Bring a dollar gift wrapped for mystery tonight. We will have our annual gift exchange and celebration of Christman. Dollar Tree and Five Below are great places to grab last minute gifts. See you at 6:30 p.m.!
I have not used the blog for a long time because we have Remind and texting. I was looking at it today and wondered if I shouldn't get back to it. I wouldn't mind putting it together if I knew you would read it from time to time. What do you think?
Tonight we are meeting for a movie (something Star Wars and old) and some pizza. I won't be ordering until we get there to make sure I don't order too much.
Let's meet around 6:30 p.m. and let your folks know it might be 10:00 before you're out. Both movies are just over two hours and tomorrow is not a school day so, we could be out by 10:00 p.m.
Psa 50:14 "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;
We live in a really great country.
We have our share of problems, but we have freedom, wealth, health, and all anyone could want. What we call poverty level would make a rich man's wage in some nations. Most of our days are filled with activity, our evenings with sweet rest in homes that are dry and safe. How often have we taken time to Thank God for these blessings? Now that you have a few days off. Try this exercise. For a whole day, thank God for everything you take for granted. As you shop and casually take some food item off the shelf and toss it into your cart, say, "Thank you Lord for this food you have provided," or even "Thanks for this. I don't need it, but you know I enjoy it and you are the God who gives me good things."
When you are stuck in traffic, you might say, "Thanks for this warm car you have given me to drive to work and church and to my friend's homes. Thank you for this delay as you may be keeping me from danger ahead by making me wait here."
Thank you for this bed where I can sleep. Think about the psalm that says, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety." Ps. 4:78. Thank him that when your alarm goes off that hH
e has wakened you from your sleep, and placed your feet on the floor and given you the ability to walk to your refrigerator and find food waiting inside."
We have brothers and sisters in the world who languish in prisons, and who live in abject poverty. We do not know how God is glorified in this until we hear them speak of His blessings. We wonder how they can be content. We ask, "What can we do for you?" and they say, "Please pray." So we should pray. We have been given much, we are responsible for how we use these gifts. Let us glorify God for these blessings and let us glorify God when we have difficulties. By all means, let's glorify God.
I am thankful for each of you in Next Level and you, guest reader whom God has allowed to stumble here on this Blog. I hope you are thankful as well.
Give God your undivided attention this week. Make it truly a time of Thanksgiving. God is pleased with such good children.
Enjoy one of my favorites, "Thankful" by Caedmon's Call. Listen to the words...
Andrew and I are studying together for his big Bible test tomorrow. Part of it is a summary of the Westminster and Heidelberg Catechisms. Check out the beginning of the Heidelberg...
Q & A 1
Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,1
body and soul,
in life and in death—2
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5
He also watches over me in such a way6
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;7
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life9
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.10
Cheering One Another
I once knew an old preacher who would say something like, "How can you call yourself a Christian when you walk around looking like you were weaned on a dill pickle?" In his own poetic way he was talking about your witness inside and outside the church building. The point he made was also correct; if we don't have a reason to be glad, who does?
The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:4 ...
Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
We should be the most encouraging people in all the world. We have been rescued from
destruction. We are like that old lady in the commercial who has fallen and can't get up. Then Jesus extends his nail pierced hand and lifts us up again. What did this salvation, this encouragement, this assurance cost us? The gift (like all gifts) is free. God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to complete this work so that we could be with the Lord in heaven. This is the good news. Who frowns at good news? Take Paul's advice again...
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. -Col 3:16
We are to sing praises not dirges. We are to rejoice with our brothers and sisters in Christ in such a way that the world will see us and wonder what on earth (or heaven) could make people that secure and happy. Then they might ask you! Are you ready to tell them?
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
- 1Peter 3:15
The Bible says you should be.
So be encouraged and be an encourager. Who needs to hear kind words and encouraging encouragement? Who is sad who needs to be cheered? Who rejoices with whom you could rejoice? Christ dwells in you richly. Sing out! Live out loud! Be the victorious people God made you to be and in doing so you honor Him and His sacrifice, His only son, Jesus. Make up your mind this week to lift up the faces of those around you and show them the hope that is only found in the gospel of the one true God, May the Lord Bless and keep you this week.
I wanted to thank everyone who showed up to help serve for the Kindred Hearts Luncheon today. We had everyone from grown ups to little people pushing dessert carts in the gym. I particularly want to thank the guys and gals of Next Level who jumped up from lunch to to help clean up the area and put away tables and chairs. We are indeed called to serve and I believe God is pleased whenever your heart is moved to serve Him in a real and tangible way. I hope to have a new devotional up Monday or Tuesday night. Keep looking at your blog!
Seth will graduate tomorrow. We are thankful that God has blessed him to be well again and to pass his requirements with distinction. May God bless and keep him as he continues the important work of protecting our freedom. We are very proud of your accomplishments and to count you as our friend and brother in Christ.