I found some interesting stuff.  I thought I would share it.

How did it all begin?  We know the store of the Mayflower etc.  Perhaps that is an assumption I shouldn’t make given the state of our public schools systems (oops, sorry for the politicking).  Here is the story of the first Thanksgiving on American soil (thank you Wikipedia).  (Personal note – You’ll notice Bass was on the menu.  You can thank God now for fisherman.  You’re welcome).

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated to give thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony survive their first brutal winter in New England.[2] The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.[3] The feast consisted of fish (cod, eels, and bass) and shellfish (clams, lobster, and mussels), wild fowl (ducks, geese, swans, and turkey), venison, berries and fruit, vegetables (peas, pumpkin, beetroot and possibly, wild or cultivated onion), harvest grains (barley and wheat), and the Three Sisters: beans, dried Indian maize or corn, and squash.[4][2][5][6] The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “Thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.[7]

But I was curious about what set the stage for the journey to begin with?  I found out a little information and have provided links etc. to that info.  This also sheds a little light on the history of the Baptist tradition.

During the sixteenth century several movements sprang up in England hoping to reform the Church of England.  Most called for a return to the simple teachings and practices of the Bible.  

One militant group, the Puritans, were deeply influenced by John Calvin and the reform of the church that he instituted in Geneva.  They were called “Puritans” because they insisted on purity of doctrine and practice in the church.

Another group, the Separatists, were people who had given up hope of reforming the church from within.   They were called “Separatists” because they separated from the Church of England and formed independent congregations.  

While many Separatist congregations were comprised of discouraged and extremist Puritans, Separatism included congregations holding a variety of theological views.    The movement branched into groups as diverse as Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers and a variety of independent churches.

The first Baptist church sprang from a Separatist congregation that formed in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire around 1606.  John Smyth became its leader.  Smyth and his congregation believed 1) the Bible, not creeds or church tradition, should be the guide for faith and practice, 2) the church should be consisted only of believers, and 3) the church should be governed by its members and not by bishops.

The Gainsborough church grew so rapidly that the large size of the gathering made it dangerous to meet.  English law forbade separate “conventicles” and congregations.  The congregation divided.  Smyth continued to lead the congregation that remained at Gainsborough.  Another congregation was formed at Scrooby Manor and they elected John Robinson as pastor.  By 1608 both congregations had fled to Holland to escape persecution.  

Robinson’s congregation settled for a time in Leyden.  Among them were William Bradford and William Brewster.  In 1620 Bradford, Brewster led some members of the congregation and others to set sail for America on the Mayflower.  These “Pilgrims” were the founders of the Congregational church in America.

Smyth’s congregation settled in Amsterdam.  Among his congregation was Thomas Helwys.  In Amsterdam the group came in contact with Dutch Mennonites who taught believer’s baptism and advocated religious liberty.  Smyth soon became convinced that infant baptism was invalid and that only believers (people who make a personal profession of faith in Christ) should be baptized.  In 1608/09 Smyth baptized himself and then baptized the other members of his congregation.  

In 1611 Thomas Helwys led a portion of Smyth’s congregation back to London to advocate religious liberty and to establish the first Baptist church on English soil.  Smyth and the bulk of his congregation remained in Holland and eventually united with Frisian-Waterlander Mennonites.

There is also another tradition related to Thanksgiving.

The National Football League‘s Thanksgiving Classic is a series of games played during the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It has been a regular occurrence since the league’s inception in 1920. Since 2006, three games are played every Thanksgiving. The first two are hosted by the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, with one team from each conference playing either team on a rotating basis; a third game, with no fixed opponents, has been played annually since 2006.  The 2010 match-ups include the Detroit Lions versus the New England Patriots, the New Orleans Saints versus the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets versus the Cincinnati Bengals.

Happy Thanksgiving!


I have art for sale. Asking $1.5 million.

Thank you to everyone for the kind words and birthday wishes!  It’s a great day. 

My 7-year-old daughter set her alarm and woke up early so she could fix me breakfast in bed.  I had eggs, toast, bacon, and hot coffee.  She also made me a sculpture commemorating our largest achievement of the year; she learned to ride her bike.  More on that later.

My wife and in-laws treated me with tickets to Spamalot, a cultural juggernaut and right up my alley! 

My new job is going well, and if things go according to plan a new office will be in place at the end of the year.  My very gracious employer has already agreed to leverage our grand opening as a fund-raising event for a local children’s charity.  Details will follow after the holidays.

All that to say, I’m enjoying being spoiled! 

