The Power Behind Thanksgiving

He gave thanks and fed thousands!

He gave thanks and fed thousands!

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Good morning everyone! God bless you this “rainy day in Oregon” day!

This is the month that we celebrate thankfulness. Yes, we should do this all 12 months and many of us do, but this one we really try to pull out all the stops and make a big deal about it! And, there are a lot of reasons to make sure we spend time thanking God for His goodness to us.

I can list out a series of scriptures that tell us to be thankful. The one in the graphic above, Psalm 106:1 reminds us to give God thanks simply because He is good and He is always merciful! And, I might go ahead and list out some more before November is over, but I want to really focus on something that is not often pointed out when it comes to thanksgiving.

When Jesus fed the 5 thousand and again the 4 thousand, He began the process by giving thanks. He took the meager amounts given to Him by the disciples and He lifted the food and gave thanks. We often begin our meals by giving thanks. Making certain that we acknowledge God’s provision for us. But, what if there is more to it?

The actions of Christ are often duplicated as muscle memory. We are sincere in our thanks, but often do it from habit. So many things we do as Christians are just that. From habit. Again, it’s not exactly a bad thing. Godly actions, even from routine, are good. But, sometimes it’s good to step back and understand what we are doing and why.

The reason we give thanks, I believe, is more than just because God deserves it. In itself, that will always be more than enough. But look at what Christ did and what happened. There is power in the act of thanksgiving.  Jesus began with a quantity that wouldn’t keep a Weight Watchers fanatic happy. He gave thanks and fed thousands. Did you catch that? He.Gave.Thanks.And.Fed.Thousands!

Change can happen through a simple regime of making sure you are thankful. And let’s face it, people who are ungrateful are miserable to be around anyway. If you struggle with people not wanting to spend time with you, assess your gratefulness. Maybe, you are just no fun to be around. That’s a freebie.

Here’s the main point: We should always be thankful. God is, after all, a really good God. But, I think the power of change for the good can be in our lives through that thankfulness. And, the benefits just begin from there!

sige117

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Do You Leave Your Freedom At Home?

If the Spirit of the Lord is in you, where ever you are, there is freedom!

If the Spirit of the Lord is in you, where ever you are, there is freedom!

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Good morning and happy Saturday everyone!

The other day, a friend, who is a minister, text me that he was out dancing with his wife and friends. He shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons. I was elated for him. Yes, I have no problems with a man and woman of God going out to dance. I know there can be a lot read into that, if you must, by all means, proceed. But there’s a very good lesson for those of us that live in religion.

Throughout the ministry of Christ, he continuously broke the traditions of the “religious.” In fact, if He had not done that, He probably would not have been crucified. After all, it was the religious order that got Him on the cross. But what was the point of going around and doing that? Why did Jesus need to break all the traditions that got Him in trouble to begin with? Was it necessary to do this just to get Himself crucified? Remember, it was His acknowledgement from the beginning. He knew He would die. Could there have been a different way?

Well, yeah, there could have. But His purpose on Earth was more than just being killed and resurrected. He was in ministry for 3 1/2 years. What He needed to do to save man only lasted a few days. There was much that had to be done before he died. Before He sacrificed his life, there were issues to address and corrections that needed to be made. And, there were generations of Christians yet to come that needed instructions.

If I go into the whole thing of why the ministry needed to last 3 1/2 years, this will turn into a thick pamphlet instead of a blog, so let’s stay focused on the one thing. The traditions of man had himself (man) in a prison. Jesus ridiculed and broke these traditions to teach about freedom. People needed freedom. They still do!

Did you know that we need freedom in ourselves and in our spirit more than we do in the flesh? Jesus came to bring freedom to the heart and the soul. To our spirit. As long as our spirit and the Spirit of God co-exist inside of us, we should be able to live in freedom. Regardless of what physical prison we might be in.

I know this is a big subject, but in order to really become effective for Christ, we have to learn to be free. I don’t mean you can sin because you are free. Paul said he could do anything he wanted, but not everything is profitable. It doesn’t help the spirit man. So, be careful when you apply that to your life. Use wisdom. But do not be constrained by the workings and the traditions of men. They will tie you up and you will learn to hate what God has done for you instead of learning to love and cherish it!

I leave you with this one thing: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. If the Spirit of the Lord is in you, where ever you are, there is freedom. Throw off the chains of religion and be free. Everywhere!

sige117

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Happy Veterans Day!

Thank A Vet! You Are Reading This Because Of Them!

Thank A Vet! You Are Reading This Because Of Them!

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Good morning America!

So, let’s move beyond all the hub bub of politics.20,000 March In New York Veterans Day Parade Set aside the Hollywood stuff. Ignore the boss for a moment and just space out the issues. Take some time today and tell God how thankful you are for those who have taken on the uniform and the responsibility of defending America!

