Greetings and blessings to you and yours at this glorious time of the year. I have the opportunity to come to you each week via social media to share some thoughts about our relationships with God and each other. If you like what you see and hear, then I invite you to stop by the Red Roof Church, St. Paul Lutheran, located near the 1863 and 281 exit this Sunday. We celebrate Christ in our lives at worship at 8:30 and 10:45am every week. We also live stream our services on our web page at redroofchurch.org. We’d love for you to join us.
This week is Thanksgiving when as a nation we have set aside a time for us to be thankful for all God has given us. Hopefully, we are thankful to our Creator on more than just this one day. Although, this election year, I’ll be glad if we can just be grateful. Maybe our elected leaders could make the effort (as an example to us), for one day (we wouldn’t have too high an expectation) and stop threatening what they are going to do against who or what or where and pause to thank God for this democracy that makes it possible for them to act selfishly and belligerently. Maybe, we as a people, could stop protesting and demanding and forcing our opinion on others to think in lock-step and just be appreciative that we are free and while we can behave foolishly, we can also pause from being such for a day and, with some effort, maybe longer.
As divided as we think we are, Lincoln was facing a nation, a young nation, that was in civil war with itself. Families were tearing each other apart and killing each other, father against son, brother against brother, as a result. He wanted us to remember our God, give Him thanks for our blessings, and once again remember who we are as a people who care for and cherish one another. He set aside a national day of thanksgiving which we still honor today.
We have so much to be thankful for, I pray you make thanksgiving to God a perfect beginning and a great conclusion to each and every day. And if you think that this day or that day doesn’t have much to be thankful for, then consider this. Imagine that everything you neglect to thank God for just disappears forever. You’ll never need to remember to thankful for them again because they will be gone.
Personally, I am thankful God doesn’t work that way. Somedays, to my regret and shame, I do forget to say “Thank you, Lord!” But I’m learning. Thank God for His patience and guidance with me so I can grow in my attitude of gratitude.
Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving and no matter how you celebrate, remember to give thanks to the Author of all our blessings.
And those are my thoughts.
There’s a crispness to the air as we come together for this week’s Blog. I’m Lee Harder, senior pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bulverde, Texas. I hope you join us today and every week for these few minutes. Better yet, if you’re in the neighborhood of the Red Roof Church off highways 1863 and 281 this Sunday morning, join us for worship at 8:30am or 10:45 am. We welcome all sinners into the presence of God’s Word.
The election is over — thank goodness. Thanksgiving is close at hand, but there’s still time so we don’t have to panic yet. And despite advertising to the contrary, Christmas is still over a month away. (Yeah, I better start getting the decorations out.) However, right now, I want to emphasize Sunday, November 11th which is a very special day. Sadly, it often goes unnoticed, unmarked and unappreciated except for those it touches directly. Veteran’s Day, the day we honor all our military veterans.
It is a day to honor and respect those men and women who have served in the armed forces of our nation to keep our country and, yes, the world safe. In truth, these brave and courageous people should be honored and remembered everyday and not just one. The price they pay is a high one because it impacts them personally for the rest of their lives and their loved ones, too. It’s not only the veterans who served that pay the price of their honored duty, it is their families who serve right along with them with the separation, worry and fear.
I come to you this week with one thought. If you see this vlog and Sunday lies before you, take a moment and pray a prayer of gratitude to God for their sacrifice. If you see this blog on our web page, then, take time (whatever else you’re doing can wait) and pray for our veterans that they be comforted from any pain they are challenged by, receive peace from God for the dreams, nightmares, and anguish that may overshadow them and that we are forever grateful as a nation for their service.
I thank you, Lord, for such committed people.
God bless you and God bless our men and women veterans and those who serve our country now. Keep them safe.
And those are my thoughts.
Greetings from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bulverde, Texas. I’m Lee Harder, senior pastor, sharing this week’s blog/vlog with you. I hope you’ll share it with friends.
This is the week. At long last, this Tuesday we vote at the mid-term elections. It seems like it took us forever to get to this point, but it will soon be over. Under normal conditions, in a regular year like those in a more distant past, barring a week of “talking heads” analyzing each poll and minuet detail, we would be done with campaign talk of perpetual accusations, blatant lies, and outright deceptions for a few months, I would believe that. However, I fear the campaigning for 2020 will simply begin in earnest the next morning.
Whatever happened to an election of ideas where potential candidates could discuss and debate, project and define fundamental differences that exist between them and let the people decide. Silly me! It went the same way as an impartial, fair minded media that reported the news without an obvious bias. It went the way of people working hard, trying to do their best in every endeavor because it was the right thing to do and the way people lived.
The latest tidbit is a growing need to generate a new baby boom because fewer and fewer people are having families. Apparently having a family (children) isn’t a high priority. First must come establishing one’s position with prosperity and importance in the world, followed by personal comfort. Then one must seek out, via the internet and one of the many dating vehicles, the proper match according to statistical data, before even the thought of having a family. (Even then I wonder who will really be raising the children, daycare, the state, grandparents?)
I watch the news and I see pipe bombs being sent to people because they think differently, synagogues where people are murdered and hurt, and one can’t even have dinner out with family without be accosted by a mob of protesters because they believe in a different political position. This world is caught in a fever of insanity and lack of human consideration fed by forces of evil that won’t quite. If left unchecked, we’re going to burn ourselves up.
I have an idea. I don’t know if it will solve the way we do elections, treat one another with decency, or help young and old grow up to be caring, responsible adults, but it could. My suggestion is a little more (I would prefer a lot more) God in our lives. I’m not talking about the god of “happy holidays” but the God who gave us Christ. I’m not referring to the god of avarice who calls us to get all one can but the One who surrendered Himself on the cross so others could have life. I’m not referencing the god who calls on followers to destroy and kill those who believe differently, but the One, True God who calls for peace among people, all people.
Maybe if we start submitting ourselves to God’s will which Christ defined as loving God and one another, we might stop tearing ourselves apart with self serving conceit, seeking to destroy the lives of those with whom don’t agree, and condemning our nation’s history to the point of re-writing it because it isn’t perfect. Maybe. . .
But those are just my thoughts.
Pastor Lee R. Harder