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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Macy Day’s Parade and the Brand New Hope on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Purity 585

Macy Day’s Parade and the Brand New Hope on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams –  Purity 585

Purity 585 11/25/2021  Thanksgiving - Purity 585 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the boat launch at the Martin Dunham Reservoir in Grafton NY comes to us from yours truly as I went “off road” for a moment on Monday to capture it and to experience the peaceful stillness of being alone in nature right in the midst of a busy workday.  

Today is Thanksgiving and while most of us will be gathered with friends or family to enjoy a holiday meal, my thoughts turn to those who will be flying solo.  I have a friend who did just that and is enjoy their solitude at a resort in Aruba where the fare is more likely to be jerk chicken than Tom Turkey.  But I also know of others that will be in solitary environments today that will be far less tropical and exotic.   

While we can surround ourselves with others, or choose to be isolated with all our familiar comforts, or take it on the road to some tropical resort to manipulate the conditions to give us peace and happiness, unless we have peace within and can maintain it regardless of circumstances we are apt to experience depression despite our best efforts.  

We can also choose to overindulge with food or alcohol to try to comfort ourselves. With the legalization of marijuana in NY state, you even have the option of making Thanksgiving a “green day” with a freedom that was unavailable in the past.  

As a “Christian with a past”, I can testify that I tried all of the above with zeal but can tell you that all my “experimentation and research” has concluded that substances, no matter how elicit or benign, do not provide lasting satisfaction or fulfillment. Substances will not make you happy and are literally a dead end and many will lose their lives today because of the direct effects of substances or due to their influence on one’s health or decisions.   So be safe.  

I have Green Day on the brain this morning, not because I am going to “blaze up”. But because as I started to write this I was thinking of two of their songs.   

As I contemplated those who will be alone this Thanksgiving I thought about the lyrics from Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and how I once thought that they adequately described my life when the song came out in 2004. They say:

“I walk a lonely road

The only one that I have ever known

Don't know where it goes

But it's home to me, and I walk alone

I walk this empty street

On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Where the city sleeps

And I'm the only one, and I walk alone

I walk alone, I walk alone

I walk alone, I walk a-

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me

My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating

Sometimes, I wish someone out there will find me

'Til then, I walk alone”

It’s a great song, but the problem was that I wasn’t walking alone. I had a wife and a family at the time, a good job at least financially speaking, and didn’t want for anything.  But regardless of the promise of the American Dream to bring happiness, those relationships and all the things I had didn’t bring fulfillment.  I still felt alone.

I also didn’t have a relationship with God as I had suffered through some traumatic losses and chose not to believe in a personal God.  Even though I said I didn’t believe, I was trying to find peace in Eastern Mysticism and Monastic practices that sought to control my experience through meditation and changing my perspective.  Even though I found a measure of peace through those efforts, it was a lonely road and even though I would have never admitted it at the time, my searching and working for peace and meaning were evidence that I really wished that “Someone out there” would find me.   

It being Thanksgiving in 2021, I also thought of Green Day’s Macy’s Day Parade and its somewhat prophetic, melancholy but hopeful lyrics.  The song starts out declaring that:

“Today's the Macy's Day parade

The night of the living dead is on its way”

With the dystopian reality that is present and increasing in the “land of the free”, with:

·        “areas of mandatory, and truly useless, PPE”

“Do you feel lucky, punk? Well do ya? Better mask up!”

I thought Covid was over?

It’s never over! Unless we say it’s over!

·       and now with the mandates that will force people to receive medical treatments to retain employment, by our government and those faceless but oh so politically correct corporations who in the Spirit of Nazi Fascism are making Americans truly understand that “freedom isn’t free” and that your personal choices can and will affect where you can pursue your financial happiness.  

With all of that and the political divide in our country going on it does indeed feel that the “night of the living dead is on its way” and if we consider the disengagement of people who are captivated by their cell phones we could make a case that – the night, dawn, and day of the dead has already come.  

But before I get too grim on “Turkey Day”, too late?, Let’s move on to the more hopeful parts of Green Day’s Thanksgiving Holiday song that could inspire us to look past the present days of confusion and past all the things that the world tells us will make us happy. The song goes on to say:  

“Give me something that I need

Satisfaction guaranteed

'Cause I'm thinking 'bout

A brand new hope

The one I've never known

'Cause now I know

It's all that I wanted”

The Brand New Hope, who is Jesus Christ,  found me in my darkest days of walking down the boulevard of my broken dreams as I walked “alone and now I know that my wish for “Someone out there” to find me has been granted. 

