Category Archives: Thanksgiving

The Cure for Writerā€™s Block

I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have not been writing much in the last few weeks. Maybe it’s just a season in my life, or maybe it’s just that writing takes a lot of work (if you want to do it well).

So, this morning I decided I would try to write, but I didn’t know what to write about! How could this be? Are there not enough stories in the news? Have there not been any blessings to share? Have I not heard any funny jokes?

Do I have writer’s block?

Well, if I did, I don’t anymore! Because I decided to write about having writer’s block.

The cure for writer’s block is writing about having writer’s block. Something’s bound to come from it.

It’s sort of like praise. When you don’t think you’ve got anything to praise God for, just praise Him anyway, and then all the reasons will come.

Praise God for mercy, grace, and love. Thank Him for Bethlehem, Golgotha, and the empty grave. Thank the Lord…praise Jesus…for no matter what you’re going through today, still His promises remain true, His faithfulness is everlasting, and you’re not alone!

I can thank Him for writer’s block.

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Filed under blogging, Thanksgiving, worship, writing

Thankful to be Thankful

Blogging With a View

This morning I am getting the rare opportunity to sit down at a computer while it is still daylight outside! As a matter of fact, I am sitting in the living room of the parsonage, writing on my wife’s computer – because it’s the only one up and running, and – because of a temporary lack of space – the only one we can find a place for – looking out of the window to my right at the church sign by the street.

If you zoom in, no, I’m not Rev. Kaschimer. Still waiting for the name change šŸ™‚

As you may be able to see by the condensation on the antique windows, it’s still a little cool outside – and I love it! It’s about time we get some bugless weather!

By the way, thanks to all of you who have helped us with this parsonage. There is still work to be done (I can detail that a little later), but at least we have a roof over our head and a place to sleep. And internet šŸ˜‰

Other “Thankful” Blogs

Anyway, this morning I sat down at the computer (it feels so good to type on a real keyboard, not my phone!) with the intention of writing a “thankful” post in anticipation of Thanksgiving. However, before I began my own writing, I read a few other posts by fellow bloggers who had the same idea. Shoot, I bet they’d even appreciate me sharing a link, wouldn’t you think?

Now, believe me, especially after a sermonĀ I preachedĀ this past Sunday, I’ couldĀ comeĀ upĀ with a humdinger of a list of thingsĀ for which I’mĀ thankful. However, much of the things on my list would probably sound a lot like the things on other peoples’ lists.

For example, I am thankful for things such as…Ā God’s grace, mercy, salvation, family, a loving wife, bacon, a place to sleep, running water, a church to pastor, Star Wars slippers, eyesight, a job, coffee, wifi, chocolate gravy and biscuits this morning, etc. Like I said, pretty much like everyone else.

But after I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be a little more interesting to write about something other than a list of things for which I’m thankful?

Thankful to be Thankful

Honestly, I am just thankful that I can sit here at this computer and tell you I am thankful – yes, thankful. You see, I could be like one of those people who feel entitled to everything, that God owes them something, but I’m not like that. I’m thankful I’m not in hell – that’s what I deserve.

I’m thankful that I’m not bitter, angry, resentful, jealous, or spiteful. No, I don’t live in a mansion or drive a new car, but I am happy to be thankful for what I have – I could be sleeping in a van down by the river.

I’m thankful I’m not wallowing in sorrow and self-pity, mourning the past and dreading the future. God has redeemed me and rescued me from more than I can speak of! I’m so thankful I want to say so (Psalm 107:2)! Life could be hopeless, but it’s NOT (1 Cor. 15:19-20)! I’m thankful there’s more to this life than this life, and I’m thankful I can be thankful for that!

Hallelujah! I will praise the LORD with all my heart in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation [and on my blog, too]. – Psalm 111:1 CSB

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Filed under Thanksgiving, writing

Before the Fullness of Turkey Was Come

Galatians 4:4 (KJV) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law…

Remember that verse…

This morning, as I was driving in to work, I turned on the radio and tuned it to one of our local Christian stations, 103.1. It was 6 a.m., and I was anticipating something spiritual, something encouraging, to start off my day.

The time has not been changed. It was actually 6, not 7.

What did I hear when turned on the radio? What did I hear when I turned on the radio this morning on the 20th day of November? What did I hear when I turned on the radio three days before Thanksgiving?

I’m ready for some mistletoe and kissing…”

Uuuughh! Noooo! Not now! It was dadgum Christmas music, and the heathen kind at that!

Folks, why can’t we learn from Scripture? If Jesus Himself didn’t come to Earth until the appointed time, why on earth can’t we hold off on the mistletoe and kissing till after Thanksgiving?

For crying out loud, can’t we take a moment and show some respect for all the turkeys who gave their lives so that we could manage to be thankful?

Good grief! Can’t we just wait till the fullness of December has fully come? At least till the 25th of November?

Probably not. That’s why I’m not going to listen to anymore radio until I’ve prepared my first leftover turkey sandwich.

