Month: November 2014

Thanksgiving Struggles

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Tomorrow we will see family, friends of the family and people that married into the family.

For you it maybe a struggle to be around some of them…

for others it maybe a joy.

Some of you often feel left out during family gatherings because you are not the favorite one, or the one people like to talk to. You never seem to fit in with everyone else. For others you are the center of attention, you cook the meal, you have the best desert, and the life everyone wants.

Regardless of where you fit, even if it is somewhere in-between the description above, the question is…

Do you thank God for the people you will see tomorrow?  Is lifting them up to God in a prayer of thanks part of your prayer life?

“we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Colossians 1:3)

Do you thank God for the people that He has placed in your life, that you have come to know, even in your family?  Do you give thanks for those people regardless if you have a strong desire to be around them or not.

Today, take a moment to pray about tomorrow. Mention the people you will see by name and find something to be thankful for as a result of knowing them.  Not – “Lord I’m thankful I only have to see them on holiday’s and funerals” but something about them that is good that you are thankful for.

It will make tomorrow much easier to endure…

and you might find yourself not even feeling like you are enduring them at all. (Ok I know that’s a long shot)

So…

“give thanks to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ”  when you lift them up in prayer today.

It will change things.

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Mortal

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We didn’t have a choice really, it’s the way of things. From the point of conception our lives were wrapped in mortalness. Our bodies were not going to last forever.  Within their very design was a weakness that time and circumstances would eventually exploit. It seems that reminders of this fact are around us at every turn. For me it started early this year with the passing of Jonah Hammet and since then there has been an on going stream of people that have died.  Tommy Redding “my uncle”, Jane Huffines who was found at her home 3 days after she had crossed over, Mrs Thompson who’s first name I never knew but I knew her because of my home church, and Nathan Clark our 13 year old neighbor which was a shocker and I’m not sure when I will be over that one. Then there’s Brandyn Sands’ Father, Josh Hill’s Grandmother, and 3 miscarriages.  All of these were “taken” from a different set of circumstances (some cancer, others old age, etc…), at various stages of their existence (some young, others old and not so old) but all (with the exception of Jonah) happened within the past two weeks…

Within The Past Two weeks…

Such is the nature of Mortalness

We are born, we grow, we live and move in a world that isn’t getting younger but always older. A world that spins toward natural extinction at an alarming rate.  We are mortal and are on the road to perish with each step we take and with each breath we breathe.  No one gets younger, or better.  We all get older and worse.

So, death comes upon us, we see people placed in graves, and we cry because we will miss them all the while being reminded that we are headed toward that same fate. A fate that has power over us, and there is no avoiding it.

But…

There is the possibility of a great exchange.

An exchange made possible through the resurrection of Jesus.  Made simple it is this…  By believing in the name of Jesus, accepting that we are sinners and putting our faith and trust in him as our Savior we immediately “sign up” for His “body exchange program”.  A perk (if you will) for being a follower of Jesus. There is coming a day when we will exchange this Mortal body we were born with for a new and different body.  One that has no imperfections. A body that has no weaknesses that time and circumstances can exploit.  A body we receive after the one we are in has served its purpose.  This great exchange is a surety for Jesus will make it happen and what a glorious promise that is!

“For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised…. and we (believers) will be changed. For our perishable body will be exchanged – made into an imperishable one and our mortal body will be exchanged – made into an immortal one.” (My Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:52b – 53a)

But until that day occurs, we mourn for those we have lost and remember their mortal lives, knowing that when we cash in our mortality and exchange it for immortality,  we will see them again and converse about the differences between our moral and immortal existence.  In the mean time we should live each moment to its fullest and attack each day with vigor.  Realizing that everyday we live in our mortal flesh is a gift.  A gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted as we head toward the day of our Great Exchange.

 

Stand and Greet – by Tom Rainer

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I’m posting this article by Tom Rainer to see what your thoughts are, please list them in the comments below. Thanks…

NASHVILLE (BP) — I conducted a Twitter poll (not scientific, I assure you) asking first-time church guests what factors made them decide not to return. In listing the top 10 in order of frequency (http://thomrainer.com/2014/11/01/top-ten-ways-churches-drive-away-first-time-guests), I was surprised that the number one issue guests don’t like is a time to stand and greet one another.

So what is it about a stand-and-greet time that many guests don’t like?

Here are the several of the most common — although, again, unscientific — responses, listed in order of frequency.

1. Many guests are introverts. “I would rather have a root canal than be subjected to a stand and greet time.”

2. Some guests perceive the members are not sincere during the time of greeting. “In most of the churches it should be called a stand and fake it time. The members weren’t friendly at all except for ninety seconds.”

3. Many guests don’t like the lack of hygiene that takes place during this time. “Look, I’m not a germaphobe, but that guy wiped his nose right before he shook my hand.”

4. Many times the members only greet other members. “I went to one church where no one spoke to me the entire time of greeting. I could tell they were speaking to people they already knew.”

5. Both members and guests at some churches perceive the entire exercise as awkward. “Nowhere except churches do we have times that are so awkward and artificial. If members are going to be friendly, they would be friendly at other times as well. They’re not.”

6. In some churches, the people in the congregation are told to say something silly to one another. “So the pastor told us to tell someone near us that they are good looking. I couldn’t find anyone who fit that description, so I left and didn’t go back.”

7. Not only do some guests dread the stand and greet time, so do some members. “I visited the church and went through the ritual of standing and greeting, but many of the members looked just as uncomfortable as I was. We were all doing a required activity that none of us liked.”

There are strong comments at the post on both sides of the issue of whether a stand-and-greet time is helpful in reaching guests — enough to prompt churches to ask themselves whether it’s effective in their community.

Thanksgiving Music

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Each year beginning in October our family begins to play holiday theme music to carry us through the holiday season.  It starts with October Music and ends with Christmas Music. In between those is what we call Thanksgiving Music (of course:)).  Over the years this list has evolved with songs being added and others we took off because we could bear them no longer.  If you are looking for songs to play during this Thanksgiving season below is a list you can choose from. At the bottom there is a link to the PDF version of this list.  Also, if you have any suggestions of music we could add to our list please let me know by commenting below.

You will not find a list of Thanksgiving Music this extensive any where else!

Enjoy!

Thanksgiving MusicThanksgiving Music 2Thanksgiving Music 3Thanksgiving Music 4Here is a link to a PDF version of this list. Thanksgiving Music