Thanksgiving

So this is my second blog post! I apologize for the big gap between blog posts but I’ve been incredibly busy the last 4-5 days so I didn’t have time to write. Once again, please don’t go grammar crazy! As I said before, I skim through this to look for errors so it’s not going to be a masterpiece grammar-wise. Writing-wise, of course it is 😉 I know I said that I was going to write about my experiences in the Boy Scouts next but I’m going to deviate from that pre-determined path, and talk about Thanksgiving.

 

One key thing I see about Thanksgiving is that the media are trying to take away the heritage of Thanksgiving and make it Turkey day. Obviously, this is happening for every holiday that includes God. In our society, people could care less because they gets their days off. Personally, it really offends me to the deepest degree because it is a purposeful step to knock down religion in a country where they preach tolerance. So that’s what tolerance is eh… telling people they can’t proclaim their faith and then going out and taking every possible step to degrade it that you can. That sounds dumb- but that’s where we are in America. Dramatic turnaround back to when we were talking about Turkey Day. Now step back for a second… when did an animal ever make a holiday? Did sheep make Christmas? No. Did the Easter bunny make Easter? Seems like it now, but no. When you truly think about the essence of the statement Turkey day, it really seems retarded. If that doesn’t truly state my opinion consider this soccer analogy. Two soccer teams were playing each other in the European Champions League in a group-stage game. The home team, Celtic, is a decent team while the away team Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world. If you’ve ever heard of Lionel Messi he plays for Barcelona and he IS the best player in the world. Anyways, the game was scheduled on the day of the 100th anniversary of the Celtic team and the fans were out in full force. There were pre-game ceremonies that had former players come and participate, but when the national anthem was sung right before the game you could see that the Celtic players were more jacked up to play in this game than in pretty much any other game they had ever played in their life. Celtic came out and beat Barcelona 2-1 and while Barcelona is still on top of the group it was a completely unexpected win for Celtic. Now would it make sense if the media proclaimed that the only reason why Celtic won was just because the 11 players just played really well? Of course not, I would cry bogus! They won because there was an incredible aura hanging over the game and they were playing for the 100-year heritage of their club. They had former players watching the game, and crazy fans hollering at the top of their lungs for their team. There was more to the game than the stuff on the field, just the same as there is more to Thanksgiving than the Turkey.

 

I do really like Thanksgiving traditions though. One of our family’s favorite things to do is watch football. If there was soccer we would be watching that on Thanksgiving instead haha! Therefore, we are stuck watching the incredibly fast and (to be honest) less-skilled game of football when compared to soccer. I’m sorry, once you’ve watched as many professional soccer games and professional football games as I have then you would understand the skill comparison. In football you can run the ball and pound it through the line; furthermore, I honestly love the teams like the Seahawks that can get a ton of yards playing football in this manner. Sadly, it is much easier to run through people holding on to the ball then it is to run past three or four people with a soccer ball. I understand its more physical punishment in football, but skill and strategy-wise dribbling the soccer ball is harder. You may think that when the quarterback throws the ball fifty yards it totally dwarfs out anything that soccer can do. FALSE!! In soccer we kick the ball to our teammates from fifty sometimes even sixty yards away and just like the quarterback in football we have to be right on the dime or else it’s a turnover of the ball. Still, we watch football together with our grandparents and my uncle. I’m happy to say I’ve watched enough football to be able to understand the strategy now and I don’t get as frustrated with the players when they fail or something else like that. Another tradition would be Sun Chips. It may sound innocent but every Thanksgiving my grandparents buy one or two bags of sun chips. I absolutely demolish the bag(s) and eat as much as possible. Like my uncle said, it’s kinda my duty to eat a ton of Sun Chips. Of course the same jokes come up every Thanksgiving like, “Caleb just touched the bag, it’s a lost cause for the rest of us.” Or “That’s Caleb’s personal bag just open the other one!” I have to say that’s the only time I really go on a chip-eating craze. I tend to avoid chips because they ruin all the work I’ve put into exercising. We’ll have to see what happens this Thanksgiving because I’m pretty much in the prime shape of my life… maybe I’ll be able to resist the Sun Chips!!!! Additionally, at the end of the Thanksgiving meal we always have to say something we’re thankful for. I’ll talk about that in my final paragraph. Another ritual I will go more in depth about in the final paragraph is when I go through the Thanksgiving story myself every year. Despite the fact I have most of the story down cold it is super-cool the stuff God points out that I never saw before, and what I saw this year and realized was pretty awesome. Those are kind of my Thanksgiving traditions-feel free to comment with yours on the bottom of the post!!!!

