Thanksgiving 2015

November 23, 2015

This morning I am sitting with my mom at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I. She recently fell and broke her hip. The hip was repaired rather than replaced. This happened while in rehab from another malady. She suffered a compression fracture in her lower back while at home hanging up curtains. Such is the journey of life.

On Wednesday they will move her once again for another stint of rehab – “Tockwotton on the Waterfront” More than likely she will not return to her tockwotton 1home in Hope Valley and her independence. Instead she will remain in the Providence area in some type of assisted living arrangement.

I will enjoy Thanksgiving Day with my mom. Maybe we will watch the parades together like we did when I was a child. Although growing up, she was very busy in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day.

Without exaggeration, she would prepare the complete thanksgiving meal as well as, setting the most inviting table. The menu consisted of turkey, homemade dressing cooked in the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, turnips, butternut squash, broccoli, green beans, corn, tiny boiled onions, cranberry sauce, and crescent rolls . For dessert we had homemade lemon meringue pie, apple pie, chocolate cream pie, pumpkin pie, and mincemeat pie.

The table was set with the holiday dishes and matching glasses and cups complete with my great grandmother Gray’s linen tablecloth.

This Thanksgiving I am blessed to watch the parades and have dinner with my mom




Growing Forward or Going Backward

John instructs us, Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (NLT)

Pastor Greg Laurie addresses that topic in a recent article. Here are some  highlights.

  • Christians need to question if they are growing or going backwards, as
    there’s no other alternative.
  • A believer doesn’t backslide overnight; it’s a slow, but sure, process. Things of the world gradually start looking more appealing than things of God.
  • To keep growing, at least three things are required: 1) you must read, study and love God’s Word. 2) You must pray without ceasing. 3) You must be actively involved in the Church.

Hebrews 10:24-25, 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (NLT)

  • How can you love God whom you can’t see, if you do not love His people whom you can see? Not going to church is proof that something is wrong with you spiritually.

1 John 2:19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.(NLT)

  • We go to church to serve others, if we are mature Christians. We don’t choose a church based on its facilities, or how good the singing or music is.
  • The Church exists for three reasons, 1) the glorification of God, 2) the edification of the saints, and 3) the evangelization of the world.

So which is it? Are you growing forward or going backward?


Time Flies

As far as I was concerned 2015 was rolling along just fine. This past year has been a year of monumental change for many people, myself included.  Our church family has spent much of the year planning and preparing for a physical move. On Easter Sunday it became a reality.  Most of the spring and summer has been a time of settling in and improving our space.

Now with autumn upon us, the shortening of the days, and the subtle reminders of the coming winter, the “days gone by” have hit me all at once. It is November! There are just a few short weeks left to this year. Yet we have so much to do. Thanksgiving is upon us and the noise and commotion of Christmas and New Year’s follows almost simultaneously.

I’m not complaining about the swiftness of the clock. That’s how time flies. Richelle Goodrich writes about times reality, “Life may dawdle along in minutes but don’t be deceived, for it will sprint by in years before you even notice.”

I am just surprised, as I am every year, at pace of the sprint and the enormity of the opportunities before us. God has blessed us with so many options in life. Yet, as much as we might like, there is no way we can do everything that beckons.

So to make the most of the time we must research, prioritize, and make lists. Yet even our best lists are often nothing more than wishful thinking. Life itself seems to have its own plan for our life. Life’s plan often fills itself with routine, repetition, and regret.

Don’t be a prisoner of time. Enjoy November, embrace December, and find the time to seek out a few of the opportunities that beckon. And remember, ALL our times are in God’s hands. Your time is in God’s hands. My time is in God’s hands!

But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand.” – Psalm 31:14-15, ESV