The Carols Heralding

Many enjoy our words of faith and enduring inspiration; however, not all of my life is colorful as the fall. But, this is not about those I’ve turned over to God in prayer, but the joyful ending of God’s faithfulness. The holiday season is fast approaching, and I won’t focus on the ugly parts of life, but the joy of Thanksgiving.

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!

Living in a state of humility and reverence, I find myself so thankful for answered prayers. The summer winds turned to the north, and the foliage of forests turned harvest colors. It’s time to lie down arms, repent, and comfort those we might forget this past year.

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!

Yes, it’s time to rejoice! Give praise to our almighty Father for our many Thanksgiving blessings. Join hands to commemorate the peace and love we’ve found in each other. It’s not just the pilgrims landing anymore. Our sovereignty, through God, our Father, blessed the table we partake this past year.

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!

I so often return to the words my wise dad spoke, “count your blessings, not your problems.” I welcome you to share this thought on Thanksgiving. Lay aside the differences, if only for one day, and thank God for your life. Count your many blessings and be thankful. We fill every day with memorable moments.

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!

As for my family and I, this year’s Thanksgiving Day holds a significant meaning. It falls on the twenty-eighth, which was my Dad’s birthday, and I commemorate him in heaven. It was also my parent’s wedding anniversary. Married in 1958, I bet they picked this day so my dad would never forget their anniversary. Only one person knows their story for sure, and he’ll never tell… or will you, Uncle Bill?

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!


Be sure to join us again on Sunday, December 1 for the ongoing “Everything Christmas Blogs”

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Low Octane

Certain formulas just make sense, as in the Hi-Performance engines of my younger days. We raced muscle cars every Friday or Saturday night if the weather cooperated on those days. Low octane fuel was for little less-powered engines. But, if we wanted great strength and power, high octane gave us a much better performance. Our health and well-being run on the same performance factors, and it’s equated to the relationship we have with God.

I’m sure some of us have observed people who sat in the back of a church and appeared as though they slept in their clothes. Some believers come to take up space and really don’t take part in the songs of praise. But in the front pews of God’s church, sat the brilliant Christians, praising the Lord, and magnified by God’s glow. Those beautifully dressed believers in the front rows, with their hands held high to receive God’s word… need I say more? They are full of high octane. Then, I examined those of ill-faded color, dull complexions, blemished, and disheveled, and it was apparent their spirituality may be (or was) filled with low octane. Their engine’s performance could be directly related to the quality of octane they put into their bodies.

“If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:17

Though a remarkable difference in the congregation is clear, there appears to be a more profound correlation not so noticeable. My theory is purely hypothetical, so I did some research to discover the accuracy of my prognosis.

“You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.” Exodus 23:25

Jesus proved in His healing work that it is God’s will we have good health. Many examples in scriptures reveal the miracles of Jesus healing those with ailments. Our health is the inevitable result of knowing God and living a life filled with His love and direction. Let’s look at a few of these examples.

My wife’s mother was a devout, God-fearing Christian who lived her life by God’s commandments. When she passed away at ninety-five years old, she barely had a wrinkle on her face. She glowed in God’s spirit, and He took her from us peacefully, without pain and struggle. I have a high school friend who has not had a natural heartbeat since 1995. Pacemakers have been the source of her existence, but she praises the Lord for her health and life. Looking at her today, she is the epitome of health – glowing skin, smiling ear-to-ear, and shiny, beautiful hair. She runs on high octane and lives every day to the fullest. God bless her heart!

On a more notable scale, the evangelist, Billy Graham, was ninety-nine years old when he quietly passed away. He struggled with cancer and eventually died of pneumonia, but until the day he died, he looked healthy. He had God’s glow of high octane. The late Bishop Eddie Long, head of one of the largest mega-churches in the U.S., is another example of one who passed away from cancer. He maintained his youthful appearance and high octane looks until the day he left us.

Our health is a gift to all of God’s children. We can overcome disease and sickness, in some sense, by living a faithful life to Christ. Now do not misinterpret my words to mean we will never get sick or recover from terminal conditions if we live on high octane. God doesn’t promise us life with no pain or sickness. But one has to wonder… why are those with spiritually low octane, appear not so healthy, yet those who run on high octane rarely show any illnesses? Pay close attention to those around you who are suffering ailments and tell me if my observation isn’t correct.

The principles of well-being are not only our mental health but the condition of our physical health too. It’s simple – God is the highest octane you can receive for your body. Where can you get it? We obtain it through prayer and living a godly life. The more the Lord resonates in your life, the better you will look and feel. Let the love of God be Your octane bust!


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Be in God’s Presence

Can you be in God’s presence? Many search for a time and the place where God lives while sitting in a quiet corner, reading their bible. Others pray to ask for an anointed morning. The sin of Adam and Eve prevented our ability to be in the physical presence of God. So, I find comfort in the reality of His existence – the miracles of each beautiful day. Obedience to His written word brings me closer than I can ever imagine to the Lord.

