Covid, Death, and Heartbreak? I SAID: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! - Purity 1205
Purity 1205 11/23/2023 Purity 1205 Podcast
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Today’s photo my canine pal looking into the distance while the sun roars in its glory in the west comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene while walking down Wells Road homeward bound last Saturday.
Well, It’s Thursday, and it’s the day that our nation celebrates Thanksgiving! So HAPPY THANKSGIVING everybody! It is my prayer that you are able to spend today with people you love and that your focus be on the many things that we can all be thankful for this year, Thanksgiving is a choice. So let’s look at the good things we may take for granted, appreciate the calamities we didn’t suffer, and choose to be thankful to God, for others, and for ourselves for all we have.
If you need an ice breaker I offer this joke:
“What do you call the ghost of your Thanksgiving Turkey? A poultry-geist!”
Okay, that was horrible, but I think it is actually better than the original that I stole from a list of 87 Thanksgiving Day Jokes on Countryliving.com. The link is on the blog as my Thanksgiving day gift – a gag gift for sure – to you. (https://www.countryliving.com/life/a28522581/thanksgiving-jokes/)
But be careful where you joke about death today. Some may be grieving a recent loss or the anniversary of the loss and may not be in the mood to joke or give thanks.
Believe me when I say that I can understand if some of you may not be in the mood to give thanks. I have SEVERAL people that I know who have recently lost loved ones to death, have broken relationships, have financial problems, or have health concerns. Just this morning my son Brennan messaged me that both he and his sister have tested positive for COVID! So I can understand why some of us might be a little bitter towards life in general as of late, and that is why I would stress, all the more, the need for a deep personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ!
Without God in your life, life is chaos because without Him you struggle to understand the meaning and purpose of life. If you deny the gospel of Jesus Christ, you effectively remove yourself from the God who loves us and you will suffer the consequences for your sin and pride. The Bible isn’t just a story – it’s HIS STORY – the story of God and man and the history of His interactions with us, that tells how He sent Jesus to reconcile us to Him. The Bible is true and it guides us to place our faith in Jesus to be forgiven and given eternal life in God’s kingdom. The Bible tells us that God loves us and plays an active role in the course of human events, our individual destinies, and the culmination of existence itself. It paints a big picture and the Lord invites to be with Him forever. With God in our lives, we have hope for today, tomorrow, and forever.
We tried to give good advice regarding setting your mindset for Thanksgiving with our previous messages, On Tuesday we suggested you could at least be thankful for the bad things that didn’t happen or that those things that didn’t happen could be worse,- and yesterday we share Lauren Roskilly’s thoughts from a 2020 message that encouraged us to “Always Give Thanks” – for God, for Others, and For Ourselves – But today I am PUSHING for more than “general thanks” to God.
Have you ever seen that? Ever hear someone who has seemingly no relationship with God and lives contrary to His principles for a living say “Thank god”. It gives you an experiential feeling of blasphemy! Like DUDE you are living in darkness, you need to KNOW HIM!
Or even if it’s the sweetest, nicest person in the world….. who denies Jesus… I’m like “OH LORD, open their eyes!!” These very nice people don’t believe, they have abandoned Christianity, or believe in themselves or another religion or philosophy that will send them to hell. OF course, I won’t necessarily be verbally condemning people to hell – that tactic didn’t work for me and so I will be silent with my fear and outrage and try to encourage people to seek the Lord through Jesus.
Ok, we can’t save anybody. That’s up to God, He opens the eyes of the blind and causes people to put their faith in Jesus. But as Christians, we can encourage people with the truth that they don’t have to earn their way into heaven. People need to know and understand that the only thing that they have to do to be saved is to place their faith in Jesus. We can encourage people with the message of God’s love for us and how being right with God can happen in a moment. That was the game changer for me – knowing I didn’t have to “be good” or “earn” my way into God’s good graces.
So when we give thanks today let’s be sure to be specific and name the name above all names, Jesus Christ, and be ready to tell anyone who is curious about why we are so crazy in love with Jesus. Right now it’s a dark period in many people’s lives and I know and I understand that while the Lord may not solve all their problems in an instant I know that having the Light of the World in their life to guide them will lead them to a better place, on earth and one day in heaven.
So be intentional and specific today when you give your thanks and be ready to give a defense of your positive outlook by letting everyone know that you have a relationship with God through the One who overcame the world, Jesus and that COVID, Heartbreak, or even Death, cannot separate you from His love. With that Good News defining our lives, there is always something to be thankful for. So give thanks, rejoice, and love the people you encounter today.
And, as always, keep walking and talking with God, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.
( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )
This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the Saints.
Ephesians 5:25 (NIV2011)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Today’s verse falls under the eighth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.
8. Christ loves the church.
Today’s verse points to the love relationship we have with the Lord Jesus. Jesus loves us. He died for us. He extends an invitation to be forgiven of every bad thing we have ever done in our lives and to be with Him forever. He gives us wisdom for living and the hope of life everlasting. The analogy as Christ as the husband to His bride the church is made because He loves us!
Christ proved His love for us and we should prove our love for Him by following Him in the way we live our lives and by telling about the new life we found because of Him.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we are sharing from “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.
God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
ADVENT WEEK ONE
The Advent Season Is a Season of Waiting
Jesus stands at the door knocking (Rev. 3:20). In total reality, he comes in the form of the beggar, of the dissolute human child in ragged clothes, asking for help. He confronts you in every person that you meet. As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you, makes demands on you. That is the great seriousness and great blessedness of the Advent message. Christ is standing at the door; he lives in the form of a human being among us. Do you want to close the door or open it?
It may strike us as strange to see Christ in such a near face, but he said it, and those who withdraw from the serious reality of the Advent message cannot talk of the coming of Christ in their heart, either.…
Christ is knocking. It’s still not Christmas, but it’s also still not the great last Advent, the last coming of Christ. Through all the Advents of our life that we celebrate runs the longing for the last Advent, when the word will be: “See, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
The Advent season is a season of waiting, but our whole life is an Advent season, that is, a season of waiting for the last Advent, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
We can, and should also, celebrate Christmas despite the ruins around us.… I think of you as you now sit together with the children and with all the Advent decorations—as in earlier years you did with us. We must do all this, even more intensively because we do not know how much longer we have.
Letter to Bonhoeffer’s parents, November 29, 1943,
written from Tegel prison camp
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 1–3.