Archive for the ‘American culture’ Category


I guess  it wasn’t until I was about 30 years old that I experienced my first real Christmas.  It was after I became a child of God.  That made all the difference in the world in how I perceived Christmas.

Growing up Christmas was all about the local fire department’s annual Christmas party.  It was a swell time, and all of us kids looked forward to it.  They put on a super banquet with tons of home cooked food, and we all ate our fill.  Then the country music band would begin to play and many people would get up and dance.  I watched as my folks skimmed over the dance floor to the music, and hoped some day I could dance like them.  Some of us kids would get out there and try.

Sometimes they had a talent show with local talent from the community.  I was always in awe of this one girl who could do a wicked tap dance.  Oh, if I could only do that.  After we were full of food and tired of dancing, we would sing some Christmas carols. They  gave us a little song book to take home and I remember my little sister and I would have singing contests with them.

Then, we would hear sleigh bells jingling, and old man Inar Anderson would come in the side door dressed in his Santa suit and shouting, “Ho, ho, ho!”  Oh, that was exciting!  Us kids would all gather around by the Christmas tree, and wait as Santa gave  each of us a little box of hard candy that had a little srting cord to hang onto. I loved getting that box of candy!  There was always one big chocolate drop in that box and I couldn’t wait to open it and see if it was there.  Yum! My favorite!

Christmas at our house growing up was okay.  We didn’t have much money but we always got something.  We would get a stocking which had nuts, an orange, a tangerine, and an apple.  Sometimes there would be a little gift tucked in there too.  So, to me Christmas was about the Christmas party at the fire hall and our Christmas morning at home with gifts.  I didn’t think too much about Jesus or the Christmas story.

After I grew up and got out into the world Christmas meant something else to me. It was party time!  It was a time to get together with friends and have a drink or two to celebrate.  Yes, we did a lot of celebrating.  We celebrated at work too, as we had office parties.  When we’d go and visit anyone they would offer us drinks. So, at that time of my life Christmas meant partying.  And I certainly did my share!

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

Things Changed

In those days Christmas also meant getting gifts for everyone I could, and buying a tree and decorations.  As I look back I realize that my focus on Christmas was all wrong.  I have to confess that I think I worshipped my tree.  I had to get it all set up and decorated just right. I’d put on some Christmas music, actually worldly music, and with a drink in hand I’d sit and look at my tree for a long, long time and just marvel at how beautiful it was.  I loved people stopping by to celebrate with me and I loved going to their homes and celebrating with them.  Yes, Christmas was a time of drinking and having a grand ole time.

But, then, after I found Jesus Christ as my Savior and went to church I discovered my first real Christmas.  Oh, what a difference!  It was wonderful!  I remember so well that first real Christmas.  It just happened that year that Christmas fell on Sunday.  We  had a short morning service that day. Then we had an evening service at church, and the pastor read the Christmas story from the Bible.  It meant so much to me as I really listened to it for the first time, and let the words sink into my heart.  It was beautiful!

After  that we sang some Christian Christmas carols which were really beautiful, and the words meant something special to me.  Then, members of the congregation shared some of the things they were thankful for.  It was a blessing and I sat there with tears in my eyes. That Christmas I was sober and my heart was blessed with the beauty of Christmas.  I loved hearing how others felt about Jesus and what He did for us.  I wanted everyone I knew to feel like I did.  Yes, there was more to Christmas than what I’d thought all those years.

Since that first real Christmas the holidays have meant so much more to me.  It doesn’t mean partying and drinking any more.  Those things were empty.  But Christ is real and His Word is alive and can change our hearts.

The Bible describes me before I found Jesus Christ as my Savior and discovered the real meaning of Christmas.   I believed in God, but did not realize that I was His enemy.

Rom 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (6) For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, (7) because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (8) and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When I was saved I obtained PEACE with God.  How wonderful is that?

Rom 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

This is the real Christmas story.  Christ came to earth a harmless little baby, but He was born to die.  What love is that?  He died for me a hopeless, helpless sinner. I thought about that on that first real Christmas, and my heart was full of joy that God saved me from myself.  Isn’t that amazing?  He loved me that much!