I examine the blessings which flow before me outside my home – beautiful flowers of every species blossom in the morning light. Young, saplings stand tall and proud. I dug them out of the nursery and fed and nurtured their delicate roots over a prayer. Lord, please take care of my trees. Let my integrity follow as I love the tree in me as much as this seedling I planted in the ground.

God’s presence brings joy and peace. He awaits to hear from us. I remember something my dad would do when I was a young boy. Before heading to work, and just as the sun peeked over the cove, he’d stroll down our long pier. I’d ask him why he occasionally walked the dock. He said he was looking for crabs attached to the poles. But, I understand now for he found his presence in God through the tranquility of the water. The bay was his church outside his actual house of worship.

Home

My wife is the editor of my blog and website. She often speaks of God’s presence while she is editing my narratives. I write my pieces, but she must find the coordinating bible verses. Many times she’s stumped finding the correct scripture. Within a few minutes of frustration, though, He puts her back in His presence and guides her hand.

The Old Testament describes the presence of God directly associated with the tabernacle in the wilderness or the temple in Jerusalem. It is here we speak of entering God’s presence for it is a place where He appointed His name, purposely for us to dwell. It is why we feel nearer to Him in church and not the building’s spatial orientation. He offers us a transforming and joyful experience within the confines of His house.

“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” Psalm 73:28

Regardless of how late I’m awake each night, I have to honor our Almighty in the dawn’s early light. At my tender age, I feel the love I missed most in my life, and it derives from God. His presence is in the fragrance of serenity and in the accomplishments of each nail I drive and every word I write to you. I silently pray, give me strength, dear Father, and anoint me each morning so I may better serve You and Your masterful plan. I’m honored that You chose me to be a part of that which I can’t comprehend. I keep my faith because of You, Lord.

When our heavenly Father greets us with peace and a breeze, it is a subtle reminder our life on earth is because of Him. The Bible begins and ends in the presence of God for Eden will return and expand into a new heaven and a new earth. God’s chosen people will enjoy His presence forever. Rejoice in the joy!

Surrender your sorrows for yesterday is forgiven and tomorrow is a new beginning. Render not what is yours, but what is God’s possessions, so you may be absolute in heaven. Start your day in praise and prayer. You, too, will be in God’s presence.


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Things I Take for Granted

My front porch calls me at the time of the morning most people are asleep or perhaps at work. The mowed lawn is edged, and a gentle southern breeze talks to me. The flag flaps in the breeze, and I can hear cars on the busy highway, not far away, echoing through the trees. My flowers are all in full bloom…

… the things I take for granted.

I rest my legs on the glass table and lean back against the cool metal glider. Staring across the neighbor’s lawns, I listen to the birds as they feed their young. My American flag stands tall and proud at the corner of my property as I thank God for blessing me with this homestead. In the shadows of the roofline, the sun approaches with a refreshing breeze. What a beautiful morning to enjoy a warm cup of coffee!

… I thank God for the things I take for granted.

Happy thoughts ignite as I remember my wife and I sitting on two empty crates, in this exact spot, before we closed on this home. I smell the shrubbery I’ve planted since then; the fragrance is enticing for the little bluebirds who frolic amongst the branches.

… I count my blessings for the things I take for granted.

I should mention, of course, my health and personal life. I’m pushing seventy years old, but I feel as though I’m thirty-five years young. Nothing hurts or aches me much today. What a gift from God to be anointed with such good health! Then there’s ‘my love’ who rediscovered me after thirty-two years of searching – thank goodness for social media. Every day is a celebration as we wake in love, together at last. Nothing will ever separate that which God has united. After decades apart, our life is nothing short of pure, blissful matrimony.

… oh, the things I used to take for granted.

It is in peaceful times like this, I wonder if our future generations will ever know what real love feels like, or if they will find it one day. Will they be able to sit with their feet propped up on a rail and look out over their own lawn at the forest? We live in desperate times, so they allocate every penny to bills. I will remain in my own little world and pray for their success.

… I thank God for that which I have taken for granted.

In this hurried world of pressures and appointments, the greatest gift I take for granted is the one from God. He makes everything possible in life. Can I ever thank Him enough, for He so richly deserves it? What can I tell Him? What can I do to prove how much love I have for Him, my dear Lord, while I sit on my front porch, taking this glorious morning for granted?  I guess I’ll sit here a while longer to say,

“Thank you, God, for all I took for granted and the joys I rendered from Your blessings.”

