Thursday, November 17, 2011



(October 3, 1863)

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God 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 as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.


Read Psalm 100 and then make a list of all you are thankful for. Then give thanks to the Lord!

(Psalm 100) A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.


Thursday, November 10, 2011




(Gen 49:28) All these are the twelve tribes of Israel…And he (Jacob) blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.

Family. The source of our greatest joys and our deepest sorrows. That which fulfills us the most and that which drives us crazy. What we become poor for yet feel the richest with.

God created the family. He brought Adam and Eve together and gave them the commandment to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1-2). Families would be part of clans and clans would be part of tribes and tribes would make up the nation. Tear down the family and you have removed the foundation of the nation.
(Psa 11:3) If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?

Families provide love, nurture, and protection. Where else can you feel safe and just be yourself? Where else can you be encouraged and fortified against the harsh would outside? Learn unconditional love? Acquire the ability to fight and forgive? Where else can you develop your personality and bloom in your inherent giftedness? Grow in your social skills as you interact with family members in preparation for interpersonal relationships in the world? And more important have the context where you may receive Christ as your Savior and develop your moral/spiritual base for life?

Families are also a source of dysfunction. As much as we like to think about how we are related to someone important in history it is more accurate to conclude there are monkeys in our family tree. I am encouraged by a study of the book of Genesis that Abraham’s family was what we would call dysfunctional by today’s label and yet the will of God was still worked out through them even down to the Messiah! Think about how Abraham told Sarah to lie. Think about Jacob stealing his brother’s birthright. Think about Jacob’s twelve sons and what scoundrels some of them were…even selling Joseph to Egypt! Then on down to David who committed adultery and murder. Still the begots went right on down to Jesus the Messiah!

I am so glad the Lord can work through me and my family. I look at those family pictures and typically laugh. Why? Because number one I see the blessing of family and all that represents. And number two because I know that behind those smiles and poses is a fallen family just like Abraham’s of old. I then rest on the grace of God for my life and my family. We aren’t perfect. We have many flaws and failures. But God gets His will done through fallen people!
(2 Cor 4:7)
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

So don’t give up on your family. Get mad but then get glad. Make room for error and have a little grace. Love them and pray for them. It all starts and ends with the family when all else fades away. From cradle to coffin there is one constant…FAMILY.


Thursday, November 3, 2011




(1 Cor 14:33) For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…

Have you ever been confused, not knowing what direction to take in life? Do you lack options or are you on option overload? Is your brain weary trying to figure out what in the world God has planned for your future? Well, don’t despair, CONFUSION IS NOT OF GOD! It’s time to let the wind of the Holy Spirit blow away the clouds of confusion so you can see clearly the next step God has for you to take.

Mankind in early history thought they were so smart that they united in building a city and a tower that reached to heaven to worship the heavens. But God came down and saw what the people were doing against His rule of the earth. He then confused their language that no one would be able to understand each other. Could you imagine how as they were passing bricks to one another that all of a sudden they spoke another language? People got frustrated over the confusion. No one knew what was going on because they couldn’t communicate as before. Finally they ceased building the city and were scattered over the face of the earth (Gen 11:1-9). The name of the city was then called Babel which means confusion.

In the apostle Paul’s day the Corinthians were enjoying expressing their spiritual gifts in their services. They particularly enjoyed the gift of prophesy and speaking in tongues. But their services got out of control. People were prophesying at the same time and people didn’t know who to listen to. Others spoke in tongues without interpretation so no one would know what was being said. Everybody was left confused! Paul had to put them in order by saying that those who prophesied should speak one at a time. And those who speak in tongues should only do so if there was someone able to interpret that all may benefit and be edified.

God longs to blow away the confusion from people’s lives and replace it with His peace! If we are walking in a certain direction and it’s nothing but confusing then we must remind ourselves that CONFUSION IF NOT OF GOD. It might be time to slow down and reassess if this is the path God wants us on. It might be the right thing but we are going about it all wrong. Or it might be the wrong road altogether and God wants to redirect us because He has a better and more profitable plan for us. At any rate, I know the peace of God must rule in my heart (Col 3:15). If it doesn’t then I need to seek the Lord and really pray about the situation and be still and wait for His directing (Psa 32:8; 46:10).

This is a lesson I seem to have to relearn constantly. I can’t tell you how many times I have unwittingly landed in the country of confusion and the Lord has to redirect me to where He wants me. I might be all upset at first but that agitation I am feeling inside actually might be the nudging of the Lord. Let His peace reign and remember CONFUSION IS NOT OF GOD!