I would like to ask a favor.  Check out WorldOrphans.  Their model is one I dearly love.  They empower a local church to meet the needs of their community and then help them create the means to become self-sustaining.  I’ve seen widows and widowers take on six to ten kids and begin their own families.

I would like to ask your help in a couple of ways.  One, post their link to your profile, Twitter, or blog.  They are working in so many areas of the world, you might create a supportive relationship by introducing them to someone in your network.  Two, consider giving a small gift. 

A friend once asked a very legitimate question, “Why are we “helping” orphans in Africa when we have so many challenges right here at home?”  Personally, I don’t care if it is Africa, Haiti, China, Ukraine, or America… one less orphan is one less orphan.  One child with a bed is one less child on the street.  I don’t care where in the world it happens, it just needs to happen.  If supporting World Orphans isn’t of interest, then maybe one of these others are: 99 Balloons, Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter.  Or, if you dare, find one near you and give to them.

Being born was great and all, and I would take the credit but Mom really did all the work; however, it would sure go a long way if I knew being born helped someone I would never meet.

Marlow's First Bike Ride

And regarding the artwork:

It is my daughters sculpture of her riding her bike.  The sculpture materials are drinking straws, wire, rings and duct tape.  It’s currently on sale for $1.5 million.

Thanks again for your kind words and for making it a great day!!

A Bowl of Stew = thousands of years of war

Have you ever made one of those snap decisions out of a sense of desperation?  You ever wonder about the magnitude of such a decision?  Most of you know I was a licensed minister at a young age.  My poor choices changed all that.  Sometimes I wonder about the magnitude of my decisions.  Today I read about an example of another such knucklehead.

The Bible records a story about this guy named Esau (Genesis 25).  In that chapter of the book, this idiot sells his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of stew.  That’s right, lentil soup and bread.  So what’s the big deal?  Esau had no idea the value of his birthright and no regard for it.  Later in Malachi chapter 1, God himself declares his love for Jacob and His disdain for Esau.  The guys land will be cursed, generations of wars etc.  It was such a big deal, it was mentioned again in Romans 9 and Hebrews 12.

Easy lesson here.  You have freedoms to believe what you wish and make choices according to those beliefs.  However, with that freedom comes the responsibility of playing out the results.  Making a decision out of desperation, fear, convenience, or even hunger is probably not the wisest of moves.

Oh, and remember our brothers Esau and Jacob?  They are considered to be patriarchs of two people groups; Hebrew and Arab.  And so the fighting continues…

World Garden rocks!

This has to be one of the best models for a business that a person can imagine.  As a business; great food, excellent service, and overall super little place to grab lunch.  But when you step back to take a closer look at the impact they are having on the community it is amazing stuff.  Both locally and internationally.

Check out their website.  When you’re at the cafe, look at the signage on the windows and above the kitchen.  You’ll begin to understand what they are all about.  If I have to decide whether to give my money to a chain OR a shop that literally feeds thousands of meals to folks right here in the area, free of charge… it’s a no brainer.

Great job to Rick and the World Garden crew!!!  I’m a fan.

POP Display? Think CUBE.

I enjoy the creative aspect of POP (Point of Purchase) displays.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a designer.  In no way shape or form.  That being said, I do enjoy the creative process.  And that process has shown me something I think clients, designers, and merchants should try to remember.  Your designing in 3 Dimensions.  I know, “Duh!”  But hear me out for a second.

Most folks will look at a modular space as a board with hooks and those hooks have to be arranged in a particular order.  Or the challenge can be an end cap or even inside the refrigerated section.  The oversight tends to occur when we get so fixated on arranging the hooks or moving the shelves that we forget we are working in a three-dimensional environment. 

Imagine the work environment like a cube.  If you create a cube around your entire area, you begin to discover unrealized billboard space.  Perhaps it is the bottom of the modular with a shelf liner.  Perhaps an extra long hook gives you a small place to create a call out.  Perhaps the top of the refrigerator unit has nothing on it and that would be a good place to create signage.  Maybe, jut maybe, there is space between the front of the shelf and the product.  That too is usable to create advertising space.

The lesson I learn more often than most when looking at a retail space is to remember to look at the whole environment.  Like you are trying to pack a box with product and messages.  Imagine a cube around it and see what it reveals.

Love Saturdays

I was up at 7:00 working on this site.  As I mentioned in the “About” page, I tend to obsess over something new.  I feel like I’m learning a foreign language.

I’ve been poking around now for about 2 hours and I’ve already decided the site isn’t going to do what I want it to, it won’t look exactly like I would like, and I’m not even sure what there is for me to write about.  All that being said, I’m still intrigued enough to keep after it until I learn how to do this.  I give it two or three weeks and then I’ll be over it.