Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving is for Pilgrims

About seven weeks after the horrific events of September 11, 2001, Time Magazine printed an article by Nancy Gibbs entitled: "We Gather Together."

Gibbs pondered the paradoxical nature of Thanksgiving that particular year. She wrote:

"This is the kind of holiday we need right now, an intrinsically complicated one that comes at the end of a bitter harvest and yet finds something sweet to celebrate.

"Everyone is a pilgrim now, stripped down to bare essentials and a single carry-on bag to sustain us in a strange new world. So no wonder people are making a special effort to get home this year, set the table, unfold the napkins, and make the time for a messy conversation with the people who know us best. This is where we find out how we are really doing on the character test: Have the events of autumn left us humbled, or hardened? Bitter at all we feel we have lost, or grateful for all that we once took for granted?"

Giving thanks to the Lord for all that He has allowed to enter and to leave my life.

"A life in thankfulness releases the glory of God." - Bengt Sundberg

God's Word:
"I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD." - Psalm 116:17

"But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD." - Jonah 2:9

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heavy Artillery (from Peacemeal Devotional)

Don't Drop Your Weapons!

Paul also understood that God has given us divine weapons to use in our quest for peace. These weapons include Scripture, prayer, truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Eph. 6:10-18; Gal. 5:22-23). To many people, these resources and qualities seem feeble and useless when dealing with "real" problems. Yet these are the very weapons Jesus used to defeat Satan and to conquer the world (e.g., Matt. 4:1-11; 11:28-30; John 14:15-17). Since Jesus chose to use these weapons instead of resorting to worldly weapons, we should do the same.
Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 248.

Food for Thought

What weapons do you tend to use when you are in a conflict?
When we finally decide to reconcile with an enemy, we sometimes approach them with an attitude of "dropping our weapons." But Jesus never calls us to be unarmed or passive among our enemies. To the contrary, he calls us to lay down our ineffective worldly weapons (like defensiveness, anger, self-justification, and gossip) in order to take up the truly heavy artillery (like love, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control). Take time today to read Romans 12:14-21 and resolve to take up again the weapons for which the Lord sacrificed so much to equip you.

Subscribe to PeaceMeal or other free e-publications from Peacemaker Ministries.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hebrews 11:32-12:3 Message


An excellent message from Matt Chandler via Alex Chediak:

The intro runs thru 14:15, at which point the message on Hebrews begins.

Hebrews 11:32 "And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect."

Hebrews 12

1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ever Wonder About Biblical Womanhood? (or the real background on wonder woman)

I'm listening to Dr. Russell Moore's plenary message to learn more about "wonder women" and biblical womanhood.

ht: carolyn mcculley at radical womanhood.

black friday ads

In case you wanted to research the prices on Black Friday ahead of time, check out this site:
Black Friday Ads

Also worth noting: some of the big retailers like Wal-Mart are changing their operations to curb the abuses of the season. Some ways include: staying open 24 hours and allowing people to get in line inside the stores for the specific items they want to purchase, rather than opening the flood gates at 4AM (only to have the smaller, slower shoppers trampled in a stampeed searching for cell phones and gps systems.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Satan, The World, Providence & Christ

At Desiring God today>>>

Quote: "Rejoice that the providence of God is so massively active in restraining evil and prompting so much external conformity to righteousness. Trust in the triumph of Christ at Calvary. Resist the devil in faith that the one in you is greater than he. Risk your life to spread the liberating news as far as you can."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On Being Content

Two great articles from earlier today on being content with present circumstances...

ByFaith Online Magazine: Be Anxious for Nothing -- Now?
Reformation 21: Welcome To Wherever You Are

Love Not Hate

This week's sermon was right on target (again!). I'm posting a link to it, because I think others would be greatly blessed to hear it. Check it out:

Proverbs 10:12 (11/1/09): Click Here

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Devotional - from the Psalms

(note: I have changed the date of this post intentionally in order to remove any misconceptions, as it was originally posted on November 11th, a date which ought not be read in connection, neither in an implied or allusory way, with my sentiments below. thanks)

"Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever, who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners."

- Psalm 146:3-7

Praise God, as he does execute justice for the oppressed. By His hand, we are all fed, but some will never recognize or acknowledge it. Some of the princes of the world will swear by their own power and claim their own glory. I think of this quote from Maximus in the movie Gladiator - "The time for honoring yourself will soon come to an end." Rich oppressors will have their moment in this life, but it will be but a vapor in the context of eternity. Those who abuse their power over the people in their charge are storing up wrath for themselves on the day of judgment. Leave vengence to the Lord; He is the judge and justice will be metted out - either through eternal damnation or by the propitiation of Christ on the Cross. Pray for the LORD to continue freeing the prisoners and adopting us as His children, co-heirs with King Jesus of the eternal kingdom. The princes of this world will have their glory, and we will have ours. Hallelujah!