Because of the reality of life and death, the only satisfaction that is guaranteed is going to have to be one that goes from here to eternity. That guarantee is found in John 3:16, that says:

John 3:16 (NKJV)
16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

When you put your faith in Jesus, you receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and your everlasting life begins.   In Christ, you are forgiven of all your sins and are reconciled to God.  In Christ, we become adopted sons and daughters of the Creator of all things and receive meaning and purpose for our lives as we are called to represent and serve God’s kingdom through sharing His love though good works and by making disciples.   

It's Thursday, and I shared today’s photo because it features a pathway of sorts and I do that to encourage people to get on the path of Christian discipleship that starts with faith in Jesus Christ and continues into God’s will and purpose for our lives.  

So as we gather together to give thanks for all that we have in life today, or if you find yourself alone, remember that in Christ you are never alone for God will never leave us or forsake us when we decide to walk with Him.  

Whether you are in Christ or are just wishing that “Someone out there” would find you, I encourage you to keep seeking the Lord because the peace that God wants you to have doesn’t lie in substances to consume, things to accumulate, or even in our earthly friends and family.  

Ultimate satisfaction that is guaranteed requires a search for the Truth, the Way, and the Life that God has provided.   Christ came to save us and make us new.  So keep walking and talking with God and He will show you where to go and when you find your place in his kingdom you will realize that you have found all that you wanted.  

God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Romans 11:28-29 (NLT2)
28  Many of the people of Israel are now enemies of the Good News, and this benefits you Gentiles. Yet they are still the people he loves because he chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
29  For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

Today’s verses speak of the harsh spiritual reality that the very people that received the word and blessings of God the Father have turned a blind eye to the Messiah’s coming and that “outsiders” like you and me, us Christians, have benefited from it.  

However, the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still loved by God and the word of God indicates that all the true spiritual sons of Israel will see the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and make Jesus their Lord and Savior someday,  the ones that will live anyway.

Yeah, Revelation paints a disturbing picture that reminds us that only those who stand with Jesus will stand for all eternity and scripture indicates that we must be spiritually born again through faith in Christ to become the children of God.  

That’s enough end times for now. Let’s focus on the good news for today. Although Christ’s return is the best news, the future fulfillment of His coming kingdom and turmoil and devastation that will usher it in may make us lose our appetites this Thanksgiving. 

Instead let’s focus on the thing that can sustain us today and everyday until the day of the Lord: the love of God and the fact that His “gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.”  

When we make Christ our Lord and Savior, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence as children of God.  Nothing we do will change our relationship with God, we are forgiven of all we have ever done or will do, and nothing can separate us from His love, even when we fall into sin or make other colossal errors in judgement.

But enough about me, ha ha, God’s gift of salvation to us is guaranteed and His call on our lives to be fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ is continuous.   So let the love of God rule in your heart and mind to give you peace and to empower you to courageously offer the truth of the gospel to others and to discover and to answer the Lord’s call for your life.

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

D. What Does "Theodicy" Mean?

If it is true that "Life is full of suffering, and then you die," what is the purpose of living at all? This life, however, is but a fleeting training ground for the life to follow—eternal life that will go on forever. God will use the sufferings in this life for our eternal good if we choose to rely on Him.

While this is not the best of all worlds, it is the way to the best of all worlds! Only by giving control of our lives to our Lord and Savior in this life can we be given the next life God has prepared for us.

"Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

  • The word theodicy is a theological term used in apologetics (a defense of the faith) to vindicate the goodness, justice, and existence of God in the face of all the evil and injustice in the world. Those who are convinced that God is absolutely just know that His reputation is not at stake and can state with absolute confidence...
        "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you." (Psalm 89:14)
  • The Greek word theos means "God," and the Greek word dike carries the idea of "justice." As you increasingly come to know the Lord God, you increasingly have confidence in the character of God.
        "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." (Deuteronomy 32:4)
  • Theodicy is a logical defense of the goodness of God despite the existence of evil in the world. Because logical reasoning can be effective in presenting truth to those who have not heard the truth, we are told...

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." (1 Peter 3:15-16)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

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