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We were traveling through the hinterlands of the Shenandoah Valley last weekend. I was trying to keep my personal group of pilgrims guessing where they would be going next. We had spent two days learning how the other half lives at The Greenbrier — a resort near White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.

When young Thomas Jefferson married the widow Martha Wayles Skelton, their first nights were spent inside a promise: Monticello, on the grounds he’d received from his father, was only partially completed. Martha Jefferson would spend just “a little over half of her married life” and much heartbreak there.

If you Google the term Christian you will get “about 1, 370,000,000” results. Granted, some of those are anything with “Christian” in the name, but still, there are a lot of different ideas about what is Christian and what is not; which is why you can have people who claim to be Christians on opposite ends of any issue.

Miracles point out that God cannot be imprisoned in the natural world and that God’s love and mystery are greater than our hopelessness and tedium.

Without Virginia, we probably never would have become the United States. It was Virginian leadership and talent that created the nation. Think first of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, and don’t forget Chief Justice John Marshall, Patrick Henry and George Mason.