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Thanksgiving has rolled around once again.  I was just sitting here thinking of something to write and wondered what YOU are thankful for.

Click on the comment button and let me know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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MR900020735    

It seems like she is really in a bad mood lately, doesn’t it? Our nation has  had extra bad weather over the past month or so.  And, who gets the blame?  Mother Nature is the one who makes the headlines.

New York State Thruway Shuts Down, Leaving Hundreds Stranded – December 2, 2010

“A New York State Thruway was shutdown Thursday after a storm dumped up to 2 feet of snow on the area, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded and spending the night in their vehicles.”

Some of my own family members were stranded in this shutdown for several hours.  It was like a blizzard as the snow came down in buckets.  The road closed down and traffic came to a stop.  To top it off they were on their way home from the hospital with their special needs child who had just had his tonsils out.  But, thank the Lord, someone came along and got them unstuck and they were able to finally get back home.  Some people were stranded there overnight in the same location.  According to the news reports, Mother Nature had hit the city hard. 

Then came the terrible rain storms in California: 

STORM DAMAGE:  MOTHER NATURE OWES OC $23 MILLION, 12/19/2010  —   OC Weekly

“Original Post, December 27, 11:16 a.m. : ​​If you’ve been living in OC the past two weeks, you know it’s been a wet existence. Downpour, after downpour, slanted rain, water rising from the ground, flooded gutters. It wasn’t the most pleasant time to be singing the praises of living in Southern California.

Mudslides left families stranded (Silverado Canyon) and major roadways blocked off to traffic… Car accident reports spiked, as motorists were spinning out of control or were blinded on the wet roadways. Four hikers were stranded in the San Gabriel Mountains, requiring a helicopter rescue by Los Angeles fire fighters…

It go so bad that Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado declared a state of emergency in nine Southern California counties.”

Blizzards in the Midwest closed down roads and left motorists stranded in their cars. In North Dakota there was a 100 car pile up.  Airports were closed and many holiday plans were ruined.  At one point up to 17 feet of new snow was dumped in the mountains. 

MOTHER NATURE STRIKES AGAIN 12/30/2010  abc news

There was an unusual tornado outbreak for December in 7 states right around New Years.  These caused 6 or 7 deaths, and terrible destruction.  Missouri was one state hit pretty hard on New Year’s Eve.

What is wrong with Mother Nature anyway?  Can’t she cut us break? All his devastation and heartache.  

It’s the gift that Mother Nature just keeps giving this season—snow. More is coming to southeast Michigan.  Freep.com  Detroit Free Press, 1/06/2011

……

Mother Nature delivers Heavy snow, frigid temps descend on southwest Montana. Bozeman Daily Chronicles  11/24/2010

……

MOTHER NATURE IS GOING TO BE COMPLETELY OBNOXIOUS!  The Weather Channel 1/7/2011

I’ve been thinking about all of these storms being blamed on Mother Nature.  Does she have PMS?  Well, no, not really. She does not actually exist, therefore, she could not have PMS.   If you believe in Santa Clause then maybe you believe in Mother Nature.  She is simply a myth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Nature

So, who or what is responsible for natural disasters and horrible weather outbreaks?  God is! That’s right, but you won’t hear that on the news.

Now if you think my point is groundless and that a loving God would not do such a thing as allow terrible storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, blizzards, freezing rain, damaging winds, and other natural disasters, to come upon us, then let me take you to the Word of God and show you what God Himself says.

God is the God of the universe.

Isa 44:24 NASB  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone,

God created all things through Jesus Christ, and He continues to this day to hold it all together.

Col 1:16-17 NASB  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.  (17)  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

God is in control.  He is Sovereign and can do whatever He pleases.  Nothing happens by chance.  Nothing!  He is in total control of the weather.  He causes the weather.

Psalm 135:5-7 NASB  For I know that the LORD is great And that our Lord is above all gods.  (6)  Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.  (7)  He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.

Psa 148:8 NASB  Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;

Why does God cause bad weather?  I do not know His reasons because we cannot comprehend it.  He has His reasons and they have to do with His divine providence.

Job 37:5-7 NASB  “God thunders with His voice wondrously, Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.  (6)  “For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’  (7)  “He seals the hand of every man, That all men may know His work.

