Sunflower

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One cold November morning I noticed a sunflower coming into bloom on my patio. It was growing up from a crack between the house and the paving stones underneath the bird feeder.

The little flower stood straight up. It had a thin stem with mottled green leaves and a small, round burst of bright yellow on top. It would never have made it into any flower shows, that’s for sure. It was stunted, its bloom a crush of petals squashed together around its center. They stuck up and out like a spiky-hair-do, the biggest one no more than three-quarters of an inch long. It was a scrawny, misshapen little flower, and to me it was beautiful.

Beside it stood its much larger, and at one time, much grander sibling. A big, broad, perfectly formed flower once adorned the main stem. Five perfectly formed miniature versions of itself branched out below like accessories accentuating its beauty. But now, its leaves were crinkled and brown, the stalk yellowed like hay, the dry wilted flowers hanging down in petrified stillness. It had a different beauty now.

I sat and looked at these two flowers, and I wondered why I enjoyed them so much. I asked myself what they meant to me. The answer was very clear. They were a reminder to me of the mighty, unstoppable power of the life force. I looked at the little flower standing so proud and thought about will and determination, the carriers of that force. I remembered that struggles can be won and great things can be achieved against all odds… summer sunflowers do grow outside in the cold, dark days of early winter.

Looking at the splendor of each flower, I saw the glory of life past and the promise of life now, and I was reminded that renewal is a necessary part of life. It is what keeps life on this planet vibrant and alive. I was reminded renewal is a constant. Life never stops. And as I watched the bright splash of yellow dancing with abandon against the gray, windy skies, I remembered that renewal carries with it the seeds of hope and great joy.

In this world there is strife. There is hardship, and there is suffering. There is inequity. There is injustice. There is also abundant beauty amidst it all. And within that beauty there are reminders tucked away everywhere, encouraging us to persist, to strive, and to bring our visions of another world, a world to come. We have only to open our hearts and look, and we will see them.

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

2 Peter 3:13

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

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A CHRISTIAN ALPHABET

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Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of “Camp Complaining”
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To “thank God” is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We’ll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Zion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

Thanks Cindy B.

Thanks Lord, nothing good would be good, look good, smell good, taste good, feel good or taste so well. Praise God!!!  Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! – Moraldiplomat

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Thanksgiving Facts

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The traditional cornucopia was a curved goat’s horn filled to brim with fruits and grains. According to Greek legend, Amalthea (a goat) broke one of her horns and offered it to Greek false god Zeus as a sign of reverence. As a sign of gratitude, Zeus later set the goat’s image in the sky also known as constellation Capricorn.

Cornucopia is the most common symbol of a harvest festival. A Horn shaped container, it is filled with abundance of the Earth’s harvest. It is also known as the ‘horn of plenty’. For Christians; It symbolizes God’s generous bounty to His creation-us!

It was not until 1941, that congress declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It was declared to be the fourth Thursday in November.

The first known thanksgiving feast or festival in North America was celebrated by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and the people he called “Tejas” (members of the Hasinai group of Caddo-speaking Native Americans).

Here’s one of those funny Thanksgiving facts:

Turkeys have heart attacks. When the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys would drop dead.

Turducken, a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, is becoming more popular in Thanksgiving (originated in Louisiana). A turducken is a de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. The cavity of the chicken and the rest of the gaps are filled with, at the very least, a highly seasoned breadcrumb mixture (although some versions have a different stuffing for each bird).

Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas around 7000 years ago.

91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
There are regional differences as to the “stuffing” (or “dressing”) traditionally served with the turkey. Southerners generally make theirs from cornbread, while in other parts of the country white bread is the base. One or several of the following may be added: oysters, apples, chestnuts, raisins, celery and/or other vegetables, sausage or the turkey’s giblets.

Thomas Jefferson thought the concept of Thanksgiving was “the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard.”

Every President since Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day. But in 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November to lengthen the holiday shopping season. This upset people.

The North American holiday season (generally the Christmas shopping season in the U.S.) traditionally begins when Thanksgiving ends, on “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving); this tradition has held forth since at least the 1930s.

