Monthly Archives: November 2013

ARE YOU THANKFUL?

            One day a teacher asked her students to share what they were thankful for. Several students stood and gave rather standard answers, but one little boy was different. He said he was thankful for his new glasses. When the teacher asked why, he said, “They keep boys from hitting me and girls from kissing me.”

            We may not have new glasses to be thankful for, but each of us has something for which to be thankful. We need to ask ourselves a few questions. Are we thankful for God’s material blessings? Are we thankful that we live in America? As a nation, we have faults, but in spite of them, we are still the greatest nation on earth. We are still the land of the free and the home of the brave.

            As Americans, we have great freedom. We can come and go as we please. We can live our lives as we please. We can become anything we can dream and are willing to work to achieve. We are free to express our opinions, both good and bad. We are free to bad-mouth our leaders. We can do and say things in America that in other countries could get us arrested, put in jail or even shot. We have freedom of religion in America. That means that we are free to be religious in most any form (Evangelical, Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim). It also means that we have the freedom not to be religious (atheists). Are we thankful for the freedom we have as Americans?

We live in a democracy, governed by a Constitution and a Bill of Rights that states government is of the people, by the people, and for the people (all the people). When the people we elect who are supposed to represent us do a bad job, but forget who elected them, we can throw the rascals out, and we frequently do. Are we thankful for our democracy?

            Are we thankful for our homes? Are we thankful for a roof over our heads and for food on the table? Are we thankful for those we love and those who love us; for mom and dad, for husband or wife, for children, grandchildren, and for dear friends?

            Do we have spiritual blessings we should be thankful for? Are we thankful for our churches, our ministers, and good and godly people who “walk the walk” and “talk the talk?” Are we thankful for the grace of God that passes all understanding that has changed our lives and made us members of the family of God?

            We should not let the gloomy economy, the pre-Christmas sales rush, or anything else rob us of the joy of Thanksgiving. Sometimes, we need to slow down to live. Take time out from the rush. Sit down with paper and pencil and make a list of all the people and things you have to be thankful for. Review your list, then thank God for all your blessings.

 –Robert Wilkerson, DMin, is an author of Christian devotionals and books, and president of People For the Christian Way ministry. Contact him at drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net or http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

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THANKSGIVING CONTROVERSY

For the first time I can remember, there is a controversy going on over Thanksgiving. In the past, Thanksgiving has been set aside as a special day for God and family. In relation to God, it has been a time to thank Him for His goodness and mercy, and to count our blessings. In relation to family, it has been a time for family, near and far, to come together to express love for each other, and to enjoy a delicious meal.

All that tradition is changing. Major stores are staying open on Thanksgiving and are running special sales to draw people in to shop. This has presented a problem in two ways. The people who value God and family are being tempted to go shopping and the employees are being required to work.

At the root of this problem is “greed.” Multimillion-dollar stores think they just can’t make enough money without selling on sacred and family days. It seems that “money” has become the God of this world.

I don’t know what you will do on Thanksgiving. It is a free country, you can do anything you want, but I know what I will do. I will boycott any stores open on Thanksgiving. If enough  of us stayed away, they wouldn’t open. If you value God and family, show it—don’t shop on Thanksgiving Day.

 Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

ENTITLEMENT–NOT A DIRTY WORD

The word “entitlement” is not a dirty word. Although certain individuals and political parties have tried to convince us that it is. The word simply means “a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract.”

Programs designed to aid and assist needy Americans began with President Theodore Roosevelt, and they were added, or expanded, by several presidents following him as need dictated. They were created to help alleviate the suffering and distress among needy people who, due to no fault of their own (old age, disability, etc.), could not work. They were never for those who could work, but would not!

Social Security is the largest of what some people call the entitlement programs. Actually, it began as a social contract between workers and the government. It said, “While you are working, we will take money from your paydays and save it for you until you retire—then we will send you a check each month to help you live in retirement.”

It wasn’t very costly at first. When Social Security began in 1935, the average life expectancy was 58 for men and 62 for women. Millions of workers died before they ever drew a dollar from the program. Today, the life expectancy is 74.8 years for men and 81.8 years for women. That means more people are living longer and are drawing more out of the fund, in some cases more than they put in.

In addition to longer life expectancy adding to the costs, several different categories of people added over the years, and the eligibility rules becoming too relaxed have also increased the cost.

In summary, most of us paid our hard-earned money into the Social Security program for many years, and we expect to receive our retirement benefits from it. We don’t like to hear it called an entitlement program and we don’t like to be looked upon as deadbeats, lazy, or a burden to society. There are adjustments that can be made to Social Security, and other programs that will make them less expensive.

In the meantime, we should do our best to do two things. First, we must see that those who deserve and need help get it, and those who don’t deserve it, don’t. Next, we need to shut the mouths of the ignorant who label people who receive any kind of money from the government as lazy and no good. They are not!

 Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

 

OUR FRIEND JESUS–PART 2

 

“You are my friends, if you do what I command” (John 15:14).

 

 

The old hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is loved and cherished by millions of Christians because of the message it shares. The first verse tells us he bears all our sins and grief. He did this on the cross.

 

Grief is one of the greatest sorrows in our lives. When death comes and takes our loved ones, it is extremely hard. Our hearts are heavy and sometimes we are inconsolable.

 

People handle grief in different ways. Some pretend it doesn’t hurt. “Oh, I’m doing fine.” “I’m doing alright,” they will say. It may be that the reality of the situation hasn’t hit them yet, and they are numb, but grief will come.

 

Some take the position of keeping a “stiff upper lip,” saying to themselves, “I’m strong, I can handle it. I can’t let people see I’m hurting.”

 

A few people, when faced with grief, collapse, and turn into sobbing, moaning, crying human beings. It is OK to cry, in fact, it can be helpful in working through our grief.

 

However, the best way to deal with grief is to take it to Jesus. He is our friend and he loves us. God’s word tells us to cast all our cares on him because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). A burden (load) shared is a burden lightened. Take it to Christ because he can help. Afterwards, you will be able to sing, “What a Friend . . .” with more sincerity, and more love than ever before.

 

 Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

 

 

LOST AMERICA: WHAT CARING AMERICANS NEED TO KNOW Ebook $1.99 today only

 

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GOD’S REQUIREMENTS—PART III

 

“. . . to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV).

 

If anyone ever offers you or your group a seminar entitled, “My Humility and How I Obtained It,” don’t go! When you are proud that you are humble, you aren’t.

“He (Jesus) told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people. Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’”

“Meanwhile, the tax man slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me a sinner.’”

Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself” (Luke 18:9-14, The Message).

With God, the way up is down. Real humility comes from seeing ourselves in relation to God.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com