DF-SC-84-11899There are so many things going on today. And many are important. Some issues simply cannot be ignored for more than a few minutes. But we, in this Country, are still the most fortunate citizens on the face of the planet. That may not always be most apparent on the surface, but it is true. God has been very gracious to America!

One of the hardest issuesafrican_american2014_480x330_inside we are facing is the way we take care of our Vets. Especially the older ones. The statistics are staggering. And it hurts my heart.

We send our soldiers out into harms way so that we may remain free. They experience the horrors of war for our benefit. They go through hell so that we can live in heaven here in our homes and apartments. They fight the enemy that wants to destroy you and I. They work and risk it all to keep the monsters away from our door. And, they often give up everything in that endeavor.

__3277382Today isn’t about whether or not you agree with war. No one in their right mind can agree with war. But it comes because people are people. Today isn’t about who won the election. Today isn’t about whether or not you can pay your bills. It’s not about getting paid over time. Or a nice juicy barbecued steak. It’s not even about getting together with some friends. The men and women. Black, White, Asian, Native American, Indian, Middle Eastern…Whatever!

Within the Veterans of America lay many more problems. blog-homeless-older-veteransThe homeless problem is insane. The issues of mental problems, like PTSD, has been in place for a very long time. Our hearts and minds were not meant to go through what these Veterans go through. And, yes, I do believe that we should solve the Veteran issues before we fix some other countries problems with refugees. We are all some form of refugee, but we need to have the right kind of priorities and use common sense. I do not wish to harp on that issue, but I am a strong advocate for our Vets First.

american-veteranAmerican Veterans come from every walk of life. Every color and creed. Every way of thinking. They are reaching their 90’s and beyond. Some are just turning 18. They are officers and enlisted. Some never had to raise their weapon at another. Some did so, so much, lastamericanveteranworldwarburiedarlingtonpkzwsn2sxkglthey can’t get the images out of their head. Some came home. Some did not. And some arrived in a box draped with Old Glory.

Some hold their family close and fight the PTSD together. Some are fighting it alone. And some are just quietly dying in the leather easy chair because they no longer have the strength to fight a war they left somewhere over seas 50 years ago.

1hwijd-so-76Some walk with help from machines or prosthesis. Some do not walk at all. They roll along in a chair with wheels. Some are proud of their service. And some remember the reception they got when they came home more than the honor of serving. 920x920

Someone once said that once a soldier, always a soldier. Would you take up arms again to fight for the freedom of America again? All the Vets that I know would stand with a resounding “Yes sir!”

13339731_1647486052238379_8083486437762472845_nNot every American man or woman must serve. And that’s what is great about America. You do not have to serve. But those who have, walk among us. They are truck drivers, factory workers, office personnel. And photographers! You can find them flying airlines, driving buses and taxis, digging ditches. Our veterans are ministers, police officers and burger flippers. They pick up garbage, they deliver mail and conduct business as CEOs. They are you and me. And some, sadly, are doing nothing because someone will not give them a chance.

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As I sit here, trying to find the words to Honor Those Who Served and Still Serve, I think of how We, the People, often forget them because most are humble and genuine. They do not need or want your help. They have their jobs and they do them. Quietly, boot-workmoving on with life. Which, in a way, is how it is supposed to be. A Military Designed to Protect the Lives and Interests of the American People. And then move on with life. But we have this one day a year that is meant to reverse that way of thinking for about 24 hours.
Get over yourself and the issues of your life long enough today to say thank you to someone who is part of the process that allows you to have those issues. You may not think having problems like someone not liking your Facebook post, or your teenager being unruly, or your boss yelling at you, or the utility company over charging you, or a bad waitress, or… Thinkhomelessveteran1rev about it! Get past all of that nonsense long enough to realize what people in uniform (likely total strangers you have never met) have done to ensure your freedom. And, yeah, compared to most countries on the planet (like 90 plus percent) America is still very much free. And you can thank a Vet for that!

God Bless Our Veterans! Thank You For Your Service!
sige117

 

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You Want Controversy? II

The Gospel is supposed to be “Good News,” Not Mean and Vicious – There’s Plenty of That Out There Already!

The Gospel is supposed to be “Good News,” Not Mean and Vicious – There’s Plenty of That Out There Already!

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Good day my friends! God is good!

So, I recently began another blog focused on Christian views of controversial topics. I’m sure you remember the blog I wrote on it possibly happening. Turns out, they are really easy to write. Of course, they covered the main issues of our time and the supply for subject matter is everywhere. My other “main” blog is about photography. So, that’s 3 active ones and one that get’s very little attention from me. And a book I am writing too! I think my finger tips are starting to become calloused. Oh, that reminds me. I am considering a blog for the songs I write….hahaha!

