Nov 21-23 2007

cartoon says happy thanksgiving with piligrim

variation of gun-totin chaplain cover
Great newspaper article of the book, Gun Totin Chaplain and interview with author.

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Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends. Courtland Milloy

variation of gun-totin chaplain cover
Great newspaper article of the book, Gun Totin Chaplain and interview with author.

Order Gun-Totin' Chaplain
I love Thanksgiving turkey. It's the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts. ~Arnold Schwarzenegger

 cartoon thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.
~Kevin James
animated leaves falling on pumpkins
Happy Thanksgiving 2007

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

thanksgiving horn of plenty

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W.T. Purkiser

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. -Estonian Proverb

   Thanksgiving and Family
Connor Apel, 6, adjusts his paper Thanksgiving pilgrim hat for the annual Thanksgiving Day play put on by his kindergarten class at the Kettering Elementary School in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, Nov 17, 2006. For years, students in this class have not been adding feathers to their American Indian headbands because they are considered sacred objects in the American Indian culture. AP via Yahoo! News - Nov 20 1:33 PM
( AP via Yahoo! News )

Several years ago, when my daughter, Meg, was leaving the Army, my family met for Thanksgiving in New Orleans(God Bless These Folks!!!).

We went to what we thought was a fun holiday movie, Home For the Holidays.

As it turned out, the movie was very dark, mainly dealing with one familyís incredible dysfunction. It was, however, a good film to talk about afterward.

Home For the Holidays revolved around a family going home for Thanksgiving. Going home for the holidays is a chore for all involved, but somehow it is what families do, even if they donít like each other very much.

Movies and TV are written by highly intuitive people who have these amazing imaginations and can make happen what they want to happen. In this case, the family, in all its craziness, got through the holiday. The value to the movie, even today as I look back, is to try not to be like the family in the movie: Please Lord, help us not to be like this; and, if we are, what do we need to do to change.

In the real world, at one time or another in the evolvement of the family, members attempt to put things right. Maybe this happens more and more as children mature and parents grow older or certain events happen that cause shunning aside past slights or perceived slights.

Look what happened after 9/11: Heart broken images of family members carrying pictures, attempting to find their loved ones killed at the World Trade Center or Pentagon were splashed all over television and the newspapers. After seeing these images or experiencing the personal loss of 9/11, who could not be moved to get things squared away with the family?

The images of mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers grieving for their loved ones killed at war in Iraq is also very heartbreaking; Most killed are young people younger than twenty-five. One never knows when our life will end, so we think of the importance of family. Thanksgiving is a great backdrop for setting things right.

Whether it is renewed patriotism, church-going, or just getting together, family involvement is where it is. Television is full of programs about families reconciling, reprioritizing, getting their differences resolved. TV shows like the The Guardian, now cancelled, was about a corporate lawyer forced to do community service and the impact it had on his life and family. Movies like Pay It Forward were around before September 11, but now somehow the meaning(someone does a kind deed for you, so Pay it Forward) is more apparent.

Of course, the relevance of movies like Band of Brothers, the miniseries about soldiers(in their own way a family) in World War II fighting to save the world, is no small thing.

Networks build much of their programming around such dramas as Sisters and Brothers, One Tree Hill and even House(a show about a very unorthodox doctor). Even though some might regard these shows as somewhat superficial, they all have heavy duty family themes. It is figuring out how to come together, putting differences aside, and seeing truly what is important.

What many of these TV shows are attempting to do is a kind of going back to the basics, i.e., those things that truly have meaning; in a sense, "This is the way it was when we were younger". Although we can never go back, what we can do is capture those truly good things in life and hold on to them with a "tight grip". The skeptics and prognosticators and social scientists will inevitably begin to question the viability of the American family, but recapturing the spirit of our own family would be no small thing and prove the skeptics wrong.

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. JHL Back to Home Page

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For, after all, put it as we may to ourselves, we are all of us from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread. The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet....

Shall we think of the day as a chance to come nearer to our Host, and to find out something of Him who has fed us so long?
-Rebecca Harding Davis

Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live.

-Jackie Windspear

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ó Epictetus

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