Archive for November, 2012


You know, it’s interesting that the older I get, the more I appreciate the holiday of Thanksgiving. As a child it used to be my least favorite holiday. I mean, c’mon! We had to eat turkey and traditional side dishes, when I’d much rather fill my tummy with pizza, hamburgers and fries. There weren’t any fun, lively songs, no cute characters bringing me gifts or candy. Except for the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Program, there weren’t even holiday cartoons to look forward to. I’m glad to say I’ve grown up a lot since then and now see the things I took for granted as a kid such as gathering with loved ons and reflecting on the simple gifts and freedom I have as priceless treasures to be cherished, indeed.

As a Christian, I’m thankful to God to earn a living in a job that invests in the lives of children. I’m thankful that my school had a Thanksgiving Program that allowed us to sing about being grateful. I’m thankful to have a Christian principal and that we begin each day with the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas Pledge and a moment of silence. I’m thankful to have my own home, transportation, the freedom to pursue my own interests. I’m thankful for family and friends who open up there homes to me, put up with my suddenly bursting out into to song at random moments and laugh at my unique, off-the-wall sense of humor. (Well, at least fifty percent of the time anyway…). And of course, I’m most grateful for my relationship with God, experiencing His presence and peace, and a future with great promises.

Anyway, that’s enough about me. If you are a U.S. citizen of the still greatest nation in the world, you still have blessings to count whether or not you acknowledge the existence of the One who has bestowed them upon you.  There are a few obvious ones during this time that very often get overlooked.   Most Americans can be thankful to live in a country that still takes a day to close schools and most businesses to gather with loved ones for the sole purpose of showing gratitude to our great Provider (I’m talking about God, not any elected officials!). You can be thankful to prepare and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, be it turkey and dressing, tamales and jalapenos or brisket, dirty rice and collared greens (whatever your meal preferences). We don’t have to take rations of food determined by the government or go without any food at all. Even people that are homeless and jobless can be grateful to have the choice to stay in a shelter funded by charities and faith based organizations. They are given food and clothing until they are able to get through the hard times and get back on their feet.  There are those that opt out and choose the streets instead, but they still can be thankful to have that choice available to them.

Even if you are one who rolls with the latest trends in society, fashions and commericialized versions of “Turkey Day”, you can be thankful as you eat your fill, watch football (Go Texans!), take a big nap to later stand in line for Black Friday deals. It means you have food to eat, a couch or bed to crash on, and time to do as you wish, money to spend on your choice in electronics, appliances, games, toys and any other thing your heart desires being sold in stores.

There are some who may not feel they have much to be thankful for as they may find themselves alone. I’ve spent a few Thanksgivings holidays by myself so I can relate. You can still be thankful to relax at home, accomplish some things you haven’t had the time to do lately, look into volunteering at community Thanksgiving dinners, and think about things you can change so that you in the future you won’t find yourself alone if you don’t want to be. One year, I decided to go to a cafeteria style restaurant, Lubys, located here in Houston, for a traditional turkey dinner. While standing in line watching families interact, a lady in front of me turned around and began talking to me. It turned out her family was working so she invited me to eat with her, and another lady she met in front of her who was also alone that day. We had a nice meal and conversation and I was touched to not have to sit and eat alone.

There is another group of people who’s gratefulness may be overshadowed by the loss of a loved one. Nothing will make you miss them more than going through holidays without them. You will cry and feel  great sorrow, but if you allow God into your grief, He will carry you through and give you peace, strength and comfort. When you’re able to look past the ache of their absence, you can be thankful you had those people in your life and the lessons you learned as a result of your relationship with them. You can cherish their memories and let it bring a smile to your heart. Three years ago on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I got a call from my mom that my dad took a turn for the worse and was asking for me. I flew in that night and got to spend his last days on earth with him. I was also given one of my greatest gifts that weekend and that was the opportunity to lead my dad into receiving Christ into his heart the night before he died. I know that I know that I know that I will see him again in Heaven.

I’m so thankful to have God’s promise of Heaven. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” I’m grateful that every hardship and trial I’ve ever endured will some day pay off in the everlasting joy and peace that is promised by God, who is faithful and true.  There is a glorious age to come to those who choose to believe and receive.   If you haven’t made this choice, I hope you will today!  It’s the best!

Be blessed! Happy Thanksgiving!

