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Now that Thanksgiving is over what’s next? I would like to suggest something. In America we have a wonderful thing that was set up, maybe by inspiration or not, called the Holiday’s. Think about this: Thanksgiving comes first to turn hearts to giving thanks to God for all His Blessings from the past year. Then comes Christmas, which offers the opportunity for people to focus on the awesome gift of Redemption through the Birth, life and works of the Savior Jesus Christ. Then comes New Year which gives people the opportunity to start afresh. What a great opportunity to finish the year well and look forward to the next Year to worship and seek the Will of God. 1). Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him in every aspect of our lives. 2). Always give Thanks in every situation that arises in our lives. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, what a time to reflect on our relationship with God and our fellow man. Think about this passage of Holy Scripture; Psalm 119:9-18 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word. Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”

Let us all remember that stuff can never fill the emptiness in our souls but only the indwelling Christ! Happiness comes not in the possession of materials, but in the substance of Faith! People are empty inside, that is why are homes are full of stuff! As I watched the news last night and heard of people camping out at Malls and shopping centers for hours and sometimes days, I felt within my spirit a groaning for their souls. Some of these people never give Thanks for what they do have and would never come to a Church for a Faith lift! Always they have a desire for more stuff! Always have a need to get the best deal, even at the expense of running up debt! I would like to suggest a passage of Scripture to encourage all who will read this blog; 1Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” There is not enough room in your home to put stuff as you pursue Materialism! Has Christ no place in your life? Mark 8:36 “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” I pray we will pursue Christ First in our lives, then material possessions will seem less important! Christ shall provide all our needs according to His Riches in Glory!

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My heart cries out to the Almighty and He answers me! My Soul is downcast and He Lift’s me up! My tears drown my face like a waterfall and He dries my eyes with His Breath! My broken and Contrite heart will never be despised by Him for He Promised! My sins are ever before me and He Washes them away with His Son’s Bloody Sacrifice! My soul feels alienated and He reminds me He will never leave me nor forsake me! My life seems to be filled with Joy suckers and yet He fills my Heart with the Joy of His Salvation!

Today is Thanksgiving 2010, and my heart is soft and humbled by His Presence in my life! I want to thank everyone who prays for life to be a Witness of His Glory and follows this blog! I want to share briefly what I am Thankful for this year.

1. Gospel of Jesus Christ: Good news is always welcome. We don’t have to pay our sin debt, because Jesus already has by His Death on the Cross, His burial and His Resurrection from the dead! We are saved by turning to Jesus and Trusting in His work for our Salvation!

2. God’s Grace: God’s kindness is given to us freely! God gives us what we do not deserve. Eternal bliss! Enjoying Him Forever!

3. God’s Mercy: God’s Mercy is why we are not consumed by the fires of Hell! God does not give us what we deserve! He has pity on us.

4. Privilege of Prayer: It is an Awe inspiring thing to know that God hears us and responds to our request. Without prayer our relationship with the Father in Heaven would be very cold.

5. My family: Thank God for your family! God ordained and created us to be a family. We need our family for many reason’s. One reason is your family knows your weaknesses better than you do. It is tough to have them point out your weaknesses but you would never grow in your Spiritual walk without this important accountability. Our weaknesses becomes our strengths when God’s power is involved. 2Co 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

6. Church family: Thank God every day for the people who sit next to you in Church! It is Christian suicide not to have Christian fellowship. Hebrews 10:24&25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another__ and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

7. Technology: Can you imagine life without computers? Without a washer and dryer, without electricity or a refrigerator. Think about your life without a car, without a doctor and without antibiotics. Thank God for giving us the knowledge and creativity to improve our lives!

8. America: We need to quit damning our Country and start Thanking God for the Freedoms we all take for granted. America has many faults and we should all be involved in trying to improve our Country, but would you rather be in another Country? Thank God for giving us the rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. He will continue to bless our Country if we turn to Him in repentance, faith and with Thanksgiving in our Hearts.

Be Blessed and Thankful !!

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A Psalm of Thanksgiving!

Let us all consider the bounty we enjoy and to Whom we owe our Thanks.  I am not sure who will read this blog entry but I know whom I give Thanks! I know that Atheist have no one to thank and will not admit the bounty they enjoy comes from  a source other than man. I dare not try to convinced them of their folly. But for all who read this and know there is a God, this blog entry is for you! I will attempt to illuminate a deep need in our Churches today. Where is the Gratitude? Where is the shouting for joy? Where is the crying with happiness? Where is the Love for our Creator? Maybe you do not see a problem with your Church. My observation of the people within my parish is somewhat discouraging.  I hear more complaints and murmurings than rejoicing and contentment.  Church seems to be a place of joy suckers rather than joy givers! I do not intend to feel sorry for myself or belittle the folks within the Church, but only to point to a great need! Psalm 100 is the focus of this devotion.

