Just save that raging appetite,
And wait 'til dinner time.
We're having liver and onions.
It's a favorite dish of mine.
Can we stop to rent a movie,
So I can watch the VCR?
Sorry, I said, I sold your TV,
For new tires on my car.
I also rented out your room,
You can take the couch instead.
The C.S.D. requires just a roof above your head.
Your clothing won't be trendy now,
I'll choose the food we eat,
That allowance that you used to get
Will buy me something neat.
I'm selling off your jet ski,
Dirt-bike & roller blades.
Check out the PARENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS,
It's in effect today!
Hey, Hot Shot, are you crying?
Why are you on your knees?
Are you asking God to help you?
...GO CALL THE C.S.D.
I see the devil's hook, and yet cannot help nibbling
at his bait.
-- M. Adams
Comment: Being tempted is no excuse for biting into the candy bar.
The absence of temptation is the absence of virtue.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Comment: When temptation is gone so is everything else.
Opportunity does the knocking for temptation too.
-- Al Batt
Comment: Dreams come true it is true, but sometimes dreams turn into nightmares from which
there is no waking.
All temptations are found in either hope or fear.
-- English Proverb
Comment: Temptations come from Satan who will, at some point, see that you die by his
cloven hoof. Whether you die or not is up to you. Yes, your body will stop, but you, you
can go on forever if you accept Christ as Savior and Lord.
Every life is march from innocence, through
temptation, to virtue or vice.
-- Lyman Abbott
Comment: You may fall down in the march through life, but in Christ, there is His unseen
hand always reaching down to help you up and push you on.
Food for Thought
THE SURVIVING PILGRIMS who gathered for that first
undocumented immigrants. Some among the native Americans who brought food
for the feast doubtless felt the same concerns voiced ironically in a comedy
bit by Steve Martin: "They land here without our permission, take our land,
ignore our rules, and refuse to speak our national language. Well, from now
on we at least should make it a law that every one of them learn to read,
write, and speak Apache."
But the pilgrims at that banquet were not the only aliens. The Native
Americans, too, were descended from travelers thousands of years earlier who
came from an eastern rather than western peninsula of Asia. No record
remains of whatever peoples they might have displaced in primordial New
And even the foods of that first Thanksgiving were immigrants. We now know
that the corn maize they gobbled was not native to New England. It had come
from trade, tribe to tribe, from its land of origin, Mexico.
The pumpkin squash (from the Massachuset Indian name askootasquash) which
they enjoy and we traditionally bake into pies came from even farther by
trade. This gourd originally evolved in Central America.
Among the greatest scientific pioneers in this study of plant origins was
Russian geneticist Nikolai Vavilov. During the 1920s and 1930s, he traveled
the world collecting plant and seed samples. From these, he developed the
first major "seed bank," a Noahs Ark of the worlds diverse green
Vavilov also recognized that all the worlds food crops, however widely
people have carried them, originated in specific places. And surprisingly,
virtually all foods began in only 12 regions that together make up only
about 1/40th of Earths land area. These regions are known today by
geneticists as "Vavilov Centers."
Mexico and Central America, for example, is the motherland of all the
worlds corn and pumpkins. Lands bordering the Mediterranean gave birth to
todays asparagus, beets, cabbage, lettuce, oats, olives, and rhubarb. From
Asia Minor and Afghanistan emerged alfalfa, rye, lentils, almonds, apricots,
apples, pears, pistachios, and pomegranates. India and Burma gave the world
rice, oranges, black pepper, yams, eggplants, and cucumbers. China is the
land where soybeans and buckwheat began, but wheat evolved either in
Southeast Asia or Turkey. Your cup of coffee has its biological origin in
Ethiopia, as do sorghum and barley.
South America is the motherland to other favorite foods. Pineapples and
peanuts first emerged in Brazil, strawberries in Chile, and tomatoes and
potatoes in the Peruvian Andes. And this means that prior to European
settlement in the New World, there was no pizza with tomato sauce. The
"Irish Potato" was brought by European explorers from Peru, where no
famine" ever happened. Inca farmers typically planted 60 different varieties
of tubers - blue, red, purple, of many diverse kinds - commingled in their
fields, while in Ireland the people by 1846 had become fatally dependent on
a vulnerable monoculture of only one variety of potato.
Scientists today recognize the survival value of Vavilovs research. We
depend on hybrids to produce the high crop yields to feed growing
populations. Hybrids, as well as direct genetic engineering, depend on
re-crossing old varieties of plants with fresh genes from their wild
relatives. The result is a temporary burst of productivity called "hybrid
vigor." But this requires a supply of new wild genes, and these are found in
a crops Vavilov Center, its land of origin.
But Vavilov lived in a time and place where fresh ideas were dangerous. His
homeland had become the Marxist Soviet Union. And under Socialist dictator
Joseph Stalin, science came under the control of an egomaniac named Trofim
Lysenko. Lysenko insisted that all Soviet scientists bend their knee to his
pseudo-scientific whims and notions, his own lunatic political correctness.