 

So I was reading the Thanksgiving story for the zillionth time and what really stood out to me this time was Squanto. Now that is a really general statement but follow me here. Everybody always points out that it was God’s plan to take Squanto away and bring him back to help the Pilgrims and I definitely agree with that statement. However, what really stuck out to me was we really never talk about how Squanto felt. Imagine having to travel across the sea without really understanding what’s going on, what’s going to happen to you and what’s going to happen to the people you’ve left behind. It is ridiculously easy to forget that God’s plan wasn’t easy for Squanto and how much pain Squanto had to go through. It seriously proves the theory that we don’t understand the hard problems we run into because we can’t see into the future like God can. I really think there was a few times Squanto just looked up to the sky (and while I’m not sure exactly who he was talking to at that point because he hadn’t become a Christian yet obviously-God, Father Spirit etc. who knows) and he just let it rip. “Why am I suffering so much?” He just let it all tumble out like water roaring down the falls in the mountains, and didn’t hold anything back. Confused, worried, depressed, uncertain… he felt all of these in the rush of the moment. While he obviously understood why God had done all this by the time the Indians were invited to the Pilgrims feast it must have been even more fulfilling for Squanto because he realized that all the pain he had went through was worth it. That really stood out to me. I’m going to end this post with some of the things I’m thankful for J because that seems like the right way to do it. I’m so thankful for God because he has blessed me beyond my comprehension and drawn me closer to him more than ever this last year. He has truly become my rock and my salvation; I can’t do anything without him anymore, it’s impossible! My family is always there to help me out with stuff and while my parents really don’t understand the social stuff haha they are a huge help for everything else. My brother and sister are awesome, nuff’ said! Looking at my soccer career, I have been so lucky to play at the levels I have, to play in the games that I have and that I’ve improved so much as a soccer player. God has given me the time, resources and skill to be a really good soccer player and the only thing I can give back is give it all back to God. I play the game as hard (for those of you who don’t know- when it comes to soccer I’m super competitive no matter what the score or whatever, I play my butt off all the time) as I can for the glory of God and whatever the result the fact that I tried my best to honor God through the way I play is what really counts. My teammates have been the BEST possible teammates that a guy could ever have and it’s so sad we only have about 5-7 games left together as a team. I’ve played with some of these guys for 5 years and I’m so thankful for every single moment with them on the team. God has also helped me through this last year of school, the hardest of which has been my math class this last quarter. Thankfully, it looks like I’m on the way to still obtaining a good score in it! I’ve been given so much I really can’t comprehend it haha. THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I’m thankful for is my friends. God has absolutely blessed me with the greatest friends in the world. I stand amazed at how many people care about me and my life J to all of my friends you guys are the best!!!!!!!!!! I would list all of you and how you’ve made my life the best it can be, but that would take about 20 years. Every single one of you has made a positive impact in my life and been super-awesome. I’m just happy you let me do the same thing in yours 😉 With that, everybody enjoy your Thanksgiving, rest up, and have a terrific day eating a ton of food and remembering what God has done for you(I still gotta find some way to lay off those Sun Chips…).

 

 

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Since I just became an Eagle Scout yesterday, my first blog post is going to be about my experience as a Boy.Cub Scout in different posts. Before my Board of Review to become an Eagle Scout I was thinking about all my wonderful episodes as a scout, and the awesome scouts I’ve been able to share it with. In order to completely understand the journey I’ve trodden through we need to go back to the very beginning of scouts, which was when I was a Cub Scout, and see the roots of this whole experience. Also, I’ll bring back to memory a lot of the amazing, interesting, boring and downright hilarious events throughout scouting. Finally, I’ll tell what I learned about myself through scouting and the ideas I will carry throughout the rest of my life. This won’t be your ideal blog… but hey, it’s free-style right!?!?

