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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Seated around the Thanksgiving table were Dennis the Menace, his parents, and their next door neighbors, the Wilsons.

Beginning with Dennis' dad, Henry, one by one they told what they were thankful for. Dennis' dad said he was thankful for "the love of my life and our son."  Dennis said he was thankful that Christmas was just around the corner.  As Dennis' mom looked at the Wilsons, she declared that she was thankful for friends. M rs. Wilson expressed gratitude that they all could be together.  There was a long pause as the group waited for Mr. Wilson to speak. Finally Mrs. Wilson said, "Well, George?"

Finally, grumpy Mr. Wilson said, "I'm thinking. I'm thinking."

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I want to encourage you to think about what makes you thankful this year.  To prime the pump, let me suggest a few things that may not readily come to your mind. 

The Not-So-Good

First, think about the not-so-good parts of your life right now and be thankful that no matter how difficult things are, it could be worse.

The Trials

Second, think of the trials that have come your way in 2014, and be thankful that those trials have given you opportunity to prove God and yourself faithful.

More to Be Done

Third, think about how old you are, and then be thankful for the fact that no matter your age, God is not through with you yet--that you still have something to contribute to the kingdom of God. 


And last, think of the sins with which you have struggled in 2014 and be thankful that in spite of those sins that remain in your life even after knowing Christ for however many years, God never has, nor never will forsake you because of them.  In other words, thank God for His grace, not only that He saved you by grace, but also that He keeps you saved by grace.

Now finish the rest of your list.  May God grant you and your family your best Thanksgiving ever!

Posted by Jerry Long with

When It Comes to Worship...What Are You Waiting For?

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We’ve all been there at some point - in the middle of a worship service where people are engaged with God, and we are not. Our doubts, fears, and sorrows of life are overpowering our souls.

So what do we do?

How we do engage ourselves when we’ve had a pretty awful week, and just don’t feel like singing along with the worship leader’s songs that are too high for us to sing along with anyway? Stand quietly and wait for an emotion to hit us in the face?

Wait until we feel like worshipping? Wait for God’s manifest presence to slap us into acknowledgement of His goodness?

Let’s look at the example in Psalm 42 for guidance: 

Psalm 42 takes us into the heart of a man desperate for God’s presence. His enemies taunt him daily and are constantly trying to belittle his faith in God. Verse 5 shows the Psalmist talking to himself: 

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.

The psalmist is confronting himself here. Calling himself out in front of the mirror almost, shaking himself into remembrance of God’s goodness and love. He continues in to say:

My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember You

The psalmist doesn’t wait for the band to play a song he likes. He doesn’t wait until the music hits a chord that stirs his soul in an unexplainable way. He doesn’t wait for his emotions to guide him. The psalmist reminds himself of what God has done. When his emotional state is down and overcome by darkness, he makes a conscious decision to start remembering who God is and what He has done.

So when you come into a service and you’re not ‘feeling’ it that day, or you’re struggling to engage, don’t feel guilty or like you are a bad Christian. You’re in good company with the author of Psalm 42, David!

Remind Yourself

Remind yourself of what God has done. Remember that He is a loving God, and that he is our all sufficient provider, El Shaddai. Remember that we worship because we have been invited to worship by an Almighty God in Psalm 117. The heart is a fickle thing, and worship tunes our hearts to be more like God’s.

Don’t wait. Engage your heart.

Don’t wait. Worship.


Posted by Andrew Carr with

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