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Giving Thanks...

Judith Gayle Smith

Have your most blessed Thanksgiving ever! Give glory to God!!!

Our Thanksgiving feast will be filled with consuming God's Holy Word - on our knees in Thanksgiving to God for his most precious gift of all - His sacrifice of His only begotten Son - Jesus, the Christ - our Messiah, our life.

We do not anticipate your physical presence at this late date, although that would be so wonderful! But we pray that you will join us in praise-giving to God, Who most deserves our praise.

Thanksgiving is, to us, THE Holiday (holy day!) of the year. We pray that you all have something to be thankful for, as each and every one of you are very very special, and uniquely gifted! I just pray that you have much to thank God for this Thanksgiving.

If it is hard to think of things, as it can be sometimes, simply thank Him for your tear ducts to water your eyes when you need them; when allergies and Asthma make it hard to breathe, remember that the largest organ of your body breathes - your skin; that you are still able to get down on your knees to thank Him, even if getting back up is almost impossible.

Thank God that He loves you in spite of you (my constant thanks!); that we have each other to strengthen and support and encourage; that every breath you take is a gift of mercy from our God and Savior Who love us enough to restore us to a right relationship with Him, so that we can have sweet fellowship with Him throughout eternity!

1 Chronicles 29: 10 "Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. 11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. 14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding."

KJV Psalm 100:1 {A Psalm of praise.} "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

Even creation itself glorifies God!

KJV Psalm 136:1 "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. 4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. 5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. 6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. 7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: 8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: 9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever."

Phillipians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 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."
George Washington's
1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
"Whereas 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 favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted' for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d dy of October, A.D. 1789."

(signed) G. Washington
Revelations 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.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love for God, and infinite tenderness towards each other.

Much, much love...

Mike and Judi (and Laddie and Fifi!)

Hebrews 10:26-31!________________________________________________

I just came across an article I wrote back in 2000, that I had literally forgotten about. My disgruntlement with "men's churches" was shown quite lividly! Here is the article:

Dear thirster...ah, the loneliness of the long-distance runner! We are very concerned about the unbelievable lack of doctrinal teaching in the churches today! To quote James Henry Thornwell, a mid-Nineteenth Century Presbyterian Preacher: "Where the church has sought for numbers, doctrinal purity has suffered!" - can't bring in the big $$$$ when you preach against sin!

When was the last time you heard preaching against breaking GOD's Ten Commandment Law? Done away with? Pshaw! And yet, most of the Commandments are broken blithely without fear of reprisal! Sure, go ahead and covet - you're forgiven! Bear false witness? Everyone does it at one time or another, no? No biggie! Who needs the Sabbath anymore? Granted stealing and murder are still frowned upon, but everyone at one time or another lusts after someone and commits adultery in their hearts - so? What's the big deal? Just go to your local in-total-agreement-with-you church for some bandaid theology, and get involved with a feel-good-about-yourself-anyway group!

Sigh. Just touching on a few points about what would chase the good brethren from the church, along with their miserly pennies to fill the coffers! Granted the Mosaic Ceremonial Law was done away with the advent of Messiah...but Jesus, being the perfect sacrificial Lamb, never told us to abandon the will of GOD as embodied in His Law!

We are hungry for fellowship with true believers who seek to please GOD through willing obedience to Him. We cannot play at religion, as our eternity is in jeopardy! Reference John 3:36 and Hebrews 10:24-32, remembering to keep these verses in context!

Is anyone hungry for the meat of the Word anymore? Are our teeth rotting because all we can stomach is milk? We are in a maturing process. Sure, evangelizing holds a great part in our living Christlike lives, but once you have them interested (think about it - if they say "yes" to our plea to receive Christ, and then act like the very devil afterward, thinking that they are "saved" to sin again and again with no fear of recrimination), are they truly saved or are they just politely agreeing with us to free themselves from our presence to go back to what their carnal nature dictates?

There was a time when we, as brand-spanking new Christians were very eager door knockers, seeking to see souls saved and to bring lots of people to church. But what happened to our zeal when they only came once or twice for feeding, got discouraged for whatever reason, and never returned? Why, it was their fault, wasn't it? A shame...but their choice.

Why not just accept our responsibility for lazy Christianity? Granted, some of the fault lies with taking novices under our "wings" and teaching them how to evangelize - giving them pat phrases, ie: "If a brick wall were to fall on you today and kill you, what would you say to GOD when He asks you why He should let you into His Kingdom...", et al. The thrill of the hunt in eager young souls, zealous to please GOD - yet thoroughly unknowledgable concerning His ways, does the Kingdom more harm than good.

Souls are thirsty, nay, starved for pure doctrine! Let's stop being children wanting all the "good easy things" and strive for the perfecting of the saints! Let us stop eagerly grabbing one another to accompany us to church for the hearing of the Gospel only (which teaching is wonderful in itself, but akin to feeding infants sugar water without nutrients), and exhort one another to righteousness! Starting with the church leaders who protest against "deeperlifers", who "lovingly" advise us to "lighten up" when we seek after holiness!

Lest you think I am being too harsh on today's modern churches (gilded cages?), if you ever see anyone picketing churches, you will know it is us! We once were part of the "inner circle" of a Baptist church(a little history here), and if you are familiar with the Baptist refrain, you will know what expert "doorknockers" we were trained to be! My husband was the Associate Pastor of a small Baptist church that was in danger of losing its purpose, becoming a political rallying post rather than a voice crying in the wilderness to repent. We were totally enmeshed (ensnared?) in the "inner circle" - very unhumbly enthralled with ourselves.