Way back when I was about 8-9 years old my parents heard about this Cub Scout deal. Obviously, since they heard it was an excellent program, they decided to enroll me into this program. They probably figured that since I was the eldest child it was a good idea to start out with an organization that taught good morals and things about the outdoors. Additionally, it was a Homeschool pack (the name of the whole Cub Scout group) and there were a few people I knew from the ACTS co-op I attended for one year. Despite my three sports I played (soccer, basketball and baseball) I always made it to all the scout meetings. There are the levels of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos 1 and Webelos 2; each individual group is known as a den. I started out at the Bear level. Man, those days were so much fun. When we practiced using our tiny pocket knifes we would get all excited about measuring out our blood circles, which is the distance that NO ONE ELSE IS SUPPOSED BE IN or you could cut them with the knife. All of us 2nd and 3rd graders would make such a huge deal out of it you would think that you would instantly die if you within a yard of somebody’s circle! We played hot potato, made collages, and a bunch of other stuff. I remember the competition we had to see who could go back the farthest through their family line. Luckily for me, my grandpa has done a vast amount of research and I was able to go back seven generations. I won handily. Selling popcorn was also another thing. The price of the popcorn was and is so ridiculously expensive! I was coming out of the grocery store the other day and there were a few cub scouts selling popcorn. I gave a donation to kids because the lowest amount to pay for popcorn was ten dollars for this really small container, and as a poor college student I can’t fork out the money for that kind of stuff. I honestly don’t know how I managed to sell so much popcorn when I was a cub scout- I think it was because we have really nice neighbors plus the economy was booming and people could buy that much. One year I sold about a $1,000 worth.  The state of the economy now kinda hinders the scouts since the popcorn is still so freakin’ costly, and with so many people out of work or pinching pennies it’s hard for them to sell a lot of it anymore. Is the government going to help out the scouts by saving our economy? Who knows? Anyways, it’s not like the actual popcorn was/is posh or anything like that. This is ordinary popcorn that the scouts get a hefty part of the money when they sell it. I remember when my Dad took me door to door in local neighborhoods and I sold the stuff. We mostly sold the twenty dollar containers, but I remember a few times where we scored a few customers who bought the forty and fifty dollar containers. That was the year when I sold about 1 grand’s worth of popcorn. And no, I’m not using my experience to peddle weed or any other illegal drug around. I know somebody was thinking asking me that when you saw the last few sentences… admit it! Wow, that was a lot about the popcorn. Another part of cub scouts was the song that you pretended to shake your backside like a squirrel’s tail. Please don’t judge the whole program of the cub scouts based on this one song, I’m sure there are plenty of sheltered packs who never sang it. Wait a minute, this was a Homeschool pack… makes you think the whole “sheltering” thing with homeschoolers is bogus. To this day I remember the main line of that song, “Squirrely, Squirrely, shake your bushy tail.”  This was the pack’s “humorous” way of embarrassing you or just a song that made a bunch of elementary children giggle. Unfortunately, this disastrous fate was directed toward me when my parents got me late to two den meetings in a row. Quickly, let me set the record straight with me getting places late or early. The times I’m late places is because of my parents okay! Whenever I’m driving somewhere and the car is all ready/my parents don’t interfere I get there early lol. Just wanted to get that straight, and I’m not dishonoring my parents because they have admitted this is the truth! Back to my tale- you see what I did there? So I had to get up in front of whole pack and lead them in this tradition. Maybe that’s why I’ve become such a skilled public speaker- because of my early experiences on stage. Plus my splendid co-op teacher Mrs. Jennings made me a better speaker as well. We did so much other stuff but I really can’t remember it all… I was too young! Plus we went to Cub Scout camp twice… that was fun! Archery, sports, scout skills, swimming… the works. At the end of Webelos II everyone had the chance to get the top award in Cub Scouting. Everyone in my den got the award- Me, Kyle, Paden, Ben and Michael. Just too quickly say I was a year older than the rest of these guys. It was pretty awesome; we had sweet but small group. Great times man! That was when we went down different paths. Paden and Ben went to the DXVI Boy Scout troop while I, Kyle and Michael went to the Boy Scout 5575 troop linked with our pack. My time in Cub Scouts was so much fun, and I know there is a ton of stuff I forgot; however, it was really awesome!