Words to be a beacon in the black of night

Dedication

Dedication combines the word, dedicate, and the suffix –ion. Dedication‘s definition is 1.) the act of dedicating, 2.) the state of being dedicated, 3.) a formal, printed inscription in a book, piece of music, et cetera, dedicating it to a person, cause, or the like, 4.) a ceremony marking the official completion, or opening of a public building, institution, monument, et cetera, or 5.) a personal, handwritten inscription in, or on a work, as by an author to a friend.

I see Dedication as a word of perseverance. Daily, each of us strives to reach a vital goal. The guide to our decisions might be a business, health, or family plan. Seekers will find that which they seek, but a defeatist stops at the starting line.  We must pursue, and continue on, no matter the texture of our road. A commitment in time brings opportunity, lessons, wisdom, growth, achievement, renewal, and, blessings. With the Lord’s help, we will make it in each step of our journey.

Allow love to overflow. Be a light of peace, and harmony. Create buildings, not demolitions. Discard discouragement, and doubt. Place stepping-stones instead of walls. Reach for the simply beautiful. Seek, believe, receive!

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Creation

Creation combines the word, create, and the suffix –ion. The dictionary defines creation as 1.) the act of producing or causing to exist; the act of creating; engendering, 2.) the fact of being created, 3.) something that is or has been created, 4.)  the Creation, the original bringing into existence of the universe by God, and 5.) the world; universe.

I see Creation as a word of hope. God took the time to time to make each of us, and the world in which we live. We are important in His Eyes. Enemies gossip about us, but God loves us like no other can.  He takes care of the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea. How much more important are we, the living beings to which He gave free will? When we face our trials, we will never walk alone.

Allow love to overflow. Be a light of peace, and harmony. Create buildings, not demolitions. Discard discouragement, and doubt. Place stepping-stones instead of walls. Reach for the simply beautiful. Seek, believe, receive!

Bookshelf

Bookshelf combines the words, book, and, shelf. According to the dictionary, its definition is a shelf for which to hold books, especially one of several shelves in a bookcase.

I see bookshelf as a word of strength. It means I have something strong on which to stand. The Bible is the strongest book I know, and shows the absolute truth of God. As children, we learn to never judge a book by its cover. Critics defeat others before they ever have a chance for success.  We must ask questions, and be willing to learn about another before permanent blinders prevent love’s presence. When we look below the rough exterior, we will find indescribable beauty.

Allow love to overflow. Be a light of peace, and harmony. Create buildings, not demolitions. Discard discouragement, and doubt. Place stepping-stones instead of walls. Reach for the simply beautiful. Seek, believe, receive!

Ability combines the word, able, and the suffix, -ity. According to the dictionary, it means power or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally, morally, financially, etc., or competence in an activity or occupation because of one’s skill, training, or other qualification.

I see ability as a word of encouragement. It means I have not been defeated, and I am able to do that which I desire in my heart. This world overloads itself with negativity, and pessimistic attitudes. Nay-sayers infiltrate core ideas, and abandoned dreams are born, some of which were full of great potential. We must step beyond the imperfections in the foundation, and not let anything keep us from the goal. When we press on, the only thing in our sights will be victory.

Allow love to overflow. Be a light of peace, and harmony. Create buildings, not demolitions. Discard discouragement, and doubt. Place stepping-stones instead of walls. Reach for the simply beautiful. Seek, believe, receive!

Overwhelmed in Darkness

Depression. It is the demon torturing your very being.  It lurks around every corner. It stalks you, tricks you, frightens you, paralyzes you. Inside this dark valley, there is no escape. You try to find a way. There seems hope. Then, the avalanche falls. It crushes you under its weight. You are broken. You are weak. You are wailing. You are angry. You are fighting. You are exhausted. You are helpless.