I enjoyed writing “True News 4 You,” don’t get me wrong. But there was less satisfaction to it than what I write here. I may continue it on a limited basis. I have seriously considered putting it all together in one blog under my name. I don’t know yet. But, I seriously love talking about God’s love, so no matter what ends up happening, the Crazy Amazing Love of God will always be involved somehow. Maybe there just wasn’t enough glory going up from a blog that focuses so much on controversial subjects.

Well, that’s not really all I had to say. Today is Election Day. I have made my points and talked frank concerning Biblical principals of the candidates and so on. I wish to follow that up just a bit with a concern.

In a “nut shell,” here it is: In the process of loving and showing God’s amazing mercy to the world, do not let the truth be compromised. The truth is often a very hard swallow. We must be able to love and put that out there first. Jesus loved first. However, the truth was never compromised in order to be a loving Messiah.

We can show His love by not telling people they are wrong or that they are bad for the choice they made in the election. In fact, I believe we can avoid the subject or change it to keep from sounding mean or offensive. But, in the end, if the Lord opens the door to the truth, we must not compromise it in order to be “nice.” But, if there is no love behind it, the truth will fall upon deaf hearts. We waste our breath. Jesus loved without compromising the truth. So must we.

The Gospel is “good news,” not mean and vicious news. There’s enough of that out there. At the same time, keep your integrity in tact.

sige117

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Monday Morning Pep Talk

More On The Election By Guest Blogger Richard Oliver!

More On The Election By Guest Blogger Richard Oliver!

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So, a bonus blog today. Actually, a guest blogger. This comes from a man of God I love dearly and trust with everything in me. His name is Rich Oliver and he is the over seer for The River International Revival Network. Go look them over. I advise you to follow them. Just amazing stuff. Anyway, Rich sends out a “Monday Morning Pep Talk” via email every…You guessed it, Monday morning. This was today’s!

TOMORROW IS ELECTION DAY…
Tomorrow is Election Day – so I wanted to share with you my Bottom line:
I am a Christian!!! And I am a Conservative!!
Actually I am a “Christian Constitutional Conservative.”

By the way, you do realize that being a Conservative does not mean you are a Republican. There are lots of Democrat and independent conservatives. In fact America is a majority conservative nation according to polls.

Do you remember, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country?” John F. Kennedy said that, the year was 1961. My folks were steadfast Democrats, who experienced the deep depths of a world wide economic collapse called the great depression.

My dear parents gave me an excellent example of the American success story that helped me understand personal responsibility, and the rewards of hard work.

I was a student of political, social studies, and government at a very early age. I was working a part time job by age 16 and me very small weekly pay check did not go far, especially after taxes, and that got me asking, “Who is going to pay for all that government spending?”

One good thing about those times is we received a great quality education, where American history was not distorted by political correctness. We had daily pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, Christmas programs, and involved parents.

Sadly, far too many of that generation who graduated in the 60s and 70s went on to take a left turn, turned to drugs, free love, abortion, and giving away much of the moral direction that was won by our fathers and mothers of the great generation.

Our founding fathers were for the most part Christian men of God. They knew that the new nation must have freedom of religion but without a state sponsored church. They proclaimed a government not ruled by the church, but by Christian moral standards. George Washington the father of our country, on October 3, 1789 gave a proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving to God at the request of both houses of congress. Washington declared, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of God and obey His will, humbly imploring His protection.”

James Madison our 4th president and father of the U.S. Constitution said on June 20, 1785, “Religion is the basic foundation of Government.” He was a devout Christian. In 1892 Justice David Josiah Brewer with the backing of the entire Supreme Court declared that the United States is a Christian nation. That did not mean America is a theocracy, but our government’s laws and direction come from God. These men I believe would be sad and amazed at how far we as a nation have fallen from what they envisioned.

Ok, so why am I a Christian Constitutional Conservative? Think about it, how could I be a liberal with what I believe about our history, and God’s Holy word?

The ACLU is at war with God. Persecution of Christians is on the increase in the media, and even in our government. There are those today who can’t see that all our rights come from God, not from men. Left leaning activist judges are making up laws from the bench rather than interpreting our constitution as the founders drew it up.

Some in government  continue to demand more government power over our citizens, even to the point of putting forth a mandate that demands church institutions provide services adverse to church theology. That is exactly what our founders feared. Madison and Washington would be shaken to their very core if they were alive today.

Progressives seem to have an agenda of government control over our lives, support for abortion, oppose school choice, relate being a Christian to hate crimes, and class division. I see those who are conservative in ideology more compassionate and likely to love others, God, freedom and liberty as God and our founders envisioned.

