“Thanksgetting”

I was watching the Packer/Viking game on Sunday. It was nice to see the Pack get back into the win column. The commercials are generally something I try to tune out but there was one that caught my attention. A major cell phone carrier ran this ad about the latest and greatest stuff a person can get. The name of the ad was “Thanksgetting.” That last word made my ears perk up. Thanksgetting?!?! What?!?! Why doesn’t that sound right?

So I began to ponder the idea of Thanksgetting. It did not take long but I did not like the thought of focusing on ‘getting’ during the holiday season. Sure, I understand the company wanting the consumer to feel like they were getting a good deal, getting the best phone, or getting what they deserve.

But isn’t that the direct opposite of what Thanksgiving is all about?

 


I believe I was placed here in earth to glorify God and to become more like Jesus. If I am to do those things than I must turn to the Word of God for instruction and guidance. Here are 5 verses that address the idea of giving. I took the liberty of highlighting the parts about giving or gifts. All passages are from the New International Version.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

John 14:16

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever…”


So…

During your feast and football on Thursday or some crazy shopping this Friday, try to take two minutes and be thankful. This does not have to mess up your eating, cheering, or busting down doors! You can do both!

I would just hate to see someone become consumed with Thanksgetting instead of Thanksgiving.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing this post. God bless and enjoy some turkey. =-)

 

 

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Cinnamon Melts and Salvation

Twice a month, I meet my pastor for some mentoring time. We usually meet at a McDonald’s that is close to both of us. I would say that I eat breakfast maybe there once every 4 to 5 months. He usually gets coffee or water. It is not the food that draws us but our conversation.

McDonald's logo

But this post has nothing to do with talking to my pastor and everything to do with the food because yesterday, I decided to eat.

Baihley (Yes, she had an ‘H’ in her name) was the cashier yesterday. This conversation is not exactly word for word but pretty close.

 

Me: “Good morning! I would like a Bacon, Egg, Cheese Biscuit please.”

Baihley: “The meal or just the sandwich?”

Me: “Just the sandwich please. And a small orange juice. Oh wait, and the Cinnamon Melts please.”

Baihley: “Ok, the total comes to $7.21.”

Me: “Um….I only have $7. Change the…”

Baihley: “I got this, hold on.”

Me: “What?”

Baihley: “The total comes to $5.23.” (She had a big grin on her face at this point)

Me: “Thank you. Not necessary but thank you.”


 

I do not know if Baihley is a manager but she gave me Cinnamon Melts for free.

1 Bacon, Egg, Cheese Biscuit = $3.19

1 Small Orange Juice = $1.79

1 Cinnamon Melts = $0.00

 

I am no one special. I had no coupon. It was not a special item on the menu. In fact, as far as I could tell, there was absolutely nothing that should have allowed me to receive free Cinnamon Melts. I did not deserve it. I did not earn it. I did nothing. It was all Baihley. I just said ‘Thank you.’

Here is that same paragraph with two words changed:

I am no one special. I had no coupon. It was not a special item on the menu. In fact, as far as I could tell, there was absolutely nothing that should have allowed me to receive free Forgiveness. I did not deserve it. I did not earn it. I did nothing. It was all God. I just said ‘Thank you.’


 

God is so extensively rich and vast in His love and mercy. He already paid the price. I have accepted His gift and now follow Christ with all my heart. Get past your past. Stop trying to earn something that is un-earnable. Your works-based mentality can keep you from experiencing God. Live today for Him. Say ‘thank you’ by living for Him.

Your actions will never earn salvation, they will only display it.

 

More…there is always more.

I saw an old friend today while waiting tables. She was a young lady who got married almost 10 years ago. I officiated her wedding. It has been fun to see her grow in God. She is happy with her husband and has two children. God is good.

I do not typically remember my wedding sermons. In fact, I throw away the notes and make new ones for every wedding I do. My count is around 165 or so. Most of the messages don’t stick with me. It was different for this young lady’s wedding as I can still vividly recall the message. The topic was simply “more”. I encouraged them to keep seeking God because there is always more…in God. Regardless of the circumstances or situation they will face as a married couple, there is more!

Jump back to the present.

After she leaves the restaurant, I begin thinking about Paul. You know Paul, right? He is perhaps, the most famous Christian to ever live! He also wrote much of the New Testament. Take a look at this passage from II Corinthians 11:22-30; 12:1-10:

 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?17In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! 30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul had plenty to boast about. But he realized that God allowed him to experience all of it. He also knew that his weakness was God’s opportunity to be strong.

Paul knew that there was more!


In my own flesh, I could write a list similar to Paul. It would not be quite as intense or even as long but it could be something in which I could boast. But I am learning (every day, practically) that I need God more. The more knowledge and experience I accumulate, the more I understand my need for God. But in a mind-blowing way, there is still more to God! You never even get close to the end of the Almighty! Think about…

His love for me…

His patience for me…

His mercy in my life…

Let me echo the words of Paul as I conclude;

“He is sufficient for me. In my frailty, He can be my support. When my limits are reached, His are just beginning.”

 

WHY?!?!

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why…?”

why 1

It seems pretty common that people ask this question. We all like answers. It is good to be informed. But there is another perspective on why someone would ask that question. Motivation.

Let me compare two sentences.

“Why is the sky blue?” vs. “Why do I go to church?”

Do you see the difference? The first question deals with facts and information. Those are great questions. Learning is good.

The second one, however, deals with motivation.

I am thoroughly convinced that a person will make time for what is important to them.

This weekend I have been challenged to seek God more than I have been. In response, I have been asking my self, “Why?”


 

Why do I not read my Bible more often?

Why can I only pray for a few minutes without getting distracted?

Why do I attend church?

Why do I…?

Why?


 

God desires me to know Him more. The Holy Spirit is a constant companion throughout my day. Jesus died for me.

Why do I do what I do? If I can sum it up in a sentence…

“I do what I do to bring glory to God.”

why

What are you asking yourself today?