Today Is A Gift So Be “THANKFUL!”

December 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Christian Living, life

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I start each day with; “This is the Day that The LORD has made! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it! O LORD SAVE us; O LORD grant us success. BLESSED is he who comes in the Name of the LORD. From the House of the LORD we BLESS you.The LORD is GOD and HE has made HIS Light to shine upon us.” It is interesting how we can sometimes take it for granted that there will be another day after today! Think about it for a moment! Who but GOD can make a DAY?

As each new year draws near and end I am quite Thankful! There have been many things to take place this year throughout the world! Many who started the year out with us have passed on to the other side! There have been numerous earthquakes and natural disasters that have ravaged the land! The magnitude of the world’s overall dwindling economy has reached catastrophic proportions! Many countries are suffering… Yes some have begun to rebound but the aftermath is residual. The plethora of terrorists attacks are insane… For many things will never be quite the same. The ongoing cycle of wars ending and wars beginning seem endless…

I realize that the holiday season can be a time of great anxiety for many! Memories of loved ones that have passed on and distressing times seek to vigilantly rob you of your joy! But look you are still here! You still have more time! Time is priceless! Try to think about some of the happier moments and times that you shared with them and dwell upon the fond, humorous, tender and warmhearted memories! Build new and cherished memories to hold on to! Honor their memory now as you keep them close to heart! Live live to its fullest. Set new goals and forge ahead seeking ways to accomplish your goals! Look forward to an improving quality of life no matter how long or short… Change is always on the horizon! Anything that does not change is dead. Celebrate life itself as you continue to move forward!

I can personally think of some very unpleasant moments, times of grief, illnesses, deaths, distresses and calamitous disasters that have taken place but I do not want to dwell there! Nor do I desire to camp in denial! I pray that the Lord will continue to open my eyes to TRUTH! Knowing that He will lead you or I as we are willing to submit to His Will & Way! I so want to continuously “Abide in the Shadow of the Almighty…! ” Psalm 91. This verse assures us that His protection is always available… Time waits on no one! Well I must say that The Lord can and did allow time to be turned back for a moment… “

King Hezekiah was a great example! Here we learn that God keeps His promises! With Him even the impossible is possible! “Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of The Lord on the third day from now?” Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what He has promised; shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?” “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” The prophet Isaiah called upon the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.” II Kings 20.

What are you saying; King Hezekiah was faithful to the Lord! He became sick and to the point of death. He turned his face to the wall and humbly and sincerely prayed to the Lord asking the Lord to heal him! As a sign he asked if the shadow could go back ten steps! The stairway of Ahaz is a sundial. The Egyptians made their sundials in the form of miniature staircase. Shadows moved up and down to tell the time! The Lord honored Hezekiah’s request! “On the third day from now you will go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life…” II Kings 20. Here we can see that time belongs to GOD! Evidently Hezekiah had not yet fulfilled his purpose on this side of heaven and the Lord extended his time! He granted Hezekiah another fifteen years of life!

My point here is that time is so precious and sometimes we just never know from moment to moment what will be… Even in the face of death we can turn to the Lord! We can begin to relish each moment and seek to have happier moments! To sincerely make an attempt to deal with life responsively even when it becomes unpleasant despite what is going on about us! To live life to its fullest! I believe if you reach deep enough inside, and think broad enough anyone can find something to be thankful for no matter how infinitesimally small it might be! Life itself is a precious gift! Our good days can outweigh the rough times… You may have to take it moment by moment during the difficult days when you can’t see your way through… Just know someone somewhere has more or less yet, no matter how large or small or seemingly insignificant we can express thanks! Memories are priceless! God is bigger and beyond anyone, anything or any situation we may ever encounter! He will see you through!

