Every Day Should Be Thanksgiving Day

Today, as I spend time with my family; with my mom, my sister, and my mom’s boyfriend and to remember all that I am thankful for, I am reminded that I should be thankful ever day. Don’t get me wrong we need an actual “Thanksgiving Day” to remember and give thanks for all we have, the things we do not have to worry about; as well as the family togetherness, plus the food!

But giving thanks is not something to do just once a year but every chance one can get. Thanksgiving Day is for remembering what you are thankful for that you forgot about throughout the year.

Every day throughout the year, every one of us has our concerns that consistently get to us; whether it is paying the bills, getting a job, keeping a job, the economy, or the direction of the country, or any number of things. But if at the end of each day we just stopped and took a moment to reflect on and remember what we do have and what has gone right, that we don’t have to worry about all the time, I think we would be surprised by how much there is for each one of us.

When we remember every day just what we do have, not only does it put our lives into better perspectives, but it sure takes a load off of our everyday worries. It definitely does for me, when I do take the time to reflect each day. I do not always do so, but I try to and that is the point.

We won’t alway be able to reflect on what we are thankful for but when we try to do so it makes our day’s so much easier, for we realize that whatever problems we do have, will in time work themselves out. We learn to take each day as it is.

So as you spend time with your family and enjoy that good food and the football game, as you give thanks for all that you are thankful for, remember that it is not just about today but each and every day. Don’t just give thanks, today but every day. Happy Thanksgiving!

Being Good Christians

“Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like the stars in the world.”  Philippians 2:14-15 

        In today’s world as in back in Paul’s days and the days Philippians that he was addressing, to be a Christian, that is a follower of Christ, we must set an example to the rest of society in how we live and act each and every day. We cannot be focused on each other’s differences and arguing all the time with each other. But going out into the world that is increasingly secularized and without moral fiber and be good examples of how to live is what we as Christians must do.

Now that does not mean to be in people’s faces and tell them how to go about their lives and what is or is not right. No, what we as Christians are called to do is to be examples of how to live and what is right. Be kind and courteous to others, even when they are not kind to you. Be helpful to others even when you are not being helped or expect anything in return.  When there are disagreements do not let them become a dividing issue, it is ok to disagree as long as you talk and work out those differences peacefully and calmly.

The key, when surrounded by wrong behavior and beliefs is not only to not join in; but also not to just preach about it. To shine like the stars means one needs to be a beacon to others on what is good in God’s sight. By living and acting as Christ wants us to every moment of every day, is how we change society for the better. The change happens not when we tell others how to behave and live, but when we show them by example. No one likes to be preached at but when one sees good behavior, one is moved to do the same.

Honoring Our Protectors

So today, this Wednesday, November 11, 2015, all of the United States saluted our veterans; Those who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms and our way of life, as well as those who continue to do so. We also had in our thoughts and prayers those who are serving right now or are about to serve and have made the choice to serve.

Veterans Day is not just another day that just happens to be recognized on the calendar; it is about paying our protectors: past, present, and future their due. But it is also more than that it is a reminder that we can never do enough to repay and thank them for all that they have done and will continue to do. Also  that we as a nation do not do nearly enough for them. We don’t give them the needed care when they come home and leave the service, or at least not the right amount or put a lot of effort into doing so.

As evidenced by the state of the VA; we do not repay them enough for what they do and what they sacrifice to do so. We do not take good care of their families or give them the tools to do so themselves. Although a lot of businesses and even states (Texas) do a lot to promote hiring preferences as they should to veterans, it is still not universal enough and the automatic decision.

In fact, that is the best thing that can be done for honoring our veterans, making sure that there are jobs for them. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today by David H. Petraeus and Sidney E. Goodfriend do a good job of accurately advocating for this. They explain how the business community needs to do a better job of making hiring veterans a priority and that they should be leaders on honoring them that way.

