Counting my blessings is a frightening activity

“So I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours” Matthew 25:25.

Often I find that counting my blessings is a frightening activity because God has given me so much and is expecting much from me in return. It’s the principle of—if much is given, much is expected. It truly makes me wonder if I’m doing all that I can for His Kingdom and Name or if there are ways that I’m squandering my time and resources.

A ‘talent’ in the parable is, of course, a unit of money, but it’s easy to see just how the ready application of this heavenly lesson is that God wants us to bring Him a return on the spiritual blessings He has entrusted us with. And, while each of us as individual Christians and collectively as the body of Christ, need to examine our investment, it is easy to ask ourselves how we are or aren’t using the temporary, physical blessings for His Kingdom and His Name.

We each have food, clothing, and shelter, but beyond the basics, we have cars, possessions, and jobs. God has entrusted you to place you where you are in life with what you have. The church has buildings, grounds, and a bank account.

Are you/we investing or burying y/our talents?

Doug Kashorek

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#dougkashorek #blessings

Hugh’s News & Views (Assorted Blessings)

ASSORTED BLESSINGS

(Note: My post-Thanksgiving “News & Views” comes from the pen of Neal Pollard, via the bulletin of the Calvert City, Kentucky Church of Christ where my friend Lance Cordle has preached for many years. Neal is the able preacher for the Bear Valley Church of Christ in Denver, Colorado and an insightful writer. His article reminds me of a popular song of a past generation, “Little Things Mean a Lot,” though many of the things he mentions are not little. Read what he has said, reflect on your blessings, and continue to be grateful. hf). Continue reading

#blessings, #hughfulford

Wealthier and wiser: 2 Chronicles 9.22 VOTD

“King Solomon was wealthier and wiser than any of the kings of the earth.”

2 Chronicles 9.22

God gave Solomon great gifts. For the most part, they were not well used. But he did produce much of the book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, for our learning and direction.

What gifts has God given you to use well for his glory and kingdom?

#blessings #wisdom #VOTD

Rainy or not, we should be submerged in prayer

Most of us in the southeastern US could use one or two million raindrops right now. As of this moment in particular, middle Tennessee is getting a little relief. It makes me wonder if some “Elijah” around here has something against the rain.

Elijah’s prayerful effect upon the weather was not only noteworthy enough to be included in the Old Testament scriptures – it managed to make its way into the New Testament cannon as well!

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:17-18 – NKJV)

To be honest, when it comes to prayer (which is really what James’ point was all about…that combined with righteous living and emphatic purpose) we should all be submerged in it regardless of the weather. At least this is something that I can preach to myself about.

Pray, pray and pray some more. God wants to hear from us. And if we listen to this point when it comes to God’s will, then God’s will may become intertwined with our own…or perhaps I should flipflop that; regardless, it’s something that God wants us to do.

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,” (Luke 18:1 – NKJV)

#blessings, #elijah, #prayer, #rain

The one verse that shows the difference between the world’s and the Christian’s reason for thanksgiving

There may be a lot of people this coming Thanksgiving day who aren’t Christians that will be sitting down to a “bigger turkey” than what’s on any of our tables, but there are some blessings in life that only a Christian can be thankful for, and there’s one verse that proves it: Continue reading

#blessings, #in-christ, #thanksgiving

Video clip worth watching

You may have already seen this video as it begins to make its major rounds in the media and on the Internet, but in case you haven’t seen it, it’s one worth watching.

There are so many spiritual applications that could be made in connection to this “caught-on-camera-moment” that most people should be able to immediately think of a few points and scriptures. On top of that, a video like this can pull at the heart-strings of any parent worth his or her salt. And taking the reality of the moment for what’s it worth is something that shouldn’t be missed – that being how wonderful the little, and often taken for granted, blessings of life really are.

 

#blessings, #children, #video

How to determine the extent of our riches?

How rich are you? You may think that this is a foolish question because you do not feel rich at all. In fact, most of us feel rather poor when we consider the status of our life materially. In all honesty I believe that most of us are richer in material things than we realize.

If the only riches that we have are material and physical, we are not rich at all. And, if we are striving to become rich in those areas, we are losers for sure. In 1Tm 6:6-12 teaches us about the danger or riches and the blessings of pursuing spiritual things. Continue reading

#blessings, #spiritual-riches

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(#184) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:7-Are You Too Full To Eat?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 27:7: “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

When people are driven by hunger, it is surprising what they think is “sweet,” or tasty and edible, even something “bitter!” But when people feel full and “satisfied,” hardly anything would taste good, not even sweet “honeycomb!” Parents cannot make a child eat unless the child is hungry; food advertising is designed to create a sense of hunger; cultural dishes reflect how desperate the society was when the recipe was determined.

This has tremendous spiritual application. After delivering the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, and providing for them 40 years in the Wilderness, God warned them as they entered The Promised Land: “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest-when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied”…”then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… “Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish ” (Deuteronomy 8:10-20). People who “have it good” don’t think they need God, but they do!

The gravest danger to the church of Christ specifically, and America generally, is self-serving self-satisfaction and self-justification. People who have been convinced their own approval of religious practices is all that matters don’t seem to care whether God approves or not! They think they are “full” and even God’s blessings are not “sweet” enough to cause them to eat the Word of God! False preachers have convinced people they are saved before being baptized “into Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:3), and they think they are full with salvation and don’t need the baptism that saves (1 Peter 3:21)!