1 A psalm. For giving thanks. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
To giving thanks is the simplest of things. Did you know that it is the Will of God for you to always give Thanks?  Every circumstance and situation should be first handled with Thanksgiving. Trouble, heartache, illness, pain and even death can be a time to give Thanks. It says SHOUT for JOY to the LORD. Maybe we as Christians need to get a little rowdy at times as we shout to the Lord from the gratitude of our hearts! The Hebrew word for joy is;  to split the ears (with sound), i.e. shout (for alarm or joy). Making a joyful noise to the Lord does not count if only you can hear it. I am not saying that God is deaf, only that many around you are when it comes to the Lord! We as God’s people should be the most joyful people on the Earth for the Great Things He has Done! He has bestowed upon us Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ without cost to you! God has given us His Holy Spirit to work in and through us to bring about His Will and Purpose for our lives, which includes Joy. Here are a few thoughts about ingratitude and complaining. 1). Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy. -Franklin 2). Ten minutes’ praying is better than a year’s murmuring. -Spurgeon 3). Ingratitude dries up the fountain of all goodness. -Richelieu 4). A pessimist is one who feels bad when he feels good for fear he’ll feel worse when he feels better. -Anonymous Let us be Thankful and Joyful and not be joy suckers!

2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
The Hebrew word used for worship denote being in bondage. Worship or serving the Lord is the Purpose of our existence!  If we fail to be enslaved by the Glory of God in Christ Jesus then we fail at Worship. Jesus is the object of devotion to Christians! Christ gives us the Eternal Spirit to lead us into True Spiritual worship of the Eternal Father. John 4, teaches us this awesome Truth! Now to address the attitude of gladness. Think for a moment about your personal worship time, not corporate worship with other believers, but intimate worship. Soul Worship! Do you come to God with gladness?  The Hebrew word for gladness is;  blithesomeness or glee, (religious or festival):–X exceeding(-ly), gladness, joy(-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoice(-ing). Notice, when we come to God it should be festive and pleasureful! There is a time for brokenness and sorrow in our hearts, but not when it come to worship! Make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Sing with Glee! Triumph full worship will lift your soul beyond the physical and elevate your relationship with the Living God!

3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
When we do come before His Glorious Presence in worship let us always remember the He is God. That He is Holy, Pure, Righteous and the Bestower of Grace and Mercy! He is our Creator and He alone through His Son Jesus Christ gives us Substance! He bought us with His own Blood, shed on the Cross, and we are His! Jesus has given access to His Father and the Comforter for our Empowerment! Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” That is why we are here! Jesus is our Shepherd. He leads us beside Still waters. He Restore our Souls and fills our cups! Know Him or die is the theme of the Bible. So, do you know Him?

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Make no mistake, Jesus and only Jesus, has given us the Freedom to enter the Throne of Grace.  We cannot enter the Most Holy Place without first being Washed in His Blood! So when we enter, come with Thanksgiving! Prayer is the topic of this verse and we should, as Jesus instructed us in His Model Prayer, come with praise on our lips. His court is set and His Holiness is Ruling on our behalf by the Righteous acts of His Son! Hallowed is His Name! If there was ever a pressing need within the hearts of men, this is it! Reverence and Praise are due His Name! Let us never come to His Throne with grumbling’s and complaints without first giving His due!
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
The Lord of Heaven, Lord of Earth is always GOOD! Everything He does is for our Good. He never acts out of Character. His Character is always Holy, Pure, Gracious, Merciful, Just and Loving! No one is good, no not one is the theme of Romans 3.  But through His Great Love for us He sent His only begotten Son to carry our sins to the Cross and shed His life’s Blood to make us the Righteousness of God the Father! He alone is Good! He alone is Loving without strings! He alone is faithful to all mankind! This is for all time, from Eternity to Eternity, without end!  So, have you giving Him Thanks yet? Do you know Him who Created you? Praise His Holy Name! Jeshua, Jesus, Master, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace is whom I serve, whom do you Worship?