When we left because we started studying Scripture for ourselves, rather than following the "plan", becoming the abhorred "deeper lifers" seeking for doctrinal purity, we were told not to tell any church members why we were leaving for fear of "splitting the church". This happened fifteen years ago, and only one of the members who professed to love us so much has bothered to keep in touch. This somehow reminds me of my Dad - a 45+ years Teamster, who, when he passed away ten years ago, those he remained so loyal to for nearly half a decade paid my Mother a miserly (compared to what Dad paid in dues for so long) $72.00 monthly stipend!

I prefer to get my doctrine from the true source - not from someone who has a vested interest in keeping money on the table!

Sure, I believe in tithing for the purpose of forwarding GOD's truth, but please let it be for that purpose: paying the church building's maintenance, electricity, and etc. - but seeking funds for maintaining a lifestyle equal to the prosperity preachers who put $$$$ ahead of good sense, is folly indeed!

We used to serve so eagerly. Why, we drove a bus route, sang in the choir, taught Sunday School classes every Sunday - could be counted upon to be in church everytime the doors swung open, not to mention nursery duties! We helped maintain the grounds on Saturdays, painted the exterior walls of the church, weeded the pretty lawn. Rest? What rest? What Sabbath?

But once we realized that we were ignoring one of the vital 10 Commandments (can we afford to take His fourth Commandment as a suggestion? And no, we are not Seventh-Day Adventists nor Seventh-Day Baptists), we were brought up short with the knowledge that we were seeking to please ourselves rather than GOD! Doing "our own thing" on the Sabbath - when we were exhorted Scripurally to actually tithe the day to Him! Wake up call!

Enough blathering for now. This was in answer to a call for doctrine in the churches today, and I have practically given a life's history! Sorry for the eyestrain! We are seeking for the truths of Scripture to disseminate and spread to those who are spiritually starving, researching in the original Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek - not willing to take just what man feeds us, because man is ever a liar while GOD is always true. Please pray for our efforts - it gets mighty lonely out here! "Lazy" Christianity promotes divisions and strifes. So many of us pew warmers have been the affect of our teachers who were taught by their teachers who were taught by their teachers who were taught by their teachers - ad infinitum! We NEED to search the Scriptures thoroughly, and compare them with what men teach us. Aren't we to follow God's doctrine rather than blindly serving man's dogma?

Praying to hear from hungry believers!
Thank you for bearing with me.


Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who merely says to me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven"!

Wow! I have been a hothead for quite a while, huh! But I was very disappointed when I compared my church (social club?} with Scripture. How about you guys? Have you left your church? For what reasons? Do you think that going back and trying "to make a difference" would help? Should you stay with "a body of believers" who do not care overmuch what the Bible says, as long as they are comfortably ensconsed in the pews? Some churches today have "comfort zones" where some Biblical truths are not to be brought up. How do you feel about that?

2Ti 2:24-26 "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

21 "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

All this, just to wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving! I love the word "Thanksgiving" - but often think that transposing it to "Giving Thanks" will point us to He Who has blessed us all. My heart is full...

Grace - GOD'S Power!

"Of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues."


The following comments are for "Giving Thanks..."
by royalline

Fair play -English gentleman style
I feel it's only fair that I justify my rating your article 6/10. I don't object to religion being discussed on Lit. and blogs are a good place to launch a sermon. But, I'd love to hear YOUR opinion, unhindered by the apparent necessity to quote large chunks of scripture to back you up.
For example: 'Thank God that He loves you in spite of you (my constant thanks!); that we have each other to strengthen and support and encourage; that every breath you take is a gift of mercy from our God and Savior Who love us enough to restore us to a right relationship with Him, so that we can have sweet fellowship with Him throughout eternity!'
Fine, okay, cool with me. It's not a difficult concept to understand and it's you that has proposed it from your understanding of what the bible has said. Why not just give the references, so we can check out your point later?
I'd like to hear you speak, it's almost impossible to form a picture of your personal style because it's constantly being interrupted by somebody else's, (usually men's - incidentally).
Look forward to hearing from YOU.
Take care

( Posted by: Ogg [Member] On: October 22, 2004 )

Giving Thanks...
Thank you Paul!

Wow. I really don't quite know how to express myself without using Scripture - it is so much better than what I could ever write! But I will give it a try, in my own words...

I feel that we all are responsible to our Creator. If we are disobedient to Him we endanger ourselves. Obedience is not a part-time Sabbath or Sunday thing - with a nod to Tuesday night soul-winning and Wednesday night Bible studies. Christianity is every breath we take in gratitude to our Creator for granting us access to Him. I wish to become a better Christian. I cannot "leave" Christianity because Christianity (as it was originally intended, but has been perverted by too many professing Christians with personal agendas - giving us all bad names) - teaches us to love one another - to exhort each other to righteousness, to put off the old nature with its hideous carnality - and to serve YHWH with new hearts - eager to serve, grateful and as trusting and loving as a wee tot can be to his Father Who loves him much more than he or she could ever deserve.

( Posted by: royalline [Member] On: October 27, 2004 )

Right back at you
Thanks Judith, I'm glad you've answered. I'm not denying you the right to quote scripture, but a good many people become tired of the amount of scripture you quote. As to the scriptures being written better than you can manage, hmmmm. Well, okay up to a point. However, no single faith's writings hold all the truths and answers to our questions, surely?
Good to hear from the real you
Take care
Paul the Ogg

( Posted by: Ogg [Member] On: October 28, 2004 )

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