HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

30 11 2013

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I just want to unashamedly shout my genuine gratitude towards Heaven today from the top of my lungs and let the whole world know how thankful I am for every gracious and undeserved blessing that God has rained down in my life. Thank you Lord! It hit me the other day that our creative God shows up every morning without fail with brand spanking new mercies to offer us! Great is his faithfulness! Thanks Lord for doing things totally opposite from the way that I would have scripted my living screenplay to go. In what at first was received by me as personal disappointments, I have since come to perceive as your sovereign love for me, and I know I view it clearer than I ever could if you would have just given me everything that I wanted! My Heavenly Papa really does know best and while nothing has been birthed easily- I know that the fruit of my story is genuine and tasty! And just in time for the holidays, I feel like a living fruitcake for Jesus!

Thank you Jesus for caring enough about me that you have taught me discipline and self-control! You had to do it that way or else I was never going to learn about a love that displays any depth! Because you have said “No,” to me more than once- I appreciate the seasons when you do say, “Yes,” all the more! And in my weakness- I have welcomed your strength! In my ignorance, I have depended upon your wisdom! In my inability- your capability was unmistakably clear! By making me wait- I have recognized that some gifts should not be opened prematurely. I don’t think that our culture has been able to recognize true appreciation because we expect everything instantly! Wait for the Lord because he is waiting on you and he will provide what we need exactly when we need it. You can openly choose to take matters into your own hands- and live according to your own devices but it won’t ever be as good as when God is in it! And when God is in it- we come alive as we were created to be! And it is all because of Jesus I’m alive!

Thank you my Savior for being a living example of the fact that eternal love flows from a heart of sold out commitment. Next week my wife Terri and I will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary! When we got married we actually looked like a couple but nowadays I feel like I look more like her father than her husband! She hasn’t aged a bit and is just as beautiful as she was on our wedding day! And I honestly do love her more today than I did yesterday but still not as much as I know I will tomorrow! It is only because of God’s never ending supply of agape that I have always been able to count on an ample portion filling me so that it can be spilling from me that I can keep on giving freely to my spouse! We have been through hell and high water together and you can smell the smoke and see some saturation damage- but together we press on! When I have come to the edge of almost falling off the proverbial “losing my sanity” cliff- I have never been let down because the Lord has always used Terri to lift me up at just the right time to make sure that we keep motoring along! And I think that Terri would say that I have done the same for her because that is what loves does when we treat it like the verb that it should be!

Thank you my Shepherd for allowing me to pastor the same flock in the same pasture for the last 17 years! He has made me lie down in the green garden richness of Cape May County! There is something very special about being able to live and walk and eat and move and breathe among the same sheep week after week! Sure sheep are needy and not very self-reliant but if God chose us to be lions or tigers or bears- we might get a little too big for our own britches! I listen to the Lord’s voice and then relay it to the congregation and together we show others what the Lord is all about! And they will know we are Christians not by our buildings, bibles, budgets, big egos, billboards or a holier than thou behavior! Without love we are nothing and we say nothing and we amount to nothing without honest to goodness L-O-V-E!  A church family should really get to know and respect and appreciate and forgive one another because that is the way our Savior treated us! I pray every day that I would show others a clear and accurate picture of Christianity! Being anchored in the same place keeps me accountable and real! Thanks Lighthouse for loving me still!

What are you grateful for this year? What can you celebrate this November? What is going right even amidst all that has gone wrong? Who do you love and do they know it? Who needs to be reminded that they are the sunshine of your life and this earth wouldn’t be the same without them? And are you humble enough to look up and acknowledge that we would not even be here if the Creator hadn’t designed such a masterpiece? We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing! And he has kept his part over and above what might normally be expected! But how have we done? Are we kicking and screaming and specializing in temper tantrums? Or are we finding our healthy attitude in the well of thanksgiving and simple gratitude?

Thank you! Our Mom’s taught us not to forget to say it and our hearts remind us that this is the day to pray it! Happy Thanksgiving my faithful Cape May County Herald readers! I don’t take one of you for granted and if nobody else has said it to you lately, from me to you- “THANK YOU!”    

 

              

 

 

 


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