November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I was over at Walmart yesterday and noticed that the store manager went from Halloween displays straight into Christmas trees and lights. There was no hint or mention of Thanksgiving. It seems that Thanksgiving is something we all can miss -- don't forget the turkey on the way out -- but it really isn't that special, it is rather a boring holiday.

Not to me. Thanksgiving celebration is a time when families get together and enjoy fellowshipping with one another. It is an old fashioned holiday (like Christmas used to be) and reminds me of my childhood. We always looked forward to Thanksgiving. We made pilgrims in school, turkey handprints, and enjoyed those two days off school (a pre-holiday to get us excited about Christmas!) It was a happy time for me -- lots of good food, my Mom making dinner early in the morning, my Dad watching football on our brand new color TV (a big wooden box that Mom proudly decorated with festive candles).

It is a shame that commercialism decides what holiday's to keep in and which ones to let out. Thanksgiving is one that needs to be kept in and to be celebrated, especially in these times of economic uncertainty. I found this lovely painting online and thought I would post it here. It reminds me of what Thanksgiving should be all about -- thanking God for His providential blessings and mercy and grace upon our nation, our families, and our homes. No matter what trial we face, the pilgrims that gave thanks that first holiday, faced much more than we could ever imagine (death, famine, disease, harsh cold, just to name a few). They gave God thanks out of their simple reliance upon Him. He was the center of their hope and the recollection of His grace and mercy were never far from their lips.

God is so very good and His mercy and grace endure forever! Let us not forget to thank Him this year and remember just how much His providential care is needed in our own lives.

November 11, 2008

On Being Content

Believer, if your inheritance be a lowly one you should be satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition. A ship of large tonnage is to be brought up the river; now, in one part of the stream there is a sandbank; should some one ask, "Why does the captain steer through the deep part of the channel and deviate so much from a straight line?" His answer would be, "Because I should not get my vessel into harbour at all if I did not keep to the deep channel." So, it may be, you would run aground and suffer shipwreck, if your divine Captain did not steer you into the depths of affliction where waves of trouble follow each other in quick succession. Some plants die if they have too much sunshine. It may be that you are planted where you get but little, you are put there by the loving Husbandman, because only in that situation will you bring forth fruit unto perfection. Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you would soon cry, "Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows." Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God. Down busy self, and proud impatience, it is not for you to choose, but for the Lord of Love!

"Trials must and will befall-
But with humble faith to see
Love inscribed upon them all;
This is happiness to me."

Charles H. Spurgeon