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Archive for November, 2008

Sunday Seven 11-30

I have been searching for a new Meme to participate in. I have tried some in the past, but it seems like after a few weeks into it, the suggested blogging topics don’t apply to me. Today, though, I found one that is general enough that maybe I’ll be able to keep up with it awhile!

This Sunday Seven meme is apparently one that had been started a while back, but had been discontinued. A lady who blogs at Instantly Mama has decided to start it back up again.  I got acquainted with the writer of that blog during our adoption process, and she has a very neat family. They have already adopted three children, and are in the process of adopting another little girl from India soon.

Like I said, the Sunday Seven meme is fairly wide-open.  To participate, each Sunday you list seven things about the coming week . The list can be things you’ll be doing, prayers your praying, things you’re thankful for, or just whatever. The goal is just to share a few things about your life and as a result get to know each other better.  If nothing else, it will help me to plan my weeks better!  🙂  So, I will try out this meme for awhile and see if it is something that I will continue.

Here is my Sunday Seven installment for this week:

1. Saturday is Cosette’s birthday.  I have all of her gifts, but I will need to wrap them in a few days.

2. I need to make this year’s stocking buttons.  We have a unique Christmas tradition of adding buttons that symbolize something important for each person’s year onto the Christmas stockings.  More about that tradition can be read here.  This gives a fun history for each of our family members, but it does take some time to plan and actually make the buttons.  So, that is a job I need to accomplish this week.

3.  Along that same line, I need to give some thought to our family’s yearly Christmas letter.  I finally got a fairly decent picture of the 5 kids that I need to get prints of to include with our Christmas cards as well.

4.  I have several potential entries for this blog going through my mind.  I kind of neglected posting last week with the holiday and all, so I will try to catch it up in the next few days.

5.  Good News!  John finished his Adoniram Judson research report yesterday!  That means that I will need to grade it this week.  Those research reports are big projects, so they require thoughtful grading. It’s also kind of hard not having anything to compare his report with!  

6.  I need to give both of our bathrooms a big, thorough cleaning.  Not just the usual cleaning.  Ick.  I don’t look forward to that!

7.  I plan on enjoying my family this week.  I truly have been blessed with each one!

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We had a very nice Thanksgiving with Dan’s family.  It is neat when all of his brothers and sisters can visit their parents along with all of the grandkids.

It is a tradition for them to celebrate Christmas along with Thanksgiving, so the kids got to have a double holiday!  Dan’s mom has quite a way of picking out the perfect gifts, and they really have enjoyed them.

I am going to post the story of our trip as a Smilebox for this entry.  We had a wonderful, relaxing time!

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We will be leaving tomorrow for our annual Thanksgiving get-together with Dan’s family.  Before we leave, I want to be sure to express my thanksgiving to my Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ.  He has truly been so good to me.  He provides all I need every day, and I rest in His loving care.

I am going to post two videos to this entry.  The first video is of Luke reciting my favorite Thanksgiving Psalm.  It was taken last year while he was in kindergarten.  The second video is a song of thanksgiving that I also put together last year.  I watched it just now and even though it is dated Thanksgiving 2007, it’s sentiments still ring from my heart to God.  So, join me in praising our wonderful and faithful Maker!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Look closely at the picture for this entry.  This is a scan of a plaque that has hung by my front door for years.  What does it mean?  Well, it’s purpose is to remind myself that when all is ready for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, He will call His Bride home.  Now THAT will be a Thanksgiving FEAST!!

I have always been interested in Bible prophecy, but over this past year I have spent more and more time studying it.  You know what I am learning?  The Word of God is as relevant as tomorrow’s newspaper. Most people see the Bible as an ancient book, and nothing more.   Some claim that there is no truth or that truth is what you make it, but I am shouting from the mountaintops today that the Bible is Absolute Truth!  In it, you can find all the truth you need:  where we came from, how we are to live, and, yes, what the future holds.

As Believers of The Only Way of Salvation (i.e. believing in Christ’s payment for sin on the cross and His victorious resurrection), we need to be studying Our Handbook ever more diligently as each day passes. It gives comfort, guidance, and hope regardless of what is going on around us.  It brings assurance that God is in control of all things, and that all is well with our souls.  We are called to recognize the season that we are in (Matthew 24) and to be ready.

