There are multitudes of words in our language, many to express thankfulness.Most of us can tell when a thank you is sincere and not merely a polite response. It takes little time to acknowledge being thankful, and sometimes it resonates with those who deserve to receive gratitude for whatever they might have done.
Offering thanks is a dual blessing. Given appropriately, it will serve another person with recognition for their service, for their attention, for doing something which warrants a thank you. Plus expressing thankfulness accentuates what we appreciate.
Again, being thankful is simply owning an attitude of gratitude. Those of us who know Jesus have learned every good and perfect gift comes from the Father, but sometimes those good and perfect gifts can slip by unrecognized because we might be looking for something that won't do us good. Being thankful, like so many critical matters of the soul, is a decision, a choice, a necessity for our well-being.
Choosing to be thankful, historical holiday or not, is a permanent awareness of the abundance we hold in our hearts.
Father, help us to always be truly thankful, deep inside, manifesting itself on the outside. We're desperate for you, Lord. And so thankful for your love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Thanksgiving arrives on Thursday, the day this country recognizes a special day in our history where people gathered together to share and celebrate their blessings.
Thanksgiving is filled with all sorts of activities in this country's present culture. It's customary for professional football teams to play each other on network television, and Thanksgiving is acknowledged and provisions made for each team that postpones time with families to perform their well-paid jobs. Inching into the evening some retail outlets open their doors to fanatical Christmas shoppers for "Black Friday" specials on various hot-ticket items. Different city missions across the nation serve hot traditional meals to the ever-growing crowds of homeless people.
Some family members travel long distances to join other relatives, enjoying food and fellowship. Friends invite other friends who bring a delicious feast of potluck entrees. In some places a thanksgiving "grace" is said maybe for the first and last time of the year.
Those of us who've acknowledged the Savior of the world as our Savior give thanks daily for the multiple blessings He's given to us. We know the historical significance in the celebration of this holiday, but we also know the thanks given by the pilgrims was to the God of the universe for sending Jesus to save us.
Thanksgiving is an attitude of gratitude. It surpasses hardship even though trials and tragedies present ongoing sorrow. It rises above petty grievances and illuminates the abundance of what we do have. It recognizes without the supernatural beauty of our Creator, our possessions, our relationships, our country even, really wouldn't carry the significance of blessings. Rather, they would be self-serving, self-motivated, self-determined.
God has been so gracious to me. I know my blessings come from Him. I am perpetually grateful to the Savior of world. Jesus saved me from my sinful self. How could I be anything but full of thanks?
Father, there are not enough words in any language to thank you enough. Ever. Thank you, Jesus. Holy Spirit, keep reminding me of your benevolence and extreme grace whenever I start to grumble. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.
With a dynamic cast consisting of Maggie Q, Dylan McDermott, Elisabeth Rohm, Mariana Klaveno, and Victor Rasuk, Stalker debuted this fall on CBS Wednesday nights at 10 PM. Each actor portrays a dedicated professional determined to aid victims of stalkers and put away those who terrify their victims.
Maggie Q heads up the stalking unit, having been the victim of what is hinted at as an extreme and scarring case of stalking. She's tight-lipped, professional, aloof, almost cold to those around her, barely able to crack a smile except to one close friend who is seeing a much younger guy with alterior motives.
The tone, as one would expect, is dark with each character showing evidence of internal conflict outside of their jobs. Each week reveals more about the characters while more victims are introduced. So far, the series appears to have lasting power with quality acting and interesting scripts. Anyone for Stalker?
Father, once again your benevolence is evident in the talent you give. Help each one to realize from whom it comes. Bless those who look for you. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Netflix just aired the brief one season of Reckless. People who'd never heard of it, never saw it advertised on CBS, have become solid fans and have joined the #RenewReckless brigade. Really baffling how this one got canceled.
Father, you provide the talent. It's amazing what people can do with it. It's a shame when it's overlooked. Please bless those who work so hard to do things well. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
I try not to spend much time in front of the mirror. It can be a disappointing place. A revealing place.
Mirrors are used to reflect images. In literature or movies or television dramas they are often used as a place of revelation or soul searching. As if they can deliver conclusions to the face staring into them.
The mirror offers nothing more than a reflection. No direction. No instruction. What is done about the reflection is up to the individual who looks into the mirror. Will the image be altered or enhanced? That decision lies with the gazer.
The bible uses the mirror to illustrate an example in James 1:23 (NIV).
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it -- he will be blessed in what he does."
You see the outside of the image within the mirror. It takes deeper investigation to see what's within the person casting the image.
Father, we long to reflect you, made in your image, but we are flawed and sin-stained until the Blood of the Lamb washes us clean. Thank you for saving this sinner. Never enough gratitude to express such a generous sacrificial act. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor (copyright 2003) is the second novel for this bestselling author featuring his hero, former SEAL, now Secret Service Agent Scot Harvath. Following Thor's first release The Lions of Lucerne(which I have not yet read) where Scot Harvath rescued the president from his captives, Harvath is tasked with eliminating each of the terrorists involved in the kidnapping of the POTUS.
On a promotional flight, designed by Meg Cassidy's private PR firm, of a new sleek and fully equipped United Airlines jet, she felt like she'd scored the publicity event of a lifetime. Virtually ignoring the new chaos in the Middle East, the first direct flight from Chicago to Cairo promised to produce dividends for both United and Meg Cassidy's firm. Until it is hijacked at the Cairo airport by Middle Eastern terrorists. Notably onboard the flight besides Meg are Chicago's Mayor Jim Fellinger and United CEO Bob Lawrence.
From Saudi Arabia to Hong Kong to Washington DC, Chicago, Cairo, and Italy, Scot Harvath's mission is to discover and destroy the efforts of one Hashim Nidal, the son of deceased terrorist Abu Nidal responsible for massive murdering and mayhem. In the meantime Israel is on full alert, innocent of the Arab killings done by a group claiming to be the previously defunct Hand of God. The problem with finding Hashim Nidal is nobody has seen him and can identify him. Except . . .
Meg Cassidy learns the jet she's on is under seige and she is quickly a target of one of the terrorists' perverse desires. At his first attempt, he is stopped by one of his cohorts, the penetrating and unique eyes of the one preventing those actions sticking with Meg. In his second attempt Meg is able to pull off his mask and escape his grasp. That action makes her valuable and necessary to putting an end to his terror.
In the course of one fatal event, Scot Harvath spots the assassin fleeing the scene but not before he gets a good look at the strange silver eyes of the perpetrator. When he returns to Washington, he is quickly assigned to accompany the CIA to Cairo to stop the terrorists on the United plane. Scot and the head of the operation don't get along and go about things differently, but ultimately it's Scot who takes control at a critical moment at the airport.
There are many twists in this story, a bare touch of romance between Scot and Meg, lots of snarky "discussions" between the CIA operative, his team, and Scot, but the relentless imagination and action required by Scot and Meg to accomplish their mission provides high octane entertainment in Path of the Assassin. A true thriller, the novels to follow will no doubt give the reader more of the same.
Father, it's an ugly sin-filled world. Thank you for the benevolent blessings you give to your writers who desire to spread hope within a satisfying ending to stories. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully . . .