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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



    It will be a short work week for most of us. I would guess in fact that for most people by the time this newspaper hits the stands you will have about half a day of work left and will be heading into a four day weekend. Others will have a single day off and then be right back at it, working through the weekend. Regardless of the time off you have or don’t have, we all should take a moment on Thursday to be reminded of exactly what the holiday means.

     Let’s be perfectly honest here, if I asked you if you are better off than you were four years ago, most of you would probably have to think a while before answering that you are, and in fact most of us are still in some limbo. You and I who have lived through the past few years should remember well the lessons of savings and the simplicity in being thankful for what you do have. While some of us have worked our way back into some stability financially, still others continue to struggle without and find themselves this time of year wondering where the money will come to pay the heating bills, let alone what to spend on presents for Christmas. Hope Ministries in Des Moines anticipates delivering nearly 2000 meals this year which is up from last year. Local food pantries continue to see steady flow of people needing assistance and there isn’t much of an end in sight.

     Oh don’t get me wrong, it isn’t completely all doom and gloom out there, but when you sit down on Thursday to eat your Thanksgiving meal, or head out to catch the best deals on black Friday, take a moment to think about how truly blessed you are, from your health to your work, from your family, to your lack of want. Take stock of what you have and then take a moment and think about what you can give. No matter where you give, at your church, your local food pantry, or at a red kettle in front of a store, give some, and then give just a little more.

     The next few weeks will be busy ones, with holiday programs at school, work parties and gathering of family and friends from near and far, and yet for some of us, it can be somewhat overwhelming. I think as I get older it is the cold that bothers me the most. It would be nice if the global warming would really kick in and we could cut the cold down to a couple weeks, just long enough to kill the bugs and allow the flower bulbs a rest and then get back into the 70s. I suppose this sort of thinking is what brings upon the urge of older people to head south for the winter like a flock of geese. I was thinking that perhaps I should plan that for my own retirement, but then I realized if it doesn’t ever freeze down there, then there isn’t any deadly cold snap to do in the creepy crawly bugs that inhabit Dixie. Nah, I like snow too much to head down into the land of palm trees and sand. I suppose I should just buy some extra blankets and work on my deep slow breathing in order to learn the art of hibernating.

     Anyway, as we work our way into the week, and the turkey ingested coma that is to come, I want to thank each of you for taking time to read this column every week. I am truly thankful for each of you, and for the opportunity to take time out of our week to share together. I hope that as you head into your holiday season that it is one free of want, and one in which you are blessed by the Christ child for as each of us knows, but finds it hard to practice from time to time, HE truly is the reason for us to celebrate at this time. Have a good week my friends, and pass the gravy.

See you next week. Remember, we’re all in this together.