Jesus’ disciples, however, are those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), but those who make Him sick, say “‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). These sickening Christians don’t see the need to attend Bible classes, hear sermons with an open heart (Luke 24:27, 32), or strive to learn more of God’s Word through “diligence” (2 Timothy 2:15). Bible preachers, accurate worship services, faithful good deeds, Jesus Christ, Himself, cannot draw people who are “satisfied” without them! Jesus must be lifted above all “satisfied” people in order to “draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).

Are you drawn to Jesus by the Word of God?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #bible-study, #blessings, #church-of-christ, #full, #god, #hungry, #make-jesus-sick, #obedience, #proverbs, #salvation

Thankful for…

Yeah, I know that this isn’t the time of the year when we’re supposed to talk about what we’re thankful for but I’m going to talk about it anyways.

I’m thankful for family and friends who encourage me to do right. For family and friends who make doing the right thing easy. For family and friends who enjoy the company of fellow Christians. For family and friends who love me with a Christ-like love.

The world doesn’t care for me. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out in the world with “good” hearts – but what that does mean is that the world isn’t interested in the welfare of my soul. The welfare of my belly, of my house, of my children? Sure, there are people who care about those things and I’m glad that they do for the sake of our society. But they don’t care about my soul, or else they wouldn’t be in the world. And the welfare of my soul outweighs the welfare of all else.

It’s easy to take those who are closest to us for granted, but once a little bit of space of time and distance and the world enters the picture then we quickly remember who means what to us and who we really mean something to.

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

#blessings, #family, #friends, #thankfulness

Glad to have this means of communication for TFR and the Fellows’ content

blessings of communicationI tried the P2 theme that we use here, as well as a number of spinoffs and child themes, on my personal blog. Didn’t work quite so well, but I may come back to the idea later.

I wound up using the Writr theme, which is nice, but not everything I need (want?) in a theme. Never satisfied, are we? You can take a peek at the new theme here.

The P2 theme has been quite good for our needs here at TFR. There are a few bugs, but that’s par for the course when it comes to software. (It’s the norm for MS, but that’s another battle.) WordPress is an amazing tool to have at our disposal.

So in all, we’re thankful to have this means of communication. And to have our Fellows contributing their good content.

#blessings, #communication, #wordpress

My Marriage

My in-laws recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary! That leaves me and my wife about…um, only 45 years behind. Due to life’s brevity I don’t know if we’ll ever meet or beat that number, but I do know that I’d like to try.

My marriage is the best thing that’s happened to me upon the ole’ floating blue orb. It opened the door to so many good things that even a giant of Gath wouldn’t have enough fingers or toes to count them all with.

A right relationship with God, a wonderful daughter, and a home that I want to come back to after work. These only make up the bucket that holds all of the drops of happiness that my marriage has brought to me. What more could I ask for? But none of it just happened. I had to want it and my wife had to want to give it – and vice-versa! Fairy tales end with the wedding kiss but real life just begins with it. And real life is, for the most part, what we make of it. Sure there are “pot holes” that may be out of our control on any road, but the road to a successful marriage is found by staying on the road and out of the ditches.

Fight hard for your marriage fellas, and don’t forget where the gift of a godly woman comes from – or what she’s worth!

House and wealth are a heritage from fathers, but a wife with good sense is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:14 – BBE)

Who may make discovery of a woman of virtue? For her price is much higher than jewels. The heart of her husband has faith in her, and he will have profit in full
measure.” (Proverbs 31:10-11 – BBE)

#blessings, #marriage, #virtuous-wife

Smile, Smile, Smile and Smile for the Camera

Sometimes kids try to pass along a message in their own way…I guess my daughter wants me to smile more. Hey, better here than on the couch!

Smile for the Camera

No doubt about it: children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a divine reward.” (Psalm 127:3-CEB)

#blessings, #children, #god, #joy-of-children, #parent, #photos, #smile

This is the life

A holiday. A slow rain. Earl Grey tea. Home-made biscuits with (real) butter and sorghum molasses. Peaceful quiet.

#blessings, #enjoyment, #life

Thankful Thursdays!

I am trying to start Thankful Thursdays among my friends. How you can help:

  • On Facebook, post about Thankful Thursday and share the ways that God has blessed you.
  • On Twitter, use the hashtag: #thankfulthursday and share it with your followers.
  • Thank the Lord today for all that He has done for you.
  • Share your blessings here in the comments section about what God is doing in your life.
  • Pray that this will encourage the Saints and reach the lost!

The Lord is worthy of all our praise and more.

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You” (Psalm 63:1-3).

#blessed, #blessings, #facebook, #hashtag, #hope, #joy, #thankful, #thankful-thursday, #thanksgiving, #twitter

Counting Blessings

One of my Facebook friends posted on her wall today the following: “I was going to complain about how hot it is.. then I realized that at least: 1.) it isn’t 109 degrees; 2.) I’m not 5,700 miles from home; 3.) I’m not dressed in a full ABU uniform and helmet and carrying 70+ lbs.; and 4.) there is very little chance that anyone will shoot at me or that I might drive over a bomb in the road today! Thanks to all who serve.”

It’s easy to complain about the heat, high prices, gas prices and a government that can’t get anything done. I hear that on Facebook, Twitter and face-to-face with people every day. But, few are the times when people say, “Stop and count your blessings.”

The Apostle Paul wrote, “in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NET).

So, in case you haven’t heard it yet, THANK YOU, LORD for the wonderful weather we’re having, for the challenges we face that build us up and make us rely on you, and for all of the blessings you give us each day!

#blessings, #mindful, #thankful