Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A time for Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving baskets just went out the front door of the church. We work through the counseling office at one of our closest elementary schools. The school sends out a notice concerning families that would not be able to afford to have a Thanksgiving dinner. Many of those responses are forwarded on to our church.

Last year, our regular “delivery” person was unable to deliver the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. Yours truly became the driver. Some families were very matter-of-fact about receiving the food and presents. I guess that is to be expected. Then there were those families who were in tears—they were VERY grateful. They couldn’t believe that people they had never met would go out of their way to provide a Thanksgiving dinner and then a Christmas dinner and presents just a few weeks later.

Serving as the “delivery” person reminded me of God’s grace. Those families did nothing to earn or deserve the food and the presents. Some families were in their current situation due to poor choices they had made. My heart was touched. Remember, there is nothing we can do to earn or deserve God’s forgiveness. Some of us may find ourselves in a mess that we caused. Yet, God has shown us love, grace and mercy in that while we were separated from him, he sent his son to pay the penalty for our sin. Some who hear the good new of Jesus are touched and their lives are changed forever. This transformation touches the heart of God.

This Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for God’s grace.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Words of Wisdom

Before launching into the topic I would like to explain why this blog has been sporadic for the past week or so. Brenda’s great aunt died suddenly. It is good to know that she had a great relationship with Christ! Additionally, I have had some health problems that appear to be diminishing. I will try to post Monday through Friday each week. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Now for some final thoughts on the topic of demonic activity and spiritual warfare. First, there are some people who are OVERLY interested in the occult. Some of them have had experiences with the occult at earlier times in the lives. These are not the people that you want to have involved in spiritual warfare. Secondly, different denominations deal with demonic activity in different ways. We had a person who came from a Catholic background and how they dealt with demons. He really wanted us to us holy water. Our stance is that we do what is biblical—no holy water! Third, periodically teach on the topic to spiritual warfare, the supernatural, demons, angels, etc. The supernatural is not something that we need to be afraid of. The “western world church” needs to spend more time learning about the supernatural natural—especially the gifts of the Holy Spirit that tend to lean in that direction. We do not have to focus (and shouldn’t focus) on ministries dealing with the demonic world. That type of ministry is no more important than making sure that families will have a Thanksgiving dinner or that the choir has adequate time and space to practice—it is just another component of ministering in the name of Christ Jesus. Finally, remember to keep the most important thing the most important thing! The church is here to worship and serve the triune God. We need to focus on God, not the occult.