SAVE THE DATE
11.1 | Daylight Savings Time Ends
11. 3 | Election Day
11.11 | Veterans Day
11.26 | Thanksgiving Day
Though 2020 has been a rough year, we still have so much to be thankful for! Bill’s article is a great reminder to be thankful for not only the big things but the little things God has blessed us with as well. Join us in praying for families during the holidays. For those grieving the loss of a loved one, or military families who won’t be home together this year. With November being election month we pray that God’s will be done and that His people would cling to Christ and know that He is still King, the way the truth and the life, regardless of the political outcome.
THANKFUL THROUGH THE DECADES
By Bill Powell
I have a question for you! Have you ever prayed or maybe even in conversation said there are so many things to be thankful for, too many to mention? I know I have. Then I pondered, is that right? Isn’t that like saying, “Thanks for everything God?” I figured that was a flippant, disrespectful attitude. So, I decided with this article to be more specific and not take things for granted and be unappreciative. So, let’s try this. Thank you, God for Jesus Christ, salvation, the Holy Spirit, sanctification, the Bible, brothers, and sisters in Christ, (by name in prayer no space here). Thank you for my family, (in prayer no space here). Thank you for food, we could be here all day flushing that out. Especially turkey, dressing, pie, tea, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, apples, sorry I should move on. Thanks for my job and coworkers, my house and all that is in it, (in prayers specific), our freedoms, my transportation, hobbies, vacations, creation, pets, heaven, (can’t wait to get there). Thanks for my assurance, your providence and direction in my life. Thank you for allowing me to wake up this morning, Air conditioning and heat, oh thank you for forgiving me, that is a big one. Thank you for humor: Marty and Doc Brown are sitting in the DeLorean with the flux capacitor fluxing and Doc says, “Marty, whatever you do, don’t set it to 2020”. I could not resist. Lord, thank you for sunshine and rain, maybe a little less rain, thanks for the memories, music, language, sounds, smells and tastes. Thank you for the wonder of the touch of a baby’s skin, the scent of the flowers, and fresh bread. Thank you for logic, reason, and absolute truth. Thank you for encouragement, correction, and the ability to change. Lord, thank you for all the sights that are a delight like the mountains, the sky, and the trees. The skies have been magnificent this summer and fall. Thank you for all the things you have spared us from like hurricanes this year and all the things we did not know, yet you spared us nonetheless. Thank you for our country, Florida and my favorite- heat and humidity. Thank you for all the animals except maybe snakes, thanks for birds, bugs and pollen except the kind that gives you allergies. Thank you, Lord for missionaries, pastors, and the church. Thank you for good radio and TV like The Cornerstone. Thank you for those who serve, teach, and care for others. Lord, bless those in nursing homes stuck unable to see their loved ones. Thank you for technology when used properly and for the good. Lord, we in this country are overflowing with wealth- let us use it wisely. Thank you for our police and fire fighters- those who are running in when we are running out.
Well, I am running out of space but not things to be thankful for. I hope this will help you in your prayer life and that you will be specific concerning all we have to be thankful for. Let me end by saying we are thankful to all of you who pray and give so that this ministry can keep on giving and reaching those who do not know Jesus. The greatest thing to be thankful for is to know and love Jesus. What a gift and what a blessing.
(Col 4:2NASB) Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
THANKFUL IN 2020
By Chris Johnson
If someone were to ask you what emotion you experienced most in the year 2020 would thanksgiving be anywhere in the top 5 or 10? For nearly every person alive on planet earth today, it would not be out of order to say this has been one of the strangest and unpredictable years ever experienced. A list of oddities need not be made here because we could fill the page with the myriad of details relating to the unexpected year that’s been 2020. However, the Bible tells us there’s nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9).So what does that mean for the hearts, minds, and lives of Christians? It means we can be all the more certain of the sufficiency of Scripture to guide our lives, and it means that our hope, trust, and confidence must be in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
How does this relate to thankfulness? I’m glad you asked. I believe it has a direct correlation because no matter the circumstances of life we can be sure that God is in sovereign control, that he’s working out his perfect plan, and that he’s teaching us very important things if we will only pay attention. Therefore, with respect to thankfulness and 2020, how can we or better yet, how have we exercised thankfulness throughout this year for the many ways God has reminded us of who he is? Have we purposefully praised the Lord- that we know he’s exercising his dominion over all the universe? Have we gloried in the fact that this crazy year has served to advance the cause of Christ and that his kingdom is growing with men, women, and children repenting of their sins and trusting in him for salvation? Have we thanked him for the countless opportunities we’ve had exercising the “one another’s” of Scripture? Have we expressed our gratitude that this year has served to remind us that we don’t live for this world but long for the one to come? That we are members of a kingdom that is eternal and unshakable? That Christ is the ruler of the kings of the earth?
