Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thankful for the Promise of Eternal Life

Thankful for the Promise of Eternal Life

(Rev. 21:3-5)

As God’s children we know we will live with Jesus in Heaven when our days on earth are over. Think of it. We will see Him and dwell with Him. We get to spend part of our time at His feet and listen to stories. (John 14:3) We will also get to spend time doing works we have done down here on earth.

One great thing we know about Heaven is there will be no sadness, no crying, no anxiety, no depression and no illness. Any physical anomalies we have here on earth will be removed from our bodies. Our physical beings will be perfect.

When we advance beyond the gates of heaven we will have no more stress in our lives. We will not have people or things getting on our last nerve. No one can push our buttons. We will not experience panic attacks.

Diseases will no longer enter into our lives. Just think--no more Cancer, no more Kidney Disease, and no Diabetes. Because these illnesses won’t be there, their treatments or controlling procedures will not be needed, either.

For now, we have the promise of eternal life. While we are here on this earth, we are learning about how we are to handle things and model Christ in our daily lives. God has given us this promise. As we focus on what we have to be thankful for, let’s remember this one because it's so special.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thankful for Prayer

Hebrews 4:15-16

When we need a listening ear, we have someone to talk to who understands our concern. He is accessible to us anytime, day or night. We call Him God. He wants us to feel free to step into his throne room and discuss what’s on our hearts.

We can tell God anything, even things we consider too personal to share with our closest earthly friend. We can share with Him how we really feel about the circumstances surrounding our jobs, our homes, and our families.

At present, in our nation, we see and hear of businesses having to cut back expenses. Others are facing having to close their doors. Government entities are not immune to these issues. A common factor in all these decisions is the effect on the employees and their families. Children have to be fed and clothed. The mortgages will still need to be met. Utilities bills will have to be paid. But, the most important thing we can do for those who are caught in this plight is pray. Sometime prayer is the only thing we can do.

Jesus-our High Priest, presents requests to the Father on our behalf. We as Christian brothers and sisters model His behavior by doing the same with petitions and needs of others we hold dear.

Thank you, Lord for listening to us, Your children, when we pray. You are never too busy for us. You always act in our best interest. We thank you for your watch care over us. AMEN

Monday, November 10, 2008

Being Thankful for the Small Things

As we progress through life, we experience a lot of events that shape who we are. We graduate from high school. We might attend college. We may graduate from college. We relocate to another city. We choose to follow Jesus Christ. We marry. We start a family. We purchase a home. We are separated from loved ones due to job relocation. We lose a family member or a friend to death. We grieve, we endure intent sadness.

In all of these life events, we have either joy or sadness. Also, all these times teach us something about life and ultimately about ourselves. During the first Gulf war, some friends of ours had their son and their youngest daughter in Saudi Arabia. The mother experienced depression. The father had to keep his small business running, but he later admitted to having a hard time dealing with two of their children, especially their daughter, involved in the war.

The parents and the daughter learned some things through their separation; God showed the mother and father how much their family means to them. When the daughter returned home, the one thing she couldn’t get over was having a commode that flushed. The daughter later turned her life around and is a strong witness for God.

We live in a small older house. I feel drafts around the window in the living room. The furnace doesn’t keep it as warm as I would like. The basement stairs could be a cause for concern but I have always been careful on them. But, when I hear of people in Galveston Texas living in tents after Hurricane Ike, I believe I can thank God for keeping us safe and dry in our home.

Yesterday, at church we saw pictures of a church parsonage in Galveston that looked horrific. The exterior of the church and the parsonage look pretty good. The crux of the damage is the inside of the buildings. The surge from the gulf caused the damageintense waves of water breaking through the windows, filling the houses, bringing in mud etc, and then backing out of the structures. The surge left behind mud, alien objects from their usual habitats, and some cadavers. The church took up a collection for the Galveston congregation.

When I was in third grade, my teacher told us Thanksgiving was about giving thanks for what God has given us. It wasn’t about having turkey. We were to give thanks even if all we had was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Tradition tells us the Pilgrims had an average of five kernels of corn (per day) during their first winter here. At onetime, our former church had as its Thanksgiving eve service a time of each person holding a candle stick and five pieces of corn and telling five things they were thankful for.

As we go through our seasonal routine in preparing for Thanksgiving, let’s take some time and think about the many things God has done in our lives and tell Him “Thank You.”

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...