The outside. It hovers in a beautiful land. It is so carefree in apples, butterflies, corn, frogs, grapes, iguanas, lemons, monkeys, nectarines, penguins, radishes, turkeys, yams, zebras. It is full of smiles, full of laughter, full of joy, full of wonderment. It exudes warmth, kindness, peace, comfort, love. Never a heartache, a tear, a scream, a doubt, a failure. No one in this place asks. No one in this place understands. No one in this place is reachable.

The darkness imprisons, overpowers, suffocates. It surrounds your immobile body. It cripples your immobile mind. It destroys your immobile soul. The desire to release this agonizing pain increases. The breaths become more shallow. The glimmer of hope fades. The end brings death.

The end brings torment, weeping, confusion, questions. No rest is found, unending sorrow, disillusionment, no closure.

 

We Are Unique

We are thankful we will shop with our family this weekend. To be honest, we am super excited! See, we have a different perspective, and decision on the matter.
We know many are hot-to-trot over this coming weekend, and shopping. Some are appalled, while others are boycotting. To us, it has a deeper meaning.

(Let us begin) We have not seen our family in over eighteen months, as we do not live close to them. Our parents, nor any family are getting any younger. In fact, sickness has plagued our family for over a year.
That being said, for eleven short days, memories will rule. We are not only going to fill those days with the past eighteen months, we are going to stuff them with the upcoming departed months, and years. Our total vacation time will be 14,580 minutes, or 243 hours. That is a flash in life’s scene.

This perception flows even deeper. So what makes working on Thanksgiving any different than a birthday, or a wedding? Before the darts are thrown, yes, we have worked on all three of those days. Honestly, we worked on even more precious holidays (for us); those being Christmas, and Easter.
In working any holiday, we learned something. Generally, not only is hourly pay given, but holiday pay is rewarded. So instead of making $9/hour, we made $18/hour for those days (Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas). Pre tax, that is $72 extra on our paycheck. That money helped pay our bills. For that, we were thankful.

Now, back to the issue at hand. Folks are fussing, and boycotting these shopping sales. We know, from experience, people get out of hand, but there is more to the story. Once there was a woman with her cart filled by nearly fifty bath towels. Another woman’s reason for being there was to purchase only two of those towels on sale. Surely, the first woman had no need for all those towels. The second woman never could muster enough courage to ask the other woman for just one of them. However, in that same night, the second woman got a sewing machine, and bakeware at a great price. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Those fifty towels? Some were given as Christmas presents, but most were donated to the local homeless shelter. The sewing machine, and bakeware? They were used for fundraisers to help the homeless, and for overseas missions.

So, what have we learned?
Shopping is a great bonding time for families. It may be the only chance they have to be together throughout the year, or years. No, it will not make up for lost time, but it will create new memories.
For the ones working, we know holidays are most often rewarded with extra pay. Who is going to fuss about getting extra greenbacks to help pay bills? A blue collar company will not work an employee all of Thanksgiving. Why not have breakfast as a family, or eat around the work hours? Are we so set in our ways that we cannot change our schedule? But, wait. There is one point we have not mentioned on point number two. Have we forgotten about the filling station attendants, hotel clerks, nurses, policemen, and firefighters? They work non-standard, but essential hours to service others.
Our last point shows how good becomes from these shopping days. Those women used their purchases for the benefit of others. Not everyone is greedy, and selfish. At the same time, we should not make assumptions about how, or why people chose to shop when, or where they do.

Our final thought on this subject. We are entitled to be unique, and one-of-a-kind. We should allow others to have the same freedom.

Hatred is not just a word. It is an emotion wrapped in a way of life. It drains love, and replaces it with bitterness, gossip, loneliness, revenge.
Hate is not always reciprocal; often, it stands alone. In modern terms, it dwells on a one-way street. One person hates, or despises another. However, the other person loves that one, whom hates her/him, with no regrets.
The core of hatred is jealousy. Many teenagers have screamed “I hate you!” in a fit of rage against one or both parents, or a caregiver. Why? The answer is simple. For one reason or another, the teenager feels threatened by her/his surroundings. She/he cannot cope with situation rationally. The moment a teenager lashes out, she/he feels a sense of control in the midst of their chaos. Yet, in reality, there is no unbalance. Entitlement causes a teenager to detonate in this tranquil atmosphere. The explosion may be in the form of shrill and biting words, or hidden detrimental schemes.

