“Do you have a second? I’ve talked to several other friends, and a bunch of family members. Heck, I even talked to a stranger about it. No one was any help so far.
So, I wanted to get YOUR opinion.”
These were the opening words from a friend of mine recently. He was visibly bothered by something, and I wanted to help him. Although…I admit that I chuckled more than just a little at also realizing I was, apparently, his absolute LAST RESORT.
(Before I continue, I should probably note here that my friend has just opened his heart to Jesus, and is still very young in the Faith.)
“What do YOU think about your choices?” I asked. And without going into the whole conversation, over the next 10 minutes I watched and listened as the voices of Reason, Conscience, Fear and Pride influenced my friend’s thoughts and words.
He concluded with, “See? This is why I am SO confused!”
But if you were to ask a random group of people what they “love” about Christmas (the day AND the season), you’d probably get answers ranging from giving/receiving gifts, to time off from work, to spending time with family.
And while those things can certainly be gratifying, there’s no question that they are also ephemeral by their very nature:
Your ‘shake weight‘ now resides in the back of a closet somewhere, waiting for the day when you “get around to using it…”,
You DID go back to work, …or you will soon,
And the family, eventually, puts away the Christmas decorations, and goes back to the daily and weekly routines.
Yet there IS one Christmas gift which never loses its beauty, and is the greatest “gift” of all time:
“….It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
This post from our good friend “Pgh” was a wonderful reminder last year of how and why we should always give thanks, no matter our circumstances.
We’re honored to be able to share it with you again.
–JTR & GBL
Every year, on the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving Day, our congregation gathers to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. And, while we seek to be in a mind of praise and thankfulness EVERY day, there’s something about this particular evening that sharpens that focus.
It is truly a time of praise, worship, and thanksgiving.
This particular Tuesday evening, our Pastor delivered a message on “The Power of Giving Thanks“. It will change MY life forever, and from the heart, I would like to share his thoughts with you.
“…Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Seriously, it’s hard to imagine anyone who hasn’t heard of him. Even if you never followed the music, you should certainly remember his much heralded and well-reported missions to Africa.
What you MIGHT have missed were 2 recent stories about Bono: The Christian, and its powerful sequel, Bono: The Capitalist.
On June 25th, Bono was a guest on the “Focus on the Family” radio program. The entire interview is definitely worth reading, but this one excerpt stood out to me (emphasis mine):
Jim Daly of FOTF: So often those that struggle with accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior — it’s the idea that He’s the Messiah. In fact, you were asked about that by a journalist. How did you respond to that?
Bono: Jesus doesn’t let you off the hook. The Scriptures don’t let you off the hook so easily. So, Jesus died on a cross with “King of the Jews,” as the Messiah. In fact, if He’d just given that bit up, you know, [He] would not have had the crucifixion. And Pilate was saying it’s unnecessary. Everyone was, “this is kind of mad.” Because when people say, you know, “good teacher,” “prophet,” “really nice guy,” and this is nothow Jesus thought of Himself.
So, you’re left with a challenge in that, which is either: Jesus was who He said He was, or a complete and utter nut case. You have to make a choice on that.
And I believe that Jesus was the Son of God.
I’d actually heard about this a few weeks back while listening to our local K-LOVE affiliate. Then I turned on the local news, …then the “other” MSM stations, …Radio, …TV, …
***insert sound of crickets chirping here***
Hmmm, why wouldn’t they report such a thing?
I guess Bono just didn’t “come out” with the appropriate type of news that fit the predetermined, MSM narrative.
Then one morning, I woke up to the following clip on ‘Fox and Friends’. The actual speech is nearly an hour in length (you can see it all HERE), but this segment really struck me:
Isn’t this news? In our hyper media-ized world, everything a celebrity says, does, wears or buys at the store is news these days. And here we have Bono, …BONO!…, saying in effect that Aid is a stop-gap, only, and Capitalism takes far more people out of poverty than Aid does.
***crickets begin chirping again, louder this time***
This message will still get out, whether or not the press ignores it. As a result, some folks will actually be inspired to examine these topics, perhaps for the first time. Minds which have heretofore been closed to the inherent truths of both Christianity and Capitalism will be opened.
“…When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation…”
Question: Do YOU celebrate the 4th of July, or Independence Day?
For many, July 4th is most often noted as being a day off from work – punctuated by barbecues and fireworks. Ironically, it wasn’t until 1870, that the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. Later, in 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
But BBQs, days off, and fireworks aside, why did our Founding Fathers seek independence from Great Britain?
Both of the Heads are away today, so ‘LivinRightInPgh‘ kindly agreed to once again mind the store for us. We’re always thrilled to have one of our Guest Noggins sub in, and sincerely appreciate their efforts and thoughtfulness.
In every life, there’s a destiny to be fulfilled; a path defined by our choices along the way. Ultimately, this “destiny” we choose will determine our destination. The Scriptures speak very clearly to the difference between choosing a destiny that is defined by humanistic choices and that which is defined by following God’s path for our lives…
“There is a way which seemsright to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 16:25 (NASB)
“In the way of righteousness is life, and in itspathway there is no death.” Proverbs 12:28 (NASB)
During our daily walk, we’re continuously faced with the “choices of the flesh“, which are in direct conflict with “choices of the Spirit“.