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Tag Archives: the Pilgrims

Beyond Tradition

In order to keep with tradition, individuals will travel across the country if necessary to be with their family.  American minds have been programmed to gather for Thanksgiving and Christmas annually, getting stressed out and becoming broke in the process.  Is this cycle really worth repeating or has the meaning of these special holidays become lost in translation from one generation to the next?  Perhaps the meaning lies somewhere beyond tradition.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, Philippians 4:6.

As a former teacher,  I know Thanksgiving has become commercialized and stripped of its original meaning to avoid becoming politically incorrect.  Yet, if you search hard enough, you will find what really happened to celebrate this occasson.  Early on the Pilgrims initially tried communism, sharing the land and it’s harvests for the common good of the community.  However, when hard working individuals realized there was no reward for going above and beyond what was expected, production declined making that first winter difficult to survive.  Recognizing this flawed system, the following year families were allowed to keep any excess harvest, bartering and trading with Indians.  When the concept of this free market system took off, the Pilgrims and Indians came together after the fall harvest to thank God for providing enough food to get families through the winter.

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High, Psalm 7:17.

Unless you are homeless or poor, it’s hard to appreciate the effort necessary to collect, gather and store food for several months without a refrigerator or modern applicances.  Some nights, families went to bed starving, not knowing when or if another meal will be provided.  This desperate environment forces you to either work tiredlessly for food or develop a complete trust that God will somehow supernaturally provide.  Today, Americans have so much more than the Pilgrims ever did that many become spoiled, complaining about superficial aspects of life.  Sure, it would be great to be rich, buy family members lavish Christmas gifts and not have to worry about making a car or house payment.  Yet, it’s time to go beyond the tradition of Thanksgiving and Christmas to see life for what it is, a gift from God.  Don’t let earthly demands for these holidays steal your joy.  Rather, each time you wake up, look around at the blessings you have been given so that a spirit of gratitude will reign despite what others may do or say this holiday season.

by Jay Mankus

The Pot Dilemma

Since the discovery, exploration and colonization of America, tobacco has been a part this culture.  From the Indians, on to the Pilgrims and to the Amish of today, growing tobacco is an annual tradition.  This crop was part of a thriving industry until medical research revealed a connection to cancer in the 1960’s.  Advertisements, commercials and movie stars portrayed smoking cigarettes as cool.  Despite warning labels placed on packaging, tobacco companies continued to profit.  High schools offered smoking courts to students who sought a daily nicotine high.  Yet, in the last twenty years, the demonization of tobacco has taken extreme measures to reduce the smoking population.  Sin taxes, the banning of smoking establishments in major cities and public service announcements hope to snuff off this harmful hobby.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

If leaders in the Progressive Party get their way, the government will soon control what you eat or drink.  This implementation began with the national school lunch plan, forcing students to eat healthy.  The only problem is you can’t force someone to do something they are not ready to do.  Sure, you can try through coercion like putting outrageous taxes on soda or sugar products.  This may deter individuals but at some point Americas will realize what is happening.  What’s next coffee or a modern tea party response?  When you don’t allow free will to play itself out, freedoms will be taken away one at a time.  Local and state governments are now applying high school tactics at a national level where one person’s trespass bans an act for everyone else.  Yet, why would a growing number of states now be open to legalizing marijuana?

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires, Romans 13:13-14.

Initially, states introduced legislation for medical pot use only for killing pain.  Today, 17 states has developed or passed similar laws.  A few states out west have expanded earlier bills by allowing pot shops.  Recently, Denver has reported a large homeless population possibly due to drug addiction.  Meanwhile, state officials blame this on a lack of affordable housing.  My one question for the pot dilemma is if it took a couple of centuries to realize smoking cigarettes was bad for your health, how long will it take to scrutinize pot smoking?  I lost a good friend from high school to cancer due to smoking pot.  Another friend from college was unable to have kids, killing his sperm count from excessive pot smoking with this issue eventually ending his marriage.  I’m sure my readers have there own nightmares. While tobacco companies were demonized for corporate profits, state governments are set up to make millions in tax dollars.  Will there be a sense of urgency to uncover the dangers of smoking pot or will states hide behind this new slush fund?  This is the pot dilemma.

by Jay Mankus

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