If you have been depressed for a long time, it’s time for things to change! God really does the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT to flourish within all of our lives daily! Know that it is the devil who wants to keep you bogged down in regrets, fear, doubt, shame and hopelessness. To make you feel so bad that the pains of life have you down and overwhelmed! To separate you from the Lord and to get you to focus on your pain! Don’t let your emotions continue to get the best of you. Exercise some self-control! Reach out to the Lord! Cry out to Him He can meet you right where you are! There is light at the end of the tunnel you may feel lonely but you are not alone! God can reach over your abyss of torment and bring you through to start anew! Know that today is a gift from Him!

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from sin. Sin is anything that separates us from GOD! Jesus came to earth to give us hope for a better life with the Lord! He never sinned and did many marvelous miraculous healings, signs and wonders! He even fed thousands of people with a small lunch of fish and bread shared by a generous young boy! The Book of John even tells us that the world could not contain the books of all the miraculous things that Jesus did WOW! Look at GOD! HE IS AMAZING! Although JESUS helped many, He was still horrendously mistreated! He was beaten, spit upon then nailed to the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb! It was borrowed because He did not plan to stay there! What happened to Him was a part of God’s plan for us! Jesus redeemed us and paid the price for the sins of the world with His life! He arose with all power from the grave declaring power over sin and death! GOD IS AWESOME!

“But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death the KEEP its hold on HIM. David said about Him:

“I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue REJOICES; my body also will live in HOPE, because you will not abandon Me to the grave. Nor will you let your HOLY ONE see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with JOY in Your presence!” Acts 2.

Today is a gift from God! Draw closer to the Lord and shift your focus to Him! He will and can make all the difference in the world in your life! Everyone who is willing to invite Him into their heart can receive His Holy Spirit! He is the Inner Teacher, Guide, Wonderful Counselor and Comforter! Do not let life just pass you by! Ask the Lord to fill your heart and lift you from despair and fill you with His JOY!

No one can be a better you than you! Don’t allow man to take you down the primrose path that leads to destruction… Don’t allow the devil to make you live in regrets… What has happened cannot be undone! But you can always choose to go forward from where you are with the hope of building a better tomorrow! You can live eternally with the Lord! Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of Hope! Seek God for yourself! We can always have Hope in the LORD! Faith is what inspires Hope! Trust GOD! This is why an ongoing intimate personal relationship with The Lord is so very important! God is Love! He is the Great Equalizer! This is why He gave us His Son JESUS CHRIST! To accept Him into our hearts and let Him become our personal SAVIOR & LORD! With Him your age, race, address, bank account, medical condition, state of mind, societal status, IQ, what you have or do not have, does not change His Love for You! In Him you can discover everything that you will ever need! He can help you be the best you! He can fill your inner void and give you His PEACE that surpasses the understanding of man! PRAISE GOD!!!

God has created each of us for a purpose! “And we KNOW that in ALL things GOD works together for the GOOD” Romans 8. In HIS time! Life is about living and discovering whatever that purpose may be. All the signs of the last days are all about us! “ “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:25-28. Knowing this we can be thankful as time draws near! Prepare today! JESUS IS COMING SOON!

In Him we can have blessed assurance! It is “in HIM we live and move and have our being!” Acts 17. Yes be Aware! Yes express your doubts and fears! However make Him your focus! Not in a legalistic religious way! God wants us to enjoy life on this side of heaven! Spend time in His presence, meditating upon His Word! Allow Him to write His Word upon the tables of your heart and trust Him to bring it to your memory when needed! His Word is precious Spiritual Food for our souls! You have as much time as you need with the Lord, because time belongs to Him! Draw closer to the Him regardless of what is happening or not happening about you! Despite what is happening in this world know that He is still in control! His Word is being fulfilled!