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“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one  without faith, no explanation is possible.” – Thomas Aquinas.  This quote certainly hits home when one considers the influence of technology on today’s culture.  Faith is being replaced by reasoning in our society and the divide between believers and non-believers is more vast than ever.  The thought of miracles and prophecy are unheard of to the data-driven line of thinking.   So then in a world where science and logic rule and try to squelch any possibility of the supernatural move of God, Christian believers need to rise up more than ever and share the rest of the GOOD news of the Gospel… that Jesus Christ is, indeed, coming again. We need to stand strong against any ridicule or mockery that society will most assuredly  dish out towards us. Most importantly we MUST do this in genuine love and compassion! We are not to condemn as John 3:17 says”For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” So while we are still living within this age of grace and non-believers still have the opportunity to freely search their hearts and seek what is true, I want to state that Jesus is coming again, just like He promised in Revelation 22:20“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.'”

Other scriptures that confirm the rapture and the return of Jesus are Mark 13:26 “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.”; Revelation 1:7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.” and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever”.

Of course, there will be scoffers who will do all they can to intimidate Christians into silence on the return of Jesus and the end of this current age, but they are not above the God who created this universe, and we need to stand up for our faith.  There are many believers I’ve talked to who are not even looking for His return.  They argue that “the Church has been saying this for two thousand years, and He hasn’t come yet”.  However, it wasn’t until an estimated 4,000 years, that the prophecy of the birth of the Messiah would come to pass.  The first prophecy  regarding the birth of a coming saviour of mankind, occurred in the Garden of Eden, when God the Father cursed the enemy who came as a serpent to deceive Adam and Eve to sin in Genesis 3:15  “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”  I’m sure during those four thousand years, they felt the same way and He did come and fulfill that prophecy.

Non-believers call the prophecies of the last days events as far-fetched and try to label those who believe as “crazy” or “out of their mind”.   Consider a servant named Rhoda, and even the apostle Paul  were called exactly that in the book of Acts.   Rhoda was proven right within minutes, and Paul’s teachings have endured 2,000 years of attacks and opposition and still are preached and proclaimed all over the world still to this very day!    Yes, of course, the thought of Jesus appearing in the clouds and believers suddenly being caught up and taken away is completely illogical to the natural mind but so does the thought of a young virgin giving birth to a baby and I believe that happened!  I believe that Jesus died and  rose again three days later after being crucified!  I believe Jesus ascended to Heaven in front of eye witnesses without the help of NASA!  I believe the blind could see, the deaf could hear, the lame could walk and the sick made healthy and whole after an encounter with Jesus, the Son of God!

There are at least two other resources besides the Bible that confirm the existence of Jesus.  In the Jewish Talmud, it is claimed that Jesus was the son of a Roman soldier, which only proves to me that Jesus did exist and it was well-known that Joseph, Mary’s husband was not his natural father.  If the Roman soldier claim was true, Christianity would NOT have endured the test of time!  Another writing, The Antiquities of the Jews (94 A.D.) by Josephus Flavius, a Jewish author who lived during the time Jesus was on earth, confirms aspects of the New Testament.

Jesus is coming soon.  Most of the things He prophesied in Matthew 24 are coming to pass in front of our eyes.  From what I,ve learned about Bible prophecy and what I observe through current events, I’m inclined to believe  that The Tower of Babel has been rebuilt by men…not with bricks or mortar, but with USB cables, computers and the internet.  We are racing towards becoming a one world system.  The United Nations are becoming more active in running the affairs of this world.  Israel has become a nation once more, and leaders of nations surrounding  them are openly plotting her destruction. Public School Curriculum is no longer controlled by local communities or the state, but instead is being aligned with international curriculums funded by powerful partners of education.  Technology is raising and shaping more children’s values than their parents.  In this past Presidential election, it’s noted that the sanctity of human life and the slaughter of the unborn is no longer a major concern to our nation.  Surprisingly enough, even many believers turned a blind eye to this issue to vote for a presidential candidate who wholeheartedly embraces the choice of abortion and funding it with taxpayer dollars.   That’s not the only issue brushed aside…Biblical institutions and terminology are being changed and compromised to the delight of those who do not reverence the Founder of them.  Evil is considered good and good is considered evil.  This is not man’s doing, but the result of dark forces that rule this world.  Satan’s time is growing short and he is furiously  setting out to destroy as many lives as he can.

The good news is that there is still time to give your heart to the One who has loved you and given everything, including His life to bring you back to the love and security of the Father.  In the same way that God told Noah to build an ark, before there was even  a drop of rain, to carry Noah, his family and the animals through the flood that would drown those who’s hearts were  hardened refused to acknowledge Him, you can enter the ark of God’s love and mercy through His grace before the door closes.   Are you looking for His return?  Will you be ready?  Please, come unto the ark, while there’s still time.

If you’ve never prayed this prayer or need to rededicate your life to Christ, please pray the following:
“Heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to die for my sins. I confess that I’m a sinner, and ask that You would come into my heart, and wash me clean with Your blood. I’m done trying to live on my own. I need You to lead and guide me. I choose to follow You and make You my Lord and Savior for all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Be blessed, everyone!