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As I ponder the Greatness of God and His Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, I wonder just how many Christians understand His Great Work in their lives?  As a Christian I am often reminded by the Holy Spirit how much Jesus suffered for my Redemption.  As an individual Christian living within the Body of Christ and struggling to build His Kingdom as the Spirit prods me, I have a sense of His Divine Presence in my life. Here are some of my thoughts recently to try and illuminate my hearts devotion this past week.  It is better to understand than to be understood!  Better to Love than to be loved! Better to pray than to worry!
It is better to Trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man!  It is better to do what Gd says than to simply know what He says! It is better to give than receive.  Better to be kind than to be bitter. Better to be smile than to frown.  Better to have something in the next life than to have everything in this life!  Better to forgive than become bitter!  Better to repent than to be able to define repentance!  Better to have a contrite heart than one that is proud!  Better to keep my mouth shut than to offer a sacrifice of fools!  Better to be Thankful to God than to Grumble and complain!  O Divine Master help me to sow love where there is hate. Where there is doubt, faith.  Where there is distrust, Honor!  Where there is division, unity!  Help me to sow in Righteousness and Reap your Unfailing Love!  Help me to comfort the neglected. Bring Truth where there is deceit! Where there is stress, bring Gospel of Peace!  O Jesus, help me to see that your Grace is more than sufficient for my weaknesses!  Give me a strong desire to seek the lost!  Proclaim Freedom to the captives!  To stand strong on your Mighty Word!  Help me Jesus to forgive as you have forgiven me!  Help me to Love what you Love and hate what you hate!  May I reflect your Image in the way I live my life, not just in my words!  May the Wellspring of Living Waters flow freely from my life!  O Gracious and Merciful Savior, make my life a witness of your Glory!  Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may not forget your Word or your Power!  Help me to Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness so I will be Filled!  Grant all who read this the ability to forsake themselves and Trust in Christ Alone for  Eternal Life!  Eternal Joy! Eternal Bliss!  All in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God! Amen!!

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by Chuck Norris

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

But what if those who restrict our freedoms are the very people who are in charge of securing them?

Over just the last year, Washington has worked double-time to limit your liberties, despite such reductions being cloaked under the guise of governmental progress.

First and foremost, Washington has reduced our freedoms and restricted our future by heaping upon our posterity astronomical amounts of debt, trying to jump-start the credit circus in our economy. Despite borrowing $787 billion from China to stimulate the economy with a promise to cap unemployment at 8 percent, unemployment has climbed to 10.2 percent and shows no sign of decreasing. And right now a record 14 percent of homeowners are either in foreclosure or behind at least one mortgage payment.

(Thanks to Ron Paul and others, last Thursday a House panel decided to audit the Federal Reserve, finally providing some accountability to this financial runaway train that doles out billions to whomever it pleases. Even with this mandatory audit, however, the Fed’s monetary policy deliberations will still need to be reined in. I recommend two insightful and strategic books toward that goal: Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” and  Vox Day’s “The Return of the Great Depression.”)  Because of all their excessive spending, bailouts and borrowing, Washington has further restricted our financial freedoms by decreasing the value of the dollar. Since just March 2009, the U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the dollar against other major currencies, plunged more than 15 percent, making U.S. stocks also cheaper for foreign investors.

Washington is also reducing our medical choices or freedoms by mandating a government option upon all of us.

Despite the biggest economic recession since the Great Depression, like a ramrod, Washington believes it’s also a good time to force another $1 trillion on American taxpayers by providing another governmental entitlement called universal health care. In so doing, Washington is further reducing our financial freedoms and slowing future economic recovery by placing even more increased debt and taxesupon Americans to pay for yet another social program.

To add insult to injury, Washington is also going around the back door to provide illegals with universal health care by seeking their amnesty. Not only will Americans pay for another 14 million people’s government health care, but amnesty will also reduce the number of jobs available to legal citizens by adding more to the legal workforce (and demand for better jobs) and simultaneously slow down the rate of the unemployed being re-employed.

(Ask your representatives to support H.R. 615, which expresses that all members of the House who vote in favor of the establishment of a federal government health-insurance option are urged to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and agree to enroll under that public option as well. There are 97 co-sponsors thus far.)

Washington has also reduced our speech freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment by passing a hate-crimes bill that was appended to the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, potentiallycriminalizing conservative free speech if it can be proven to have contributed to assaults based upon sexual orientations.