Vavilov refused to do this, affirming instead the Western scientific
approach of Darwin. Leftist Stephen Jay Gould tells some aspects of this
story in his book of essays Hens Teeth and Horses Toes. As punishment for
dissenting from Lysenkos dogmas, Vavilov was thrown into prison.
As we feast this Thanksgiving, take a moment to remember Nikolai Vavilov.
His research has done much to help feed our world and to improve your
banquet. Vavilov, ironically, during World War II died of starvation in one
of Stalins prisons.
According to Nikolai Vavilov, America was among the poorest lands on Earth
in native food plants. Our only truly indigenous foods are pecans,
blueberries, cranberries, Concord grapes (which led Viking explorers long
before Columbus to name North America Vinland), sunflowers, and the tubers
of sunflowers we call Jerusalem artichokes.
Virtually every source of food we have, we had to bring here. But our
immigrant crops, like our immigrant peoples, have thrived in the freedom we
established here. We are new enough on the land not to have depleted its
nutrients. We retain much of the vitality of virgin soil in our farming and
forests. Our harvests are abundant, and the thanks we give for this go not
to government but to God.
And freedom has thrived here because we had idealism, honor, and fair play
in our politics. We had not yet surrendered to the Europe-like rule of
crafty lawyers, crooked judges, and rulers who live and act above the law.
President of the United States of America
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of
Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly
to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress
have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of
the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by
acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty
God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a
form of government for their safety and happiness":
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November
next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that
great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that
was, that is, or that will be; that we many then all unite in rendering unto
Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the
people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal
and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in
the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of
tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the
peaceable and rational manner in which we have enabled do establish
constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly
the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty
with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing
useful knowledge; and, in general, for the great and various favors which He
has been please to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and
supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to
pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in
public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties
properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all
the people by constantly being a government of wise, just, and
constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to
protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown
kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and
concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue,
and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto
all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, AD 1789
President Abraham Lincoln 1863
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the
blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which
are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which
they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature,
that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is
habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has
sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their
aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been
maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has
prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that
theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful
industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle,
or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the
mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even
more abundantly than heretofore.
Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been
made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing
in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect
continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these
great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while
dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently
and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States,
and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands,
to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of
Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the
And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to
Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble
penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his
tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers
in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and
fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds
of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine
purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
A THANKSGIVING PRAYER
Oh, Lord. I thank you for the privilege and gift of living in a world filled with
beauty and excitement and variety.
I thank you for the gift of loving and being loved, for the friendliness and understanding
and beauty of the animals on the farm and in the forest and marshes, for the green of the
trees, the sound of a waterfall, and darting beauty of the trout in the brook.
I thank you for the delights of music and children, of other peoples thoughts and
conversation and their books to read by the fireside or in bed with the rain falling on
the roof or the snow blowing past outside the window.
I thank you for the beauties of the four seasons and of the churches and the houses built
by our ancestors that stand throughout the centuries as monuments to human aspirations and
sense of beauty.
I thank you for the powers of mind which find in the universe an endless and inexhaustible
source of interest and fascination, for the understanding of so many elements which make
life the most precious of gifts.
I thank you for all the senses you have bestowed upon me and for the delights which they
bring me. I thank you for my body itself which is so wonderful and delightful a mechanism.
I thank you for the smile on the face of a woman, for the touch of a friend at hand,
for the laughter of a child, the wagging tail of a dog and the touch of his cold nose
against my face.
I thank you for all of these things and many more, and above all I thank you for people
with all their goodness and understanding which so far outweigh their vices, their envy,
Thank you, God, for life itself, without which the universe would have no meaning--adapted
from a prayer by Louis Bromfield
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for
my friends, the old and new.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,
'thank you,' that would suffice.
-- Meister Eckhart
Comment: We must always strive to live a life of not just one prayer, but multitudes of
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
-- William Ernest Henley
Comment: Let the soul be unconquerable to the wiles of evil but surrendered up to Christ.
Thankfulness sets in motion a chain reaction that
transforms all around us - including ourselves. For
no one ever misunderstands the melody of a grateful
heart. It's message is universal; its lyrics transcend
all earthly barriers; its music touches the heavens.
-- Author Unknown
I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.
All day long, I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
"Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time"
TRINITY, HOLY TRINITY
That's how God becomes as one.
Teach and guide,
Then, according to His plan,
In His image made He, man.
That's how God made mankind whole.
God is there,
To further know God's Trinity,
See how else was planned in three.
Heaven, Earth, Ocean sea,
~ Virginia Ellis ~
Copyright © 1999
I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he
had just finished a rough first day on the job: (a flat tire made him lose an hour of work
& his electric drill quit) his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While I drove
him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we
walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the
branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation.
His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his
wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got
the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. Oh, that's my trouble
tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one
thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children.
So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care
of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again." Funny thing is," he
smiled", when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there aren't nearly as many
as I remember hanging up the night before."