Text: Henry Alford, 1810-1871 Music: George J. Elvey, 1816-1893
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for, but it doesn't need to be just once a year. I love the hymn below. Read the words carefully and remember that God cares for us all year long. We are His harvest, and He is our caretaker. One day He will gather His harvest in. I hope we will be ready.
“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”
As Thanksgiving draws near I am tempted to think more about Christmas! I must admit that I started decorating my house all ready. I love the holidays and all that goes with them. But I know that the feeling of Thanksgiving shouldn't just come once a year. I love the quote above from Teddy Roosevelt. How true that is. We have been given a lot even if we don't think so! We all have a place to live and food to eat. We may not have all that we want, but we have all that we need. That is certainly a reason to give thanks. If we are to be Christlike in all we do, we need to start with our attitude of thanks. I thank God daily for my blessings, but must admit that is as far as it goes most days. I need to show my thanks to God by the attitude I have and the way I treat others. I may not be able to support a hungry child half way around the world each month, or provide clothes and shelter for the homeless, but I can give a smile to the person who has no hope, I can give a kind word the person who is struggling with doubt and resentment, and I can give my time to listen to someone in need of an understanding ear. By giving of myself to others I can thank God daily for all He has given me.
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
I woke up this morning to at least 20 doves, and several squirrels having breakfast in our front yard.I stood at the window for several minutes just watching them eat.I began thinking about how helpless they really were, depending on “nature” to provide food for them. I started thinking; they are just birds and squirrels but yet they had plenty of food to eat..I really don’t think they called each other the night before and said “let’s go to Steve and Kelly's house tomorrow morning for breakfast. They have lots of good stuff in their front yard to eat.” No, of course not, but God took care of them, and provided for them through nature. To me this should be an example for us as Christians.Aren’t we a little more important than the fowl of the air or the cute squirrels we see in our yard?We should realize that God will provide for us no matter what, we just need to have faith.We can come to the breakfast table knowing that He is there waiting for us, ready to give us whatever we need.Now that is a reason to give thanks!I hope you will remember the many blessings God has provided for us not only during this time of Thanksgiving but throughout the year.Share those blessings with others, letting the people you know (and don’t know) how important they are to our Heavenly Father. Sharing in this time of Thanksgiving Kelly
Captain John T. Ferrier was an Air National Guard Pilot and worked for United Airlines.He also served in the Korea war.But on this day, he was doing something that he loved, he was flying with the Air National Guard’s jet precision team at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside of Dayton Ohio.After finishing a very difficult maneuver, Ferrier was trying to regain control of his plane when it began to roll.Captain Ferrier was in trouble and so were the people and their homes in the small town of Fairborn which lied on the edge of Patterson Field.His friend watched in horror from his aircraft as John’s plane spiraled out of control, heading for the ground.“Bail out”, he radioed to John, but no response.Suddenly there was a terrible explosion, the plane had hit the ground, and John was gone.Amazingly, the plane had crashed in between four houses in a backyard garden.But this was no accident.Captain Ferrier could have saved himself if he would have bailed out minutes earlier as his friend begged him to do.But the plane would have likely hit a house if not more than one, perhaps severely hurting and possibly killing someone. However, John stayed with his plane, controlling it the best he could. He risked his life to save others.
Several days later his widow found a worn card in his wallet.All it said was “ I’m third”,two small but very powerful words.If we could all live with the attitude that Captain Ferrier had.He strived to put God first, others second, and himself third.I don’t think third is such a bad place to be do you!You may have learned this in Sunday School…. To have true JOY, you must put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.Words to truly live by.
"We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth."3 John 1:8
My husband and I had the honor of hosting an Open House for our church family last Sunday. The church has provided a wonderful home for us to live in, and we wanted to share it with them. It was such a wonderful afternoon full of fellowship and love. As I was reading in my quiet time this morning, I wanted to see what the Bible said about hospitality. There were several passages that mentioned it, but I really was drawn to 3 John 1:8. When some people hear the word hospitality, they instantly think of hosting dinners and get togethers at their home. They may even think of having friends or family staying in their home for some length of time, doing all they can to make them feel comfortable. Sometimes our motive for being "hospitable" may be selfish in nature however. We may want to have people in our homes just to brag and show off our latest purchases. Or we may want to have people over so they can see what great "Marthas" we are...doing all we can to take care of them, while we complain the entire time and miss the true reason why they are there.
