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“Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God.” ~ Hebrews 12:27 (Msg)
“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.” ~ Psalm 95:2 (KJV)
This week, as we approach Thanksgiving, I want to give special thanks for our church. It was the first place that gave me sense of ‘home’ after moving here from Indiana. It’s the church where our faith has grown during our eight years as members , and it’s where we’re raising our sons.
Each week during services, I look around and see people I love, people I’m proud to know as my church family. There are those who are always faithful and joyful – no matter what, and others whose faith has grown through difficult times. I see beautiful children who were ‘miracle babies’, born with little chances for survival, but praise God they are still here and doing well! I see people who have overcome tragedies, personal set-backs, financial hardhips, and broken relationships. Other people come with continued hope that their spouse or other loved ones will come to know the Lord. Some have overcome cancer and other serious illnesses. Sadly, others are the survivors of those who did not receive physical healing here on earth, but received eternal spiritual healing instead. Lord, thank You for these people.
I see people who work hard to support and sustain the church; those who are respected leaders in the church, and people who have served as mentors for myself and my family, helping us grow stronger in our faith. I see people who are tireless in their efforts to serve in ministries, on missions, and in their own private ways to the needs of others. I see people who helped our church during tough times, and new people just venturing into our church family, wanting to be a part of it, bringing hope and new promises for the future of our church. Lord, thank You for these people.
Last, but certainly not least, I see Pastors who genuinely love others and love the Lord through their service to the church. Pastors who work hard and take on a lot because of their love for the Lord and their love for the church. Our Pastors seek God above all else and live their lives accordingly. They are quick to offer grace and admit they need grace in their own lives. Aside from those wonderful qualities, they’re all simply great people who bless our lives in many ways. Lord, thank You for our Pastors.
In all of this, I see God. Everyone I described is a living witness of God’s love and faithfulness to us as His children. Collectively, the body of the church is a testament to God’s loving faithfulness to the church itself! Praise and thanks be to God!
Living in the city, where we’re not involved with the growing of crops, we don’t think about how this is a time to celebrate the harvest, give thanks to God for the things He has done, and offer the ‘first fruits’ of our labors in thanks to Him. That’s too bad because God is growing things in all of our lives, and all of His children reap harvests of His blessings. One of my greatest blessings is the church, its people, and the important place it holds in my heart. For that I send my prayers to the Lord and give thanks.
Oh, Heavenly Father, thank You for the life You have breathed into the church. Thank You for all the people it represents and the people who mean so much to me. Please continue to bless and guide the church, steering it to be the church You want it to be; and please continue to bless all who are a part of it. I pray for those who have not found their way to You, and hope ours will be a church that will reach out to them and welcome them, and lead them closer to You. I give thanks for our Pastors and their families, and ask for your contintued guidance for them, and special blessings upon them. And Lord, thank You for the many ways the church has served and helped us. I hope you’ll continue to lead us in our relationships and involvements at the church, helping us to find ways to give back to You by giving to the church. Yes, Lord, thank You for all the church is and does, and for the many ways it serves as a blessing to so many others. I hope we’ll continue to be the church you want us to be, and that your blessings will continue. Most importantly, I pray that our church will always strive to bring glory and honor to You. To You our Heavenly Father, I pray, claiming Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and in the love of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Renee Myers, member of Weddington United Methodist Church
The world around me is absolutely beautiful! It’s autumn here in Charlotte, and God is at His best in His creation. My son and I came upon a beautiful fall setting yesterday and remarked that the autumn beauty is one of God’s best masterpieces of color and creation.
The apostle Paul said that to see the world around us is to know God. I agree. The Bible begins by telling how God created the earth. God promised that there would always be day and night, and seasons. As I look outside now, I’m surround by the glorious colors of fall, and I can’t help but be in awe and think, “This (the beauty I see) is our Creating God!”