Make it a point to spend time in His presence today! Be Thankful today because tomorrow is not promised! We know from His Word that even when your days may be few if it is His will He can extend time! If your Faith is dwindling and your heart troubled ask the Lord to rekindle your FAITH! Surrender your anxiety, depression, sadness,doubt, regrets or sickness to Him and let Him restore your JOY! Recommit or commit to His will and His way! God is our Protector, Healer and Deliverer we must continuously learn to entrust our wellbeing to HIM! Allow Him to be your Refuge and Fortress! God has already given us the Greatest Gift ever which is JESUS CHRIST!! We can Celebrate Christmas, New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving , Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays and everyday knowing that “”The earth is the LORD’S and everything in it the world and them that dwell therein!” Psalm 24. Trust God for brighter moments, days and precious memories ahead! He CAN and will supply ALL of your needs in CHRIST JESUS! GOD TRULY IS ABLE!! Prayer and Faith go together! Each day is a day to be Thankful! “This is the Day that The LORD has MADE! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it!” GOD BLESS YOU!

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THANKSGIVING Means Much More Than Turkey!

November 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Holidays

Did you know that Thanksgiving means so much more than Turkey & Dressing? Yes, it is a time to come together and enjoy a plenteous wonderful meal that has been prepared with lots of love. Yes, it is a time to come to gather together with family, friends and loved ones and give thanks. Yes, you can even remember that Christopher Columbus an Italian Explorer discovered the Indians in America. It has been recorded in history that he actually sailed across the Atlantic in order to find spices in India.

What Christopher Columbus Really Discovered!

He sailed for King Ferdinand II and Queen Esabella of Spain. He had a fleet of three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria with an approximate crew of 90 from Palos Spain. He landed in a new world of the Americas. Many do not realize that Columbus initially had a twofold mission. He wanted to open trade routes and bring in the Word of Jesus Christ! He was named the “Admiral of the Sea” by the King and Queen. He is known for the man that discovered America. That is partially true? Yes, he too did get sidetracked. However, if the Truth be told he actually discovered the Indians that were already living quite contently!

As the settlers trickled in the atmosphere began to change. It has been said that a group of religious radicals called “Puritans” were pilgrim settlers that had been driven out of England. In 1614, explorers landed in an area called Massachusetts Bay. They actually eventually settled and built a colony called “Plymouth Plantation.” They were taught by Squanto the Indian how to survive by using corn in a plethora of ways for food. They were taught how to fish and use the herbs of the land. Plymouth was surrounded by the Wampanoag who were a large Nation of Indians. Eventually Squanto negotiated a peace treaty between the Indians and the settlers. They lived peaceable for about fifteen (15) years. It was at the end of the first year that a large feast was given. Squanto, their friends and the Indians were honored. The feast lasted for over three (3) days. It is here originates why we here in America celebrate Thanksgiving. How all too soon all was forgotten.

As word got back to England of the prosperity and peacefulness that they were experiencing in Plymouth, many people came by the boatloads. As there numbers increased the tension increased. There began to be a debate as to who possessed the land? The original agreement was cast aside. Since there were no fences, boundaries, land markers etc. (fences etc. are customs that originated in England.) The incoming settlers declared the land as “public domain” this meant it was their’s for the taking. With absolutely no respect for the current treaty between the Indians and the Puritans the newcomers began to seize and destroy the existing peace that had been established. All for the sake of becoming prosperous. Rather than share in the prosperity that had already been established they sought to destroy it and become prosperous themselves. They exiled the current Puritans and with scriptures in tow they overthrew the existing peace agreement. Then along with the use of British soldiers they captured and made many of the Indians slaves…. The rest is history….

I said this all to shed some light on a story that as a child I was taught that in 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America? But if in fact you search the chronicles of history you will find that he actually, really discovered the Indians. We in America really celebrate Thanksgiving because of the peace treaty that was made between the Puritans and the Indians. Who collectively managed to come together and celebrate their treaty and new life together. If you are a Christian you should know that spiritually speaking Thanksgiving goes even further back than that! The scriptures are full of passages to tell us how we should work, love, live and be thankful for all that God has given us. He even gave His only Begotten Son that we might have a right to the tree of life. But just like the story of Christopher Columbus what was originally intended all too often gets set aside. The principles of this story has constantly repeated itself throughout history in so many ways. All too often what really happened is set aside and replaced with the partial truth.