Romans 12:13 says, "Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." The Life Application Study Bible really helped me understand what God is looking for in us as Christians. Christian hospitality is very different than social entertaining. A lot of the time entertaining focuses on the host and the home. Many hours are spent preparing food, and cleaning the house. We can become so consumed with the preparations that we can't even enjoy the occasion. But true hospitality focuses on the guests and their needs. Whether it is a hot meal to eat, a warm bed to sleep in, or just a place to relax and feel safe, the guest come first. Hospitality can happen in a messy home, (thank goodness), or a mansion. It can take place at a table set with the finest china, or sitting on the floor with paper plates. As the verse says, "Share with God's people who are in need." That means the homeless man on the street that asks for money, the father who just lost his job and can't provide for his family, the woman who is lost and all alone. Kind words, prayers, and help can go a long way in providing for someone who just wants to feel whole again. This is a form of Christian hospitality.
It may feel as if you don't have enough to give to someone else, or that what you do have is not good enough..but that is not how God sees it. All we have to do is open up our hearts to others without worrying about impressing them with the best that we have. True hospitality comes from a spirit of giving to others in Christian love. They say that home is where the heart is.I can’t wait to see my home is heaven one day, and come face to face with the Host of my life.
“Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity..."
I read this quote the other day from Gilda Radner, a wonderful comedian who lost her life years ago to cancer.I’m not sure when she made this statement, before or after cancer, but it really got me to thinking about the words she said.
We should view our lives as a wonderful and interesting story that God has written.While we physically have a clear beginning (birth) and a clear ending (death), it is the middle that fascinates me the most.I disagree with Radner and the first part of her statement, but it is the rest of the quote that struck me.Of course we don’t have a roadmap of our lives or a set of directions to refer to every time we have a question.And there are so many times in our lives that we just don’t know what is going to happen next.But that is where God comes in.That is where faith comes in.
When I was younger and would read a book, I would always “cheat” and read the ending of the story about half way through the book.I either became bored with the book, or I just couldn’t wait to see what would happen.What a relief to know that I don’t have to do that with my life.I already know what is going to happen when my story ends.I know that the final chapters will be written by the One who matters the most.We may not know what is going to happen tomorrow or next week, and we all will encounter situations that we just have to “make the best of”, but isn’t that all so much easier to face knowing that we have God in our corner?I think we can help God write our story by the way we live and the way we act.We all can give him some good material to work with!But the good news is that no matter our story, the ending is the same..salvation through His son Jesus.Now that sounds like a best seller to me!
Well it looks like my blog is not living up to its title. I have not written anything since Thursday. Many excuses I guess. But the truth is that I don't want to write something just to have a post, I want it to be meaningful to me and hopefully to someone else. And so I won't write much tonight except that I am in the process of trying to live up to the title of this blog..Daily Following Him. I must admit that I haven't spent much time in prayer or reading the Bible over the past few days as I would like. But I have taken the time to stop and reflect on how blessed I am as I spent time with my girls this weekend. God's grace is good, and His gifts are even better! Thank you God for all of my gifts and thank you for loving me Daily!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
I saw this verse this morning and I had to briefly write about it. I thought about the word slavery and all the meanings it could have. Of course we think of the horrible act of slavery that took place so many years ago in our country and still occurs around the world today. But I feel that the Bible has a different interpretation of slavery in this verse. We can all be slaves to things of this world; money, greed, a job, alcohol, drugs. But Christ broke those chains of slavery when he died on the cross..setting us free. We are to stand firm and accept the freedom that Christ gave to us. The burden of sin has been lifted. "Free" someone else today by showing them the way to the cross. Let Christ lift their burdens just as he lifted ours.
What a blessing to be FREE!