Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100, KJV)

As we look around us and reflect on the Lord’s love, provision, and leading over the past year, there is much for which we can be thankful.

  • We are thankful for the salvation that we have been given through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is based on His finished work on the Cross combined with His grace, mercy, and goodness that we have the hope, as well as the assurance, of eternal life.
  • We are thankful for God’s Holy Word. It is through the Bible that we can learn how to live a life that is honoring and pleasing to His Name. How blessed we are to have such amazing access in this country to the Scriptures. In addition, our nation is filled with books and resources that honor Biblical principles, are consistent with the Lord’s teachings, and help us in understanding and applying His truth.

  • We are thankful for the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Who serves as our guide throughout this journey of life. What a great privilege to have God’s Spirit indwelling us to give power in living a Christian life of victory.

  • We are thankful that God has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Therefore, no matter where we are and whatever situation we find ourselves, God is always with us, encouraging us to walk in His truth.

  • We are thankful for God’s sovereignty, which extends to every area of life. Based on this reality, we can face the future with confidence knowing that God works everything together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

  • We are thankful that the Lord has allowed us to be a part of His Work while we are sojourning on this earth. What a blessing and a privilege that the Lord has called us to be His ambassadors and provides our lives with meaning and purpose.

  • We are thankful for the consistent provision that God has bestowed upon us as His children. We need not be anxious about anything, knowing that God will provide all of our needs through the riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

  • We are thankful for the gift of our earthly family. It is such a great blessing that we can live our lives in the context of close family relationships. Those of us who are married have the privilege of enjoying the most loving and closest relationship on this earth. In addition, those of us who have children are entrusted with a special gift whom we can raise up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

  • We are thankful that we can freely and openly worship God Almighty in a manner that is consistent with our conscience. We are filled with gratitude that we can gather together with other believers to glorify the Name of the Lord on high (Psalm 86:9).

  • We are thankful for the godly American heritage that we have been given. May the example of the early colonists at Jamestown and Plymouth, who were each committed to entering a new land for the purpose of gospel evangelism, serve as a means of inspiration to spur us on to greater service to the living God.

  • We are thankful for the world that God has created. While all of creation is groaning and travailing in pain (Romans 8:22), there is still much beauty and majesty that we see as we look at what He has made.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, may our hearts be focused on the Lord. We serve an awesome God who is beautiful beyond description and has given His children blessings that only His hand can provide!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Thanksgiving Myths

Here are some interesting things that have been wrongly portrayed about the pilgrims.

You have probably seen the typical pilgrim picture: buckles on hats and shoes, man carrying a blunderbuss (a short-barrelled bell-mouth gun), and log cabins.

In reality, buckles as decorations didn't appear until later in the 17th century, not earlier when the pilgrims arrived. Women didn't wear bangs, or hair down loose. Men would have had a full beard, not Amish beards (without a moustache).

The log cabin method of home building was brought to America by Swedish colonists in 1638, many years after the pilgrims. The blunderbuss was a riot gun used for dispelling crowds, not hunting. And it would not have been with the pilgrims, as it was a gun used in the 1700s.

Go check out a typical picture and see what errors you find! :-)

(Most of this information was taken from The Thanksgiving Primer.)

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rise Up, O Church of God - Part 1

The Church in a nation has a tremendous opportunity to influence whether that nation will know God’s blessing as we are told in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thus, if we look around us and see that our nation is in a moral slide, then as the Church of Jesus Christ, we must fall on our faces before the Lord and turn from our wicked ways. It is the responsibility of the Church to cry out to the Lord for the healing of our land. O, how this is needed in the United States of America today!

Let us look where the Christian Church in the land of the free and the home of the brave has fallen short and is in need of repentance before the Lord. As we shall discover, these compromises within the church have rather sobering parallels within the American culture. However, the situation is not without hope as there are very practical solutions offered by God’s Holy Word to reclaiming dominion in our society for His honor and glory.

First, while much of the Church has been properly outraged at the sin of abortion, it has not shown a love for new life in heralding children as a gift from God. In general, the Church views children in a very similar manner to the world—namely, as a burden and not as a blessing. There are many in the Church that look upon children as being too expensive both financially and emotionally. This attitude shows up in both words (via comments such as, “We are DONE having children” or “We can’t afford to have another child”) and actions (including medically invasive procedures to ensure that the child-bearing years are stopped short). O, how it must grieve the heart of our Lord to see and hear His people fighting to prevent one of His greatest treasures from entering into this world.

Many within the Church consider themselves pro-life since they have a belief that life begins at conception and they have a great repulsion over terminating a life within the womb. Holding to these convictions is very noble and right and are certainly necessary to claim a pro-life position—but are they sufficient? Is a desire to see the children that are conceived to be given the opportunity to enter into this world all that is required to be a pro-life advocate? Or is there more to being pro-life than simply being anti-abortion?

