Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian
youth's rite of passage?
His father takes him into the forest,
blindfolds him and leaves him alone.
He is required to sit on a stump the whole
night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine
through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the
night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience
because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear
all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe
even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and
shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold.
It would be the only way he could become a
Finally, after a horrific night, the sun
appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his
father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire
night, protecting his son from harm.
We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't
know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump
When trouble comes, all we have to do is
reach out to Him.
If you liked this story, pass it on. If not,
perhaps you took off your blindfold before dawn.
Moral of the Story: Just because you can't
see God, doesn't mean He is not there.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:7 ~
Separation of Church and State?
George Washington's Thanksgiving
- City of New York, October
"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 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 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 twenty-six 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 may 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 single manifold mercies, and the
favorable interposition's of His providence, in the courage and
conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility,
union and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and
rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish
Constitutions of Government for our safety and happiness, and
particularly the national one now 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 all the
great and various favors which He has been pleased 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 institutions, 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, discretely 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
Lincoln's Thanksgiving Address
It is the duty of
nations as well as of men to owe their dependence upon the overruling
power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble
sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to
mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the
Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are
blessed whose God is the Lord.
We know that by his divine law, nations, like individuals, are
subject to punishments and chastisements in this world May we not
justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates
the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous
sins; to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we
have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have
grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has grown.
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand
which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and
strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of
our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior
wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too
self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving
grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly,
reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one
voice, by the whole of the American people. I do therefore invite my
fellow citizens in every pad 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 as a day of Thanksgiving and
praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
-President Abraham Lincoln
16th president of the USA
THE DINNER DATE
After 21 years of marriage, my wife
wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie.
She said, "I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would
love to spend some time with you."
The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has
been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three
children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.
That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.
"What's wrong, are you well," she asked? My mother is the type of woman
who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of
"I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you," I
"Just the two of us." She thought about it for a moment, and then said, "I
would like that very much."
That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit
When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous
about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on.
She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to
celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as
radiant as an angel's. "I told my friends that I was going to go out with
my son, and they were impressed," she said, as she got into the car.
"They can't wait to hear about our meeting."
We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and
My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady.
After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large
print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting
there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. "It was I who used
to have to read the menu when you were small," she said.
"Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor," I responded.
During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation- -nothing
extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other's life.
We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house
later, she said, "I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me
invite you." I agreed.
"How was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home.
"Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined," I answered.
A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack.
It happened so suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for
Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant
receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said:
"I paid this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but
nevertheless, I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for your
wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son."
At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: "I LOVE
YOU" and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve.
Nothing in life is more important than your family.
Give them the time they deserve, because These things cannot be put off
till "some other time."
"Every morning, be sure you see the Rose in the Vase instead of the dust
on the table."
P.S. This can be applied to your FATHER, too!
Thanks to Tom!
Quilt of Holes
As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along
with all the other souls.
Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many
piles, an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together
into a tapestry that is our lives.
But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how
ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant
holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been
difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day
life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny
hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and
the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was
My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and
empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to
the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding
up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon
me, and nodded for me to rise.
My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly
fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been
trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my
world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled
with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick
up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for
help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which
I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that
I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who
unfairly judged me.
And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to
accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.
An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who
stared at me with wide eyes.
Then I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many
holes, creating an image, the face of Christ.
Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He
Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My
hardships, and My struggles.
Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me
shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine
Thanks to Tom!