Thanksgiving Blessing

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2.

Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2009. The special day that families come together to share a feast and give thanks for all the blessings they have received for the year. I was involved in the usual morning routine, coffee, daily devotional , then the newspaper. Today there was an eye catching article which read "Mustard Seed Ministries Thanksgiving Feast." Wheels were spinning and felt like my ears were on fire! There was no question how my Thanksgiving was going to be spent. Opportunity was knocking and I was ready to answer. My years have been so blessed and now was the time to share with my neighbors who were not as fortunate.

Determined to involve anyone possible, I ran to tell my sister and before I could even ask, she was ready to go. This blessed event started at 8:00 a.m., so we had thirty minutes to spring into action! It just happened to be held on tenth street and Orange Avenue in a vacant lot where a church once resided, only five minutes from the house. Upon arrival, paperwork needed to be completed and name tags were distributed. We were instructed to have a seat underneath a tent where a large group of people from surronding communities were waiting for further instruction. Ten minutes passed and a gentleman wearing a turkey hat announced that they needed people to help clean tables, serve food and deliver meals to families in the Fort Pierce area. Our bodies could not sit still any longer, so we started cleaning tables. Not a minute later, there were others that were cleaning right along with us. Once the last table was cleaned, we noticed in the distance that a group of men were unloading empty boxes for the meals. In a blink of an eye, we were carrying boxes. Our adrenaline was pumping and there was nothing stopping us. We heard an announcement from one of the priests that was involved at this event. As you looked around, everyone stopped what they were working on and listened. He blessed the food , praised the day and thanked all for their time. Now on to the next mission!

At the most distant end of the lot, our eyes caught the main hub of the whole operation. This is where all the hustle was happening. Our goal was to help in any way possible. This area consisted of a tunnel of tables filled to the heavens with meals needing to be boxed for delivery. It was like we were meant to be here. No instruction needed, we had help from a higher power! This mission involved about fifteen people, it was definately a team effort. Boxes were flowing like a river. A convoy of vehicles were lined up at the end of the tunnel to receive their boxes and a map for their specific destinations. I have never seen so much food at one time in my life. We did not stop until every table was empty and the last meal delivered. In the end, 5,000 meals were distributed. This news was so overwhelming, I broke into tears and thanked God for all his blessings. This Thanksgi ving will always be a memory in my heart.

Father, let us not only be thankful for what we have, but also for the things we don't. May we always remember to be thankful no matter what the circumstances.
May we help our brothers and sisters not just on Thanksgiving, but every day! Amen.

By Tammy,Florida

Good News

Bible Verse:
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Col 3:16-17 (The New American Standard Bible)

Celebrity drug rehabilitation was the topic of a TV series and watching it briefly one night brought back some stark personal memories. Several years ago I spent an afternoon with a person who was addicted to heroin and crystal Methamphetamine. We passed the time talking about the effects of overdoses and contrasting that with knowing Jesus as a personal savior. The conversation was laced with vocabulary unfamiliar to me. He spoke of packets, bundles and binges and the street language he used was graphic and remarkable. It was designed to somehow disguise the conversation so that outsiders would not know the subject or content. In the midst of our conversation he spoke of a return to substance abuse after a "clean" period during which he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. He arranged a meeting with another heavy user to discuss how they might acquire enough drugs to sustain them through the weekend. Almost absent-mindedly he carried his Bible into the room and casually announced, partly in jest, he was bringing in the "good news." The other user took the Bible from him and held it aloft upside down, fanning the pages looking for something to fall from the book. You see, "good news" was their private expression for success in acquiring an adequate supply of controlled substances to be shared and he expected packets of powder to spill from between the pages. The conversation with this addict has forever etched in my mind two things. Aside from the tragedy of substance abuse was a sense of helplessness, and secondly a loss of self-esteem by one of God's own. It also brought to mind the thought that some Christians are addicted to their Savior (like me for instance) and are often caught up in a language unfamiliar to those outside the circle of users (the Body of Christ). Our conversations ought never to be so cryptic as to present an unclear or ambiguous meaning to the message of Jesus Christ. The most significant part of the conversation with him revolved around the "good news" incident. While that which was sought by the addict was thought to be hidden in the scriptures, the genuine "good news" can truly be found only by opening the Word of God and by making it habitual. In some respects we ought to desire the love, tender mercies, grace and forgiveness freely given by the Savior as much as the addict desires his "good news."

Ending Prayer:
Father help us to crave the good news of the Gospel of Christ and be willing to share it with others. Amen.

By Don ( Maine USA)

Playing for God

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

I used to play the alto saxophone in my high school band; I was a huge “band geek,” as kids call them. I put my whole soul and spirit into playing my instrument, especially at competitions. I practiced countless hours until I was able to play the music perfectly.

However, there were days that I didn’t feel like playing my saxophone. I had other things on my mind. On those occasions, I played only halfheartedly. But because my band director had spent so many hours with me practicing and preparing my music for performance, he always could tell when I wasn’t putting my whole heart into it.

God is the Director of our lives. He is always with us, preparing us for the service He has called us to. Through His Word, He molds us into who He wants us to be. He directs us through every day of our lives. He knows when we are not doing things with all of our hearts.

One day as I meditated on Colossians 3:23-24, the Lord showed me that there were a lot of things in my life that I wasn’t doing with all of my heart. I wasn’t serving Him as I was called to. It was a great reminder that whatever I do, I need to do it as if I am doing it for the Lord, even if it is something as trivial as playing my instrument. 

Lord, help me to serve you with all of my heart and in everything I do. Amen.

Hide and Seek

If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is…set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (The New American Standard Bible)

Perhaps you have played the game of hide and seek as a youth - or maybe more recently. How can I know? People hide, and the person who is "it" tries to find each one (See Luke 15:3-7). A thought crossed my mind as I read Colossians 3 recently. My life is now hidden in Christ, and I'm not only seeking to know Him, I'm in the hunt for others - open season on souls you might say. Trouble is people are good "hiders," and it's necessary to get out and beat the bushes, peek into dark corners and sometimes pry open closet doors just to discover where they are hiding. What's interesting to me is that at the conclusion of this children's game, we all get together to talk about how creative we were in our selection of hiding places. I suppose in Christian circles it might be called "giving a testimony."

So, who are you hiding from this day, or perhaps a better question might be, whom are you seeking this morning?

Father please guide us in the search for those who are hiding and would be found if only we would follow your directions and urging. Amen.