Terrorists have struck my house. As we were unpacking Christmas supplies getting ready to set up our tree, we discovered mice had gotten into the box where we store the Christmas angel that tops our Christmas tree. This was a beautiful angel with fiber optics wings that gradually changed colors. She was about 4 or 5 years old and was the high light of our decorations. The terrorists chewed up our angel!
Now Anita is in a panic to get rid of all signs of these dirty little demons that would chew up our angel. The raggedy angel is now sealed in the trash can and the tiny terrorists are sealed in the walls of our house, along with an ample supply of Decon for them to feast on. Happy Thanksgiving, critters. The smell will be worth it.
There has got to be an object lesson in the mice attacking our angel. Does anyone have an application to the story?
Jesus told His disciples, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught” (Luke 5:4).
There are three instructions here that we can all apply to our own lives:
1) “Launch out into the deep“. You won’t go any further staying where you are. If you want to see miracles and breakthroughs in your life, you’ve got to go deeper than you are right now.
2) “let down your nets“. That’s like telling a baseball player to reach out his mitt, or a fisherman to drop his line. You’ve got to prepare to receive. Open up your hands and your heart.
3) “for a draught“. You should have a goal in your mind. What are you reaching for? There should be a faith expectation. What are you asking God to do for you? Believe it and you shall receive it.
Thanksgiving has been an important family day as long as I’ve been alive. I don’t recall ever having a family gathering for Thanksgiving on my Dad’s side (Grandma had tuberculosis), but I remember going to Thanksgiving dinners on my mom’s side of the family. My Grandpa Cook had been married three times and had a sizable family with each marriage. So, there were lots of kids of different ages. The older boys played in the hayloft of the barn, but I was a bit young to keep up with them. But there was a house full of people (literally) and my generation had to sit in the cold front porch because the good seats were all taken.
As I recall, we all ate more than we needed and took home more leftovers than we brought. Someone always got everyone together before we ate for the community prayer. I can’t recall who prayed but there were mostly church goers on that side of the family. Times have changed, but those Thanksgiving gatherings are set in my memory. And I’m thankful for them.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
On September 29, 1679, a man by the name of Jaspar Danckaerts visited a farm in Gowanus, Long Island. He recorded in his journal, “This place belongs to the oldest European woman in the country. We went immediately into her house, where she lived with her children. We found her sitting by the fire, smoking tobacco incessantly, one pipe after another. We inquired after her age, which the children told us was an hundred years. She was from Liège [Belgium] and still spoke good Wals [Waloon French]…She had been about fifty years now in the country, and had above seventy children and grandchildren. She saw the third generation after her.”
In a time when life expectancy was in the 40s, here was a chain-smoking little old immigrant lady enjoying her great-grandchildren on the peaceful farm she had helped cut from the wilderness. And enjoying the title, “oldest European woman in the country”. I guess early New Netherland was built on tobacco.
History is full of shifts of culture. Our testimony should be one of a cultural shift within our own lives. Let’s keep shifting in the godly direction.
By the way, the “oldest European woman in America” was the widow of one of Anita’s direct ancestors. I’ll bet Anita outlives me.
I became a Christian back in 1971, and have never considered walking away. My conversion rocked my life to the core. There was a new chorus that was being sung among the young Christians in the Jesus Revolution called Jesus is the Answer. Andrae Crouch was a counter-cultural evangelist who touched hearts with this message:
If You Have Some Questions In The Corners Of Your Mind
And Traces Of Discouragement And Peace You Cannot Find
Reflections Of The Old Past, They Seem To Face You Everyday
There’s One Thing I Know For Sure That Jesus Is The way.
I Know You Got Mountains That You Think You Cannot Climb
I Know That Your Skies Have Been Dark, You Think The Sun Won’t Shine
In Case You Don’t Know, I’m Hear To Tell You That The Word Of God Is True
And Everything That He Promised, I Tell You He Would Do It For You.
Jesus is the answer for the world today.
Above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the Way.
This coming Saturday is Nation Adoption Day. This morning Anita and I went to the Allen County Courthouse and participated in the final adoption of our grandson, Gideon Diehl. Final adoptions for many families were going on, one after the other. And the Family Division of the court went all out. After the judge made the final decree, he invited Raegan and Ruby to each sit in his seat, declare, “Adoption Granted”, and slam down the gavel. Then they took a family photo with the judge, and moved down the hall to a gift room where each of the kids picked out a blanket and stuffed animal. Then they took us into a break room where they served lemonade and cookies. Each of these rooms were packed as multiple families moved through after multiple adoption proceedings at the same time.
Adoptions are as exciting as births. Its good to be reminded that, although I was once alienated from God, He has adopted me into His family. I am wanted. Although my Dad is now in heaven, I still have a heavenly Father who is eternal. Therefore, I am eternally secure. And my name has been written in the Book that counts. Is your name in there?
Several years ago the Fort Wayne Memorial Coliseum went through a major expansion. One aspect of that project was that they literally raised the huge roof of the old coliseum quite a bit to allow for higher seating. It was amazing to watch from various directions. They didn’t replace it, they raised it.
Sometimes our roof can be our limitation. You can’t go any higher than your roof. Your established roof limits how high you can go. In our lives, our roof can be in our minds, in our limited finances, or our understanding. We either have to settle for our current roof, or we need to raise our roof.
The federal government has a “debt ceiling”, which means to be fiscally responsible we can’t borrow more than our ceiling. Yet, every year they keep raising the debt ceiling and borrowing more. What is the purpose of a debt ceiling if it really isn’t a ceiling? Why not call it a debt cloud?
If you want to be all God has intended you to be, you need to raise the roof in your life. What can you do to raise that roof?