God’s Holy Word provides the answer:
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5, KJV)

Consequently, our attitude towards children should be one of viewing them as a heritage from the Lord! We should see children as a great blessing and an asset in helping fight the battle against the Satan and the forces of darkness. We show a love for life by praying for God to bless us with more children and encouraging others within the body of Christ that children are indeed a great gift from the hand of the Lord. If this nation is to have a proper perspective on the future generations yet to be born, the Church must repent of its worldly mindset toward the heritage of the Lord and must proclaim the Biblical truth that children are one of the greatest earthly treasures from Almighty God! If the Church will rise up with respect to the love for life, then, perhaps, God will rid our nation of the horror of taking the lives of the innocent unborn.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Common Thanksgiving Myth

Do you know the real reason the Pilgrims came to America?

It is a commonly thought that the Pilgrims left England to come to America for their religious freedom. This is incorrect! The Pilgrims left England to go to Holland for their religious freedom. While they had their freedom in Holland to worship as they desired, after awhile they saw a disturbing trend.

I'll let the words from the journal of Governor William Bradford of the Mayflower Pilgrims explain the problem:

But still more lamentable, and of all sorrows most heavy to be borne, was that many of the children, influenced by these conditions, and the great licentiousness of the young people of the country, and the many temptations of the city were led by evil example into dangerous courses, getting the reins off their necks and leaving their parents. Some became soldiers, others embarked on voyages by sea and others upon worse courses tending to dissoluteness and the danger of their souls, to the great grief of the parents and the dishonour of God. So they saw their posterity would be in danger to degenerate and become corrupt.

~William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation

The Pilgrims had their religious freedom, but their children were being corrupted by the Dutch "worldliness". They came to America to raise their children in godliness--without being tainted by others who did not have the same standards. They desired to shelter their children. We should do the same.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Braided Rug

I always have several projects going at once. There are just too many wonderful things with which to keep busy! I do love the process of using my hands to create items for my home and family that are useful and also hopefully beautiful.

One of my current projects is a braided rug. For a few years, I have been looking at my husband's exercise equipment as it lies on a flattened cardboard box put there to protect the basement floor. I disliked the way it looks, but certainly did not want to spend decorating money on something for the exercise area! So, I started thinking, "why don't I make a rug?" It can't be THAT hard if other people can make them. I was envisioning something lovely, useful, and practically free that I could enjoy making.

I've gotten loads of free pants to cut into strips for the braids. I got tired of cutting them and felt I was never going to get anywhere. Around the same time I tired of my task, my son, Jordan, wanted a job to make some money. I seized upon this golden opportunity to get the strips cut. He loved it. It was not difficult, just time-consuming. Actually, it was very time-consuming. My "free" rug has now cost me a lot of money!

I am still enjoying the process. I hope that putting my project on here for the "world" to see will motivate me to keep at it! My crocheted afghan took me about 18 years of working off and on (obviously more "off" than "on") to finish. I don't plan to take quite that long....

Here are the strips of old pants, all cut, rolled, and ready to go. Aren't they colorful? I think they will make a lovely rug.

And here is the very little bit I have braided so far.

The plan is to make a 4' X 6' rug. We'll see.....


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy 12th Birthday, Son!

Today is a day of joy in our home as we celebrate the birthday of our second-born son, Aidan! He is a great blessing to our family and today we wish to be a blessing to him through this blog post.

Aidan, we love you very much and there are a great many things that we appreciate about you! May what is written here be a reminder of how special you are to our family!

First and foremost, we appreciate that you are a follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We are grateful that you have begun your journey of faithfulness and it is our prayer that you will continually grow in both knowledge and wisdom through the fear of the Lord.

Second, we appreciate your joyful and positive attitude about life. You are a great encouragement to be around because of your optimistic outlook.

Third, we appreciate your interest and excitement about so many subjects. Whether it is showing us what you figured out about how something works, telling us about being able to catch toads around our home, or discussing your latest drawing, we are thankful that you do these with genuine enthusiasm!

Fourth, we appreciate your tenderness and care toward others—especially toward those who are downcast, going through some difficulty, or have experienced disappointment. May you always use your compassion to reach out to others with the love of Christ!

Fifth, we appreciate your interest in God’s Holy Word. We are very thankful for your questions related to Bible passages and we are thrilled to see your desire to know and understand what the Scriptures teach.

Sixth, we appreciate your sensitivity to right and wrong. You have been given a great gift to be able to discern what is good and what is evil. May you use this discernment to always choose the path leading to righteousness, godliness, and holiness.

Aidan, we pray that you will continually be growing, learning, and developing into the man that God wants you to be!

Happy 12th Birthday, Aidan!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote Today

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you will cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
~John Quincy Adams