Blog 190 for November 21, 2020
The Last Thursday
Can you believe it’s November? Can you believe it’s almost THE LAST THURSDAY of November, THANKSGIVING DAY? I love the memories of the family all gathered around the table enjoying each other and the turkey and dressing, thanking God for His bountiful blessings. May it still be so for us all.
Governor John Hancock of Massachusetts issued a proclamation in 1783 for a Day of Thanksgiving to celebrate the victorious conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Basically, he said,
"whereas these United States have been rescued from dangers and calamities...whereas their freedom, sovereignty, and independence have been acknowledged…
whereas Divine Providence has bestowed favor on us so that we have every reason for PRAISE and GRATITUDE to GOD, and
whereas we are surrounded with blessings from the Hand of the Almighty, I do appoint Thursday, December 11, 1783, to be religiously observed as a day of Thanksgiving and prayer, offering up fervent supplication...to cause pure religion and virtue to flourish...and fill the world with HIS GLORY. Congress recommends that all states observe this Thanksgiving Day, 1783.”
In the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln initiated the first annual National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise on October 3, 1863, issuing a formal proclamation, passed by an act of Congress. President Lincoln said that no human mind nor mortal hand has worked out these great things. They are gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, HE remembered mercy. President Lincoln further invites all citizens in every part of the United States; those who are at sea and those in foreign lands, to set apart and observe THE LAST THURSDAY of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our great GOD who dwells in the Heavens. In addition to our praises and humble penitence for our national sins, ask His tender care for widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers. Ask Him to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it quickly to peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”
As you celebrate Thanksgiving Day on THE LAST THURSDAY of this month, at your home, I recommend several things.
1. Count your Blessings.
2. Give voice to your Divine Benefactor, the Giver of all good gifts, spiritual and physical.
3. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
4. Relish time with your family and friends.
5. And not only thank God for the blessings He bestowed on you, but honor Him by being a blessing to someone else.
6. We are blessed to be a blessing.
Greetings, love, and friendship to all.
Blog 189 for November 14, 2020
CLOUDY SKIES AND RAINBOWS
Dr. Maya Angelou wrote a great statement that I quote here. “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” So many of us need to take this to heart. In our present skies of BLM, Antifa, 2020 political elections, loss of jobs, family struggles, pandemic and other health issues, riots and deaths, our skies are overcast and cloudy. The storm clouds gather. Wouldn’t we like a little sunshine? Wouldn’t we like for our God to blow away the dark clouds?
God does have a message for us. It’s a message of hope. It’s a message that “help is on the way." It’s a promise that our God reigns. It’s a message that God promises redemption. It’s a message that obedience to the laws of God pays big dividends.
God said something powerful early in His Word. It’s found in Genesis chapter 9:12-17. And Andrew Jenkins with Irene Spain in their country classic song, expressed it this way. “When it looked like the sun wouldn’t shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds." Verse 13 of chapter 9 says “I set MY rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Revelation 4:3 reads this way in the NKJV. “And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”
Josiah K. Alwood wrote about cloudless skies this way:
"Oh, they tell me of a home far beyond the skies,
Oh, they tell me of a home far away;
Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
Oh, they tell me of an unclouded day.
Oh, the land of cloudless day,
Oh, the land of an unclouded sky,
Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
Oh, they tell me of an unclouded day.”
And I remember a song that Charles and I used to sing as a duet during our pastoral years, entitled “The Day Without a Cloud” written by A. H. Ackley. While it was a favorite of mine, I can only quote a few lines here.
“The day without a cloud. The day without a cloud. Sometime, somewhere we too shall share God’s perfect day without a cloud.”
So, until that great day when we are called to our Heavenly Home, while we are still in this world of cloudy skies, join me in trying to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. We really do need each other. We need to lend a helping hand. We need to lift the sights and spirits of our family and friends. We need to share Christ with our cloudy storm-tossed world. Blessings to all. May God make me a blessing to someone today. Please enjoy a trio of girls, The Peasall Sisters in their YouTube video from two years ago singing “God Put a Rainbow in the Clouds."
Blog 188 for November 7, 2020
Florida beacons to us as November rolls on. Thoughts of HOME, warm our hearts. And, come November 13, our car heads toward the south.
Our time in the Smoky Mountains at our cabin has been beneficial/ therapeutic. Charles has recovered nicely from his 37 radiation treatments. We both have doctor’s appointments when we get home. For those of you reading this blog, may I request prayers for our safe travel on Nov. 13 and maybe Nov. 14, the days we will be driving HOME. And thanks, in advance, to you for the prayers.
Our Florida condo is much larger than we need; but every time we’ve been away for an extended period of time, and return...and walk through the door, we think...and often say, “We love our condo." It is such a comfortable place. We have good neighbors. We feel safe there. Thank God for HOME.
During our upcoming (almost) 6 months in Florida, We will have enjoyed THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS, and NEW YEAR celebrations with family and friends. Then in 2021, we will begin celebrating family birthdays and other family celebrations. Life will include social times with special friends. Life will be good; and always, GOD is great!
The family gospel music group, The Bowling Family, sing a song that I love, mainly because it is so true. The title is “Love the People That God Gives You”, which certainly includes your birth, personal, and extended family, the untold friends one has, your “Go-To” Friends, your Neighbors, and all Sorts of Others. Please enjoy this YouTube video sung by the Bowlings.
Home and Family are great gifts of God.