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So Thankful

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Feeling incredibly thankful and blessed this Sunday for all of the blessings in my life. Having just turned another year older this week, I’ve been reflecting upon how that it’s been nothing short of amazing what God has been able to do in my life.

God is good friends, God is good.

No one but God could have scripted such a life. Now,to a lot of people that would mean that I was referring to a life of ease and continuous blessing. That would not be my life however.

I have learned that when considering one’s life,you must consider all of it,not just the good,with the sum total of all of life’s experiences determining whether or not one considers themselves “blessed”. And I am certainly blessed!

Looking back, it’s easy to see that it’s been His hand that has guided me through great times as well as through the storms that tried to destroy me. Getting to experience the thrills of mountain top experiences is a thrill like no other,just as experiencing the lows of the lowest valley is an experience like no other. As I said,only God could author such things!

What a mighty God we serve!

God has been my Provider, my Healer, and a friend that sticks closer than a brother. I give Him praise for all the goodness and mercy that has been poured into my life. Each and every time I wanted to give up on myself,there was an Unseen Hand that guided me to calmer waters,allowing me opportunities to call upon Him to steady the ship.

My prayer for each of you today is that these words will resonate with you, and that they will be a source of encouragement in your life.

So Thankful!the_light_end_tunnel

So Much To Be Thankful For

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Seeing that Thanksgiving will soon be here and (hopefully)the thought of thankfulness is on a lot of people’s minds, I wanted to offer this post as a way of expressing my gratitude for several things.

First and foremost I am thankful to know Jesus Christ as my Savior.In my life,this is the starting point of every good thing that has come my way.Everything I have or enjoy is because of His provision.No one ever needs to tell me that I am nothing without Him,I know this to be true.

The story of how God interrupted my life as I traveled my own Damascus Road is one that most would find hard to believe.To say I was headed for Hell would be a gross understatement,and the power of God’s Love,Forgiveness, and Grace makes my story all the more remarkable.Suffice it to say that to whom much is forgiven…

I am also thankful that God has blessed me with a loving and caring wife.When I listen to other men tell their “less than flattering” stories about their wives it only increases the gratitude that I have for my wife.While the Lord may indeed be my Rock,she is my soulmate and the greatest source of encouragement a man could have.

I cannot remember a day that she hasn’t said something to me of encouragement,hope,and love.She prays for me without ceasing,both for physical healing and also that I would continue to seek the Lord’s direction for our family.She is strong in her convictions and will not be swayed by popular opinion,be it a spiritual matter or otherwise.In this we are identical.

She is a praying wife and mother yet she is also very sensitive to the needs of others.She loves the elderly and I lover her heart for them.Like me,she roots for the underdog and those who society disregards.She loves deeply,and also hurts deeply.

I am thankful to have a great job,material blessings,and pretty much anything I need in this life.I have made many,many acquaintances through the years that I have been involved with in ministry as well as working at a secular job.My friends can be counted on but a few fingers (what does that word really mean anyway?),yet I consider myself highly blessed.

In spite of how I may feel however, the scriptures remind us that there would come a time when people would generally be “unthankful”and it’s pretty safe to say that we are living in such a time.While many wonder why or how things are so out of control in our world today,anyone can find the answers to their questions in God’s word.Which makes me want to say “wow! this Bible stuff that was written so long ago is amazingly accurate isn’t it?”. But that’s for another time.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”  2nd Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV

The awesome thing is that God has made a way that we do not have to be like those described by Paul in his second letter to Timothy.We can choose a different path,one filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for what He has done in our lives.

It really is that simple.God has set before us a door that He invites us to walk through.On the other side is a peace and contentment not found in the world we have created for ourselves.

Won’t you join me this Thanksgiving? Be thankful to God for His many blessings.

Ron

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Thankfulness Can be Short Lived…

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Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year.I hope everyone paused a few moments to reflect upon the blessings we’ve been given.I’m thankful every day (not just one day) for a roof over my head,a warm house,plenty to eat,and a good job to go to every day.

I am very much aware that compared to the majority of this world I am rich beyond measure.I also believe that if you live in America, you most likely share in these riches at some level.We are truly blessed.

To have the unparallelled freedom to worship God and to have a Bible in my home are treasures I do not take for granted.These things are gifts from God and God alone, and I am both humbled and thankful.

Which brings me to the second thought of this post,which is our tendency to be less than thankful,even greedy at times.

Have you noticed?

We turn “thankfulness” on and off like we do our TV’s. We go from heads bowed around the family Thanksgiving table to within a few short hours joining the mad rush to the mall.Only this year it’s been made even easier so we can start earlier than ever before.After all, no sense wasting precious shopping time setting around with the family when there are bargains to be had.

I wonder if we can see what has happened to us in America? Do we comprehend the breakdown?

We bemoan what has happened to the family unit in this country but in truth we contribute to it by our own greed.Think about that for a moment.

We will get up hours earlier than normal to stand in a line in the freezing cold to get that perfect gift,but we won’t spend a few extra minutes in the company of our loved ones getting to know what’s going on in their lives.

Now,lest you think I don’t like saving money,rest assured that I most certainly do like saving money. But at what cost? I hear people all the time speaking about their busy schedules and how there doesn’t seem to be time for the things that matter,yet these same people are the ones clamoring to be first in line when the doors open!

I guess I’m getting old because “things” don’t excite me much any more.I place a higher value on things that cannot be bought in the stores.Things like quiet evenings at home surrounded by loved ones.There is a blessedness in that like nothing else.

I love listening to my daughter laugh out loud,the sound of which brings an enormous smile to my face each time.I love talking with her,listening to her opinions about things that I didn’t even know she understood! I am so very thankful for the times I have with her.

I love the home my wife has created because it is an atmosphere of peace and love.Try buying that at Macy’s!

I’m thankful that I am married to a woman who understands me and let’s me be me,as I do her.There is no price to place on a home where the love and peace of God dwells.

I am beyond blessed,and for that I am so thankful.

In spite of the ills of the church,it’s failures(that’s us folks),it’s many shortcomings…..I have a sure Foundation in Christ Jesus.He will never leave me nor forsake me.

Can’t buy that at any price.Sorry,that price was already paid.

And for all of these things I am thankful….. and I endeavor to remain so.

Be blessed,

Ron