VIDEO The Blue Yonder – The House on Gratitude Street

80sman78
Sept 2, 2013

RARE DISNEY FILM FROM 1985 ENJOY!
Have you ever thought of traveling through time… going forward or backward to any date? That’s the intriguing question aviator/inventor Max Knickerbocker (E.T’s Peter Coyote) asks 11-year-old Jonathon Knicks (Huckleberry Fox of “Terms of Endearment”). Max is unaware that Jonothan is his grandson – already an adventurous time traveler thanks to a machine built by his neighbor, Henry Coogan (Academy Award-winner actor Art Carney). Can Jonathan save his grandfather from a fatal solo flight across the Atlantic and alter the course of history?


The House on Gratitude Street

 

And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

“Some years ago I bought a house on Gratitude Street,” wrote J. Ellsworth Kalas of Asbury Seminary. “I can’t say when I made the purchase, because getting this house wasn’t like signing a conventional contract…. But of this I am absolutely sure, that I never intend, ever again, to live anywhere else.”

It’s one thing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day every year. It’s another to live on Gratitude Street all the time. People who intentionally count their blessings, express their thanks, and cultivate the quality of finding thanksgiving items in every circumstance—those are the people who live on Gratitude Street. They recognize there’s no such thing as Black Friday. There can be no day after Thanksgiving because every day is Thanksgiving.

Today as you gather with family or friends—or if you’re alone—find a few moments to start a thanksgiving list. Jot down something every day for which you’re thankful. It costs nothing to improve your property, add rooms to your house, or cultivate your landscaping—when you build your life on Gratitude Street.

My place on Gratitude Street depends on constant awareness. So each morning… I list the three or four matters from the previous day for which I am grateful. Almost always some person is in the list…. J. Ellsworth Kalas

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Harvest and Thanksgiving

Harvest and Thanksgiving

Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. Exodus 23:16

Several thousand years ago, God spoke directly to Moses and instituted a new festival for His people. In Exodus 23:16, according to Moses’s record, God said, “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.”

Today countries around the world do something similar by celebrating the land’s bounty. In Ghana, the people celebrate the Yam Festival as a harvest event. In Brazil, Dia de Acao de Gracas is a time to be grateful for the crops that yielded their food. In China, there is the Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival. In the United States and Canada: Thanksgiving.

Gratitude is the memory of a glad heart.

To understand the fitting goal of a harvest celebration, we visit Noah right after the flood. God reminded Noah and his family—and us—of His provision for our flourishing existence on the earth. Earth would have seasons, daylight and darkness and “seedtime and harvest” (Gen. 8:22). Our gratitude for the harvest, which sustains us, goes to God alone.

No matter where you live or how you celebrate your land’s bounty, take time today to express gratitude to God—for we would have no harvest to celebrate without His grand creative design.

Dear Creator God, thank You so much for the wondrous way You fashioned this world—with seasons, with harvest-time, with everything we need to exist. Please accept our gratitude.

What are you thankful for?

Gratitude is the memory of a glad heart.

By Dave Branon

The Motivation for Gratitude

Psalm 111:1-10

Yesterday we say that God’s will is for us to give thanks in everything. How can we possibly do this? When something unpleasant happens, we certainly won’t feel thankful, yet Scripture says quite clearly that God wants His children to express gratitude in all situations.

If we hope to maintain a grateful spirit, we must find a consistent motivation. Otherwise, our thankfulness will ebb and flow according to our current conditions. Since the only constant in our life is the Lord Himself, that’s where our focus should be.

First of all, we can be thankful for the demonstrations of God’s power and wisdom as displayed in His creation. The mountains, seas, forests, and fields reveal His goodness and lovingkindness in the way He designed such a beautiful habitation for us. Then, by lifting our eyes to the heavens, we see the vastness of His power and creativity. And by gazing into a microscope, we observe His intricate design of even the smallest particles of creation.

Another reason for gratitude is God’s providential care. Every day, we are sheltered in His protection, guided by His Spirit, and nourished both physically and spiritually through His gracious provision and His unfailing Word.

Most of all, we should always be thankful for our redemption. Apart from salvation through Christ, we would be without God, both in this world and throughout eternity. So even when life lets us down or turns out differently than we hoped, we should remember there’s an inheritance reserved for us in heaven. That’s sufficient reason for continual gratitude!

Giving Thanks for Christian Friends

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2)

We all have much to be thankful for. It is certainly appropriate to give audible thanks for our daily bread, whether in private, at a family meal, or in public at a fine restaurant. In fact, Jesus set the example. When He miraculously fed the multitude beside the Sea of Galilee, He began with a prayer of thanksgiving: “He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them. . . . And they did all eat, and were filled” (Matthew 15:36-37).

