Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Got Leftovers? God Wants Them!

The Meal

Yesterday for Thanksgiving we had a wonderful meal of green bean casserole. macaroni and cheese, rolls, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, giblet gravy, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, and the all-important turkey and dressing.

We had to put an extra leaf in the table to accommodate everyone, but we had fun with the new turkey plates, fancy silverware, and the new tablecloth meant to be written on… yes, we signed our names.

But that turkey – oh my goodness! It was the largest turkey my wife has ever prepared! It weighed 20 pounds! Needless to say, we are going to be eating turkey for a while to come. Including what we freeze for later, there will be turkey sandwiches, turkey pie, breakfast turkey, and late-night turkey snacks up until Christmas.

Leftovers

Yes, one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftover turkey. However, not all leftovers are good. Sometimes leftover food should just be thrown away the next day, especially if it’s not properly stored.

When it comes to leftovers, it really all comes down to context, and that was the basis of a sermon I preached at Riverside Baptist Church (my former pastorate) back in 2015. Actually, the sermon I preached was divided into three major points, the Provisional Context, the Praise and Worship Context, and the Personal Context.

If you feel like God can’t use you because you’re too used up, too far past your prime, or yesterday’s news, why not take a few minutes to listen to the sermon I’m linking to below. The audio is not the greatest, but you should be able to understand it well enough.

Find out what God thinks about “Leftovers,” especially now that you’re going to be surrounded by them for the next month šŸ˜‰

Leftovers (In Three Contexts): a Sermon by Anthony Baker

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Filed under Food, Preaching, self-worth, worship

Not Just for Americans

As I sit in bed with a laptop on my… lap…duh… I can’t help but wonder if anyone will have the time to read this post. I mean, really, it’s Thanksgiving!

Oh, I just said I’m lying in bed, but don’t think for a moment it’s because I’m being lazy; I was up with my wife, daughters, and sister till 2 a.m. getting ready for today’s Thanksgiving meal.

People talk about how many calories we consume on Thanksgiving, but when you think of how many calories are burned during the preparation, I think it all evens out.

But the whole reason I’m taking a moment to write is because Thanksgiving shouldn’t be an exclusively American holiday. Sure, the historical basis for the actual Thanksgiving holiday is unique and should be celebrated, but the call to be thankful should be heralded across every land.

Without question, Americans will consume more food today than much of the world will see all year. Unfortunately, the whole idea behind having a feast to celebrate God’s blessings will be lost on most. As I have heard just this morning, the main thing people have been stating as the meaning of Thanksgiving is “to gather with family” and be “thankful for friends.”

However, if nothing else, what we should be being thankful for are blessing that span every continent and people group. Both the poor and the rich, the slave and the free, the sick and the well, the forgotten and the famous have plenty to celebrate.

We are loved by God. So much so that He made a Way for us to be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ.

We are the recipients God’s mercy. How often has the Righteous One withheld His hand of judgment? Do you ever stop to think how close to hell each of us really could be if not for the mercy of God?

Grace! Amazing grace! It doesn’t matter where you are from, America or Zimbabwe, even Paradise, California, God’s grace is there and in superabundance. Where mercy is not getting what we deserve, grace is God’s unmerited favor shown toward those who can offer Him nothing.

The ones sitting around a table eating turkey are not different than the child in Haiti eating mud cookies: without God’s grace we would be eternally lost. This world is not all there is, and what is waiting on the other side will far outweigh the sufferings and sorrows endured during this life – and the only reason we have hope is because of God’s grace.

Yes, I’m thankful for the fact that today I can sit at a table with my wife, all three of our daughters, my sister who’s here visiting from Germany, my son-in-law, and a friend or two. I’m thankful for the fact that we are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a large meal, including turkey and dressing. But even if all we were having was a cold bowl of cereal and decaffeinated coffee, God has been good.

Thank you, Lord, for all you have provided, but thank you most of all for your grace. May you be praised.

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Filed under America, Thanksgiving

Praying for the President

Why can’t more Christians be like Pastor Brunson and pray for the President?

How many times do folks like myself have to remind fellow believers that even if you dislike the man, Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and we are therefore instructed to petition God on his behalf, to pray for him when he might not even recognize his needs, and to thank God for him.

Don’t believe me?

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 CSB

Notice the “why’s” attached to the above commands:

  • So that we may lead a peaceful and quite life.
    Tell me, how in the world is throwing civility out the window helping things? Is our nation peaceful and tranquil? Heck, no! And why not? Could it be that many Christians are guilty of allowing Satan to use them as tools to stir up strife?
  • So that we lead a quite life of godliness and dignity.
    Oh, tell me, how much godliness is there in forcing people out of restaurants and threatening constant incivility? Where is the dignity in screaming at the sky and clawing at the doors of the Supreme Court?
  • It pleases the Lord.
    Newsflash: Rioting in the streets and burning police cars does not please the Lord. Sending hate mail does not please the Lord. Creating an atmosphere of chaos and incivility – even anarchy – does NOT please the Lord.
  • For the sake of the gospel!
    Yes, we are to pray for our leaders so that we might live peaceable, godly, and dignified lives in order that the good news of Christ might be shared with those for whom Jesus died, and that those for whom He died might be saved.

If that’s not enough, and you can’t think of anything good to say about President Trump, Jesus Himself leaves you with no excuse for the hatred and violence.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:44-45 KJV

Some of you can’t believe that any Christian would support Donald Trump. Frankly, I couldn’t believe that any Christian could support Barack Obama, the man more hostile to the Church than any other president in history.

But I can tell you this without blinking an eye: I prayed for President Obama.

We should be praying for President Trump, too.

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Filed under America, Christian Living, Christian Unity, community, current events, ministry, Prayer

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