Categories
Christian Blog thankfulness

Thankful for Thorns

There was once a godly woman who lived in my little town. She was twice widowed and confined to a wheelchair, yet had the sweetest Christian spirit.

Most days, Mrs. Frieda never ventured outside her home, but friends lined up to see her or called her on the phone. People flocked to this dear sister because she had the “Peace that passes all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7).

Most of us can probably think of a fellow believer who stayed grateful to God despite challenging circumstances. There’s something extra special about the unshakeable faith of God’s holiest servants.

So what’s the secret?

I never asked Mrs. Freida, but she surely would have pointed me to biblical passages such as Colossians 3:1-3, about the life that is “hidden with Christ in God,” or Psalm 91:1 where David rested in the “shadow of the Almighty.”

Remain in me, and I will remain in you.

Jesus- John 15:4 (NIV)

If other followers of Christ kept faith in God–no matter what–then you and I can too! We have the same resources available to us as the Apostle Paul, who thanked God for his “thorn in the flesh.”

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Paul- 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Kind reader, any experience which draws us closer to God is a good thing. By His grace may we say in our frailty, “Lord, thank you for this thorn!”

🙏❤️

Portions of this post first appeared as This Thorn, on February 17, 2021.

Categories
Christian Blog hospitality

Paying it Forward with Pancakes

It was the winter of 1991, and everything I owned was packed into my little car for the drive to Fort Worth, Texas. My seminary tuition was covered and I had a place to live, but that was it.

I soon found a part time job that paid $425 per month. However, my car payment was $144, my share of the rent was $118, and the cost of mandatory health insurance was $80 per month. That left $83 for everything else.

I lived on campus, so gassing up the car wasn’t a burden. But finding enough money for food was a challenge! I quickly learned to get creative with the meal budget. A bread store up the street sold off-date pastries for a steep discount. Breakfast covered. My mom agreed to put $50 a month into my account at the seminary cafeteria. Lunch covered. But what about supper?

A guy from the dormitory told me about this hole-in-the-wall barbeque place a few streets over. “Go to Carl’s,” he said. “Ask for the all-you-can-eat pancakes for $1.50.”

One Friday afternoon, near the end of the month, my rumbling stomach made me take my friend’s advice. I walked into the little restaurant with my head down. The air was thick with the smell of slow-smoked meat. “Pancakes at a barbeque joint? It’s gotta be a joke,” I thought.

But Carl’s son, who manned the grill, could spot a poor graduate student a mile away. “Hey preacher boy, want some pancakes?” I’m smiling now, head up, “Yes sir!”.

Kind reader, I had to stop typing for a moment–to wipe away the tears. I thank God for Carl Wilson, who served many a hungry seminarian all the pancakes they could eat– for $1.50.

I’ve tried to “pay it forward” ever since.

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Photo by Desativado on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Living thankfulness

Warming Up to Thanks

Despite recent renovations to our almost 90 year old church building, there was no heat for worship service yesterday morning. The temperature outside was 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

It wasn’t that big of a deal; everyone simply kept their coats on. Except for one brother from Northern Germany who was comfortable in his short sleeves. 😀🏝

Our pianist played an introduction to the first hymn, like always, but when the organist came in something sounded off. Apparently, our non electronic pipe organ doesn’t like the cold, because it sounded like a street corner accordion! Hearing a properly tuned piano and an out-of-tune organ playing together grates on the nerves.🙃

Thankfully, sometime during the third hymn, the old organ began to warm up and sound right. It and the piano agreed to play in the same key.🙂

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.

Psalm 107:31

I want to give thanks to the Lord. It’s a good idea. Agreed. But there’s a problem: my “thanker” is a little cold. I’m saying the right words but something sounds off.

Yet, the more I “Count my blessings,” as the old hymn says, I warm up to what God has done. Next thing you know I’m playing in perfect tune with heaven’s harmony!

Kind reader, as a wise mentor of mine says, “We learn by doing.” So let’s keep counting our blessings.

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.