God wants us to know the Truth of His Word. Life for the believer or child of God really should go much deeper. But all too often one settles for what is partially true. All too often the original agreement is forgotten and laid aside. This is why it is so very important to know the Lord and His Word for yourself. Ephesians 4 tells us; “not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, to the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head-Christ from whom the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies,…….” Knowing the Word of God has its spiritual benefits. When truly taken to heart it motivates, grows and spiritually matures you, convicts, and encourages you to do and want to do things His way. Neither do you just settle for the partial truth or believe just any and everything. But you seek, desire to live and study His Word, apply the principles therein and live your life to please Him! To give thanks to Him each and every day!

God’s ways are far better. But all too often they are laid aside. Many are given and accept a partial story. Many are pressured by the need to be accepted by the majority, to suppress the truth, as well as their desire to dominate and control and have things done their way. One must earnestly seek the truth rather than settle for a partial truth or to be misled by how things appear. As God’s children we are encouraged to “seek Him first and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” What things? Whatever things you need to fulfill his plan in your life will be provided. He did not say that this would be easy. Yet, we can and should be thankful for each and every day. You know regardless of what happens that He has everything under His control. That He is a Spirit of Truth! We can be thankful because you know without a doubt that all of His WORD is true! We then can truly celebrate Thanksgiving knowing that His Son Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us. That we have been redeemed and purchased and belong to Him. That we are saved completely by His grace alone! The TRUTH really does set you free!

When you know that regardless of how things appear God knows! As I said earlier as a child I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America. But as I matured, I inquired and studied. I found out that that was only partially true. It was in fact the Indians he discovered. (For additional information read the history about the Wampanoag Indians.) The Truth will always stand the test of time. As God’s ever growing child I know that God has so much more for us in store. He does not want us to settle for less than the Truth. He wants us to study His Word and rightly apply the principles therein. He has promised to bring what has happened in the dark out to the Light. Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. His Word will be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path”. Do not be sidetracked or derailed by what you hear or how things appear. Know the Truth and His Word for yourself! Let it be your desire to want the things in life that the Lord wants you to have. To know what God wants you to know, to commit to His will and way and trust He will lead, guide and protect you. Know that nothing that happens in life gets by Him. This is why He says in the first Psalms “Do not walk in the council of ungodly people. Do not stand in the way of sinners. Nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But to delight yourself in the law of the Lord….” As a child of God you can rest assured as said in Romans; that in His time He will work out everything for your good, if you love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Too often what is right is laid aside. Man made institutions waiver. Since we live in an ever changing world your Faith and Trust must be in Him!

God’s Word is true. It is His desire that we grow in the grace and knowledge of His Word. To know Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection! That we are to be steadfast unmovable always abounding in His Word. Not only giving thanks when we eat or on Thanksgiving or Sunday. But each and everyday of our lives. We are told in Colossians 4; “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving, meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the world, to speak the mystery of Christ, which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak, Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one..” God can and will make a way out of no way!

God truly is the DAY MAKER. Who else can make a day? True ministry goes beyond the walls! Christ came and His plan of salvation has been offered to all who will believe in their heart and accept Him as Lord of their life. We are to worship and praise the Lord each and every day. We are to live a life of worship. This is why we should live lives of thankfulness. To focus and set our eyes on Him regardless of what happens, has happened or will happen. To give thanks and know that He will give us today our daily bread…… Psalms 107 says; Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so……..” Not only on Thanksgiving but each and every day. Yes it is a good thing to celebrate and give thanks! But know that Thanksgiving really does mean so much more than Turkey & Dressing. We who are the Lord’s must do as Psalm 100 tells us to enter into “His gates with thanksgiving. And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting. And His Truth endures to all generations. To God be the Glory!

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