From the Pastor’s Study – November 2013

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7   

I hope that this Thanksgiving day you will take time to really pause – be still and know God – and give thanks to God for your many blessings. I am not really sure how grateful we are here in the U.S. But we have been so truly blessed! And with these blessings God calls us to then be a blessing to others.

As we enter the month of ‘Thanksgiving’, people of House of Prayer, when I give thanks, I often give thanks for you! I want to say thank you for the many ways you have welcomed me and my family into your family of House of Prayer. And, as I think of the many ways we together do ministry that touches so many in our community and communities as far away as Ifunda, Tanzania, I am grateful for all that you do for the ministry of Jesus Christ. Thank you!

In 1863, a noble statesman from Kentucky – Abraham Lincoln – wrote the following Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“It is the duty of nations as well as of (humanity) to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? 

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. 

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. 

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God 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, a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens” — A. Lincoln, 1863

Let us be thankful every day, and especially this season of the year. When we gather as families on Thanksgiving Day, let us be truly thankful for life and for the abundance God has lavishly poured out on us.

Happy Thanksgiving, Pastor Dan

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