Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

Thanksgiving 2018…Who’s in charge?

One Man; What Difference can one make?

Squanto: Pawtuxet Indian born around 1592, a hundred years after what? Columbus 1492 – sailed the ocean blue.

1605 he was captured, taken to England, treated well, taught English language and customs—the likely plan was to make him a guide for New World explorers.

1614 during return to America was abducted and taken to Spain to be sold as a slave where he was providentially purchased by Franciscan Friars and, you guessed it,  returned to the New World…1619.

Early 1620 makes his way to the area of his birth, near Plymouth. Most of his kin had recently died from a disease thought to be brought by the Pilgrims, who had yet to land. The disease was most likely introduced by Europeans, but recent studies indicate that may not be the case.

1620 Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock….since the Pilgrims had left England for The Netherlands a few years earlier to escape religious persecution, being burned at the stake and the like; it’s likely that Squanto had been in England more recently than they.

Squanto saw the ships and met them at the now famous Plymouth Rock. He is the Indian given credit for teaching the Pilgrims to raise crops in the new world, particularly corn maize. Without Squanto teaching the Pilgrims how to raise crops and translating between them and the natives, the Pilgrims probably die of starvation, exposure, or simply being slaughtered for fear that they may be slave traders.

“God’s Hand in the affairs of men.” – Do you see what I see? Daniel 4:17


Today’s story begins around 1600 BC…..the number 1600 is significant
3200 years before 1600, when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, another group of people fleeing religious persecution migrated as well…it was called the great Exodus. It’s a great story of faith and includes a several supernatural events that culminated in a cataclysmic geological phenome that has yet to be matched. Their migration occurred in the year 1600 too, but 1600 BC, or there abouts.
It’s estimated that around 3 million Jews/Israelis escaped Egypt…fleeing due to religious persecution, which is roughly the population of the colonies 1776, when America declared independence.

Interesting. It’s described in the Bible

The Bible was the first book to be published in North America – “Bay Psalm Book” of 1640—primarily a book taken from the book of Psalms.
Complete Bibles were imported until the war occurred…and then the complete Bible began beign printed in America….specifically for schools…it was called—“The New England Primer.” And was the primary book used in school for the teaching of both reading and scripture…for over 100 years.

Alex de Tocqueville, a 19th century Frenchman, sent to America to observe Democracy in practice wrote this about frontiersmen, “the rugged, isolated individual on the frontier as remarkably civilized and literate, plunging into the wilderness of the New World with his Bible, ax, and newspapers.” President Obama said something similar, only with a different twist.

The Bible and the Constitution
During the early days of writing of the constitution, and with very little progress to show for it, Benjamin Franklin, who was referred to at the time, as the first American, petitioned George Washington, who oversaw the writing of the constitution, to begin each day with prayer
…. Franklin’s long, exhaustive, but eloquent plea included this.” I have lived long, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth, that God governs in the affairs of men.”
And ended with this final plea…”I therefore beg leave to move, That henceforth Prayers, Imploring the Assistance of Heaven and its Blessing on our Deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to Business; and that one or more of the Clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that Service.”

Debate ensued…unanimous agreement of the need, but then the optics, which denomination of the clergy, and so on…pre-meeting prayer was never adopted.

One of the problems today is that evidence of God’s hand in things is not spoken of. Even the most highly visible occurrences are quickly brushed aside.

Two interesting seldom-told stories…one of a farmer and the other missionary

During the French / Indian Wars…there was a famous battle near what is now Pittsburgh…Ft. Duquesne (Dew Cane) this farmer, also surveyor, and known for his leadership had been asked to lead troops to defend the western border of the English colonies…he did so…his small group became surrounded by French/Indian troops and were pounded for over 9 hours…30 men died, the Virginians surrendered and were allowed to return to Virginia…

A year later, this same farmer, now an officer, returns to the same area with the Virginia regiment, in support of 1000 British regulars…once again it was a rout but this time the Indians are told to focus the one who’d surrendered a year earlier, so they singled him out. While over 700 English were killed, and every officer except the farmer was killed, the farmer had two horses shot out from under him before finally retreating. After the retreat the farmer, the only remaining officer, realized he had several musket entry and exit holes in his jacket and musket fragments in his hair, but no wound. Years later, this farmer met the chief of the Indian tribe who’d been charged with killing him and was told how the Indians revered the great white spirit who’d protected the man from bullets, tomahawks, and arrows. Who was this farmer? George Washtington…

One more story….the missionary

Tim Tebow…throughout his college career Tebow wore eye black that read…John 3:16.
January 8, 2009 he played in a bowl game…wearing John 3:16…and over 90 million goggled the verse during the next 24 hours…and then became and remains the most frequently goggled Bible verse.

NCAA determined that players should not be able to put messages on their eye black – the move is now knows as the Tebow Rule.
But God has a way of letting us know who’s in charge.
Three years later…to the day…. Jan 8, 2012 Tebow was playing for Denver …Denver vs. Pittsburgh
Ben Roethlisberger threw one interception in the game…happened at Pittsburg time of possession 31 min 6 seconds.
Denver’s total time of possession in the game was 31 minutes and 6 seconds
Tebow’s yards passing was 316
His average pass completion was…31.6 yards
Roethlisberger’s interception? Was on 3rd down and 16..
Ain’t that something…
Then, now, and forever…
God’s hand in the affairs of man is plain to me and for those who choose to see.

Happy Thanksgiving 2018


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