Burgers’ Thanksgiving 2020

“I will give thanks to Your name, O Lord, for it is good.” —Psalm 54:6b


“Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.” —Psalm 91:60

  • COVID-19 has stalked the whole world this year. Fear motivated unprecedented lockdowns and restrictions. We do not need to live in fear, even though death inevitably awaits each of us. Jesus said in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”
  • In July we visited Aunt Mattie, who graduated from high school in 1942. During World War II, people worked extra hours to support the war efforts. She worked at Allis-Chalmers making parts for tanks during the day and cooked for a diner at night. These long hours left little time to worry. Unfortunately the government’s reaction to COVID-19 put many people out of work and gave them lots of time to worry and get into trouble.
  • At Indigo BioAutomation I am very thankful to work with a great team writing software that helps clinical toxicology and reference laboratories automate their chromatography and mass spectrometry quantitative analysis. After staying home during the lockdown, I was delighted to work with the summer interns in the office. We savored outdoor lunches together. This fall I have been writing software to automate and improve the results of the PCR assays used to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19.
  • Last December we visited Josh & Elizabeth Morris in Georgia. We enjoyed seeing their new home, and they treated us to Zoo Atlanta. Kyle Schmidt, who would later become Sarah’s fiancé, joined us for the adventures and is an avid strategy game player.
  • In January Stacy & I flew to warm & sunny Bradenton to visit her parents, aunts, and friends. Two highlights were playing pickleball and walking along Siesta Key Beach.
  • In February Zach Elliott asked permission to marry Ruth, and on May 30 they were married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at the Elliott farm in Colfax. The 100 people who participated were so thankful for a joyful time of fellowship after a lonely lockdown.
  • In June we joined Christ the King Church of Thorntown, a church plant where Zach & Ruth have been serving since the Elliotts moved to Colfax last year. We really appreciate the in-person worship, fellowship, and community outreach. I helped the church become a non-profit corporation.
  • Ruth is expecting a baby next spring, and I am thrilled to be a grandpa!
  • By God’s grace all twelve of us plus my unborn grandchild got to visit Zion National Park and the north rim of the Grand Canyon in August after rescheduling the trip three times! We were so thankful to spend a week together seeing the spectacular sights! We all stayed in a rental house in Hurricane, Utah, and traveled in a rental van. We’re glad that Ruth is no longer so green from morning sickness.
  • In family devotions we use a systematic daily plan to read through the Bible in about 4 years and find the summary animations from the Bible Project very helpful. We enjoy World Watch daily news videos, and I listen to Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk podcast.
  • The cancellation of so many activities this year caused us to gain a new appreciation for the value of physical presence. The Social Dilemma documentary explains how the technology that connects us also manipulates, distracts, polarizes, and monetizes us. We have become much more sensitive to free services, because they sell our time and attention to advertisers. We switched our e-mail, contacts, and calendars to Fastmail.