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By: Richard Gazowsky
My forefathers, some fourteen generations ago, came over to America on the Arbela flagship of the Winthrop Fleet, which was owned by a company of Puritans. In the year 1630, Robert Burrows, my grandfather, celebrated his first Thanksgiving in Salem, Massachusetts. By that time Thanksgiving had become a yearly event in the Puritan community of America. And now, fourteen generations later, it has become an event that has far extended beyond the borders of America.
A few years ago I was in Singapore and was staying at one of their classic hotels. While there I enjoyed a beautiful traditional American turkey Thanksgiving dinner, as all of the streets in that city were decorated for the upcoming Christmas season. I had a similar experience in Hong Kong. Before my eyes I witnessed that the tradition of thanking God for His bountiful blessings of harvest, and the gathering together of the family around one table, was more than just an American tradition. It was a universal custom that was beginning to encompass the whole planet earth.
Recently God has taken me back to my family roots and has helped me discover the pot of gold that dwells within my own family relationships. I believe all of you reading this blog on this wonderful Thanksgiving Day are also taking the time to discover the precious gold that lies within your own family and relative connections. The first act God did in your life, that was also His perfect will, was the selection of your DNA, and the family connections you would be linked with for your entire human life. I never realized until recently how sacred these connections with family are. But as I got plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit and He began driving my life, I discovered He had loaded the DNA of you and I with the exact family connections necessary for us to reach the high calling of God that is in Christ Jesus.
Ever since I was a young man I have been driven to succeed in life. My family and friends know that I just can’t do things in a mediocre way. Everything in my life has to be pushed to the extreme. I have this driving force in the fiber of my spirit that drives me to the mark of the prize in the high calling of Christ. But recently God has recalculated the journeys of the inner force within me. At first I thought He was just trying to slow me down, but I found out it was much more than that.
God was trying to show me the gold, the treasure, the diamonds that existed around me ~ so close to me that I could not even see them. These were the people, relatives, and friends that God had divinely placed in my life. How precious these people are. And as I continue to plug into the will of the Spirit I will discover the gold that has been in my life all along. What I am saying simply is America’s treasure is in its families; your treasure is in your own family. It is time to mine the gold.
An example of this is found in my mother, Marilynn Gazowsky, who is already past her 91st birthday. She lives with my family and I in the house that I was raised in as a little boy in San Francisco. My children and I have found such a treasure in her each and every day. We have been planning our Thanksgiving dinner for almost two weeks now. In discussing it with my mother, it is incredible how her little comments here and there add such expression and color to our family events.
My mother definitely does not have the energy that she used to. But she still continues to take a walk, three times a week, usually through Stonestown mall, and during these times we’ve had the greatest encounters. Recently, as we were preparing for Thanksgiving, my daughter Misty walked with my mother through the shopping center and a lady stopped my mother and said, “Thank you for helping rivet together the planes for World War 2 and protecting America from its enemies. I just wanted to show my appreciation.”
Sister Marilynn laughed and said, “How did you know that I once riveted airplanes?” The lady gave a knowing look and said, “I saw you at the Rosy the Riveter Ceremony held here in San Francisco.” Misty and Sister Marilynn giggled and laughed with the lady for a few moments while a small crowd gathered at their joy. This little moment showed my daughter how valuable my mother’s connection was, not only to my personal family, but also to the greater family that we have in the City of San Francisco. On that brief occasion of thanksgiving our family passed beyond our home’s borders and went into the streets of our wonderful city by the Bay.
In 1630, my grandfather, Robert Burrows, began his single life in America as a Puritan believing that God would protect his family and his children’s children as they moved from Connecticut across this great land. My family chose to settle in San Francisco. Every year we celebrate these moments of thanksgiving and rediscover the gold that God has given us in the treasure of our family and it’s relationships. This winter we also have the privilege of celebrating the spirit of Christmas throughout the month of December.
May you and your family enjoy the time discovering the golden treasures that are in your own relationships. 2014 is approaching and right now there are three comets in the sky above us that are announcing God’s new Renaissance. Yes, the economy has been bad and I am sure that some people may still experience a rough year. But those who have discovered God’s Renaissance, God’s treasure, and God’s family, will find that the greatest year that has ever come upon the earth is the year 2014. Let me be the first one to wish you, “HAPPY NEW YEAR! THE RENAISSANCE IS HERE!”