America, it is one thing to honor and thank our veterans, but do we actually do enough to actually repay them for their service. I think the answer is an obvious no, we do not. We can do better and we should. Veterans Day is not so much about honoring and remembering our protectors but a reminder to do so by doing a better job taking care of them.

Finally a Presidential Debate with Substance

So this Tuesday night on the Fox Business Network, we had the Fourth Republican Presidential Debate or is it the 7th and 8th I cant’ quite remember what with there actually being two, one a primetime and one a pre-primetime debate each time. Regardless, both of them were very successful and much more substance filled than all of the previous debates combined. Each and every candidate really got into exactly how their policies if elected would help the country and improve the economy and they also really went into the details of their tax reform plans that their campaigns are proposing.

Compared to every other debate including the Democratic debate I actually felt that I learned something about the candidates and what they are for and would do if elected President of the United States. For who actually stood out and did very well, I will stick with just those in the second debate tonight, the prime time one. I actually think that all of them did very well except perhaps Donald Trump. Although I will say that his comments about President Eisenhower where both informative and striking. Like always he just does not offer substance in what he says and puts forward. And in a debate where all the candidates were focused like a laser on substance about their plans and visions his lack of such really stood out and did him no good.

For the others, like I said they all did pretty goo, but the four that I think really stood out was Senator Marco Rubio, Business Woman Carly Fiorina, Senator Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson. Each one of them was precise, on point and knew what they were talking about. But by far the winner was Rubio who was not only knowledgeable but powerful and inspirational in his talking.

Regardless, of how each of the candidates did, once again I have to say it was a magnificent debate and that I learned a lot about each one of them. We need more debates like the ones we had Tuesday night. They are exactly what debates are all about; forums where candidates debate the real issues facing the country with real solutions. This Tuesday night was the first time we got that.

Christians and Love

“Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

        For those of us who call ourselves Christians, we do not always act as we should, which is as Christ acted and has called us to act. That is to love our fellow human beings and to show that love by doing good works, but also just in how we treat one another. In today’s society, we tend to hold grudges and be quick to anger. We look down on people based on their race, and economic well-being and other differences. We don’t forgive transgressions, even when the ones in the wrong have paid their dues. In this regard, I am referring to our criminal justice system in the United States, which has lost for the most part its roots in focusing on the reform of criminals and not just the warehousing of them.

But it is not just the criminal justice system but society as a whole where even after serving one’s time in prison and being released has forever a stigma attached to themselves for the rest of their lives and find it extremely difficult to get a job and make a legitimate living. We as a society make it to where the criminals cannot change.

Perhaps it is about time that for those of us who call themselves Christians to look into the mirror and ask “Really, Am I a Christian, do I embody the life,  message, and teachings of Jesus Christ? Do I show and live in love as my Lord Jesus?” Remember and take this to heart the next time you say to someone “I am a Christian.” As the song goes “They Will Know We are Christians by our Love.” When as Christians we show our love we do not need to say we are Christians, people just know, including ourselves. So are you a Christian?

Jesus and the Fig Tree

In the morning as they pass by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.  Then Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi Look! The Fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain,’ ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:20-24

This lesson from scripture has extremely important meaning to us as Christians. It says that whenever we ask God for something and have absolutely no doubts that it can and will be done, God will provide. At the same time, we must remember that what we ask for in prayer not only must be done with full faithfulness but that it must be of God’s Will. Only then will our prayers be answered and only on God’s time. We need to remember that even though God will provide for all who ask in full faith and lack no doubt; we are not in charge, God is and that it is never about us but always God.

I am reminded of a song that I have heard a few times on the radio called “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks; in it is the line “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.” The point here is the same, no matter what we ask God for even in true faith, he knows what we need when we need it and even where better than we do. Basically, we need to trust God and let him do what he does and to follow him. We are not in control and never will be, God is! When we acknowledge this, we learn that God will always provide for us what we need in his good time. Even though he only provides for us what we need in his time and if it benefits his will; if we truly follow and believe in God through Jesus Christ than his will is our will and what benefits him benefits us.