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So in America this month we turn our thoughts to two memorable events.... Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.


Golden Trail

Veterans Day, November 11, traces its history to the end of World War I originally designated as Armistice Day.  Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle in all of America’s wars.   Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans as well as those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.

    The unique event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621.  This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims.  The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.  [Source Wikipedia].  Now Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday of November.

Fresh White Stuff


Glorious October in the Shenandoah Valley commands our attention to the Creator.  From Ed Lyman came a book wherein this quote requires our deeply profound pondering:

“Let me hear and understand the meaning of the words:  In the Beginning you made heaven and earth.  Moses wrote these words and passed on into your presence, leaving this world where you spoke to him.  He is no longer here and I cannot see him face to face.  But if he were here, I would lay hold of him and in your name I would beg and beseech him to explain those words to me.  I would be all ears to catch the sounds that fell from his lips.  If he spoke in Hebrew, his words would strike my ear in vain and none of their meaning would reach my mind.  If he spoke in Latin, I should know what he said.  But how should I know whether what he said was true?  If I knew this too, it could not be from him that I got such knowledge.  But deep inside me, in my most intimate thought, Truth, which is neither Hebrew nor Greek nor Latin nor any foreign speech, would speak to me, though not in syllables formed by lips and tongue.  It would whisper, “He speaks the truth’.  And at once I would be assured.  In all confidence I would say to this man,your servant, ‘What you tell me is true.’...Since, then, I cannot question Moses, whose words were true because you, the Truth, filled him with yourself, I beseech you, my God, to forgive my sins and grant me the grace to understand those words, as you granted him, your servant, the grace to speak them.”      From St Augustine’s Confessions.

 Double Take



So their Companion on the [Emmaus] road joined them at table that night.  And there something happened – a flash of recognition that pierced their blindness.  Was it some familiar gesture as He broke the bread?  Was it the grace He offered?  Or perhaps the sight of scars upon His hands?  Suddenly they knew Him.  “Jesus!” they exclaimed.  “You have come back to us!  Then it was not defeat.  And it is not all over after all.  It is only just beginning.  O God, be thanked, be thanked!”  And He vanished out of their sight, to remain in their hearts forever.  They had hoped He would be the deliverer of Israel.  They knew now that He was the conqueror of the world.”  James S. Stewart, in a sermon, “The Christ of the Emmaus Road”

But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle thee.  For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour...” Isaiah 43:1-3