Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Giving Thanks

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” 
– William Arthur Ward

Allow me to share a Thanksgiving list which several housewives recently compiled.  They were especially thankful for: 1) "Automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for us to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after dinner snacks.  2) For husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals.  3) For children who put away their things and clean up after themselves.  4) For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.  And finally 5) For smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey is done.

Now our list might not be the same as theirs, but I’m convinced that if we began to make a list, we would find that we have much more for which to be thankful than just our material possessions.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Granted, God has richly blessed us with many material blessings.  In fact, a couple of years ago I had the chance to attend a hunger banquet at St. Norbert College to raise awareness of world hunger.  I was blown away by just how many people have NOTHING compared to us.  Do you realize 85% of the world makes less than $13,000 dollars a year?  And yet many of those individuals are some of the most thankful people around!  Why is that?  Because most of them realize that the most important things in life aren’t things!

Listen to how the apostle Paul put it in Philippians 1:3-6, “I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  

God doesn’t mind when we give thanks to Him for the stuff we have.  After all, it’s given by Him to us for our pleasure.  But this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to thank God for the people He’s placed in your life.  Friends, family and fellow Christians are all a blessing from Him.  It’s through these special people that God gives us a taste of what it’s like to hang out with Him.  Do you want to know what I’m thankful for?  I thank God for you!  Don’t forget to thank God for those closest to you!

-Pastor Chris Johnson, Outreach and Young Adult Pastor

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I've been asked, "So when you text/say omg is that a sin?"

OMG is typically a shortening of "O, My God". When you use God's name like this it is taking something special and holy and treating like it is just another generic word to express excitement. It's like taking mom's china on a picnic. This is an example of taking the Lord's name in vain. (2nd Commandment - Ex. 20:3-8 - Jesus' summary in Matt. 22:37-38) Yes, this is sin. 

As is the case with this sin and others Jesus paid for it on the cross. You are forgiven. Your guilt is removed. You have the freedom to reserve Jesus' name or God's name for special moments of prayer, singing, praise, Bible reading, sharing Him with a friend, etc.  

2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 

-Eric Hansen, Discipleship Pastor