It is good to give thanks for our food and shelter and clothing, but the blessing of having Christian friends is even more thankworthy. The first letter to the Thessalonians was possibly Paul’s first Spirit-inspired letter to Christian friends, and Paul began with a testimony of thankfulness to God for them (see the text above).

When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he began similarly: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3), and to the Colossians, he started the same way: “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” (Colossians 1:3). The same when he wrote his epistle to the church at Corinth: “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:4).

Even when writing to the Christians at Rome, whom he had not yet met personally, he wrote: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Romans 1:8). He also thanked God for his personal friends Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3) and Philemon (v. 4).

Throughout our Christian life journey, we develop lasting Christian friends and can thank God for all of them. What a blessing to have such friends, and how fitting it is to give God special thanks for them at this time. HMM

Evil doers shall be cut off

1 Kings 21:17-29

1 Kings 21:18

Short is the triumph of the wicked. Before Ahab can enjoy his plunder, he is to be served with a writ of ejectment of a terrible kind.

1 Kings 21:19

Admire the dauntless courage of Elijah, who does not hesitate to confront the haughty king in the very moment of his joy. Who would like to take the prey from between the lions jaws? Yet this heroic man advances to the task.

1 Kings 21:20

Ungodly men often count faithful ministers to be their enemies, when indeed they are their truest friends. We should count him our benefactor who has the courage to tell us unpleasant truth.

1 Kings 21:20

Had it not been for his iniquity, Elijah would not have troubled the king; but because Ahab offended the Lord, therefore Elijah offended him. In our ministry, if men’s consciences are touched, they ought not to blame the preacher, but their sins. Elijah went on to declare the utter destruction of the race of Ahab.

1 Kings 21:21, 22

The same sins were to be followed by the same judgments. Let us take heed, for it is written, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.”

1 Kings 21:23

Here was a special word for the proud queen, and the prophet feared not now to utter it, though once he had fled from her. God makes his servants brave when they are on his errands. Nature may fail them, but grace will not.

1 Kings 21:25

Unconverted men have each one his price: give them what they ask, and they will sin as Satan may prescribe.

1 Kings 21:29

The doom pronounced on Ahab was most terrible, and the threat of it evidently had a great effect upon the vacillating king. He had no grace, and did not therefore savingly repent; but even his natural fear had something in it which the Lord approved, and therefore the doom was postponed a little. What power there is in humility and repentance! God grant us grace to approach him by Jesus Christ in a still more acceptable manner, adding faith to our trembling, and we may be quite sure that he who respited Ahab will altogether save us.

 

And lo! he vanish’d from the ground,

Destroyed by hands unseen;

Nor root, nor branch, nor leaf was found

Where all that pride had been.

 

But mark the man of righteousness,

His sev’ral steps attend;

True pleasure runs through all his ways,

And peaceful is his end.

 

If You’re Financially Blessed, Don’t Feel Guilty About It!

1 Timothy 6:17

Many years ago, my wife and I knew a family who was extremely wealthy. When I use the word “extremely” to describe their wealth, even this word inadequately expresses the immense reserves of worldly possessions they had accumulated. Due to their great-great-grandfather’s wise planning two generations earlier, their family money had been invested in such a way that it couldn’t be touched and therefore wouldn’t be spent. As a result, the family investments had kept growing and accumulating for two generations.

Although vast sums of money were in the bank and belonged to these family members, they were not allowed to touch one cent of it until the date that had been set by their great-great-grandfather. They were enormously wealthy; yet they struggled financially to make ends meet because the treasure they had in the bank wasn’t at their disposal.

When we first came to know this family, the time had finally arrived—their money became available for them to use and enjoy. But because they had lived for so long with so little, they didn’t know how to enjoy the money. In fact, even though they could purchase anything they wished, they didn’t. They felt guilty about owning so much money.

So instead of enjoying their wealth, these family members just let the money sit in the bank, where it continued to grow larger. Meanwhile, they lived like people who were financially strapped for cash. They wore old clothes; they balked at spending the money to purchase a new car; and they were very concerned about what people would think of them if word ever got out about how much money they had in the bank. When I saw these people, I’d try to encourage them to go buy some new clothes, but they didn’t want to spend the money to do it. Even though they could purchase anything they wanted, they lived like poor people.