I am a Christian Constitutional Conservative because I believe what James Madison believed and I think he would be in agreement with what I likewise believe to be true. I believe that all men are created equal by an all powerful wonderful loving God. I believe that no government can stand unless it is led by the direction and vision that comes only from the creator mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence.

To me liberalism is a psychological condition and socialism is a form of tyranny. Belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior tells me that God gave us this nation to assure men and women can live free, to spread the gospel of Christ to a lost world, and protect the nation of Israel until Christ returns.

In this election of 2016, America faces a huge decision, maybe one of the most important in our history.   Pray, listen to Holy Spirit and then VOTE !

I am a Christian FIRST and a Constitutional Conservative second, and I believe there is always hope as we have vision and faith in God, and GET INVOLVED.

Rich Oliver


Thank you Rich for a great article and some powerful words about this “so important” election!

-Matt

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Okay, Politics Invades Crazy Amazing Love!

Good blessed morning to you! I pray God is your number one priority today!

Tomorrow will be a day that will have far reaching ramifications for America. It’s not your normal election. You might disagree with me and I am all for your personal opinion on the matter. But I have a couple of things I wish to address concerning this. Subjects I feel are not necessarily being addressed as they should.

There have been memes and statements going around Facebook and other media with the statement, “It doesn’t matter who is president because God is still on the throne.” Or some similar version.

First, yes, God is still on the throne. He is God and will do as He pleases. BUT, that does not let us, as his creation, off the hook of being responsible for good stewardship of America. If you are taking this attitude about the election, then you, my friend, are in error. We need good government in this country. We need someone who is willing to fight for the rights of all Americans, not just the loudest ones.

And if you are voting for Clinton, by all means, unlike my blog. I know that is hard and may not appear to line up with the “theme” of my blog, but we must realize the ramifications of her possible Presidency. There is no way a person can live Biblically and support her.

Next Topic. If you plan on leaving America because the process of election puts someone you do not like in the White House, you have lost your mind. Go ahead, get out!

A patriot is someone who loves their country no matter what happens. You may not agree with it. You may be fighting to change it. You may have a much better vision. You may protest. You may do what ever it takes. These are the reasons that American Soldiers have fought and died. To tell the world, you can feel this way. You can protest without repercussions. You can disagree.

I’m not happy where America is going. I’m not happy about where it is. I see the immorality from the top leader on down. You cannot sign off on everything just because you think people will like you. You can’t decide life and death issues flippantly. You cannot make decisions that effect millions of people without due concern for them.

The list can go on and on. The reality is that we complain when things are not the way we want them to be, but we do nothing about it. In the grand scheme, yes your vote counts. But only if it is cast.

So, yes who you vote for matters. As a Christian, you should never allow the fact that God is God to be an excuse not to vote. And, PLEASE, don’t tell me about your morality if you are voting for a person that thinks abortion is a “right.” I struggle with keeping it together everyday and I know that one is wrong.

And, if you feel you want to leave the country because your candidate is not elected, then by all means, pack and split. Because this country needs real patriots, not lily livered falsies! If Clinton is voted in with her blatant, immoral record, I’m not going anywhere.

God Bless America!

sige117

 

 

 

For The Moms & Dads In The Audience

More Transparency…

Blessings! May God weigh heavy on you today!

This morning has been tough. My heart aches. So much that needs Gods attention. In my heart and the hearts of the world. For those of you who do not know, I live in Oregon. My kids live in Missouri. And they mean life to me. I often find myself crying like a baby at the thought of the distance between us.

I would take every one of their aches and pains and sicknesses. All the injuries, hurt feelings and sorrows. All their disappointments and rejections. I would gladly stand between them and danger. Any sort of danger. Yeah, take the bullet and all that.

I would carry their burdens. I would be there to listen, laugh and advise. I would pay for the greatest schools. I would buy them the best vehicles. Whatever they wanted.

I will discipline them. Hug them. Pat them on the back. Hold their hands. Pray with them. Pray FOR them. Wake them for school. Let them sleep in. Cook and feed them. Exercise with them. Sit beside them in fear. Walk them down the aisle. Talk to them like an adult. Remind them they will always be my child. And that I love them desperately.

Whatever it takes. I love them. I have loved them and I always will love them. I know they won’t always understand until they have some of their own.

These precious little creatures, born so tiny and delicate. barely opening their eyes. No control over their arms and legs. Then one day they giggle. Then they laugh. Then they crawl. Or scoot. Then they walk. Then run. No longer making noises no one understands, they talk in words. Then in sentences.

Suddenly they are in school. They start becoming independent. They start making decisions. They are introducing friends to you. They worry about how they look. High school looms heavy on my shoulders. They are excited. But I am sad. They were tiny just yesterday. A paragraph ago.

As parents, we would give all we have, all we are, to prove our love for our children.

God gave more. His love is deeper. Don’t forget that!

sige117

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