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Thursday, November 27, 2008

The heart of Thanksgiving...

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors."

–George Washington, Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789

"It is therefore recommended... to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn Thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor..."

-Samuel Adams, Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1777

In October 1863 president Abraham Lincoln announced that the last Thursday of November would be dedicated "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

So as my fore fathers before me, I too will humbly give thanks and praise to the Almighty God who dwells in the Heavens.

I will start with where my life first began.

I give the Lord thanks for my wonderful mother, who through difficulty brought me into this world, but through this difficulty found the Lord she now serves. I thank the Lord for being with her during the deepest of struggles, for taking the darkest days of her life and replacing the darkness with His light.  He has been her strength when mine was lost to her, her dependable friend when I wasn’t, and loved her when my love wasn’t apparent. My God I am truly thankful for the faithfulness You have always given my mother, and for the love, strength, and hope that she has always found in You. Thank You for comforting her when I caused so much discomfort. Thank You for the fulfillment of the promise You took time with her to share. Thank You for her love and uncompromising devotion, thank You for my wonderful mother.

I would like to thank the Lord for my father. A father who has always been my role model, a real example of a Godly man, a faithful man, and a man of great character.  My father has shown me that gentleness and kindness are qualities that can also be manly. If I manage to walk even a quarter of the footsteps my father has walked before me, then I will have achieved a truly admirable feat.  I pray I too will have the fortitude that I saw day in and day out in this man that I am privileged to call my father. 

I have a sister who too I would like to thank the Lord for. She has been my friend since she was born. As a kid she was my little brother, my playmate, my friend, and I would stomp anyone in the dirt who came close to touching a hair on her head. I thank God for all the adventures we made, even if we didn’t leave our back yard. I thank God for all the incomparable fun and memories we shared as brother and sister.  I thank God that as we grew older she was there for me in my darkest of days, helped to encourage me, and always prayed for me. She forgave me when I wasn’t so brotherly, when I neglected her with my love, and forgot who I was. God has rewarded her love and sisterly dedication with a brother who has seen where he failed, a brother that by the grace of God is still here to live the rest of my life showing her just how much I care. Thank you dear Jesus for this only sibling I call my sister and my friend.

Father I give you thanks for my beautiful wife.  In no woman have I found such beauty, love, kindness, and faithfulness.  She is truly the apple of my eye, a gem of heaven, I see not how I am even worthy to hold with these earthly hands such a priceless gem.  She is my comfort, my love, and the wonderful mother of my child.  I am truly blessed among men. Father you gave unto me an angel, one to whom I promise forever to cherish and defend. Thank you Father for my wife who has made me a complete man, with who the rest of my time will be spent.

Father thank You for my daughter, who is so small and tender. She is refined in her beauty, sweet in spirit, and priceless in blessing.  She has made us a complete family, a daily reminder of Your creative ability.  I will raise her in the truth of Your Word, a woman of God she will be. Thank You for the smile upon her lips and the joy that she bring our hearts.  Thank You Father for this child You have entrusted within our care.

I would like to thank You Father for my grandparents, the memories, and the time I still have with them. Thou one is not with us anymore, I hope for the day that I will once again see him. I am truly blessed to have the time with my grandparents, the time that so many have never had.  I thank You for their wisdom and instruction, for the love that only grandparents can give.

I thank You father for my friend Jeremy who through his example and conversation rekindled a fire that I had for so long neglected to fuel. Thank You for his encouragement, for his ear that You spoke to, for his tongue that You used. Bless him and his family, use him for Your purpose, and reward his dedication.  Thank You Father for this man I truly call a friend, a man that You purposely placed in my path.

Father my list is forever long, an eternity I plan to spend thanking You for the blessings in which You have so freely poured from Your hand.  I can’t help but thank You for every person that You have used to show me love, how to live, and as an example of how to grow within Your Spirit.  All of these people you know, I pray that You would send out a blessing to them from me, as a thank-you from a gracious friend.

Father You have provided all of my needs, everything You have taken care of. You have prepared a way even before my need has become apparent to me.  You have given me a comfortable home, bills are paid, food is plenty, reliable car, loved ones, peace within our home, friends, a church that loves You and us, nice clothes, furniture, health, and a perfect job.  Father I cannot possibly acknowledge every blessing You have bestowed upon my imperfect soul.  All I can inadequately attempt is a general thank You for such bountiful gifts and blessings.

I am truly thankful for everything, whatever I have not to be thankful for is a grain of sand compared to the beach of things in which I give thanks.  I am reminded that as I write this thank you letter, I am free to write it because of the freedom my fore fathers acquired.  This nation in which I live, a nation that I can only continue to pray for, but none the less be grateful that as I look back in our history, from day one Your hand was there.  Thank You Father for this nation, please forgive her I pray.

I must save the greatest gift for last.  This gift is the greatest gift anyone can receive. It is the blood of Jesus, the salvation of all who will accept.  The victory found only in the redeeming embrace found only between nail scared hands.  Your selfless sacrifice, one never before or after can such a sacrifice be topped. This is the gift that no other compares, all of my blessings combined cease to exist if not for this single gift of salvation.  This is the gift that I proclaim as the greatest reason to be thankful, not just today, but every day of our lives.  Thank You Jesus for taking my place, our place, every soul known and unknown, and dying in our stead.  For You I am truly thankful. 

Happy Thanksgiving, God Bless! Daniel Eggers

9:55 am | link 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

But in me is thine help...
The Lord God of Israel spoke to the prophet Hosea, and His words were difficult. Hosea wrote them down, but it could not have been easy for him to do so. God had several controversies with his people living in Israel.

