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WITandWISDOM(tm) - November 22, 2001

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

The trick is to love your age, whatever it is. Love it when you're young and strong and foolish. Love it when you're old and wise. If you love your age, you'll never go around wishing you were some other age. Think about that. - Miss Lucy, quoted by Arthur Gordon

Subjects: Aging


BreakPoint Commentary #91103 - 11/03/1999
"God's Instrument" : The Story of Squanto by Charles Colson

Most of us know the story of the first Thanksgiving - at least, we know the Pilgrim version. But how many of us know the Indian viewpoint?

No, I'm not talking about some revisionist, p.c. version of history. I'm talking about the amazing story of the way God used an Indian named Squanto as a special instrument of His providence.

Historical accounts of Squanto's life vary, but historians believe that around 1608 - more than a decade before the Pilgrims arrived - a group of English traders sailed to what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts. When the trusting Wampanoag Indians came out to trade, the traders took them prisoner, transported them to Spain, and sold them into slavery.

It was an unimaginable horror - but God had an amazing plan for one of the captured Indians - a boy named Squanto.

Squanto was bought by a well-meaning Spanish monk, who treated him well and taught him the Christian faith. Squanto eventually made his way to England and worked in the stables of a man named John Slaney. Slaney sympathized with Squanto's desire to return home, and he promised to put the Indian on the first vessel bound for America.

It wasn't until 1618 - ten years after Squanto was first kidnaped - that a ship was found. Finally, after a decade of exile and heartbreak, Squanto was on his way home.

But when he arrived in Massachusetts, more heartbreak awaited him. An epidemic had wiped out Squanto's entire village.

We can only imagine what must have gone through Squanto's mind. Why had God allowed him to return home, against all odds, only to find his loved ones dead?

A year later, the answer came. A shipload of English families arrived and settled on the very land once occupied by Squanto's people. Squanto went to meet them, greeting the startled Pilgrims in English.

According to the diary of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, Squanto "became a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . He showed [us] how to plant [our] corn, where to take fish and to procure other commodities." He "was also [our] pilot to bring [us] to unknown places for [our] profit, and never left [us] till he died."

When Squanto lay dying of a fever, Bradford wrote that their Indian friend "desir[ed] the Governor to pray for him, that he might go to the Englishmen's God in heaven." Squanto bequeathed his possessions to the Pilgrims "as remembrances of his love."

Who but God could so miraculously convert a lonely Indian and then use him to save a struggling band of Englishmen? It is reminiscent of the biblical story of Joseph, who was also sold into slavery - and whom God likewise used as a special instrument for good.

Squanto's life story is remarkable, and we ought to make sure our children learn about it. Sadly, most books about Squanto omit his Christian faith. But I'm delighted to say my former associate Eric Metaxas has just written a children's book called "Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. I highly recommend it. It will teach your kids about the "special instrument sent of God" - who changed the course of American history. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving can be ordered on-line from BreakPoint at the following link:
http://www.pfmonline.net/products.taf?_function=detail&Site=BPT&Ite m_Code=BKSQU

Subjects: Thanksgiving, Indians, Pilgrims

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:


Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

Subjects: Thanksgiving, Diet


When told to write a paper with the title: 'What I Am Grateful for on Thanksgiving Day, a little boy wrote, "I am thankful I am not the turkey."

Source: Weekend Encounter, by Dick Innes, Copyright 2000, http://www.actsweb.org/subscribe.htm

Subjects: Thanksgiving, Turkeys, Thankfulness

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Don't Know Much About® The Pilgrims

During Thanksgiving cutouts of Pilgrims in black clothes and clunky shoes are sprout all over. You probably know that the English colonists we call the Pilgrims sailed aboard the Mayflower and arrived in 1620 at what is now Plymouth, Mass. But did you realize their first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days? How well do you know these early New Englanders? Don't be a turkey. Try this quick quiz by Kenneth C. Davis, author of "Don't Know Much About Hist" and , just for kids, Don't Know Much About the 50 States.

Questions: True or False?

1. The Pilgrims generally wore stiff black clothes and shoes with silver buckles.

2. They came to America in search of religious freedom.

3. Most people aboard the Mayflower were Pilgrims.

4. The Pilgrims were saved from starvation by a Native American friend, Squanto.

5. The Pilgrims celebrated America's first feast of thanksgiving.


1. False. Their everyday clothing was blue, green, purple and brownish. Those who had good black clothes saved them for the Sabbath (Sunday). No Pilgrims wore buckles; artists made that up later.

2. True. The Pilgrims were a group of Puritans who had broken away from the official Church of England.

3. False. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were Pilgrims. They called the others aboard 'Strangers.'

4. True. Years before, Squanto (Tisquantum), a leader of the Patuxet Indians, had been taken - to England by traders and learned English. He taught the Pilgrims how to grow and cook corn, and where to fish. William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth Colony, later called him a 'special instrument sent by God.'

5. False. The Indians had long held similar harvest feasts. So had earlier English settlers in Virginia and Spanish settlers in the Southwest.

Source: USA Weekend, November 16-18, 2001, http://usaweekend.com

Subjects: Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, Tests

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