Giving Thanks in 2016, by Sarah Latimer

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I don’t know about you, but I greatly enjoy the “Quote of the Day” section of SurvivalBlog. They often put a big smile on my face and get a “wow” response. Some people really know how to put use words to put a situation into perspective. Recently Hugh posted one such quote that was quite timely. The quote seemed so relevant to our experiences of late, with our nation’s liberals literally breaking down in tears, marching, and going so far as to turn their backs on our nation by leaving and giving up their citizenship and even some who are publicly announcing murderous intention by making social media statements that they are planning assassinations (or encouraging others to do so). It is just crazy how those who claim to want “a kinder” nation are behaving this way and tearing our nation apart through hateful speech, threats, and actions! It is appalling that our Democratic National Convention is hiring people to march and disrupt life in our cities, because they cannot tolerate the political system that they are a part of. If this were the way the Republican Party had behaved when Obama was elected, I believe they’d have demanded action. I believe we would see the rioters tear gassed and imprisoned, with liberals saying that these people were disturbing their peace and threatening our way of life. It is just crazy how hypocritical this behavior is! So, when I read the quote “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen” it hit home. In the past week or two, it seems that decades have happened. What is further of interest is that this quote comes from Vladimir Ilyich Lenin– a brutal, Russian, communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He is one of those who would have been a part of this disruptive behavior to tear our nation’s political process apart. Folks, there are many who are pushing for our nation to head towards socialism and communism in our nation, and there are those who deny God’s existence or His role in making this nation great. Those are things to ponder and to pray about, most certainly; however, this is not the point of my letter to you today. Today, I want to encourage you to think bigger. I want you to think beyond the marches and the media’s news pieces. I want to encourage you to look back and look forward with gratitude and with confidence.

This is the week of the U.S. Thanksgiving Day. The day of this national holiday was a point of conflict through the ages, even after the Civil War, as there were states who did not follow Abraham Lincoln’s declaration of the holiday being the last Thursday in November. Just as today, there were those who resented our nation’s presidential leadership. Lincoln violated many personal and state rights and liberties and even our U.S. Constitution and interjected volatile issues, such as slavery, into an already difficult national economic conflict, for causes he thought were justified but led to further erosion of our nation’s unity and attempted to force morality such that resistance created division that has led us to much of the situation we find our nation in today. Eventually, on December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress, changing the national Thanksgiving Day to the fourth Thursday of November. This is the day that we have celebrated as a nation since, and it is the day that we will take time away from work and the normalcy of life to give thanks to God. While it is often associated with giving thanks for the harvest, we all know that the harvest, especially in New England, has been completed for a good while, with high daytime temperatures now in the 40s. However, it is a time that we look at our abundance of blessings and give thanks.

Our blessings of provisions are not what just came in from out of the field and are now in our storehouses. They are first and foremost relationship with the God above, who provides Truth and the Way of Life in His Word and gives us the sun, soil, air, water, and health to work the land, and good minds to do all kinds of work to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. Our blessings are those who sit around our Thanksgiving table with us as well as loved ones who we wish were able to sit with us but cannot because of service to our nation or health, duties, or financial limitations. Still, they are in our hearts and are blessings just the same.

The fact that we have loved ones with whom to share Thanksgiving is a great blessing. If you do not have someone to share Thanksgiving with, then look for those with whom you can serve. If you have health and the means, then volunteer in a soup kitchen. You have been blessed with the ability to help others and can be a blessing to others and in return be a blessing to those with less than you. These volunteer Thanksgivings have been some of our family’s best memories. They taught our children the joy of giving to others with less than us, and even when we were struggling it helped them remember that we were still “rich” in some people’s eyes because we had transportation, shelter, and family. Those are always reasons to give thanks and should not to be discounted!

Thanksgiving, by Sarah Latimer

The juice we drink and the bread we eat,

The table’s set with the fruit and meat.

Families gather at the Thanksgiving table,

Though times may seem dark and unstable

We’ll give thanks to Him who’s more than able!

——–

Let us remember, when we serve God,

His Spirit sustains us as onward we trod,

Where would we be without His hand

To provide for us and help us stand?

We’ll give thanks to the One who has eternity planned.

——–

Lift our praise, we joyfully sing

Glory to the King of kings

He alone shall be adored

Give thanks, give thanks, to our LORD

We’ll give thanks to God in one accord.

——–

We know the covenant the early colonists made

And the Constitution written by those who prayed

Though there are those denying God in this land

We, this day, recognize His hand

We give thanks to God who’s blessed our nation so grand!

——–

So we look forward to sharing our table with family and also precious friends this Thanksgiving. While our focus will be on giving thanks to God for His great provision to see us through yet another year and bless us with more friends and family, more knowledge of Him and His ways, improved preparations for the future that lies ahead, and continued molding of our character and strength, we will enjoy the bounty at our table with an abundant feast.

A Thanksgiving feast means that it is “turkey time”. All of our stores are offering turkeys at wonderful, competitive prices, and I am stocking up for the year! Large turkeys can be had for as little as $0.99/lb and sometimes $0.79/lb with minimum purchases! My freezer gets filled up with turkeys this time of year, as much as I can afford within my grocery budget. I can use a turkey to make at least four meals, and I just got a 21-lb turkey yesterday for a bit over $17. You can’t beat that!

I first use the turkey breast, sliced, for about two meals. Then the select pieces of “chunk” white meat and dark meat are used in casseroles. After that, the carcasses with bits of meat and vegetables are boiled overnight in a crockpot to make bone broth for turkey noodle soup or turkey and biscuits. If I can get three family meals out of a large roasted chicken, I can sure get four or five meals out of a large turkey, depending upon how many are joining us! Our U.S. Dollars aren’t what they used to be, but I’m stretching ours as far as they will go.

When, we think about Thanksgiving, we all think about sitting down for a great meal. Friends and family who gather to contribute to this meal typically ask me to make the Herbed Cornbread Dressing and Cranberry Salad (and sometimes pies, too). Here’s my Herbed Cornbread Dressing recipe that you can use to contribute to your Thanksgiving celebration:

Herbed Cornbread Dressing

This makes a large pan of herbed cornbread dressing; it is heavy on the herbs, but you can tone them down if you prefer. Make it the night before you want to serve it so that it has time for the flavors to blend well before baking. We like to eat it on the dry side with lots of turkey gravy; however, cook it to the point your family likes it– less for moist and more for dry dressing. It could also be used as stuffing, but I would significantly reduce the amount of chicken broth in the recipe, as the turkey will provide a good deal of moisture.

Ingredients

  • 2 skillet/pans sweet cornbread, baked
  • 1 small celery bunch, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)

Procedure

  1. Crumble corn bread into 3-quart baking dish.
  2. In medium sauce pan, melt butter; saute onion, garlic, and celery until translucent (but not browned).
  3. Add broth (I use Better Than Bouillon and water but add a little extra base paste for extra flavor); stir and add bay leaves. Simmer for one hour.
  4. Remove bay leaves; add remaining spices, taste and adjust accordingly.
  5. Pour spicy broth over crumbled corn bread.
  6. Let sit together, covered overnight in the refrigerator (or at least an hour so the cornbread can absorb the flavors).
  7. Stir in beaten eggs, if adding, before baking.
  8. Bake at 375 F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until edges and top are lightly browned.

May your Thanksgiving week be one of those weeks where decades of blessings happen, as you prepare your hearts and home, spend time with those you love, and, ultimately, give thanks to God above for all He has done and will do for those who love and honor Him! We serve a mighty God, and in God we trust!

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