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he gave him instructions for the rich people who attended his church. He said, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

I want you to notice that God’s blessings are to be enjoyed. The word “enjoy” in this verse is from the Greek word apolausis, which describes a person who gets the maximum benefit from something he owns. Rather than feel guilty about what he owns, he derives great pleasure, gratification, and enjoyment from what he possesses. This means if God has entrusted abundant resources to you, you shouldn’t feel guilty about your wealth or feel badly about enjoying it. God wants you to enjoy the blessings and resources He has entrusted to you!

Paul asked the Corinthians, “… Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?” (1 Corinthians 9:7). In other words, if you have worked hard to produce the success you are now experiencing, it is right and normal for you to personally enjoy a part of it!

Worldly wealth empowers you to get things done; it enables you to be a blessing to other people; and it gives you the ability to sow into the work and advancement of the Gospel. So stop feeling guilty if you are financially blessed. Stop feeling like it’s wrong that you got a promotion when someone else didn’t. You have worked hard for the harvest you are now reaping, and it’s time to start enjoying what God has done for you!

Why don’t you change the way you are thinking? Learn to see yourself as one who has been specially empowered in order to be a blessing to others and to give for the advancement of the Gospel. And if you want to enjoy some of your wealth along the way, there’s nothing wrong with that either! God has given you all things richly to enjoy!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I have asked You to bless me financially. So when increased finances begin to come, please help me have the grace both to enjoy them and to use them for the advancement of Your Kingdom. I don’t want to flaunt the money I possess or to frivolously spend it. Instead, I want to use it to do something positive and eternal in this life. At the same time, please teach me how to enjoy the financial increase You have blessed me with and to know that it is all right for me to personally derive some benefit from it as well. Help me to truly understand that You give us ALL things richly to enjoy!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am blessed of the Lord. My personal finances are growing, and I am being positioned to become a source of huge financial blessing to other people. I have worked hard for the blessings that are coming my way, and I have every right to enjoy a part of them personally. The Holy Spirit is giving me wisdom to know how to administrate my finances—to whom I should give funds, as well as how I should spend and invest my money. I have the mind of Christ to deal appropriately with the financial blessings that God is sending into my life.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. What would you do if a large sum of money was suddenly dropped into your hands today?
  2. Are you sowing seed into the Gospel that will bring a harvest back into your life? Where are you sowing that seed? Why have you chosen to sow your seed into that particular ministry or organization?
  3. Do you enjoy your possessions, or do you feel guilty about possessing them? To fully enjoy what God has given you, what changes do you need to make in the way you think about material possessions?

 

Satan Utilized Four “Strategims” To Entice Eve Into Sin

1. He played to her ignorance of the Scriptures: Satan to Eve, “Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?‘” (Genesis 3:1) In response, Eve stated, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.‘” (3:2, 3) In fact, God had said nothing about “touching” the fruit. (2:16, 17) Simply not to eat it. Sadly, Eve was ignorant of the Word of God that had been given to her.

 

Ignorantpeople distorttheScriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:16b) (See Matthew 22:29)

 

QUESTION: Are you steeping yourself in the Scriptures in preparation for Satan’s inevitable attacks of lies and deception? (See 1 Chronicles 21:1; John 8:44; Revelation 12:9; 20:12)

 

2. He played to her ego: Satan to Eve, “You will not surely die… ” (Genesis 3:4)

 

Remember the bumper sticker, “Question Authority”? Translated it means, “No one’s gonna tell me what to do! I’m the captain of my ship, the master of my fate!”

 

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way… ” (Isaiah 53:6a)

 

QUESTION: As God reveals His truth to you, are you choosing to respond in humble obedience?

 

3. He played to her curiosity: Satan to Eve, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

 

Are we not often enticed into sin through our curiosity? That is, we choose to step beyond God’s ordained boundaries to experiment in areas that ultimately could (and would) harm us.

 

Be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their godsI want you to beinnocent about what is evilinnocent as doves… ” (Deuteronomy 12:30b; Romans 16:19b; Matthew 10:16) (See Ephesians 5:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:23)

 

QUESTION: Can we appreciate the fact that there are certain areas of knowledge and experience into which our loving Father desires us not to enter? Are we willing to surrender to His wise and protective care?

 

4. He played to her senses: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:6) “Davidsaw a woman bathing [She] was very beautiful, and[he] sentto find out about herThen David sentto get herand he slept with her.” (2 Samuel 11:2-4 – excerpts) (See Joshua 7:21)

 

QUESTION: Just what level of arousal would it take to draw you into sin? Does “every man have his price?” What stimuli are you presently allowing in through your senses that, given the right opportunity, could prove to be your spiritual undoing? (See Matthew 6:22, 23; 1 Corinthians 10:12; 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Peter 2:11)

 

 

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