Thursday, July 28, 2011


You know, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays every year. There is plenty of time spent with family, some of which I do not get to see very often. There is also an abundance of food. It is one of a couple of days that I do not watch what I eat. And an added bonus to all of this, is that my birthday runs the same week as Thanksgiving every year. But probably the best part about Thanksgiving is the meaning behind the holiday. A time to give thanks. Thanksgiving is the only American holiday that is based solely on Christianity. Christmas and Easter have their non-biblical aspects to them; Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. However, Thanksgiving is all about giving Thanks to our God. Now I know that it is July and not November, and some of you are probably thinking, Why is he talking about Thanksgiving now? Well, why do we set aside just one day a year to give Thanks for all that God has blessed us with? Psalm 7:17 reads "I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness
And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High." King David here did not wait for a specific day to give thanks to the Lord. He felt the need to do it continually, which is a common theme throughout the Psalms. Hebrews 13: 15 reads "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name." It says "continually." We have been blessed with so much in our lives. All of which we should not let a day go by that we do not give thanks to God for what He has done. He sent His Son to die on a Cross for us. A love that is more abundant than any other in this world. He gave us our families and food to eat. All that we are and have accomplished are because of Him. I have worked very hard on my children to say Thank You every time someone compliments them or does something nice to them. And for the most part, they do remember to Thank people, as do most of us. However, God does so many good things for us on a daily basis. Do we say thank you for all of them?

Thanks and God Bless You all this week!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why do you go to church?

I am a very blessed individual. This past Sunday, I was able to be present at my younger sister's baptizm. I was so happy that I could not restrain the tears. It felt a little nostalgic being in the church that I grew up in. I had not visited that church in years. It felt good to see some old friends as well. At my own church, we have had a few new visitors recently. This led me to think about the reasons that people go to church. What is the motivation? Some come looking for hope, some come to learn, some only come for special occasions, and sadly, some come just to be seen. My case in point for my sister's baptizm was a very special occasion. However, we need to look at the driving force for going to church. Why should we go to church? We should go for the sole purpose of self centered reasons. I know this may sound bad but hear me out. We need to go to church with the mindset of spending time with our Lord. Now, it is nice to spend time with brothers and sisters in the Lord. This time can be uplifting, a chance to encourage one another, and to prepare for the week. But, our major motivation should be to receive a blessing and preparation for self. When we go for our own personal selves, all of the others just seem to go along with that. When we attend church for ourselves, we expect to be blessed by what we hear. When we go with a mindset of self, we pay more attention to the message, we enjoy the fellowship more, we enjoy those special moments, like my sister's baptizm, more. When we go to church for the wrong reasons, we miss out on those blessings. When we go to church so we can see so and so, we get just that. We got to spend time with that person and we missed out on that blessing. When we go just for special occasions, we are just going to be seen. If we went to seek the Lord, it would be more likely that we go more than just a couple times a year. Some people go to church for their kids. How does this help your kids? Kids are real smart these days. They see that we are not serious, and probably will not take it as seriously too. We must keep the attitude of strengthening ourselves when we go to church. Contrary to popular beliefs, the purpose of the church is for Christians. I have debated many people that say that church is for the lost. I do not agree. When you look at the letters of Paul to the different churches, he addresses the letter to the church. This reference is to those individuals at that assembly that are saved. We go to learn as much as we can, to gain encouragement from other believers to go out and be a good witness to this world. It is our job to bring a saving knowledge of Jesus to the lost. Then we bring them to the church so they can learn as well. Why do I go to church? I go for "me." I go, to strengthen "myself." I go to serve "my" Lord. Everything else, is just enjoyed so much more when I do.

Thanks and God Bless You all this week!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Independence Day

I love this time of year. Time to celebrate the birth of our nation. A time to remeber those who were seen as radicals and rebels, challange an empire to be recognized as an independent nation. A time to honor those who gave their lives to ensure that we had the right to govern ourselves and provide freedom for our new nation. Not to mention the cookouts, family get togethers and of course fireworks. I can remember how my two oldest kids reacted to the fireworks that were displayed before their eyes. I enjoyed watching them more than I did the fireworks. All of this thinking about our history and the birth of our nation out of the old empire set my mind to thinking about salvation. When we become saved, we become a new creation. We separate ourselves from the rest of the world. We choose to be known as a singular Christian. And everything about our identity changes. We choose to follow a different path. Is it always easy? Most certainly not. As a matter of fact, as soon as we make the choice to follow Christ, that is when it is the hardest. It seems that is when we go through some of the harshest trials. We can see in the book of Matthew and the 4th chapter that as soon as Christ was baptized, He was tempted by Satan to turn back. Such is the same for us. When we first make that decision, hard temptations follow. Sometimes from our friends, and even our families. When there is no one else that are friends and family that are also saved, they sometimes don't understand why we would want to do that. They become distant. We seem to be ridiculed sometimes as well. This attack on our soul is Satan's way to try to get us down while we are still new to the Word. It is important that we strive to read the scriptures as much as possible to defend ourselves from, and fight temptation. Again this seems to resemble the birth of our nation. As soon as we declaired our independence, we had to fight to keep it. Years of war, suffering, and death. Our founding fathers could have easily given up and joined the British empire once more. However, they continued, and won their independence. What does this mean to those who have been saved for a long time? It says to me that when someone chooses to follow Christ, it is our duty to build them up. Our duty to help them grow and fight the temptation to turn from their commitment. We need to follow the example of our founding fathers and Christ. When Christ was tested, He did not waiver. He did not turn back. He fought temptation for forty days, and found victory. Have we found our victory? Are we preparing ourselves to fight temptation everyday? Just some thoughts for this independence day.

Thanks and God Bless You all this week.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I love working in VBS. When else do we get the time to dress up and act silly with the kids at church and it be perfectly acceptable? The last few years I have had the opportunity to help lead and teach at VBS. I guess that one of my gifts is working with young people. There is not many things as fun as spending time with kids. I guess that has something to do with me working in Education. One of the lessons that I was able to do was a lesson on faithfulness. What is faithfulness? Faithfulness as I can see it is using what God has blessed us with to serve Him. In Luke chapter 19 Jesus tells the parable about the slaves entrusted with some of the master's money. They were told to put it to work until he returned. Upon his return, some of the slaves turn the small amount of money into much more, and one hid his money for fear of losing it. The ones who used the money to make more where blessed with more opportunities for service. The one who did not lost it. This parable explains to us what we are supposed to do while we wait for Christ's return. When He ascended to heaven, He gave a promise that one day He would return. While He is gone, we are supposed to witness and use the gifts we have been blessed with to serve Him. All born again Christians are blessed with at least one gift. Some are blessed with more. To reference theses gifts you can look up Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Are job is to use them to the glory of God and win more believers to a saving knowledge of Him. If we prove ourselves to be faithful with a few things, God will entrust us with more things in the future. Part of this will be our rewards in heaven. The flip side of this story is what happens when we choose not to use our gifts. If we choose not to, according to the story Christ told, we will lose our gifts. Sometimes we do not use them like we should. Maybe we are just tired that day, maybe we think too much about what the people around us will think, etc. Whatever the case may be, we need to keep our minds on being faithful with the gifts we have received. Jesus looks at the world a lot differently than we do. He never hid His love and grace to us because of how He felt or what people around might have said to Him. So, in whatever gift God has choosen to bless you with, use it to glorify God as often as possible. Because the blessings will continue to flow when you do.

Thanks for reading and God bless you all this week!