Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Thanksgiving Song

As we approach this holiday season, I share with you a poem and wish you a blessed Thanksgiving!


Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,
And He has blessed us with this food,
From His bounty these gifts He gives,
To nourish our bodies so we may live, 
We rejoice for good times and lament for folks gone,
This Oh Lord is my Thanksgiving song.

Forgive us the times when we often neglect,
To recognize You and give You respect,
To see You move through the course of our day,
And silently listen for Your voice when we pray,
For the times we are weak and the times we are strong,
This Oh Lord is my Thanksgiving song.

Right now I must wait and watch and learn,
To draw close to Your Spirit and try to discern,
How You move in the shadows and light of my life,
And silently touch me in hard times and strife,
My soul cries out, for Your presence I long,
This Oh Lord is my Thanksgiving song.

So give us each day our daily bread,
And let us give thanks for the ways we are fed,
Not just food for the body but food for the soul,
As Your Spirit transforms and makes me whole,
Keep me mindful of those who suffer with need,
Turn me from pride and temper my greed,
And Your voice I will hear, "Do not fear just hang on!"
This Oh Lord is my Thanksgiving song.

And someday we'll all stand before Your throne,
Never more to be veiled but to be fully known,
We'll dance with the angels and the saints up above,
And feel the expression of Your powerful love,
Your enemies vanquished, there will be no more wrong,
And I'll offer to You my Thanksgiving song.

(Sheree A. Harrington, November 20, 2012)

Pastor Sheree

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hail To The King!

I don't know about you, but I for one am glad the elections are over. The constant onslaught of never ending commercials and ads was becoming tiresome. Even more distressing was the nastiness and not so subtle racial innuendos. The sad part is that Christians sometimes became so caught up in the hype and exaggerated claims that they lost focus of who is the real "enemy." It is Satan's intention to steal, kill, and destroy everything and anyone that belongs to the kingdom of God. (John 10:10) And therein lies the deception. If the evil one can get us focused on ourselves and prey upon our fears, thus turning us against one another, then he is delighted. For you see the problem is not who is sitting in the Oval Office of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue but rather who is sitting on the throne over all creation. The man (or hopefully one day woman) who occupies the White House is a fallen sinner just like all humanity. They make very appealing campaign promises but the reality is that fulfilling such promises isn't that easy. Human leaders because they are sinners are flawed and those flaws overflow into all systems of government. Every time a new election year stands before us, people get hopeful and believe all the promises that this time things will be better. This time things will be different. This time all our problems will disappear. But as we see time after time, election after election, the so-called promises only lead to disappointment. I am not trying to imply that our government is worthless and we don't need some form of leadership. We have an obligation to give respect to our leaders and pray for wisdom in their decisions. We do enjoy some freedoms that other countries can only long for, not the least of which is the freedom to vote for our elected officials and have our voices heard. However what humanity really needs is not so much a president but a king. I don't mean a king or queen as it may be in the case of Great Britain's system but a King who does not need to advertise how great He is because His greatness is who He is by nature. His platform is one of justice and righteousness for all of the world not just one particular country. His promises are trustworthy and true and will never fail us. And He will never leave us wanting but will truly satisfy the deepest longings of our heart.  When Israel asked for a human king (1 Samuel 8) such kings always came up short. Even king David who was said to be a "man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14) had his failures. There was a sense that Israel should be waiting and wanting for so much more. And that which Israel and all humankind longs for is Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. The longing that humanity feels for real leadership that will solve all our problems is in reality the deep spiritual hunger to draw near and follow the One who created us and everything else. Unfortunately, Satan has blinded many to this reality and over time expectation gives way to cynicism and disbelief. Even those who profess to be followers of Christ grow weary of waiting for His return and thus try and grasp hold of worldly solutions and place their hope in flawed human beings. Whenever the President of the United States visits overseas or is involved in a significant event, marching bands often play the familiar tune, "Hail To The Chief!" But there is only One who is worthy of all our praise, all the time, for the rest of our days. For He gave us what no president ever will and did for us what no human being will ever be able to do. He sacrificed His life for the sins of the world and through His resurrection grants us eternal life. The writer of Hebrews states it this way, "So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. (Hebrews 9:28) So let us bow down before Him and declare, "Hail King Jesus!"

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Sheree