Mathison entertains crowd at Female Factor

Published 11:01 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013

At Female Factor’s monthly meeting Wednesday afternoon, a record crowd of over 150 turned out to be entertained by Rev. John Ed Mathison.

Rev. Mathison served as the pastor at Frazier United Methodist Church in Montgomery for 36 years. During his tenure as pastor, enrollment at the church increased from 400 to 8,800.

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Mathison addressed the assembled ladies on what it truly means to be thankful during this time of the year. “During this time of the year, I often ask myself, ‘How can I get ready for Thanksgiving?’” Mathison said. “I think Thanksgiving is one of the toughest holidays to prepare for. We have so much that sometimes it is hard to be thankful. On Thanksgiving Day, we will consume more food than 75 percent of the people in the world consume in a whole week.”

Mathison shared a quote by Gov. William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony inviting people to the first Thanksgiving in 1623. “This is how Gov. Bradford invited the pilgrims to the first Thanksgiving,” Mathison said. “His proclamation reads: ‘Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes and garden vegetables, and made the forest to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from the pestilence and granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience, now I, your magistrate do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of nine and twelve in the daytime on Thursday, November ye 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth Rock, there to listen to ye Pastor and render Thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all his blessings.’ Think about how little they had then, and yet they were still grateful.”

Mathison provided the crowd with a three-step process to help in giving thanks over the holidays. “First, be thankful for the source of what you have,” Mathison said. “Your blessings do not come from the federal government or the state of Alabama. The source of our blessings comes from God. It was God who prepared this nation for what it is supposed to be in the world. We’ve forgotten who it is who brought us here.”

Mathison’s second step involved giving thanks for the basic necessities of life. “Second, be thankful for the simple things,” Mathison said. “Thank God for your food, for your clothing, for veterans and for teachers and coaches. When was the last time you called up a teacher and thanked them? Teachers make a difference in the lives of our kids.”

Mathison left the group with a final word of advice. “Finally, recognize the scope of all you have to be thankful for,” Mathison said. “Think about all the things the Bible says to be thankful for. How many of us have been thankful for everything we have been blessed with? Let me suggest moving off Grumble Street and moving on to Thanksgiving Avenue.”

Female Factor is a monthly lunch and learn hosted by Troy Regional Medical Center and supported by area businesses.

Female Factor’s next meeting will be held on Dec. 11. Reservations can be made by calling Karen Herring at (334)-670-5487 or by e-mailing her at