Summary: Our country cannot continue to exist prosperously financed, abundantly favored and religiously free if we fail to be grateful to our God, thankful for His blessings and respectful to His leadership!

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A little girl asked her mother, “Mommy, why do you cut the ends off the meat before you cook it?” The girl’s mother told her that she thought it added to the flavor by allowing the meat to better absorb the spices, but perhaps she should ask her grandmother since she always did it that way.

So the little girl found her grandmother and asked, “Grandma, why do you and Mommy cut the ends of the meat off before you cook it?” Her grandmother thought a moment and answered, “I think it allows the meat to stay tender because it soaks up the juices better, but why don’t you ask your Nana? After all, I learned from her, and she always did it that way.”

The little girl was getting a little frustrated, but climbed up in her great-grandmother’s lap and asked, “Nana, why do you cut the ends off the meat before you cook it?” Nana answered, “I had to - my cooking pot was too small.”

The Pilgrim who landed at Plymouth Rock over 300 years ago knew nothing of the affluent times we experience. They could never imagine the availability of such modern technology enjoyed in America, the abundant prosperity encompassing our nation and the awesome freedoms etched on every human heart in this country!

The next time you and I are tempted to complain about the state of our economy, our modern inconveniences and fighting for our liberties - remember the following:

• They left England in September 1620, and after 66 days in the fierce Atlantic, they made it to Cape Cod. The horrible overcrowding of the small Mayflower made the Atlantic crossing a nightmare. Midway across the Atlantic the Mayflower was engulfed in a terrible storm. Huge waves and screaming winds threatened to tear the masts from the deck. Seasick passengers shivered below deck, getting sicker by the day.

• They originally were sailing for Virginia but because of a terrible storm it landed them on the shores of Cape Cod. Had they landed in Virginia, historians predict that the Pilgrims would have been slaughtered by the hands of the cruelest Indians on the East Coast.

• During that first long winter at Plymouth Colony, 7 times as many graves were made for the dead as homes for the living. The next ship which was to bring food and relief brought 35 more mouths to feed, but not an ounce of provisions.

• But 4 years prior to the Pilgrims arrival, a mysterious plague had broken out among them, killing every man, woman and child. So complete was the devastation that the neighboring tribes had shunned the area, convinced that some supernatural spirit had destroyed the Indians. The land had rich, fertile soil and it is recorded by the Pilgrims that, “There were four spring-fed creeks with the sweetest water any of them had ever tasted.”

• There is nothing Americans cherish more than their freedom; and the origin of that freedom can be traced directly back to the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact.

Religious freedom (the right to own and read the Bible, to worship according to conscience, to form one’s own church); political freedom (the right to frame a constitution and form a government); even economic freedom (the right to own one’s own property and keep the fruit of one’s labors). No such thing as socialism!

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