Did you know that Thanksgiving means so much more than Turkey & Dressing? Yes, it is a time to come together and enjoy a plenteous wonderful meal that has been prepared with lots of love. Yes, it is a time to come to gather together with family, friends and loved ones and give thanks. Yes, you can even remember that Christopher Columbus an Italian Explorer discovered the Indians in America. It has been recorded in history that he actually sailed across the Atlantic in order to find spices in India.
He sailed for King Ferdinand II and Queen Esabella of Spain. He had a fleet of three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria with an approximate crew of 90 from Palos Spain. He landed in a new world of the Americas. Many do not realize that Columbus initially had a twofold mission. He wanted to open trade routes and bring in the Word of Jesus Christ! He was named the “Admiral of the Sea” by the King and Queen. He is known for the man that discovered America. That is partially true? Yes, he too did get sidetracked. However, if the Truth be told he actually discovered the Indians!
As the settlers trickled in the atmosphere began to change. It has been said that a group of religious radicals called “Puritans” were pilgrim settlers that had been driven out of England. In 1614, explorers landed in an area called Massachusetts Bay. They actually eventually settled and built a colony called “Plymouth Plantation.” They were taught by Squanto the Indian how to survive by using corn in a plethora of ways for food. They were taught how to fish and use the herbs of the land. Plymouth was surrounded by the Wampanoag who were a large Nation of Indians. Eventually Squanto negotiated a peace treaty between the Indians and the settlers. They lived peaceable for about fifteen (15) years. It was at the end of the first year that a large feast was given. Squanto, their friends and the Indians were honored. The feast lasted for over three (3) days. It is here originates why we here in America celebrate Thanksgiving. How all too soon all was forgotten.
As word got back to England of the prosperity and peacefulness that they were experiencing in Plymouth, many people came by the boatloads. As there numbers increased the tension increased. There began to be a debate as to who possessed the land? The original agreement was cast aside. Since there were no fences, boundaries, land markers etc. (fences etc. are customs that originated in England.) The incoming settlers declared the land as “public domain” this meant it was their’s for the taking. With absolutely no respect for the current treaty between the Indians and the Puritans the newcomers began to seize and destroy the existing peace that had been established. All for the sake of becoming prosperous. Rather than share in the prosperity that had already been established they sought to destroy it and become prosperous themselves. They exiled the current Puritans and with scriptures in tow they overthrew the existing peace agreement. Then along with the use of British soldiers they captured and made many of the Indians slaves…. The rest is history….
I said this all to shed some light on a story that as a child I was taught that in 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America? But if in fact you search the chronicles of history you will find that he actually, really discovered the Indians. We in America really celebrate Thanksgiving because of the peace treaty that was made between the Puritans and the Indians. Who collectively managed to come together and celebrate their treaty and new life together. If you are a Christian you should know that spiritually speaking Thanksgiving goes even further back than that! The scriptures are full of passages to tell us how we should work, love, live and be thankful for all that God has given us. He even gave His only Begotten Son that we might have a right to the tree of life. But just like the story of Christopher Columbus what was originally intended all too often gets set aside. The principles of this story has constantly repeated itself throughout history in so many ways. All too often what really happened is set aside and replaced with the partial truth.
God wants us to know the Truth of His Word. Life for the believer or child of God really should go much deeper. But all too often one settles for what is partially true. All too often the original agreement is forgotten and laid aside. This is why it is so very important to know the Lord and His Word for yourself. Ephesians 4 tells us; “not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, to the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head-Christ from whom the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies,…….” Knowing the Word of God has its spiritual benefits. When truly taken to heart it motivates, grows and spiritually matures you, convicts, and encourages you to do and want to do things His way. Neither do you just settle for the partial truth or believe just any and everything. But you seek, desire to live and study His Word, apply the principles therein and live your life to please Him! To give thanks to Him each and every day!
God’s ways are far better. But all too often they are laid aside. Many are given and accept a partial story. Many are pressured by the need to be accepted by the majority, to suppress the truth, as well as their desire to dominate and control and have things done their way. One must earnestly seek the truth rather than settle for a partial truth or to be misled by how things appear. As God’s children we are encouraged to “seek Him first and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” What things? Whatever things you need to fulfill his plan in your life will be provided. He did not say that this would be easy. Yet, we can and should be thankful for each and every day. You know regardless of what happens that He has everything under His control. That He is a Spirit of Truth! We can be thankful because you know without a doubt that all of His WORD is true! We then can truly celebrate Thanksgiving knowing that His Son Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us. That we have been redeemed and purchased and belong to Him. That we are saved completely by His grace alone! The TRUTH really does set you free!
When you know that regardless of how things appear God knows! As I said earlier as a child I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America. But as I matured, I inquired and studied. I found out that that was only partially true. It was in fact the Indians he discovered. (For additional information read the history about the Wampanoag Indians.) The Truth will always stand the test of time. As God’s ever growing child I know that God has so much more for us in store. He does not want us to settle for less than the Truth. He wants us to study His Word and rightly apply the principles therein. He has promised to bring what has happened in the dark out to the Light. Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. His Word will be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path”. Do not be sidetracked or derailed by what you hear or how things appear. Know the Truth and His Word for yourself! Let it be your desire to want the things in life that the Lord wants you to have. To know what God wants you to know, to commit to His will and way and trust He will lead, guide and protect you. Know that nothing that happens in life gets by Him. This is why He says in the first Psalms “Do not walk in the council of ungodly people. Do not stand in the way of sinners. Nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But to delight yourself in the law of the Lord….” As a child of God you can rest assured as said in Romans; that in His time He will work out everything for your good, if you love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Too often what is right is laid aside. Man made institutions waiver. Since we live in an ever changing world your Faith and Trust must be in Him!
