Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Many countries around the world have harvest festivals, but only two that I know of celebrate Thanksgiving Day.  Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in October, the United States in November.  It began as a day of thanksgiving to God for a good harvest and His provision of our needs.  I think that for most people in both Canada and the United States today, it is just another vacation day and opportunity to get together with friends and family.  For some of us though, it is still a day to thank God for all He has provided for us.

In Canada and the United States we have a great deal for which we can be thankful.  We have life.  We have family and friends.  We have all of our basic needs met and most of us have far more than just the bare necessities of life.  Even more important, we have the opportunity to know God.  The opportunity to truly know Him through a relationship with his Son Jesus.  Through that relationship with Jesus we can have peace and joy as we live here on earth and we will spend eternity with Jesus in heaven.  I can’t think of anything more exciting and for all those things I give thanks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I receive dozens and dozens of e-mails every day, sometimes almost a hundred per day.  Some are work related, some are notes from friends, many are just things people think I may find amusing or interesting or beautiful and so pass on to me.  I watch the news each day on television and read news articles on the Internet.  And then there is Facebook, and everyone I know there.  Often I feel that it is all just too much.

I want to stay current on news, I want to know what is happening in the world and in the lives of my friends, but how much is too much?  Some days I feel like I am drowning in information.  All that information can overwhelm you and crowd out time for important things.  Important things like family, like friends, like time to read the Bible and time to talk with God.  How do we find a balance?  How do we find equilibrium in our life?  I think the best way is probably to start with Jesus first.  Talk with Him each day.  Study a bit of the Bible each day.  As we do those two things we can ask Jesus to order our life so that all the other seemingly urgent things don’t crowd in and push out the important things like time with family and friends.  And time to ourselves as well.

I want Jesus to be first and foremost in my life.  I know if that happens, everything else will fall into place.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Lesson from Cuba

I’ve been in Cuba for a while.  I love the people of Cuba.  I always have a great time with my friends there.  This time I was at the Los Pinos Nuevos Seminary with a group from Journey of Faith church in Manhattan Beach, California.  We painted buildings by day and spoke in churches almost every night.  It was a great trip.

The enthusiasm of Cuban Christians is contagious.  In worship they truly celebrate the Lord.  Their life is not easy, but Jesus helps them with their burdens and their cares.  They have learned the true secret of living.  They know to turn all their anxiety and problems over to Jesus and allow Him to help them through each day.  Here in our land life is much easier, yet often we feel so burdened, so beaten down.  I wonder if we have learned the secret Cuban Christians have learned.  Instead of depending on ourselves we need to depend on Jesus.  Instead of trying to carry all our own problems we need to let Jesus help us carry them.  Throughout both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible we are instructed to turn our cares over to God, to trust Him with our problems, to allow Him to be our strength.  Do we?  Is our Lord Jesus really the first one we turn to in times of need or is He our last resort? 

My time in Cuba once again reminded me that we need to maintain an intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to guide us every step of every day.  We need to talk to Him always and let Him know our worries, problems and trials.  He will always be our help and support.