A few Words of Wisdom. We must forgive others. Letting go of past hurts (intentional or not) clears our health, and our conscience. Our persona will overflow with joy, and our heart will be at peace.

God Has This

We serve the on-time, and Almighty God! All glory be to God!
I want to share a praise report.

For about two weeks, I have been feeling sicker than usual, e.g, more tired, more migraines. I just wrote it off to the change of the seasons/weather.
Last night, during church, I started having chest pains, and feeling like I could not breathe. I knew it was not a heart attack, so all I knew to do was pray. The pain did not worsen, but it stayed constant. After about twenty minutes, I explained the situation to my Sister, and asked if she minded taking us to the emergency room after service. She nodded.
Fast forward to the emergency room. I was immediately taken to the back. Within a few minutes of being in the room, they came for the stats, i.v., and bloodwork. Soon, the E.K.G. followed.

From here, I lay a warning about making snap judgements.
The nurse, who was short-tempered from the get go, came back, and said, “Nothing is wrong! You are fine. Your tests are normal, and you are fine! You better straighten up, and TALK to the doctor when he gets in here!”. She started to exit the room, stopped and asked, “Did you take something? Did she take something?!”. My husband explained that we had just come from church, and I had not been into any pills. I kept trying to tell her the same thing (chest pain, shortness of breath) was still very prominent. In the moment of being called a liar, I did not even mention to pounding earache, and migraine I had. I kept praying to God. He knew what was going on, and knew truly how I felt.

Later, as the door opened, an Indian doctor entered. Now, many would have scoffed, just seeing the color of his skin. I saw someone there to help me.
By the time I saw the doctor, I had gotten a little bit of rest. I was able to breathe slightly better, as the pain had lessened.
I proceeded to tell him how I felt, and for how long I felt that way. He mentioned that I was dehydrated (apparently, going through a bag of fluid very quickly). He thought maybe a slight case of heartburn, so I was getting a G.I. cocktail. He said the E.K.G. was good, so no heart concern. He ordered a chest x-ray, just to rule out lung issues. As far as the migraine and earache, he ordered a migraine cocktail, and an antibiotic and Benadryl for sinusitis. Before the blood results ever returned, he said I was potassium deficient, and probably iron deficient.

After a little while, the nurse, still aggravated, came back with the medicine, and another bag of fluid. As she was in there, my heart broke for her. She seemed so angry. I prayed for her as she changed everything. The medicine always makes me sleepy. Last night was no different, but I fought it until she left the room. I prayed for her, and her burdens. I knew if she allowed, God could help her.

After a little while longer, the nurse came back to check on me. Though tired, I could open my eyes; I could breathe. It was time to start the process to send me home. As she discharged me, I saw a change in her. Instead of disbelief, she had kindness, and compassion. I will continue to pray for her. I know God can change her life into joy.

I wrote this experience to say this. I know God had it all worked out, to the finest detail. The moment of meeting the nurse, the doctor, and the diagnosis. Three years ago, I landed a three day stay in the hospital for nearly the same thing. I was potassium, and iron deficient. This time, God allowed it to be caught before it got worse.

This is where I praise God for who He is! I am so thankful I serve the On-Time, and Faithful God. Though my mouth could barely speak, my heart prayed earnestly to God. Tears covered my face. Yet, in the pain, God answered. He was not too busy. It was not too late, too early. Thank You, Jesus, for Your sweet presence in my life.

Johnny always put sand in his blue bucket, to fill it to the brim. All the while, packing it down, so as to create a grand sandcastle when he overturned his bucket.

