Most of the time when we talk about giving thanks, we make a list of people and things that are currently in our lives. This is as it should be, because we are surrounded by present blessings. However, today I have blessings from the past on my mind.
I am thankful for many people who are no longer around. Preacher Dallas gave an invitation during VBS that led to me walking with Jesus. Brother Alan was a great Bible teacher and Mr Pete was a good church leader. In the beginning of my preaching ministry, Mr. Parker and Pastor Steve were there to give me inspiration and advice. I will never forget the support of a man named Tot, and the encouragement of a man named Marcus and the blessing they were to me, their pastor.
My gratitude overflows when I think about my In-laws. I can never forget the food that Helen cooked with love and the half chewed cigar that Cooter would lay on top of the refrigerator before we ate. One thing is for sure they loved their family. Their lives still inspire the ones they left behind.
The one man I miss more than any other is my daddy. From him I learned how to work on tractors, plant a garden and drive a truck. He taught me how to run a chainsaw, shoot a gun, and hunt. Most of all my daddy taught me how to love my family. I thank God for my daddy. Although he walks in Heaven now, I still want to follow his footsteps.
Right now we are all blessed with loved ones that we can hold in our arms. But we are also blessed by the memory of our loved ones who are in Heaven. The Bible talks about a great cloud of witnesses and I believe many of our loved ones are in that cloud. They blessed us while they were on earth and their memories bless us still. So I challenge you, honor their memory by finishing the race that is set before you. Let’s lift our eyes to heaven and give thanks with a grateful heart for all our blessings past and present.
Douglas & Deborah Huff From Down Where The Pavement Ends Email- firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 16,1978 Deborah and I were married. On that day, by God’s Grace the two of us became one . In 1979 we purchased a house and it has been our home every since . In this house we have laughed and cried, we have fought and made up, we have celebrated and mourned. This is were we live. In this house we raised our family and every inch of it is coated with memories. It is our home, but it is not us, it is not our marriage.
This house greatly reflects our personalities. We are familiar with all the creaks and pops and every crack in the walls. There is contentment to be found in its every flaw and we want no more comfortable place than is our house. But if it is taken from us tonite and if tomorrow we are homeless we will still have each other because what God has joined together nothing can put asunder. You see this house is our home, but it is not us, it is not our marriage.
All over this land there are buildings that people call churches. Some are beautiful brick and mortar structures while others look more like metal warehouses. In these buildings church members have laughed and cried, they have fought and made up and they have celebrated and they have mourned. In these buildings the family of God has grown and they are filled with memories. But if all these buildings were destroyed today and we had no place to gather, we would still gather and we would still worship God. These buildings are not the church, they are not our salvation.
The church is the bride of Christ, Jesus is the bridegroom . He loves the church and He gave His life for her. But when Jesus said,” I will build my Church” He was not talking about brick and mortar. No, He was talking about us. Those of us who are His followers, we are His bride, we are His church. We have been chosen by God to be precious, living stones in the spiritual house that Jesus is building.
One day all these buildings that people call churches will rot and burn, they were never meant to be permanent. However The church that is the bride of Christ is built on a firm foundation and will never fail. Christ loves the church and gave Himself for us, He has sanctified and cleanse us and one day we will be presented to Him as a glorious church, holy and without blemish.