God directs the weather and storms.  He is orchestrating it. Verse 13 may help us understand as it says it might be for correction, or for His world, or for his lovingkindness.  That again is hard to understand, except, not all storms are bad.  He brings rain to water the crops so we have food.

Job 37:9-13 NASB  “Out of the south comes the storm, And out of the north the cold.  (10)  “From the breath of God ice is made, And the expanse of the waters is frozen.  (11)  “Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning.  (12)  “It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, That it may do whatever He commands it On the face of the inhabited earth.  (13)  “Whether for correction, or for His world, Or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.

Notice in verse 7 below He says He is the one “causing well-being, and creating calamity.” This is eye opening to me! I’ve never noticed that verse before.  God Himself creates troubles.

Isa 45:5-7 NASB  “I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;  (6)  That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other,  (7)  The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.

Amo 3:6 NASB  If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?

……

What if, just for conversation, what if, we would insert the word “God” in these headlines in place of “Mother Nature?”  How would that sound on the nightly news.  Let’s try some on for size.

STORM DAMAGE:  MOTHER NATURE GOD OWES OC $23 MILLION

MOTHER NATURE GOD STRIKES AGAIN 

MOTHER NATURE GOD DELIVERS HEAVY SNOW, FRIGID TEMPS DESCEND ON SOUTHWEST MONTANA.

IT’S THE GIFT THAT MOTHER NATURE GOD JUST KEEPS GIVING THIS SEASON–SNOW.

How would that sound?  Kind of odd wouldn’t you say?  But, do you know what?  There’s a lot of truth in that!

Listen and watch for the term, “Mother Nature,” and when you come across it simply change it to God and see how it sounds.  It puts a whole new perspective on things don’t you think?

What is our reaction when we hear that Mother Nature wreaks havoc?   We feel bad for the people who were involved.  We simply say to ourselves, “That’s  Mother Nature for ya,” and more or less except it and continue with the cleanup. 

On the other hand, what if we acknowledged it was God’s doing? What would our reaction be then?  I think we might realize how fragile life is and that we have no control over nature.  We might throw ourselves onto the mercy of God, and pray He would spare us.  We need to take stock of ourselves and gain an added reverence and respect for God.  Most importantly, we need to get right with God.  We need to be ready in the event that it would be our time to move on from this life.  This perspective would have a positive impact on us and our country.  I truly believe that.

Quote by Gil Rugh “Nothing happens by an act of Mother Nature; everything happens by an act of Father God!”

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As I listened to a sermon this past week something stuck in my mind.  The speaker talked about how we think, and said, “Today the focus is on self, which is all about relief, instead of victory in spite of their circumstances.”  He also mentioned the fact that we are today a medicated society.

I’ve pondered that for a few days now.  “relief instead of victory.”  At first, I didn’t get it.  I thought relief would be victory.  Then, I thought deeper, and realized what he said is actually true. 

We are a society who want quick fixes.  We take a pill for just about everything that ails us.  And, we don’t want to wait for anything.  We have fast food, instant coffee, microwaveable meals, instant soup, phones on our ears, fast cars, instant news, the Internet, instant messaging, and fast texting. 

Everything is speeded up in our lives today, and when we have problems we want quick fixes.  We don’t think we should suffer at all.  We look for that magic bullet that will fix everything.  We buy the latest self-help books, videos, tapes, CD’s and DVD’s.  We go to the latest guru or therapist.  We simply want quick relief.  We pop whatever pill is in vogue. Have you noticed all the television ads for prescription drugs lately?  It seems there is a pill for every thing imaginable that could happen to us.  But, you’d better not listen to the disclaimers or you will not take anything. :-)

We have problems with relationships, and we want things to be instantly fixed.  But, it doesn’t work that way.  So many times people turn to the wrong things for relief. 

I know a girl who lost her fiance in an accident.  This girl is in her 30′s I believe.  She took it very hard, and rightly so.  It is not bad to grieve, but how you handle it is another thing.  Two years have gone by.  