Lizzie never used a bucket. She absolutely refused. The only thing for her was her pink plastic shovel, and her purple plastic rake.

These children played together for months. Never a qualm heard amongst them. One day, however, the tides turned. Mikey entered the sandbox, unaware of the kind play between Johnny, and Lizzie.

For this, one might consider Mikey a bully. At first, his aggression grazed the surface. He had a tantrum, but the other children paid him no mind. Mikey did not like not being the center of the attention. “How can these children possibly ignore me?”, he pondered.

After a while, Mikey had enough of being ignored. He decided to make the “Turtle Sandbox Rules”. Any child not obeying these rules was in big trouble. As written in red crayon, for dramatic effect, the rules were:
1) On Monday, no buckets allowed in the sandbox.
2) On Tuesday, no shovels of any kind.
3) On Wednesday, no making any sand castles.
4) On Thursday, no purple plastic rakes in the sandbox.
5) On Friday, and rule breakers from the week cannot play today.

As you imagine, these children felt hurt, upset, confused, and most of all, bullied. They went along with these new rules, but did not like it. Sadly, no child stood up for the original sandbox atmosphere. Instead of standing their ground, they played, nearing a robotic nature. This went on a few months, but Mikey did not budge on the rules. You either followed them, or there was no playtime in the sandbox.

What happened next shocked all of the children, including Mikey. Soon, there became sand throwing fights, and childish blame tossed from child to child. That was not the worst of it. Johnny had friends on his side, and Lizzie had her friends. Mikey had a few, too.

The day came when the quarrel reached the peak. As they are children, peace, and judgement cannot be expected to solve playground issues. Over the cliff this minute issue fell.

Johnny, and his friends came up with a plan; not a reasonable plan, but a plan none the less. They decided, since playing in the sandbox was no longer fun, they would each be a part in removing all the sand from the box. “Yes, this will end the quarreling”, they all agreed. With no sand, how could there be rules, and conflict?

That night, each, with a bucket in hand, approached the sandbox. Moment by moment, the sand lessened in the green turtle. After much work, they were done. At the same time, proud of their effort. They headed home, not a word said to their parents.

The next morning, the clamoring was not just seen, but heard. The worst of this disagreement had yet to happen. Johnny, and his friends joined in the quarrel, not uttering a word of guilt. Blame, name-calling, ugliness spewed from the mouth’s of these children.

Word circled around, and the hero-seekers met their verdict. Instead of a jury to hear their case, the gavel banged “GUILTY”! They were banned from the Turtle Sandbox, permanently. Not only had they punished the daily sandbox children, they took away privileges for the weekend visitors, the ones they never met.

The sandbox received a new delivery of sand. However, the “Turtle Sandbox Rules” still stood. Nothing changed, other than the banishment of those children.

The moral of this sandbox story: Life is not about you. Your actions, even ones with good intentions, affect others.

From Chaos to the Cross

We need to be ready! Jesus is coming back! We need to stop playing church, all the while, only loving God on Sundays. We live in a dangerous territory if we are satisfied with being lukewarm (just warm enough not to feel the fire) for Jesus.

How would we feel if someone treated us like garbage until they wanted something from us? That is how many live their life for Jesus. They might say, “Lord, I love You, but I do not feel like serving You today in what You have asked of me. I am too scared.” So what they are saying is that they doubt God can, and will give them strength in the uncharted moments. Sometimes, they even try to push off their responsibility on someone else.

Let me say that when someone is unwilling in the small things God has asked, He will find a willing vessel. No, He will not move on right away, but, eventually, He will go to the next. God equips us, but when we stop Him, what a disappointment to Him! We are saying our doubt trumps His Mighty Power.

Salvation is not an act. It is a lifestyle. If it looks good on the outside, but it fails to reach our heart, what are we doing? Who are we trying to impress? Certainly not God! He sees, and knows our heart. You cannot hide from Him.