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Filed under Christmas, General Observations, Thanksgiving

God IS Good!

This morning at South Soddy Baptist I will be preaching a message on the goodness of God. In some ways it will be similar to one that I preached 2 years ago at my last pastorate, but in other ways it will be different.

Nevertheless, even though the sermon I’ll be preaching this morning will be different in several ways from the one I’m going to share with you right now, the truth of this sermon remains the same: God is good, and we should be thankful.

As Thanksgiving approaches, why not take a few minutes to consider what your life would be like if God was NOT good. If God wasn’t the definition of good, the judge of what is good, and the very standard of goodness – if God was not good by nature – all of His other characteristics could be called into question; any of His actions could be suspect. But God IS good, and we have plenty of reasons to praise Him.

http://RiversideSermons.sermon.net/main/main/20542053

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Filed under God, Thanksgiving, worship

“Thankful” On My Mind

I woke up this morning

With “thankful” on my mind.

I opened my eyes to a dimly-lit room,

But I could see – I wasn’t blind.

The iPhone that awoke me

Cycled one or twice

Again I hit the snooze alarm

But I could hear it – that was nice.

Never enough sleep is common,

And getting out of bed is hard.

But I had a bed to get out of.

I slept in a bed, not the yard.

Pain in my foot as it hit the floor.

My aching body walked out the door.

But at least I was walking on my own two feet,

Out of a house – with a door – pretty sweet!

I woke up this morning

And I could be complaining

But even if I was only complaining

I should be thankful – I woke up this morning.

I just had “thankful” on my mind.

– A. Baker

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Filed under grace, Life Lessons, Thanksgiving

The Other Things I’m Thankful For

Now that the holiday is about over, I’m sure you’ve heard all the normal lists of things for which we all should be thankful.

Like many others, I led prayer before today’s over-the-top gastronomical celebration, directing all present to give thanks for grace, mercy, family, freedom, and a host of blessings we don’t deserve. I even led us to remember those less fortunate during this joyful time. 

Therefore, since you’ve already heard thanks for the usual blessings, let me close out this Thanksgiving holiday with a list of other things I’m thankful for. 

  1. Zip-lock baggies. 
  2. Cell phone service with no roaming fees. 
  3. Coffee. 
  4. Antibiotics. 
  5. DVR’s. 
  6. I’m not a vegetarian. 
  7. Modern dentistry. 
  8. Safe drinking water. 
  9. Bluetooth. 
  10. Inexpensive firing ranges. 
  11. Baby powder. 
  12. A wife that hasn’t give up on me. 
  13. New Star Wars movies. 
  14. Background noise apps on my phone. 
  15. Daughters who still believe in me. 

OK, so #12 and #15 are from the “normal” list, but I couldn’t help it. 

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. – Psalm 106:1

My daughter Katie’s first apple pie. A work of art!

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Filed under America, Thanksgiving

It’s Not Even Thanksgiving!Ā 

As many of you already know, I am now actively seeking a new pastorate, should it be God’s will to open that door. Therefore, Wednesday night (the 2nd of November) I found myself preaching in a small church in the north part of our county. A preacher preaches, right?

So, on my way home, alone in my vehicle, I decided to turn on the radio. What do you think was the first thing I heard? 

“Rockin’ around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop…” 

Seriously??? 

Aren’t there any Thanksgiving songs? Can’t we just be thankful for a little while before we start getting all worked up and materialistic? 

Can we please hold off on Santa stuff for a little longer? I mean, really, it’s barely time for Thanksgiving! 

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Filed under current events, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

How Thankful Are You?

Walking down the streets of Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, I came across a few middle school-aged boys playing with toy cars and trucks. What made it so unusual was the toys they were playing with.

But I’ll get to that in a moment… keep reading.

If you will remember, Zimbabwe has between 8o% to 90% unemployment. Did you get that? Between 8 and 9 out of every 10 people are without a job. Do you have job? ANY kind of job? Well, then, you should be thankful, even if you can’t stand what you do.

But here’s another question… Do you play with toys you didn’t have to make yourself? Oh, sure, many of you are grown up big people and don’t play with toys, right? Yeah, I get it. But do you?

Right now there are probably some things you wish you had, but all you have right now is last year’s model. You are jealous of your neighbor and their new car, truck, or house. Your friend got a new smart phone. You feel like God has treated you unfairly because you can’t have what you REALLY want. Am I close?

Why not enjoy and be thankful for what you have? Frankly, most of the “problems” we have are what we call “first world problems.” What does that mean? It means that most of what you and I complain about are only the kind of problems the rich and spoiled of the “first world” countries can have.

Yes, we are spoiled brats when we complain about not having the newest iPhone, the new car, the newest video game, the next generation Glock, etc.

You see, here’s the thing… If you don’t have to make your own “toys,” you’re blessed way more than you deserve. And “blessed” might not be the best choice of words.

Below are some pictures of boys playing with the cars and trucks THEY made out of wire. They were having fun.