The White House has even reduced religious freedoms by belittling America’s rich Judeo-Christian heritage, enabling a secular progressive and pro-Islamic agenda, and remaining indifferent to issues such as the ACLU’s disposal of veteran memorial crosses in the Mojave Desert and at Mount Soledad.They also turn a blind eye to the whitewashing of our godly heritage from Washington’s historic landmarks and on U.S. artifacts.

Washington will also restrict religious freedoms and freedoms of conscience by forcing pro-life citizens to pay for abortions via universal health care.

Washington has also reduced our Second Amendment firearm freedoms by appointing anti-gun advocates like Justice Sotomayor or OSHA’s David Michaels, by seeking to micromanage gun ownership via proposed legislation like H.R. 45 and by politics-as-usual, like blaming guns rather than Islamic extremism for the shootings at Fort Hood. (Those who believe that the Second Amendment is a foundational right and freedom might want to consider my new “limited edition Chuck Norris tribute revolver” on their Christmas wish list.)

Washington has also reduced our freedoms by increasing the threats to our country via the delay in response to our generals’ requests for more troops in Afghanistan, allowing Gitmo detainees and terrorists to come to the U.S., and enabling homegrown terrorists like Maj. Nidal Hasan within the very fabrics of our military.

As I consider these many freedom robbers and the political culprit enabling them all, I can’t help but think of a country song, the lyrics of which are:

What can they all be thinkin’ Wanna take the cross off of the hill
Put away the pledge of allegiance
Lord, just the thought gives me a chill
They can take God off our money but, in the end oh ain’t it funny
How we’re all gonna see him on the Judgment Day
So sing it loud
One more time
Hear what I say
When you got the truth inside, now they can’t take that away
One more time
’cause it ain’t too late
Hold on to what you believe ’cause they can’t take that
They can’t take that away

As I experience the loss of American freedoms, two more thoughts repeatedly come to my mind.

The first is from Daniel Webster, who said, “The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.” Since the Revolution itself, I believe we are in the fight of our lives for American freedoms. I don’t know who said it, but I definitely prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.

The second thought is one attributed to M. Grundler: “It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been as thankful for American freedoms as I am now. I must admit that I’m also appallingly alarmed that some of them might not exist at all by this time next year. Like a sunset dropping over the horizon of our founders’ dreams, so our freedoms are vanishing from view.

So if you lack something for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving, I’m recommending that we give thanks for our freedoms, for they’re fading fast and possibly soon to join the endangered species lists. The truth is:  Food is far more plentiful than our freedoms at this point.

You don’t need to be eloquent, just bow your head and say from your heart this simple prayer a good friend wrote and sent to me:

God is great
Guns are good,
Let us thank them for our food and freedoms.
Amen.

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Great Day there are so many reasons to be Thankful!  Where to start you might ask?  I have a few I would like to share with you.
1. Gospel of Jesus Christ: Good news is always welcome.  We don’t have to pay our sin debt, because Jesus already has by His Death on the Cross, His burial and His Resurrection from the dead! We are saved by turning to Jesus and Trusting in His work for our Salvation!
2. God’s Grace: God’s kindness is given to us freely!  God gives us what we do not deserve.  Eternal bliss!  Enjoying Him Forever!
3. God’s Mercy: God’s Mercy is why we are not consumed by the fires of Hell! God does not give us what we deserve! He has pity on us.
4. Privilege of Prayer: It is an Awe inspiring thing to know that God hears us and responds to our request.  Without prayer our relationship with the Father in Heaven would be very cold.
5. My family: Thank God for your family! God ordained and created us to be a family.  We need our family for many reason’s. One reason is your family knows your weaknesses better than you do.  It is tough to have them point out your weaknesses but you would never grow in your Spiritual walk without this important accountability.  Our weaknesses becomes our strengths when God’s power is involved. 2Co 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
6. Church family: Thank God every day for the people who sit next to you in Church! It is Christian suicide not to have Christian fellowship. Hebrews 10:24&25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
7. Technology: Can you imagine life without computers? Without a washer and dryer, without electricity or a refrigerator. Think about your life without a car, without a doctor and without anti-biotic’s. Thank God for giving us the knowledge and creativity to improve our lives!
8. America: We need to quit damning our Country and start Thanking God for the Freedoms we all take for granted.  America has many faults and we should all be involved in trying to improve our Country, but would you rather be in another Country?  Thank God for giving us the rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  He will continue to bless our Country if we turn to Him in repentance, faith and with Thanksgiving in our Hearts.
Be Blessed and Thankful !!

 

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