She desperately wanted relief from the pain of losing the person she loved and  was about to spend the rest of her life with. So, she began drinking even more and did not get the relief she desired so began medication for depression.  Alcohol and anti-depressants are a bad and dangerous mix.  She still hasn’t found the relief she wanted. 

What this person needs is victory.  But, how can she find that?  First, she needs to become a Christian.  Then, as she studies and learns from the Bible she will find that God will comfort her and give her a supernatural strength to get through the tough times. 

1Co 10:13 NASB  No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

This verse is talking about trials and temptations that come into all our lives.  If we are Christians God will be in control of the situation and will not allow it to overwhelm you.  He will provide a way for you to endure.  Isn’t that a wonderful promise?  I loved it when I first found that verse.

Now, that would be victory for this girl!  We are not to eliminate the bad circumstances that come our way in life, but instead learn how to live through them with Christ at our side.  I’m sad to see this poor soul suffer when she could be praising God, and get on with her life.  God has something for her if she would only realize she needs to turn to Him.

Another example of how people want relief instead of victory is of a Christian married couple who have had many problems and they end up with a divorce.  Why does that happen?  They want relief from the misery they live in.   Relief instead of victory is not the answer. 

Victory would be if that couple who are Christians would get into the Word and apply it to their lives.  They could change how they see and treat each other.  They could fall in love all over again.  They could with God’s help have victory if they would only do it God’s way.  The man needed to become the leader in that home and the woman needed to step back and be submissive to her husband instead of trying to run him and bad mouth him all the time.  You see there is a difference between relief and victory.

Eph 5:22-25 NASB  Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  (23)  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  (24)  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.  (25)  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

God knows everything.  Nothing happens to us that He doesn’t allow.  Everything that comes our way is passed through God’s grid.  Nothing happens by chance.   God is Sovereign, and He can allow bad things to come into our lives.  But, there is always a reason.  He is either teaching us or chastising us.  He wants us to grow more in the likeness of Christ as we mature in the faith. 

Rom 8:28-29 NASB  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  (29)  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Well, I guess it comes down to this.  We have a choice.  Do we want to live our lives our own way, living by emotions and feelings.? If we do we will find ourselves full of stress and anxiety and looking for relief, not victory. We will turn to medication, or something to numb our brains, perhaps alcohol, or illegal drugs.  We will say, “God, please just take these horrible feelings away.  I’m tired of the suffering.”  Instead we should say, “God, you know how I feel.  Please give me the wisdom to learn how to live in a way that I can handle adversity with you at my side. Help me Lord to see the lessons in this that you want me to learn.  Help me to judge my own heart and expose any unconfessed sin so that I may confess it and repent of it.”   

Or, do we want to live our lives God’s way.  Obeying everything He commands us to do in the Bible.  If we choose God’s way we will have victory in all our trials and tribulations.  God truly is good and I’m so thankful that He has given us the Bible as a standard to live by.  We live in an age where people want to say the Bible is out-dated, and that it is too hard for any of us to really understand.  Yes, we hear that. But, that is not true.  God is not a God of confusion, but of logic, and reason.  He is rational. 

The key to not merely find relief but to gain victory is when we choose God’s way and our focus is turned from ourselves and toward Christ.  Do you see that?

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See more from Cyberhymnal here!

To think of the agony this woman must have gone through as she watched her own father drown.  So many times tragedies bring out the most beautiful inspiring songs.  The words to this hymn are very inspiring and uplifting to all who are down but love the Lord.–Bonnie  
P.S. If you click on MIDI below you can hear the music too.  
“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25

Lina was the daugh­ter of Jo­nas San­dell, pas­tor of the Lu­ther­an church in Fröd­eryd. At age 26, she ac­com­pa­nied her fa­ther on a boat trip across Lake Vättern to Gö­te­borg, dur­ing which he fell over­board and drowned be­fore her eyes. The tra­ge­dy pro­found­ly af­fect­ed Lina and re­port­ed­ly in­spired her to write hymns. Known as the Fan­ny Cros­by of Swe­den, she wrote 650 hymns. She mar­ried Stock­holm mer­chant C. O. Berg in 1867, but con­tin­ued to in­i­tial her hymns “L. S.”