His people were living in complete apostasy. "...therefore have they forgotten me." (13:6)

There was no regard for the agreement made with Abraham or the laws given through Moses. "... they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law." (8:1) "I have written to him (Israel) the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing." (8:12)

The people had replaced God with idols that they built altars to and made an idol shaped like a bull. "...of their silver and their gold have they made them idols..." (8:4) and "...Ephraim has made many altars to sin ..." (8:11).

Israel had even selected a ruler that was not the one God wanted them to have. "They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes and I knew (consented) not..." (8:4)

Overall, all of the book of Hosea seems bleak. Hosea gives account after account of how Israel has betrayed God, abandoned God, shunned God, disobeyed God, ignored God, and defied God. The very society established by God to be the preserver of His word and to bring forth the Savior in just a few more years, wasn't interested in being anything for God. The picture of the Israelites seen in Hosea is one of self-interest, of being self-absorbed.

The Israelis wanted to push God out of every part of their society and expel him from their midst for being too morally straight-laced. They had a better idea of the god they wanted: their own flesh.

It's hard to read Hosea and not think God has every right to abandon if not destroy a society like that. But when one reads the list of betrayals, it becomes uncomfortable. If I didn't know Hosea was talking about Israel, I could have substituted the name of my own country, America, in many of those verses.

America began as a Christian nation and even wrote a Declaration of Independence and The Constitution to reflect that basis. But there are those who argue today, especially those who sit on different courts throughout the land, including the Supreme Court, that maybe God wasn't really supposed to be part of our society. They reason His moral laws were for times past; we as a nation have evolved -- we need our laws to reflect who we are today.

The Bible is our copy of the agreement made with Abraham and of the laws given through Moses. And it is much more, just ask anyone who has read it cover to cover. But America has no regard for the Bible. In fact, quote the Bible at the "wrong time" to the "wrong group of people" and you may find yourself slapped with a hate-speech violation.

Some would say we have no altars here in America, and we certainly don't give sacrifices to bulls. Really? What is Wall Street? The symbol of success on Wall Street is to have a bull market, and many are willing to throw hard-earned money at it. They hope this "bull god" will reward them with lots of extra cash so they can buy expensive goodies as symbols of their success. Look at what the U. S. government has done with taxpayers' money in hopes that the great and wonderful money bull of Wall Street won't go away.

And how about our next leader? Have we selected someone God wanted us to have? Or has he been chosen, "but not by me"?

But the uncomfortableness doesn't stop there. I could take out the name of my country and put in my own name. There was a time when I believed God existed but I had no use for Him. I didn't know how to incorporate God into my life. I wasn't sure where to fit Him in, so I didn't really try. He was great for Sunday School teachers to talk about, but until I figured out exactly what I would do with God in my life, I wasn't really interested.

But look at Hosea 13:9: O Israel, thou has destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help.

Despite all that Israel had done, God still loved her and wanted to help. She had gone far from His original plan, far from His dreams for her, and very far from His love for her, but He still wanted to help her. God told Israel that her help was "in me." In all of this bleak and sad book, there is a tremendous bright ray of hope. God wanted to be there for Israel. He wanted to help her. She had gone far, but God's love could go farther still.

The same is true for America. Change the verse, "O America, thou has destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help."

But on a very personal level, change the verse again. Put your own name in there: "O _____, thou has destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help."

God can reach anybody who wants to be reached. Despite all that we have done, when we come to the end of ourselves, when we have gone far from God's original plan for us, from His dreams for us, and very far from His love for us, He still wants to help us. When I came to the end of myself and found myself very alone and abandoned and unsure of how to live in this life and that I had destroyed much around me, I cried out to the God of Heaven and Earth that I believed existed. I then realized it wasn't about fitting God into my life but me fitting into His, and things began to make sense. My life didn't read like the book of Hosea anymore.

If you don't want God in your life, He won't force Himself. You don't have to go to heaven with him with this life is over. But if you are in a place you don't want to be and are through with the sins you have surrounded yourself with but are not sure if God would want to help you, then hold onto Hosea 13:9, and tell God, "in You is my help." He will be there. God Bless! Charmaine Eggers
11:30 pm | link 

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The Vision : The Trigger
Who Can Save?
Watch! Can You See?
I Will Praise His Name!
Eyes and Ears Open to the Holy Spirit
The Warnings Have Fallen Upon Deaf Ears
Earthquakes, Floods, and Hurricanes : the Cause? Update
Earthquakes, Floods, and Hurricanes : the Cause?
Surviving the Icy Grip of Fear
Two Groups : Which One Are You? Notes
Two Groups : Which One Are You?
Looking Back : Previous Post
So What : the Point?
The Eagle has Landed
My Bones are Burning
The Fear of the Lord : Wisdom
The Time : Repent
The Fall of the Harlot
Study Notes : Two
Study Notes : One
The Object of His Wrath
Lose Yourself in Jesus Christ
Jehovah : He Has Spoken
As Warned by the Holy Spirit
The Cup of Trembling : June 4th
Watch : June 4th
Dividing the Shepherds from the Wolves
Because They Have Not Harkened to the Words of the Lord
Writing on the Wall : Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
Peace Found in Scripture
The Hour Now Upon Us
We Being Sealed
Today I Have Found My Destiny
To Live in the Flesh is Death : In the Spirit of God is Life
Who, What, When, Where, and Why?
Worship : Hannah's Song
The Grave Mistake : Conditional Support
Who Gave Obama the Authority?
The Word of God vs. The Structural Integrity of America's Foundation
The Hour Glass of Judgment
Who is Safe from Judgment?
Confidence in the Lord
Special Prayer Request
The Threshold of Judgment : Fetal Stem Cell
Trials : Afflictions
Collapse, Destruction, and Our Back Against Israel
I Will Make a Joyful Noise!
The Widow



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