~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tracing . . . tracing . . . tracing . . . generation upon generation . . . back and back and back . . . exactly ELEVEN generations back to my nine-times-great grandfather, a man named Edward Doty, who arrived on the Mayflower. He was there for that very first Thanksgiving feast! For me, maybe for many of you too, these were not just distant people from a history book. One of them was family. Something about that direct-line family connection brings the Mayflower and all it symbolizes much closer to me. Although Grandpa Doty was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, I am so glad that he made that long voyage and did what it took to survive and thrive here, that he was part of the beginnings of this great country. Edward Doty is just one of many of my ancestors who were among the very earliest settlers in what would be come the United States of America. Each of them brought an intrepid spirit, a willingness to risk everything for freedom, and the bold resolve it took to cut a new trail into a vast wilderness and turn it into the great country we enjoy today. One more thing--the majority of them believed whole-heartedly in the God of the Bible and His Son, Jesus Christ. I am truly thankful--today, and everyday--for all those who have gone before, for their sacrifice, for their determination that made my life here possible. I am most thankful for their faith in God, a faith that put boots on the ground and persevered down through eleven generations.
"I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,"