Lina Sandell (1832-1903)
Words: Kar­o­lina W. San­dell-Berg, 1865 (Blott en dag, ett ögon­blick i sän­der); trans­lat­ed from Swed­ish to Eng­lish by An­drew L. Skoog (1856-1934). Music: Blott en Dag, Os­kar Ahn­felt, 1872 (MI­DI, score).

Oskar Ahnfelt (1813-1882)

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Power;
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
Ever to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.


Монгол хэл | Svenska

 

08/07/2007 06:40:13

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God takes care of the birds and will take care of us too.  Matt: 6:26

We live in tough times.  We hear it every day on the news.  Our future looks bleak, at least that is what they’d like us to think. 

As Christians how should we respond?  Should we be fearful and full of anxiety? 

“Fear is a more dangerous enemy than those your fear.”  Thomas Watson – Puritan author and pastor.

Isn’t that an interesting quote?  Do you realize many people in the Bible struggled with fear and doubt?  Fear is nothing new!

Just to name a few:

Adam and Eve; they disobeyed God and became fearful and hid from Him.

Abraham; he had a fear of danger, so he lied two times about Sarah being his wife in order to escape danger. 

Sarah had the fear of doubt.  She didn’t believe God that she would have a child so she got Abraham to take her handmaid to provide the child.  Ishmael was the result, and these two tribes still fight today.

Moses had the fear of not being good enough.  God called Him, but he made excuses and tried to get out of it. 

Peter had the fear of man.  Because of that he denied that he knew Jesus three times.

Sometimes our fear can cause sin.  Such was the case of Abraham.  He feared danger so he lied which was a sin.

Sometimes our sin can cause fear.  Such was the case of Adam and Eve.  They sinned first when they disobeyed God and that sin resulted in fear.

In our day it is still the same.  There are sins that can result in fear, such as adultery, lying, thief,  breaking the law, anxiety and worry.

Then there are fears that can cause sin such as fear of public speaking, which is a fear of people, (you back out of doing something God wanted you to do,) fear of what people might think can cause you to lie or cover up something.  

Have you ever wondered how the people from the time of creation until now, when we have psychology and special medications, coped with their fears and anxieties?  I have. 

Fear itself is nothing new we’ve seen that.  What is new is the way we approach it today.

Psychology came along and hijacked God.  The early fathers of psychology were not Christians and they had a secular, humanistic world view.  They believed that all of man’s fears and anxiety came from how a person was raised, their environment, circumstances, and negative thinking.  They came up with a new kind of “medicine,” called psychology. 

When you had emotional problems you would be sent to a psychiatrist, who is a physician but a specialist in “mental illness.”  He would diagnose you by using the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) and come up with an “disorder” listed in there by number.  This was a great idea because then the psychiatrists could charge your insurance company for the sessions they would set up for you.  It truly benefited their wallets.  Also, the drug companies played an important role as they came up with drugs specifically for these “mental illnesses and disorders.”  These are called psychotropic drugs.

In 1966 there were 44 of these kinds of drugs, today there are 174.  We spend 27 billion a year on these drugs.  Did all of that fix the problems of fear, anxiety, and stress that people have? 

I think not!  Instead we became a nation of medicated people, going to psychologists regularly and not making any real progress. 

Do you realize  the answer lies in the Word of God?  Yes, God made us and he knows all about us.  Luke was a physician, so God does believe in doctors.  When we are ill in our body we need to go to a physician.  If we have a physical illness then it needs to be treated with medications.  That is true.

But, when we have a problem in our heart, minds, soul, (our spiritual side) then we need to go to the Great Physician and get our help from Him.  It seems the psychiatrist have come between the pastor and the hurting Christian.  Today even pastors send their emotionally upset members to the psychologist for worldly therapy.  Why, because they believe the lie that they themselves are not competent to help the people. 

So, when we have problems with stress, anxiety, fear, and worry, we should run to the Bible and look for our help there. 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2Ti 1:7 KJV

One important note:  If you are presently taking medication for anxiety and panic attacks, please, do not stop them without first consulting with your physician who prescribed them and ask him or her how to get off them.  It could be dangerous to try to quit them cold turkey.