The beauty we see now is just one tiny example of the awesomeness of God’s creations. Something amazing about God is that He created this incredible world, with beauty on land, sea and in the sky, proclaiming all of it good, but He didn’t stop at this created world. Our Creating God is such a loving God, that He desired to have beings with whom to share His beautiful world, so He created man. That’s interesting to me, because when I work hard to make or create something, I don’t want anyone touching it because I don’t want them to hurt it or damage it in any way. However, our Creating God is so loving that He took that extra step and created man so that He could share His beautiful world with us and be in relationship with us.
Looking around I see brilliant shades of red, gold, orange and green. Showers of gold leaves fall from the trees, as if dancing in the sunlight. The breeze brings the seasonal sound of leaves rustling in the trees. Squirrels scamper about the ground, making fallen leaves crackle beneath their feet; and overhead is the bright Carolina blue sky.
It’s as if everything else in the world doesn’t matter right now. For in this moment I’m surrounded by the presence of God and assured of His continued works of creation. Yes, God isn’t a being of times past remembered for what He once did. He’s a God of present times who continues to create things anew, not just in the world around us, but in our hearts and lives, too. Praise be to God!
Morning by morning He wakens me, and opens my understanding to His will. ~ Isaiah 50:4
I woke up at 3:33 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. I couldn’t get comfortable because of discomforts caused by fibromyalgia. I prayed for a while, still couldn’t sleep. I watched as the clock kept getting closer to the time when my alarm would go off. I dreaded how I’d feel throughout the day without much sleep, but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it. Finally I started to doze off, but there was less than 30 minutes before my alarm would go off. I reset the wake-up time on my alarm clock to give me a little more time to sleep, and set the alarm to play the radio instead of an annoying ‘beep, beep, beep’. The radio was set for 91.9. At 5:28 I awoke to the pleasant sound of a guitar being softly strummed. The first words I heard were these words from the song:
“In the morning when you wake up…I will be there…”
It’s a song about how God will be with us through our day. What a great way to wake up, hearing words of assurance that God will be there in my day! Even if I’m tired, even if the aches persist, whether things are good or not-so-good, God will be there.
I hope you know that God is also with you!
When I told my husband about this, he hugged me and assured me he’ll be there, too. I love him. 🙂
To check out New Life radio 91.9, go to www.newlife919.com You can listen to it on your computer.
If I could house a nation, that’s exactly what I’d do.
For God’s people who are struggling, to show them love and give them food.
There’d be a fireplace to warm them, clean clothes for them to wear,
It would be a Christian place of refuge where they’d know that others care.
I’d bring in families who are homeless, those with nowhere else to go,
Children who are orphaned, and those who need to know
That someone truly loves them, no matter what they’ve done,
Or where they’ve been, or what they’ve seen. I’d welcome everyone
who needed a safe place to call home, and Christ would be there, too.
To love on them and heal them, as only He can do.
I’d reach out to those who feel abandoned, and those world has shunned,
So all would know they’re children of God, and Christ’s love is for everyone!
I’d gather people of the world who are hated, and those whose lives have been ravaged by storms,
No more would they live in fear of danger, or have to protect themselves from harm.
All who’d come would receive a new start, ‘a new lease on life’, some might say,
So they could could thrive and grow in the love of Christ, and find hope in each new day.
Yes, if I could house a nation, that’s exactly what I’d do,
So there’d be no more suffering and all would find Life anew.
You know, God has prepared such a place as this. It’s called heaven and it’s for you and me,
and all who claim Jesus as Savior and Lord. What a glorious place it will be!
So for now I’ll ‘house this nation’, by keeping these people in prayer,
For God has prepared a house for us all, and I hope someday all will be there.
– Renee Myers 11-5-10
The following Bible scriptures talk about the glory of heaven and how to find your way there: (You can find these passages at www.BibleGateway.com )
- Isaiah chapter 55 “Invititaion to the Lord’s salvation”
- Luke 24:47 There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to Christ.
- Acts 4:12 Christ is the only one who can give salvation.
- Romans 10:8-13 Assurance of salvation….For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”… and how to offer your heart to Christ
- Isaiah 65:17-25 Description of what the ‘New Jerusalem’/Heaven will be like
- Revelation chapters 21 & 22 The Apostle John’s vision of heaven
- Isaiah 25:6-10 Isaiah rejoices in the glory of heaven