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Still have something to complain about? Why not share in the comment section. Maybe we could all cry together.

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Filed under America, General Observations, Life Lessons, Thanksgiving

I’ll Whine If I Want To

All I know of the lyrics to the old song is, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, CRY if I want to. You would cry too if it happened to you.

Well, it’s my birthday, and I wan’t to cry…sorta.

Maybe more like whine.

The Negatives

First, I had been planning to attend a preaching conference today. It is sponsored by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is being held just outside of Atlanta. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed on a Saturday – on my birthday – at 5:30 a.m. and then drive. I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep in the last few days and I have a knee that’s really hurting, so it wasn’t a good morning to be hitting the road dark and early. So, I’m missing out on something I really wanted to attend. That’s sad.

Secondly, my dadgum knee is killing me! Well, maybe killing is a little extreme, but it hurts to go up stairs, down stairs, use the gas peddle or brake, move it, etc. What did I do to it to make it hurt? Nothing that I know of – other than get older.

Third, after I had regretfully resigned not to go to the conference and sleep in, Jack the dog – which my wife so mercifully let into our room during the night – made it very clear he needed to go outside. So much for sleeping in.

Everyone else is still in bed. Wait, did I hear movement upstairs?

The Positives

First, I woke up, was able to get out of bed with one good knee, and made it outside where the air was fresh. I was able to make it down stairs, make my own coffee, and see and hear the falling leaves that are finally ushering in the fall season.

Second, a dear blogging friend (Jessie Jeanine) is here visiting with us! Because of having to do several other things, including drive a school bus for a football game last night, I’ve been unable to take her to my favorite coffee shop here in Chattanooga, Rembrandt’s. But now that I’m not going to the conference in Atlanta, we can go get some coffee!

Third, I get to spend a little more time in study for tomorrow’s sermons. And really, that’s a good thing; I’ve been a little stressed with finding the time to just sit and meditate on the passage I’m going to be covering…

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. – Luke 12:32

And, you know, I have to make a good impression tomorrow, too. I asked Jessie to tell me if there were any differences between the real me and the person I convey over the internet. She replied, “Wait till after I hear you preach on Sunday.” Pressure!

Incidentally, I want to thank our exchange-student-daughter, Vivian, for giving up her room for a few days and sleeping with Haley so that our guest could have a bed. However, I don’t know what German kids think about southern hospitality at this point – I think they think we’re crazy.

Fourth and finally, “This [is] the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psa 118:24 NKJV

God has been good to me, far more than I deserve – ’cause I don’t deserve anything, really. He even gave me this wonderful day at home to answer the phone, read emails and Facebook, study, drink coffee, and feed off the sympathy of others as my knee aches.

So, forgive me if I whine just a little…but it IS my birthday, after all šŸ˜‰

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Filed under current events, General Observations, Life/Death, Thanksgiving

Going to Africa!

Thanks!

zimbabwe mapI give praise to the Lord for all of your prayers and financial support! As of last week all the needed funds for my mission trip to Zimbabwe had come in. What a blessing! What an answer to prayer!

Yes, I needed between $2,500-$2,700 in a relatively short amount of time – right during the time when I my income was greatly reducedĀ  – and you folks stepped up to the bat and hit a home run!

I can’t wait to send out “thank you” notes to all that I can.

Stress

Now, I have to admit that all is not fun and games, however. Even though I have received all the need funds to make the trip, I am still having to pinch pennies as I purchase the necessary items to take with me – and the luggage in which to carry it.

It has been a long time since I’ve flown, and back then things weren’t so strict. Also, back then I didn’t worry about taking all the stuff I’m having to take this time. Even more stressful has been the challenge of determining what size of suitcase and carry-on to buy. Believe it or not, I had to borrow a measuring tape from a store clerk so that I could make sure what I bought was under 62 inches, and still I was so confused I didn’t even get anything.

Buying luggage is worse than shoe shopping!

And there’s more… It’s less than a week from my departure and I’ve still got to find enough clothes, change the starter on my daughter’s car, paint, clean house (and garage), try to get registered for my next round of seminary (pursuing an M.Div.), prepare for Sunday’s sermons, do some visiting, drive a bus for a field trip, schedule guest posts on this blog, and do a LOT of praying!

It’ll Be OK

You know, the Lord has brought me thus far, why should I worry? I could really use a few more dollars to finish up getting a few supplies, but God will provide. I don’t yet understand all the luggage stuff, but I’ll get it sooner or later. Somehow I’ll get a good portion of my to-do list done before I leave – I hope.

I believe God has something great in store for me. I don’t know what it is, but it will be what’s needed and what’s best. My prayer is that it will include a safe trip to Zimbabwe and back to the States, back home. I also pray it will include personal revival, along with stories of many in Chinhoyi coming to Christ.

But whatever happens, God is in control, and it’ll be OK. Just keep praying for me, would you? And prayers for my family would be appreciated, too!

Thanks!

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Filed under ministry, places, Thanksgiving