Now, there is hope! Even hope for the child who has wandered in the wilderness for a long, long time. Jesus is waiting with His arms opened wide. We must seek Jesus, and tell Him we are sorry for our mistakes. We must repent (apologize, and turn away from) of our sins. Not just say, “sorry”, but cry out to The Lord. “Jesus, I am a sinner. I am sorry I acted out against You. Lord, I love You. Thank You, Jesus, for Your forgiveness, and unfailing Love. I praise You. I worship You. I magnify Your Holy Name. You are The King of kings, and Lord of lords.”

We must die daily to our flesh, and submit to Jesus, with our whole heart, and life. No, we will never be perfect on this earth. However, when we put our flesh under subjection, and empty our lives of “self”, it is then that Jesus can begin His Work in us.

From chaos to the foot of the cross is where we will find healing, peace, comfort, restoration.

Revelation 3:15-6
[15] I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. [16] So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Luke 15:11-32
Luke 15:11-32 KJV
[11] And he said, A certain man had two sons: [12] And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me . And he divided unto them his living. [13] And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. [14] And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. [15] And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. [16] And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. [17] And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! [18] I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, [19] And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. [20] And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. [21] And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. [22] But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: [23] And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it ; and let us eat, and be merry: [24] For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. [25] Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. [26] And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. [27] And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. [28] And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. [29] And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: [30] But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. [31] And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. [32] It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

I Corinthians 9:26-7
[26] I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: [27] But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Ephesians 6:10-8
Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV
[10] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. [11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places . [13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: [18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

My thoughts on the Oklahoma tragedy. 
 
Some ask, ” Why, God?”, while others cannot react to the pain, the heartache, or the sorrow. 
There is no doubt how this happened. God showed His Power. No one can get the fake “fifteen minutes of fame”, e.i., the paid actors/actresses from the December school shooting. There will not be any conspiracy theories in this, as there are circulating for some previous tragic events. No prison cell needs to be opened for a felon for none committed a crime. 
 
We are a nation that has turned its back on God. How can we expect God’s blessings upon our nation when we nearly have removed Him from our vernacular, and society? God is a jealous God. He allows us free will, but He will not share with our idolatry. We have spiritual freedom, but, instead, treat God as an embarrassment. 
 
As children of God, we must put Him first in all we do. Our flesh must heed to His Will. Morals, then, will return to Biblical standards. 
 
Exodus 20:3-17, 34:12-15
Deuteronomy 4:23-24
Nahum 1:1-15
Matthew 6:24 ( Luke 16:13 )
Matthew 24:4-8 ( Luke 21:8-11 )
Luke 15:11-32
Revelation 3:15-16

To Be the Gardener

As the past few days journeyed along, I pondered about seeds. You may think about seeds of a garden. Well, these are of a similar kind. However, the seeds, of which I speak, will carry into eternity.

Each day brings us new moments to meet others for the initial time. Many refer to this as a first impression. What footprint do we wish to leave in the lives of others? There are Happy-Go-Lucky Harrys, and Sallys; Jolly Jims, and Jennys; Melancholy Marvins, and Marshas; Gracious Georges, and Gertrudes walking by us. We can make the most of our given time, and reach out to folks. Each person on this earth is special, and their soul is most important of our investing.

Let us consider the gardener. He does not have an instant garden full of tomatoes, zucchini, morning glories, or roses. In order for these delicious treats, and beautiful flowers to become their full worth, there is much work involved before the fruition. He must cultivate the land, add nutrients to the soil for proper growth, pick the right seeds for the designated area, water with tenderness, and add mulch to ensure the maximum health of each plant. We must remember the work is not done as soon as he turns the soil, and places the seeds. He must continue working the land to see the best harvest. There are weeds, and bugs which involve removal.

