From: a touch of william
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2015 11:20 AM
To: 'atow/CBTC Mailing List'
Subject: Happy Thanksgiving Message



I could not resist taking the above picture of the Center this past Saturday precisely for use as a Thanksgiving greeting. Yesterday, after a few days of sunshine, things around town looked more like the picture at right, which I took on my exercise walk. And, truth be known, after some rain last night, the snow is gone today. But Saturday it was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, as the song says, or at least a lot like winter. We usually get a light snow to introduce us to the concept that autumn is winding down, and winter is on its way. That picture was taken mid-afternoon. It snowed all day. So much for easing from one season into the next.  



Greetings to each of you,

As for so many, Thanksgiving is likely my favorite American holiday. It is not about buying, sending, or bringing cards or gifts. It is just about gathering. It is about being there, in person if possible, in spirit if necessary. As one who considers a Native American perspective as well, it could be a downer holiday. Abraham Lincoln apparently was the one who created the Thanksgiving holiday as we deem it today. The pilgrims and Indians gathering together in peace was a nice image for a country split apart by civil war. Even though that picture and story is very popular in paintings and elementary school programs, there is much documentation which disputes the facts of the story line. And, then things went downhill from there. But that does not diminish the holiday for me. The real dynamics of the holiday, gathering as community, sharing a meal, and giving thanks is actually something traditionally done more as a way of life in native culture than western culture. It is something we all can celebrate, regardless of the beginnings and myths of this special Thanksgiving Day. For those who might be interested, here are a couple of links telling the story from the perspective of the tribe/nation which is generally just referred to as “Indians” in the typical version of the “original thanksgiving day” narrative:

For about a month and a half, I have had some problems using my right hand after an injury. I spent last week with a bout of the flu, and a lingering cough. I get the distinct impression God might be pushing me in the direction of a work pace, mindset, and lifestyle which more resembles a retirement of sorts, or at the very least some simplification and slowing down. In the midst of His “hints”, for some time I have been getting glimpses of thankfulness. Sometimes, from the most unusual circumstances. I was picking up some groceries at the store recently, and it was very clear the young man working the meat counter was not enamored with his job. I see that a lot. We are a culture of money choices. Surprisingly, it made me thankful for the Teaching & Sharing Centers. A small voice trying to change the basis upon which we choose. And, helping however we can. Honestly, I am often saddened by my apparent inability to have had much of an impact these past 21 years, but I truly see great possibilities for the T&SC organization, even though likely beyond my days here. It gives me hope, and makes me humbly thankful for the direction God has taken my life. I pray for God to connect the organization with those whose vision can expand upon the strong foundation begun on Bridge Street in Grand Ledge.  

Speaking of God and thankfulness, I initially thought I would throw in a quote from Scripture about giving thanks. So, I used an online resource to do a search with the key words “give thanks.” Earlier in the week, in my notes I had written, “In the midst of football, food, and shopping the sales, may you be blessed with a moment to quietly give thanks,” which was supposed to be followed by the Scripture quote. But I was a bit overwhelmed by the search results:  

1 Thessalonians 5:18
1 Chronicles 29:13
Nehemiah 12:24
Psalm 35:18
Psalm 107:1
Psalm 107:31
Psalm 118:29
Psalm 136:3
Matthew 26:26
Mark 14:23
Romans 14:6
1 Corinthians 15:57
Revelation 4:9
1 Chronicles 16:34
2 Chronicles 5:13
Nehemiah 12:31
Psalm 100:4
Psalm 107:8
Psalm 118:1
Psalm 119:62
Psalm 136:26
Matthew 26:27
Luke 22:19
1 Corinthians 1:4
2 Corinthians 1:11
Revelation 11:17
1 Chronicles 16:35
2 Chronicles 20:21
Psalm 7:17
Psalm 106:1
Psalm 107:15
Psalm 118:19
Psalm 136:1
Jeremiah 33:11
Mark 8:6
Luke 24:30
1 Corinthians 10:16
Colossians 3:17
1 Chronicles 16:41
2 Chronicles 31:2
Psalm 9:1
Psalm 106:47
Psalm 107:21
Psalm 118:21
Psalm 136:2
Matthew 15:36
Mark 14:22
John 6:23
1 Corinthians 11:24
1 Thessalonians 5:18

One could get the impression that thanks-giving is pretty important in the overall scheme of things. Maybe we should do it more often?  As far as a quote to end with here. Rather than trying to pick from that rather lengthy list of search results, I decided to go with a Billy Graham quote which came in an email two days ago:

“Why should we give God thanks? Because everything we have comes from God.”

God’s peace,

Acts 5:29



General Notes: 

My computer is usually kept turned off from sundown on Friday (beginning of the Sabbath) until very late on Sunday (end of the Lord's Day).  Therefore, I typically do not see, nor have the opportunity to act on, reply to, or send, emails except on weekdays.  Plus, I normally only check emails once each weekday morning, so later emails are not seen until the next day (or Monday if sent on a Friday).  Please keep this in mind when deciding whether to email or phone. 

I am not on Facebook, Twitter, or any other online social media site.  So, in addition to creating and maintaining the website (have you visited it lately?), I currently maintain two emailing lists for sending information, updates, and greetings: 

atow/CBTC email list (formerly the poet’s circle) keeps you apprised of basic information from a touch of william and Cherokee Bill's Teaching & Trade Center, as well as updates, changes, and new additions to my (.org and .net) website.  This is my own separate list from the T&SC corporate list (the poet’s circle).  Simply reply to my email address to request addition to or removal from my atow/CBTC list.

My personal Family & Friends email list is used primarily for holiday greetings or other more home life related communications and information, although very occasionally I might use it along with the atow/CBTC list to announce something important which is related to my work.  Simply reply to my email address to request addition to or removal from my Family & Friends list.  Those on my F&F list normally receive a birthday greeting by email.  If you are receiving other F&F emails but not a birthday e-card, I probably do not have your birthdate in my files.  Please provide me with the date.  I would very much like to acknowledge your birthday. 

If, for any reason, you feel the need to be removed from either or both of my lists, this is fine, just let me know.  All I ask is that you please not designate my emails as 'spam.'  They are not that.  Doing so could sidetrack them for others who wish to receive my emails.  I have never sent spam and never will.  If you are on my list(s), it is because you requested it, or our prior contact or relationship seemed to deem it appropriate (such as merging our Christmas card list into the F&F list). 

Helping to identify and stop spam:  All emails from me clearly state the topic in the subject line.  If there are any links, the complete URL is shown and the reason for the link described in the body of the letter.  If I am including any attachments, they will be identified and mentioned in the body of the letter as well.  When mailing to either of the above mentioned lists, I always use the blind carbon copy (Bcc) line so your email address does not appear in the email.  My address books are kept only in my computer and not online anywhere.  I do not forward petitions, lists, or similar items that show addresses, as these can be bogus attempts by spammers to collect them. 


If you add me to a list of yours, or whenever you are sending me multiple recipient emails, I would appreciate it if you would please use my email address.  It is my most public address. 

If you are replacing a working computer system or laptop with a newer one, live locally enough to drop your old one off at the Center (or have it picked up), and would like to donate it to my a touch of william outreach rather than try to find where to recycle or dispose of the old one, I freely place functioning used systems (Windows XP or later operating systems) with my slide shows into nature centers, museums, and other places where they are desired.  Call me (627-7366) if you have a system or laptop to donate. 


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