2020 has certainly been a rollercoaster of sorts and has been filled with great sorrow, mystery, and wonder. However, it’s also been a year filled with boundless opportunities of worship. Let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.” May we be filled with prayer, thanksgiving, and love for Christ!
BRING ON THE SMILES
By Denisha Stearns
I look at the photo of some children who just opened their OCC shoeboxes. One girl wrinkles her nose as she smiles. A boy holds his box over his head in celebratory victory. Another girl peeks over the shoulder of the boy, trying to get noticed while another boy strikes a pose, fingers near his forehead and hip jutted to one side- the vision of “cool” ness. Each of these children from the Dominican Republic reminds me of a child I have known here on our own soil of the United States- children acting like children. And like the children we once were and also children we once raised, the children in the photo have dreams, joys, fears, rules to follow, love to give, friends to hang with, and worries that burden them. Who among them would not like to receive a gift? And who among them does not need Jesus Christ as their Savior?
Doing our part at The Cornerstone station to help children receive shoebox gifts full of school supplies, clothing, toys, and toiletries has certainly been worthwhile over the years. We have imagined the smiles on their faces and then have seen in photographs evidence of the great joy the gifts bring. How much more can the good news of Jesus Christ produce joy in the life of a child? The joy of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, according to Apostle Paul, joy inexpressible, according to Apostle Peter, and the oil of gladness traded for mourning, so says the Lord in Isaiah 61. Are you ready to help bring good news and great joy? Are you ready to pack some shoeboxes? In this season of “we can’t because of COVID”, this is something we CAN do. Let’s get packing, and bring on the smiles, to the glory of the Lord.
TAKE A WALK
By Christina Hutchinson
Well, I suppose we can say we are officially in the grand season of fall here in Florida. Although, I wouldn't say I've been decked out in fall gear yet, such as boots, sweaters, and scarves. But, hey, at least it's not in the 90s. I have been able to enjoy some nice evenings walking outside with Ryan and Cora. That girl loves the outdoors. When she starts getting fussy inside, after trying everything else, I say "alright, I guess it's time for a walk." It's a great distraction from whatever it was that was getting her frustrated. The poor girl just wants to be able to get moving. She's been crawling like a champ but, she's always pushing herself to do more. When she realizes she can't, well, bring on the whining. Mommy and daddy to the rescue!
Isn't this true for us sometimes? That while we're navigating in this crazy world, we long for normalcy, or maybe we're striving for a goal that seems far from reach. Sometimes we need a step back or a change-of-course, new scenery, and some quiet time with The One who has all the answers. Some days I feel like I'm stuck in the same episode. It's a constant repeat of the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that. Being a stay-at-home mom is a wonderful and rewarding job and I am thankful for each day spent with Cora, but the days are also a little redundant. I push myself to do more in a day's worth of time but end up feeling over-worked and defeated. When I realize I didn't succeed at the tasks for that day, well, bring on the whining! I guess you could say Cora gets it from me!
In all seriousness though, we need to take a walk with the Lord during those moments. I think if Jesus were here, we would ask us to go with Him and talk. He would lovingly set our hearts straight because He cares for His sheep. The truth is we can take a walk with Jesus, both figuratively and literally. We only need to open His word to hear His voice and move our feet while we speak to Him. Jesus is here and longs for us to run to Him no matter what. It's a simple concept, but one that our busy minds easily forget. Take a walk with Him for a moment, and may you find peace in Christ today and every day.