Elyse Fitzpatrick, in her book, “Overcoming, Fear, Worry, and Anxiety,” has said the following:

“God loves to call the fearful heart to himself…Why does God delight in helping us to become trusting children, filled with peace and confidence, children who lean on His strength?  Because when He changes hearts like ours into hearts like His, He receives praise and glory.  When we discover that we’re able to walk peacefully through conditions that formerly terrified us, our hearts will overflow with gratitude and thanksgiving–and that brings joy to God.  Only He can change hearts that are frequently overwhelmed by fear into hearts that are overshadowed by His power and bravery, and it’s His delight to do so.”

Do you need a heart change?  If so, God is ready to help you.  He wants to work in your life.

Do you fear God working in your life?  Do you fear the possibility of getting better?  Or, do you look forward to that day wholeheartedly?  In other words, are you ready for change now?

My prayer for you is that you will turn to God for your healing.  That you will trust that He is able to make you the person He created you to be.  He loves you and has a purpose for your existence. 

Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.    Psa 62:8 NASB

What a wonderful Heavenly Father we have.  He knows us through and through and can work with us to make us whole.  You can be an overcomer!

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What is happening?  Everyday we hear on television how the “wrath of Mother Nature has wrecked havoc” somewhere in our country.

Almost 1000 tornados have hit the USA this year so far, and more than 100 people have died.

Tornados have ripped through the mid-west and east.  Torrential rains have caused flooding in several states, with roads washed out, houses submerged, and cars with only their rooftops visible.

Fires in Florida and California have devastated many acres.  And now it’s time for the hurricane season to begin.

In China 5.5 million people have been left homeless from the terrible earthquakes that have hit there recently.  Nearly 100,000 people died in those quakes.

In Myanmar (Burma) 60,000 or more have died when a cyclone hit that country.  There is death, disease, and poverty everywhere for those poor people to contend with.  Their main religion is Buddhism.

I realize that China and Myanmar are not Christian countries, and perhaps God is judging them for that?

100_0881

The book of Job shows us how God works as he controls nature.

See my article: God Controls Nature

Another helpful article explaining the origin of the phrase “Mother Nature that we use so much today is here.   God or Mother Nature?

There are also some people in this country today who actually worship Mother Nature, or Mother Earth.  This is a false religion but many take it very seriously.  They are worshipping the creation rather than the creator.

So, I come back to my beginning question:  What is happening?

Do you think God is judging this nation with the wicked weather we are experiencing?  I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

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thankful

It is time to celebrate Thanksgiving again, and I’ve been thinking.

I wonder how many people are thankful to God on Thanksgiving?  I remember when I was growing up how much fun Thanksgiving was.  All of our family would get together at my folks house and we would have a feast.  My mom would cook for a couple of days ahead getting food ready.We would have turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, winter squash, baked beans, homemade pickles, cranberry sauce, olives, and for desert pies and homemade banana bread. (It makes me hungry just thinking about it.)

The men usually would go out hunting for deer in the morning and then when they came in for dinner would be really hungry and would share stories of the deer they saw but couldn’t get a shot at.   I used to love to hear all the hunting stories.

I recall the guys would actually make gluttons of themselves having contests to see who could eat the most.

Those are fond memories of family as we celebrated together.  But, you know what, I think we were thankful for all the wonderful food we had, but I can never remember that we ever prayed before we feasted or gave thanks to God for anything.  Now, that strikes me as sad.

After becoming a Christian I realized that God is the one who provides.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:19)

Yes, we can be thankful that we have a good job, that our family is healthy, that we have enough money.  We can be thankful for almost anything but God needs to be the object of our gratitude.  God has enabled us to work, to have a job, to make money.  He is the source of everything we have.

In Matthew 6:25-34 God tells us that we are more important than the birds and the flowers, and He provides for them.  He also tells us not to worry. Instead we need to be thankful for how He has provided for us by seeking Him and He will take care of us.

I had an email from a new Christian recently.  She can’t wait for Thanksgiving this year and said she has a new thankfulness now that she is closer to God.  She will look at the day in a new way this time.  Isn’t that great?

I pray each of you will be thankful this Thanksgiving holiday and that your gratitude will be directed toward God.

 

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