So this goes with those we befriend. Once we plant the seed of Jesus in the lives of others, we must not release them on their own. Is their soul not worth more than our efforts? What good would it do to tell them about Jesus, only to leave, and never return? We need to not only pray for, but with them. Perhaps giving a Bible study would help their apprehensions, their questions. We must not allow ourselves to merely plant the seed without cultivating it. Where would we be if the one who reached out to us just said, “Here is the Bible. You need to read it, and pray to Jesus”. We would most likely still be wandering in the wilderness, and no clue in sight where to go.

This journey is a one-time deal. It will only be as good as the effort in which we give. Once we reach eternity, there will be no do-overs. Time, as we know it, will change into forever. Each soul will be where the life led it. If one lived for Jesus, the soul will enter into Heaven. For the one who lived against Jesus, the soul will be cast into the eternal lake of fire.

In John 13:34, Jesus gives us a new commandment: That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. We obligate to others to give our best to them. This includes our love for, and to them.

John 13:31-5 “31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

The Perfect Door

That moment when your heart falls into the pit of your stomach. It feels as though the strongest gust of wind has busted down the door, and has come through it. You fall to your knees, weeping. You begin to question, “Why? Oh, why did this happen?” The situation begins to crush you with its extreme weight.

Without warning, you feel a peace rush over you. A voice speaks, comfortingly, saying, “It is all going to be okay. I am the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I have even greater plans in store than you imagine. Be patient. I will provide your every need”. It is, then, you remember God is in control. He will not allow you to enter a storm alone. He is there every step of the way, and can fill your cup to overflowing.

The first step is the be patient, and wait upon the Lord. This is one of the most difficult tasks to do in life. We are a “hurry up, need it yesterday” society. Secondly, we must have faith to know that God will take any situation, and make it the best. He never does anything with a half-hearted attitude. The most awesome thing is that His best is much better than we would ever plan. Lastly, we need to always remember that God will answer in His perfect time. He is in control of all beasts of the earth, everything that creepeth upon the earth, the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and so He, too, delicately guides our lives.

In the midst of the storm, raise your hands to Heaven, and thank Jesus for another day to trust in Him. Our tears become our prayers when we are too weak to utter words. In each valley, we are given a blessing. It is a time where we grow closer with the Lord. He will never give us more than we can handle. He provides His comfort, and His love. With His help, we will make it.

Hebrews 13:5-6 “5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Ecclesiastes 7:9-14 “9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. 10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this. 11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. 13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? 14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” 

Thankful Praise

The time has come again: the Thanksgiving, and Christmas seasons. This has been a month of reflection for many. Each day, they post things for which they are thankful. Some thoughts are simple, yet profound. Others reach back a lifetime. Humility surrounds me in the gratitude.

The posts included, but were not limited to, thankfulness for the blessings of Jesus (in-filling of the Holy Ghost, salvation, forgiveness), the freedom to attend church, family (a loving upbringing by parents, the blessings of children, a wonderful spouse), protection during life’s journey, good job, stable finances, and mealtime goodies.

We should allow an attitude of kindness, love, and joy shine from us. When we see someone who needs help, why not lend a hand instead of turning away? A loving disposition is much easier to accept than one of bitterness. A few minutes of our time may mean everything to a person who feels like they, helplessly, are treading water. If we are the ones in the valley, we need to show appreciation when another, selflessly, gives a few moments of joy to us. In spite of sour circumstances, we need not be a grumpus.

As we sit around the table this year, let us remember those who cannot be with their families. Countless military men, and women are thousands of miles away. Other loved ones are separated for heartbreaking reasons. Let us, also, remember those who are reflecting on the lives of their loved ones. Death is never easy, and during this time of year, it is a most difficult time for many.

I hope after Thanksgiving has come, and gone tomorrow that we do not stop being appreciative for what we have, and for whom we are. There are so many who have so little, yet carry a smile of thankfulness, and have a heart filled with joy. It is not about how many things we have, but what needs we have fulfilled. We must never take our provisions for granted.

Psalm 100:1-5 “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.”

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