Yes, I honestly believe that those who are truly saved will soon and suddenly be caught up to be forever with the Lord (I Thess 4:13-18).  That event will be such a joyous occasion for Christ’s people, but for those who are left, it will be a time of sorrow and judgment.  The world may not be good now, but what it will be during that terrible time makes today’s news sound like a “picnic in the park.”  

While in highschool, I was babysitting in a home and found a picture hanging on their wall that I copied and kept.  I put that copy on my wall–right by my front door.  It is a message to those who will be left behind.  Here is what it says:

To whom it may concern:

This household is looking for the imminent return of our Lord.  When it occurs–as it surely will–that in a day, or in an hour, it is discovered that millions of people are missing, and this home is found empty, then know that there has taken place that of which the Apostle Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 4:14-17. It will mean that Christ has called out of this world all the saved, of which were this household.  Don’t search for us–we will be back in seven years when Christ comes with His saints to destroy Anti-Christ and World Governments and set up His kingdom.

Beware of the Anti-Christ who will come with lying wonders.  Don’t be deceived by Anti-Christ and don’t let Anti-Christ put his mark on your forehead or on your hand.

Read carefully these passages of Holy Scripture and pray and understand: Revelation, the 13th chapter and  the chapters following. Also, the prophecies in the book of Daniel.

So, although the world looks pretty bleak, my hope is firm.  No matter what the next year brings, I declare that God is good.  His way is perfect.  I trust in Him.

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So, our country certainly has a rich heritage–a heritage built upon the Bible and following Christ.  This country was founded as a place for freedom.  In fact, the Pilgrims came here just for that reason.  They came here to worship God in freedom.

God has richly blessed our nation, and He has used our nation to bless His people, the Jews.  We have enjoyed great prosperity and growth.  Our country has stood as a beacon of freedom to the whole world, and I cannot see an American flag without my heart being moved.

But, times are changing.  I’ll be honest:  I have literally found myself weeping for our country over the past several weeks.  I’ve asked myself where we as a country are heading.  I’ve even wondered what our lives will be like by Thanksgiving 2009.  The Bible is timeless, and it accurately describes our society in 2 Timothy 3. Here is what it says:

 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,  traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!                                                                             2 Timothy 3:1-5

I am not only disturbed by the world, but even many churches are surrendering their sword, which is the Word of God.  So many churches who have been faithful proclaimers of the truth in the past are now bowing to the culture to become “relevant” and “appealing” to the masses.  Rather than boldly proclaiming the Gospel, many pulpits today preach the latest pop-psychology and self-help techniques while their Sunday School classes teach the writings of the most recent fad writers.  Our society has rejected the ONLY Way, Jesus Christ, for the more politically correct “A Way.”

What are those of us who still hold to the truths for which our forefathers fought to do?  Do we just sit idly by and watch our freedoms drift away?  No! Again I say No!  It is time for the remnant to take seriously these words found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I again return to this portion of George Washington’s Thanksgiving address of 1789 for more guidance on what believers should do:

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. 

Where will we be Thanksgiving 2009?  All I know is that it is in the Almighty’s hand and that I trust Him.  My next post will be about a great hope for believers.  “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28

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In my last entry, I posted the text of George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789 that our pastor used in yesterday’s sermon.  The other historical proclamation that he used was issued 74 years later, in 1863, by another great President, Abraham Lincoln:

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

[Signed]
A. Lincoln

There is no doubt as evidenced by these two proclamations that both of these great Presidents of the United States gave humble thanks to God for all He had provided as well as sought His forgiveness for the sinfulness of our land.

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As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday for 2008, I have had very mixed and strong emotions. Yesterday the pastor of our small country Bible church preached a powerful sermon that put words around my thoughts surrounding this special day.  I am going to use the next several entries to try to explain what I have been contemplating.

Our dear pastor read two great historical Thanksgiving proclamations yesterday.   The first was made in 1789 by George Washington.  Its words are powerful and full of meaning even today.  The picture for this entry shows the original document.   Here is what it says:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to“recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. 

 

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Wow–what a powerful message!  And, take note:  it was proclaimed by the first President of the United States.

I will continue my thoughts in the coming entries on this blog.

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