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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All From God


I’ve always wondered how atheists celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I mean, it’s a good excuse to eat lots of food, but what does that day mean for them? Do they go around in a circle saying “thank you” to nobody in particular? Austin Cline, an atheist writer for About.com, answered my question in his article “Godless Thanksgiving: Do Atheists Have Anyone to Thank?”

There's a popular belief among some American Christians that the American Thanksgiving holiday is necessarily religious. Aside from the apparent desire to turn everything into an expression of their religion, the primary reason behind this seems to be the idea that the whole point must be to give thanks to their god - not any other gods, just theirs, thus making it a Christian holiday too. If this is true, then it makes no sense for non-Christians, or at least non-theists, to celebrate Thanksgiving.
…There are many people whom we should thank because of how they help us either live at all or just live better. A common thread in these cases is precisely the fact that it is humans who are responsible for that for which we should be thankful, so it is humans whom we should be thanking. At no point are gods involved; even if they exist, gods aren't responsible for that for which we should be thankful, so there is no point in thanking them. On Thanksgiving, don't waste time with prayers, poems about gods, or empty religious rituals…
Sad, right? But I’m afraid that it’s not just atheists who feel like they have a right to the good things they enjoy, apart from any god. Many of us as Christians have started to live like we deserve to have a nice suburban life with a happy family. We have a right to a good education. We deserve to enjoy this beautiful weather. We understand that we don’t deserve heaven or salvation, but a consistent job or a warm cup of coffee is a totally different matter.
Although different than grace that brings salvation, the good things we enjoy and talk about around the Thanksgiving table are nevertheless gifts of grace. We’re here. We’re living. We’re breathing. It rains. The sun shines. Few people call that grace though, because as Jeff Hutchinson, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, succinctly put it: “So few believe in common grace, because the human heart will not admit that a world without common grace is what we deserve.”  
In Psalm 53, David writes: 
The fool says in his heart, “‘There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
All of us have said "there is no God" in our hearts or have at least lived like it, making gods out of ourselves or our things. Nobody is good. All are corrupt. Nobody seeks God. But when man wasn't interested in God, God was pursuing us. Instead of wiping us off the earth, He poured out His wrath on His Son and poured out grace on us, His enemies. What we really deserve is instant wrath. Thus everything is an undeserved gift of grace from God. The good things in my life that I enjoy are totally undeserved, because I should be getting only wrath from Him. That's grace.  
So when you enjoy beautiful weather, good food, a free country, a good education, laughter, a warm house, don’t ignorantly believe that these are simply things you deserve. Thank the God who by His grace has given you this day.
-Lauren Reavely  

The Practical Life of Thanksgiving


         Being thankful is something that I think all of us struggle with. For some of us it’s easy to say something without thinking and not really mean it. For some of us it’s easy to think things without thinking. Obviously we all do both at some point. But, what is harder for you to control? For me, it’s what I think. I’m the kind of girl that won’t say something unless I’m asked about it or if I’ve had coffee. ;) So, most people think of me as “the quite one” that always has a smile on her face. But, my mind is FULL of unthankfulness and impatience. So, what can I do to be thankful? And not only on thanksgiving day but the whole year?
            Sometimes you’ll hear someone say, “When you think something bad... just stop.” But, as I’ve found out it doesn’t always work that easily. I like to think on the positive. So, instead of thinking “stop the bad thought”... think about starting the good. Yes, many times there is a bad thing said (or thought) and you need to ask God to forgive you for and remove it from your mind. But, sometimes there’s simply a loss of a good thought in your life. If you’re in love with someone, don’t you talk about them ALL the time? Not only that... but do you think about them ALL the time? It’s the same way for God. Think about Him, how amazing He is, His extraordinary love for you - a sinner!
            Philippians 4: 4-9 (English Standard Version) says this, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
            Be thankful for the difference God has made in your life, be completely in love with Him, think on positive things. Be the girl that people look at and wonder how you could be - not only happy - but at peace with your life and contented with what God has given you. God is amazing. If you are faithful and are thankful for what He has given you, He will bless you for it. As this quote says, “Live, Laugh, Love.”
-Elizabeth Morphonious 
            

Monday, November 1, 2010

November!!!! :)

Tis the season to be thankful

I would once again like to thank my incredible "team" for being so on top of the ball with getting in the articles in. I also want them to know that I appreciate the sincerity and humility with which they right.

With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away I thought it would be good to take a look at what true thankfulness means. I know it may seem a bit cliche to be talking about thankfulness at Thanksgiving, but the Lord has blessed us more than we can ever imagine. He gives us the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the breaths we take each day. 


So I have asked the girls to write about being thankful. They can write on what they're thankful for, why it is important to be thankful, anything that they can think of. If you would like to contribute don't hesitate to send your articles to the email under "Write For Us" on the main page.

God Bless you all.


"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do; Do it all for the glory of God." -Corinthians 10:31