On the West Coast of the US, Dungeness crab is common as an alternate main dish instead of turkey, as crab season starts in early November.

Corn is one of the popular symbols of thanksgiving. It came in many varieties and colors – red, white, yellow and blue. Some Americans considered blue and white corn sacred. The oldest corns date 7000 years back and were grown in Mexico.

Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey.

A spooked turkey can run at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.

The first Thanksgiving was not a feast, but rather a time when Native Americans helped Pilgrims by bringing them food and helping them build up the land.

More than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.

Turkey is the traditional dish for the Thanksgiving feast. In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations. There is no official reason or declaration for the use of turkey. They just happened to be the most plentiful meat available at the time of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, starting the tradition.

Turkeys are first documented over two thousand years ago in Central America and Mexico.

Twenty percent of cranberries eaten are eaten on Thanksgiving.

The preliminary estimate of the number of turkeys raised in the United States in 2005 is 256 million. That’s down 3 percent from 2004. The turkeys produced in 2004 weighed 7.3 billion pounds altogether and were valued at $3.1 billion.

Fifty percent of Americans put the stuffing inside the Turkey.

In October of 1777 all 13 colonies celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time; however it was a one-time affair commemorating a victory over the British at Saratoga.

Turkeys were one of the first animals in the Americas to be domesticated.

Columbus thought that the land he discovered was connected to India, where peacocks are found in considerable number. And he believed turkeys were a type of peacock (they’re actually a type of pheasant). So he named them “tuka”, which is “peacock” in the Tamil language of India.

There are three places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course — Turkey, Texas; Turkey Creek, La.; and Turkey, N.C. There are also nine townships around the country named “Turkey,” with three in Kansas.

The ‘wishbone’ of the turkey is used in a good luck ritual on Thanksgiving Day.

The cranberry is a symbol and a modern diet staple of thanksgiving. Originally called crane berry, it derived its name from its pink blossoms and drooping head, which reminded the Pilgrims of a crane.

The Plymouth Pilgrims dined with the Wampanoag Indians for the First Thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, campaigned to make Thanksgiving a National Holiday in 1827 and succeeded.

The different nicknames for Thanksgiving Day:

“Turkey Day” (after the traditional Thanksgiving dinner), “T-Day” (an abbreviation of either “Thanksgiving Day” or “Turkey Day”), “Macy’s Day (this is exclusive to New York City – it is a reference to the Macy’s Day Parade), “Yanksgiving” (Canadians sometimes call the Thanksgiving in the US as “Yanksgiving” to distinguish it from the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday.)

Several people wanted to have an official day of thanksgiving, including George Washington, who proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789. Several people did not want it including President Thomas Jefferson.

The First Thanksgiving lasted for three days.

Wild turkeys, while technically the same species as domesticated turkeys, have a very different taste from farm-raised turkeys. Almost all of the meat is “dark” (even the breasts) with a more intense turkey flavor. Older heritage breeds also differ in flavor.

Here’s one of the most unbelievable Thanksgiving facts:

The Guinness Book of Records states that the greatest dressed weight recorded for a turkey is 39.09 kg (86 lbs), at the annual “heaviest turkey” competition held in London, England on December 12, 1989.

Contrary to popular belief, Native Americans did not eat cranberries. They did, however, find them extremely useful for dying fabric and decorating pottery.

oh and by the way, the Native Americans wore deerskin and fur, not blankets as depicted in many artistic pictures, paintings and movies.

For more on Thanksgiving facts, CLICK HERE 

HOPE YOU AND YOURS HAVE A PEACEFUL AND LOVING THANKSGIVING‘- Moraldiplomat

Thanksgiving: Time of Repentance

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Just as surely as the Lord told the pastor of the church at Ephesus that he had left his first love (Rev. 2:4), America has left its first love; i.e., God and Jesus; in exchange for what … your cell phone, cars, collections, houses; maybe just having fun with friends. For Who? A singer, actor … maybe a politician.

The Beginnings

The United States was founded by people who loved God and the Lord Jesus. In 1620, the Pilgrims landed near what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts, erected a cross, and prayed for the Lord’s guidance and protection.