God’s Word is true. It is His desire that we grow in the grace and knowledge of His Word. To know Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection! That we are to be steadfast unmovable always abounding in His Word. Not only giving thanks when we eat or on Thanksgiving or Sunday. But each and everyday of our lives. We are told in Colossian 4; “Continue earnestly in prayer, being villigant in it with thanksgiving, meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the world, to speak the mystery of Christ, which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak, Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one..” God can and will make a way out of no way!
God truly is the DAYMAKER. Who else can make a day? True ministry goes beyond the walls! Christ came and His plan of salvation has been offered to all who will believe in their heart and accept Him as Lord of their life. We are to worship and praise the Lord each and every day. We are to live a life of worship. This is why we should live lives of thankfulness. To focus and set our eyes on Him regardless of what happens, has happened or will happen. To give thanks and know that He will give us today our daily bread…… Psalms 107 says; Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so……..” Not only on Thanksgiving but each and every day.
Yes it is a good thing to celebrate and give thanks! But know that Thanksgiving really does mean so much more than Turkey & Dressing. We who are the Lord’s must do as Psalms 100 tells us to enter into “His gates with thanksgiving. And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting. And His Truth endures to all generations. To God be the Glory!
Where Does God Dwell?
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. We in America have a freedom that you just don’t find in the rest of the world. We have freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to live and go where and when we please. But most importantly we have the freedom to worship. There are many types of worship services but there is only one true God. The only way to worship Him is in spirit and truth. On a recent trip to Athens Greece and Istanbul Turkey I was able to see some of the world’s most exquisite architecture. Turkey is a country that is 95% Moslem. In Turkey there is the renowned Haggia Sophia Cathedral. It was built for the Christian community to reflect the beauty that Solomon’s Temple once beheld. In spite of its elaborate intricate handiwork full of gold mosaic tiles, marble and brick walls, it is now a museum. It also contains various artifacts derived from Greek mythology and its continence is a shadow of it’s once intended purpose. Ironically across from it is the beautiful Sultanahmet mosque. Its known as the Blue mosque due to an extravagant array of blue mosaic tiles. Adorned with its intricate splendor and statueous marble columns and stained glass windows. It is scrupulously maintained and it is a place of worship for the Moslem community. Turkey is full of ornately designed mosques and Mohammed is whom they worship.
Words cannot express my gratitude to God for the things my eyes have beheld. The scriptures continuously came to my mind as I walked through the Haggia Sophia. “God does not dwell in a temple made by hands”. “That God is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle.” There is absolutely no doubt in my mind to the unmerited grace the Lord has bestowed upon us.
The one thing the tour guide who was of Moslem decent (in Turkey along with our guide we were required to have a Turkish guide as well) said that stuck with me was “why would a powerful God allow His Temple to turn into a museum?” My point is God is so gracious and kind that He allows us so much freedom. He even gives us the freedom to choose who or what we want to worship. When I lift up Holy Hands, to Him and Him only my heart is eternally grateful. It is by His grace and His grace alone are we saved. God is truly worthy of all the PRAISE!
In Turkey is the city of Ephesus. There are miles and miles of ruins. Original artifacts, columns etc. and remains to testify to the fact Ephesus existed. To this day approximately only 10% of it has been uncovered. It is still currently under excavation. Primitive hand tools are used in order to preserve whatever archeological finds are uncovered. Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus. Just look at God! Despite the fact Turkey is a Moslem country Ephesus remains a monument to Christians of God’s eternal presence, grace and mercy. My most invigorating moments were spent in Athens Greece. We walked up the steep incline to the Acropolis saturated with aged columns made of marble. The Parthenon and majestic ruins were filled with slippery marble laden paths.
The highlight of our trip was when I observed my husband climb “Mars Hill”. In a foreign country one must be cautious. After my husband determined that it was safe I too climbed the hill and we both joyously praised GOD! This is the infamous Mars Hill that the Apostle Paul speaks about in the book of Acts give you a marvelous panoramic view. When we first approached Mars Hill there was a woman preaching. I found this to be quite interesting because years before when I was called to ministry a woman being a minister was not readily accepted. This was confirmation just how good GOD truly is. I was sure of the call on my life to minister but I was also very sure that I did not have to be restricted to the doctrines of a denomination but to the “Word of God!” Acts tells us “And it will come to pass in the last days saith God I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Paul spoke concerning an altar with an inscription representing the unknown god on Mars Hill. That unknown God is the God I love, worship and adore. The only true and living God. The GREAT “I AM!” Mars Hill today is in a magnificent open place. High above Athens for all to see. (I will forever cherish what it felt like sitting there and praising God for all He has done!) It’s walls and canopy are the blue firmament that God Himself spoke into existence through the Word. That Word is Jesus Christ wrapped in flesh. Who sacrificed His life for the sins of the entire world!
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God. Glory! Glory! His truth is marching on!
“The earth truly is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein.” There is not a place that can be built that can contain the fullness of His majestic awesomeness. The early church had no building they met in homes. We have dedicated our home to be a place where God’s way prevails. The heart of each of His Children is where His true Church abides. There is nothing wrong with a church made by hands. But the focal point should not be a hierarchy laden with cliques, clichés, how do we pay our bills programs and solemn auxiliaries; a mere shadow of what God originally intended.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” We should praise Him in song, word and deeds. We are not saved by works. But our works display our faith. Our main focus should be to cultivate and environment where God receives the preeminence. It is God’s Word and His power that will draw men and change their lives when we spread His Gospel. Whether it be via T.V., radio, internet, song or the spoken word. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!