Happy Thanksgiving, tears or no tears

Happy Thanksgiving. It is a weird one, a tough one, and for many-a tearful one.

For us rule followers, we are not gathering with others today. The virus is raging, the hospital beds are full and the powers that be (medical and otherwise) strongly recommend that people stay home.

However, many in the USA aren’t. (See this story headline from BBC News: Coronavirus: Millions travel for Thanksgiving despite warnings)

The turkey is stuffed, the airports are jammed, the roads are full, the homes will be packed . . . and the virus will spread.

Even now, my eyes brim with tears as my heart longs to be “with” those I love. But for now, Facetime and phone calls will do. This virus won’t last. We will gather together again someday and I want to do what I can to ensure that all of us are together then—crying tears of joy.  

Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears. (Hebrews 12:17, MSG)

Happy Thanksgiving, tears or no tears. 


Thank You

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Thanksgiving is a spiritual exercise, necessary to the building of a healthy soul. It takes us out of the stuffiness of ourselves into the fresh breeze and sunlight of the will of God. The simple act of thanking Him is for most of us an abrupt change of activity, a break from work and worry, a move toward re-creation. — Elisabeth Elliot

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. (Psalm 92:1, NLT)

Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.                                     — J. H. Jowett

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT)

Jesus, I just want to thank You this morning—You, so high above my life—for the joy that returns. You stoop down to anoint my spirit with comfort and peace. Thank You for your invading goodness, the kindness that You leave just inside the door of my days. Thank You for the relentless mercies that pursue me when I stray. Thank You for carrying my sorrows like a tender Father. — David Kopp

So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves; Offer thanksgiving sacrifices, tell the world what he’s done—sing it out! (Psalm 107:21-22, MSG)

Thank you for the cross, Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace
            — Darlene Joyce Zschech


Examine

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An unexamined Christian stands like an unattended garden. Let your garden go unattended for a few months, and you will not have roses and tomatoes but weeds. … It takes examination, teaching, instruction, discipline, caring, tending, weeding and cultivating to keep the life right. —A. W. Tozer

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV)

The unexamined life is not worth living. — Socrates

Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I’m fit inside and out so I never lose sight of your love, but keep in step with you, never missing a beat. (Psalm 26:2-3, MSG)

Pride cannot stand the bright light of self-study. Pride has a fear of seeing what ego really looks like. Pride is a generous self-portrait. … Humility shuns such portraiture. It separates us from our grasping egos. It is stepping back and looking at ourselves. It is being so rebuked at what we see that we yield to a better self. — Calvin Miller

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? (2 Corinthians 13:5, ESV)


Sincere

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In prayer it is better to have a heart without words, than words without heart.

                                                                    —John Bunyan

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:17, NIV)

The ideal man is not a perfect man by any means. Rather, he’s a maturing man, a striving man, a studying man—but most of all he’s a man who seeks the Father with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. — Charles Stanley

Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth. (Joshua 24:14, NASB)

Be an ardent seeker . . . —John Henry Jowett

From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24, TPT)


Happy Birthday Dad 76 years!

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Happy Birthday Dad!

Humility is not a sign of weakness. It never has been. It never will be. It ever has been and always will be a sign of strength and deep-rooted courage. All through history the strong men—strong from the standpoint of morality and righteousness—have been humble men. And in human relationships humility is a powerful thing; for it not only rebukes an enemy; it also reclaims, wins, the enemy. —David Dawson

I thank God for you. Your life is a blessing. Thank you for your ceaseless prayers and your unwavering support of me. Thanks for your “strong” life of humility as you live for Jesus Christ. It is my privilege to be your son. I celebrate you and your 76 years of life today.

With love, Ryan

 


Life

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 The glory of God is man fully alive. —Saint Irenaeus

I am the bread of life. (John 6:48, NIV)

Life is full of unexpected moments. But when we enter each day in rhythm with God, every step is an arrival. —Eugene Peterson

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10, NIV)

But one life, ’twill soon be past;
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying how glad I will be,
That the lamp of my life has blazed out for Thee.
— C.T. Studd

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. (Colossians 3:3, MSG)


Talk

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The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words. (Proverbs 10:19, MSG)

Whenever anything disagreeable happens to you, remember Christ crucified and keep silent. —St. John of the Cross

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3, NIV)

Keep silent. Give rest to your tongue more often than to your hands. You will never regret that you have kept silent, but you will often regret that you spoke too much.

                                                                        —Leo Tolstoy

Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything. (Proverbs 13:3, MSG)

A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear and your heart is full of God’s spirit is worth ten-thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin.

                                                                        —Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14, ESV)


Attention

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Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.

                                                —José Ortega y Gasset

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. (Psalm 119:97-99, NIV)

The men of the Bible were dwelling on the Person of Christ, not on their misfortunes . . . The emphasis all the time was “walk in Christ.” —Samuel Rees Howells

Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV)

We are to be totally absorbed with Jesus. He is to fill our skies like the morning sunrise. He is to be our high noon and our sunset. — R. Kent Hughes

Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. (Psalm 105:4, NLT)