From the very beginning, this nation was dedicated to God and His Son Jesus. Regardless of what revisionists to our history try to say, that’s the truth.

How did the Lord tell the pastor in Ephesus to remedy his situation‌ Revelation 2:5 says,

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

To remember, repent, and return-pray and fast is what it means to do the first works. This is how the Lord told the pastor at Ephesus to get back what he had lost. This will also work for us as individuals.

We need to remember how this nation started, repent for the way that it is, and return to the standards, morals and principles that made it great regardless of who sits in the White House. There are hidden agendas at work behind the scenes- it’s not up to one man (carnal) to try and make things “right.”

Just a Festival?

Modernists have tried to rewrite our history to make this simply a secular harvest festival. But since the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 adding to that day Abraham Lincoln made it an official holiday in 1864, Thanksgiving has totally been a day to thank and praise Almighty God (God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob) for His blessings and for sending His Son Jesus Christ!

The colonists, throughout America’s early history, observed Thanksgiving at different times, remembering the godly example of the Pilgrims. In 1789, Congressman Elias Boudinot proposed a resolution requesting that President George Washington recommend a day of public thanksgiving and prayer for the entire country. Washington approved the request, declaring November 26, 1789, as the Day of National Thanksgiving.

74 years later, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of every November as a National Day of Thanksgiving. Read his proclamation of the first official Thanksgiving, and see if this was intended to be just a harvest celebration. As you read below, remember that this took place during the height of the Civil Trade War.

“”The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him, for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.””

This is not the writing of someone who is prescribing just a plain secular holiday. This is an all-out proclamation that everything good came as the result of God’s favor. America was founded as a Christian nation amidst heathens already here; and in spite of the current president’s denial (probably future’s too), we need to remember from whence we have fallen (Rev. 2:5). Forgetting where we have come from will keep us from getting to where we need to go.

I’m thankful for what God has done for “His” people in this nation. We all should be. We need to remember what exalted us in the first place.

Proverbs 14:34 says,

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Righteousness is the reason for the good things in our nation. Inside all true faithful followers of Jesus dwells the righteousness of God. And only righteousness will keep those good things coming to us.

However, It never goes well for a country or people that forsakes the Lord. We can’t assume that somehow or another, America is exempt from that. And we can’t just stick our heads in the sand and pretend everything will work itself out either.

There are real problems we need to eliminate and people in power that need to be relieved of power of in our nation. This nation’s problems are only going to increase because of ungodliness and political deception.

God sent Jonah to confront Nineveh, probably the wickedest city of his day. One of the things he said before he went was “they that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” (Jon. 2:8). That’s a powerful piece of information! It says we forsake our own mercy by giving heed to lying vanities. So, what do we need to do, then‌ We need to give heed to the truth!

The Bible says,

…Thy word is truth.”
John 17:17

Truth and absolutes (rights and wrongs) are not popular today, but it’s the truth of God’s Word that will keep us from forsaking the mercy of God.

So, what happened when Jonah preached the truth to Nineveh‌

The Scripture says,

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” -Jonah 3:5

The people repented and turned back to God! Jonah started a revival that saved the entire city! It was awesome! God would do no less for America if America would do no less for God.

The very fact that He’s still sending ministers (teachers) like me (and hopefully you!), just as He once sent Jonah, means that it’s not too late. Jonah helped the Ninevites find grace, and he didn’t even want to. God’s grace is still sufficient for America today. We just need to remember from where we have fallen and return to our first love.

I know that there will always be sheep and goats here in this country; but that should not sway our commitment in ministering and encouraging people in more positive and godly morals; always pointing to God and Salvation through Jesus.

In closing …

The ungodly are more committed to changing this nation than the godly are in preserving it. We are the salt of the earth. To do any good, we have got to get out of the salt shaker and start being salt and light (Ref. Matt. 5:13-14).

According to the Scripture I started this with (Rev. 2:5), we can begin to restore our nation one individual at a time by remembering, repenting, and returning. Let’s make this Thanksgiving a day to remember.