What a wonderful Father in heaven we really serve!

www.danabicksauthor.com

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Good Sunday to you

Good Sunday to you sweet friend;
May this Sunday be a special one;
May it bring you sunshine;
Love, happiness and peace
In abundance;
May the Almighty God
Be ever there for you;
Helping, guiding, protecting,
And providing for you;
And may you find the wisdom;
The grace to follow his ways!
And may your work bring glory
To his mighty name!
Amen!

The Hardest Thing To Do Is… Listen

We found our way around the yachts parked in their cradles. An empty spot was right next to the dock. We quietly got ready to embark, and the cloudless skies made us wonder how far off heaven was from the pier. The snoozing seagulls perched on the post tops. As we set sail, the gentle breeze bellowed the fabric, and God became our propulsion. The shores of the water looked so endless. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and no place would I’d rather be than with my love and God at the helm. He created this perfect world of pristine water, and all we had to do was sit and watch Him work.

Sometimes it is difficult to accept God is with us day in and day out. Just as sailing into the open blue, we do not realize we are always at His mercy. Many times our sails luff and we pray as though we ran aground. As hard as life is, even doctors can do little to relieve discomfort. In the distress of my wife’s health, I’m left standing in a vacuum for everywhere I look, I see the remnants of the doctor’s aura.

So, I turn to God and ask Him if He has a minute. The hardest thing to do is… listen and wait for His messages. Our faith is only part of the process. Listening for His answers and reacting accordingly is the trick, so we must have a seeking heart. We should talk to Him as though he is a brother and reveal our frustrations, fears, and doubts. God will teach us how to recognize the difference between His voice and just our thoughts.

Find a location to be with Christ and His great mercy. The Lord always has a place open to sit with me, especially on this endless journey my wife and I have encountered today. I wish I could run away and take her sailing to the place called heaven, but it’s not time yet. God gave us responsibilities we must partake and fulfill. Instead,  I will sit with God and try to understand what advice I need to listen to and praise His great gifts. He united the two of us for some much-needed healing in our difficult road of life. So, I will carry her in every way I can possible. In His strength, we will travel as far as the Lord’s work will need us to go for He isn’t done with either of us yet.

The hardest thing to do is listen for God’s words, but if you acknowledge His involvement in your life, you will always recognize His heaven sent voice. Praise God! It’s our intimate relationship with Him that counts.

www.danabicksauthor.com

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A Representative of Christ

Everyone comes into life to serve a great purpose. That is our destiny. We extend a hand in life to help the broken, but it’s Christ who chooses the believers He wants to represent Him. Faith is a large part of the commitment, but it’s the renewed spirit which Christ blesses each time. I, too, am not worthy to wipe the dust from our Father’s holy feet, but for an unknown reason, God duly elected me. I am a representative of Christ, an emissary, an evangelist of His word. But, I was the man most people least suspected to be His ambassador. This is how God works among humanity. He selects the defeated, renews their heart and mind, and sends them into the world as a witness of His great love.

My heart filled with emotions, and it danced with a joy I didn’t think was possible. All I could do was reverently thank God for the opportunities He opened up before my eyes. It’s a select few picked to serve our Lord on a greater platform, representing Him in the interim of His great return. Yes, this includes ministers, pastors, priests, missionaries, and then just the ordinary… like me.

Do you know how Christ chooses who will live in His shadow as disciples? Millions live in a holy relationship with the Lord, but a genuine disciple usually is considered a social outcast. They have a more profound knowledge of God and wisdom; perhaps a miraculous incident occurred with Him. Often, they are rejected by family and friends and considered “weird” or a false prophet. Demon possessed people react strongly to them, and immature Christians spew insulting comments their direction. Disciples, or anointed chosen followers, stand alone in a mocking world. I’ve experienced all of these things, but with God by my side, I endure all the accusations and criticisms, knowing He is my strength and power.

In the Bible, Jesus’ biological half brothers rejected Him and His ministry. King David was ridiculed for obeying and following the Lord. Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, was born supernaturally for his parents were aged one hundred and ninety when he was conceived by God’s miracle. Moses was appointed at birth to represent God and was the target of terrible criticism from the Israelites and even his own brother and sister. Christ filled John the Baptist with the Holy Spirit before he was born. He was ultimately beheaded because no one believed Christ chose him. Not one person in scriptures chosen and anointed as a representative of Christ had an easy life. They had to set themselves apart, and I’m sure they felt very isolated.

So, today I ask, are you chosen by God to be His ambassador? Are you afraid to take a leap of faith for fear of rejection? Please read Psalm 91 as it is God’s promises to His chosen and anointed people:

God will reward the fruits of our accomplishments at the end. Pick up your staff and walk my friends. Be strong in your commitment, now more than ever as the world’s flocks of sheep are like a pack of wolves. They hungrily circle God’s chosen to wait for the perfect chance to ensnare and devour your devotion. Be not afraid to stand in the barley and dance in the shade. Christians, we were born to represent Christ Jesus.

www.danabicksauthor.com

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