If we don’t remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving, those who don’t know the Lord certainly won’t. Let’s make this Thanksgiving a true day of thanksgiving to the Lord for the wonderful things He has done for this nation in the past, and pray for His continued blessing on our nation and on us and our children regardless who sits in a white house!

For more on the history of Thanksgiving CLICK OR TAP HERE 

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SO MUCH TO THANK GOD FOR

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A grateful heart is all that you need
to let God know that you are pleased.

When you are thankful for things you have been blessed,
remember to thank God first before anyone else.

When things turn out the way you want them to,
clasp your hands in gratitude to God to whom credit is due.

When you’re at peace and contented, thank God in silence,
for no one else in the world could have given you that solace.

When you pray for amenities and don’t get what you expect,
thank Him just the same with all due respect.

Times when you’re bestowed the things you have not sought,
thank God cheerfully for possibilities you have not thought.

Sometimes you’ll receive some things you most need,
thank God for not waiting your call and for taking heed.

At other times you ask God for things you need to live,
understand the long wait ’cause He knows when to give.

Thank God promptly for daily desires granted,
even if these do not come in the amounts wanted.

God knows what you need or what you want more not less,
so thank Him with relief for giving His best.

When you escape a mishap thank God in a snap,
Praise Him for His goodness, shout His Name and cheer up.

When you’re hard up and don’t know what to do,
thank God and trusting that He will get you through.

During days of tribulations when you almost give up,
try thanking God you’ll see, your troubles will ease up.

Thanking God in a few words is worth a thousand praises shouted.
It’s enough to lighten your load when you need to tread the road.

When you want to pray and don’t know what to say,
oftentimes a “Thank you, Lord” is just enough to make your day.

Therefore, give thanks and give your best thanks always,
and leave it all to God to show you the better pathways.

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Rev 7:12 “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”

Heavenly Grocery Store

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I was walking down life’s highway a long time ago.
One day I saw a sign that read, “Heaven’s Grocery Store”.
As I got a little closer the door came open wide,
And when I came to myself I was standing inside.
I saw a host of Angels, they were standing everywhere.
One handed me a basket and said “My Child shop with care.”
Everything a Christian needs is in that grocery store,
And all you can’t carry, come back the next day for more.

First, I got some Patience, Love was in the same row.
Further down was Understanding, needed everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of Wisdom, a bag or two of Faith.
I stopped to get some Strength and Courage to help me run this race, but then my blanket was getting full, and I remembered I needed Grace.

I didn’t forget Salvation, which like the others was free,
So I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.
Then I started to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
For I thought I had everything to do my Master’s will.
As I went up the aisle, I saw Prayer and had to put it in,
For I knew when I stepped outside, I would run right into sin.
Peace and Joy were plentiful, they were on the last shelf.
Song and Praises were hanging near, so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the Angel, “How much do I owe”?
The Angel smiled and said, “Just take them everywhere you go.”
Again, I politely asked “How much do I really owe?”
The Angel smiled again and said,
“My Child, Jesus Paid Your Bill A Long Time Ago.”

Thank You God

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*I recently received a copy of this prayer from a friend
and it has really spoke to me.

Thank you God, for all I have to do today.
Thanks God, for this sink of dirty dishes,
It shows we have plenty to eat.

Thanks God, for this pile of dirty, stinky, laundry,
It shows we have plenty of clothes to wear.

Thanks God, for those unmade beds in there,
They were warm and so comfortable last night
And I know there are many who have no beds.

Thank God, for this bathroom complete with all the
Spattered mirror, soggy grimy towels and dirty commode,
They are so convenient.

Thanks God, for this finger-smudged refrigerator
That needs defrosting,
It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers
For two or three meals.

Thanks God, for this oven
That absolutely must cleaned today,
It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that grass that needs mowing,
The lawn that will need raking, we all enjoy the yard.

Thanks God, even for that slamming screen door,
My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Father God, the presence of all these chores awaiting me
Says you have richly blessed my family.
I shall do them all cheerfully
And I shall do them gratefully.

In your name Jesus; I pray

Amen

Col 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. ”

 
Col 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; ….”
1 Tim 4:4 “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:….”

 

Rev 7:12 “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. ”

 
Ps 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless His name.”

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