Harvest Thanksgiving UK Traditions

When we immigrated to the U.S.A. we brought many of our U.K. traditions with us. We obviously don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but we do have harvest thanksgiving services in our churches where we decorate the church with such things as fruits, vegetables, breads, wheat, grain, autumn flowers and plants to represent His abundant provisions.
The windowsills are lined with a variety of fruits,
We tie tall husks of wheat at the end of the pews,
The altar area is covered with many reminders of God’s provision.
The church doesn’t only look warm and inviting but I remember it smelling so good.
We would praise the Lord for His many provision with grateful harvest hymns
such as:
“ We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land
But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand:
The seed time and the harvest
Our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer for all thy love imparts,
And what thou most desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.”

After the service the food and displays are distributed to the needy and less fortunate.
While attending Hawthorne Gospel church in New Jersey in the 1970’s we offered to provide and decorate the first ever display they had in the church of God’s provision. We are told that forty years later this U.K.tradition is still alive and has become a tradition of Hawthorne Gospel Church. Perhaps an idea for your local church this coming Sunday as you prepare to celebrate not only Thanksgiving but also God’s faithful harvest.

Thanksgiving is a Faith Builder

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Dear Child,

Entering My presence with thanksgiving will build the faith you need to present your requests before Me, and without that faith it is impossible to please Me.

Without thanksgiving you will not have that ever increasing faith to believe that I am a rewarder of those who diligently seek Me.

Because thanksgiving brings to remembrance My faithfulness in the past and feeds your faith.

But ingratitude produces a complaining heart drowned in self-pity which will quench your faith.

An unthankful heart will be excluded from My presence.

In My presence is joy unspeakable and full of glory, a place you can only enter through the gate of thanksgiving! Child, be thankful!

                                            Thus saith Papa

                                              My Jehovah Jireh

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. 

Counting our blessings and remembering His goodness and faithfulness in the past feeds and nourishes our faith BUT being ungrateful and complaining will quench our faith and gratify the weeds that the enemy has sown.

An attitude of praise is the result of a thankful heart.

 Praise and thanksgiving are like Siamese twins i.e. they are inseparable.

Without thanksgiving we haven’t even entered the gate. Yet so often we try to offer praise in His court, and yet still find ourselves coldly on the outside. The only way into the warmth His presence is through the Gate of Thanksgiving. 

So often we come to church with a heavy heart because of circumstances. But if only we would spend a few moments reflecting as we declare  “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11 it would give us an appreciative and thankful heart and our attitude would change, preparing us to enter the gate and into His courts with praise. As the Word tells us “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”Isaiah.61:3.

Please note that I did not say our circumstances would necessarily change, I said our attitude to the circumstances would change. We will no longer be under the circumstances because our sacrifice of praise will raise us above those circumstances, and we will find ourselves spiritually seated in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Then in His timing we will see victory because He can work with those who praise Him. A grateful heart is a soft, pliable heart in the loving hands of the Master Potter. But hearts become cold and hardened when we murmur and complain.

Yes, it is hard when we are burdened and we just don’t feel like praising God.

But isn’t that what a sacrifice is all about? Something that is costing you! What is the cost? An act of our will to choose to offer Him a sacrifice of praise even when we don’t understand the “whys?” We are actually saying with that praise, “ God, I don’t know the future but I do believe that you hold my future and I trust you with the outcome.” We call that faith and without faith it is impossible to please Him.

CHALLENGEMay we all grow to the stature of the faith of Job who declared “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 13:15

Page 141 “DEVELOPING A SECRET HISTORY WITH GOD”

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 Available from Barnes & Noble/ Amazon or a bookstore near you

The Sword of Forgiveness

 

Dear Father,

Teach me daily to deal with offenses, in a way that will cause growth in my life and also in a way that will be pleasing to You.

Dear Child,

Offenses will always be dealt with, one way or another. Whether you think they are left hanging and undealt with or not.

They will either be a trap and stunt growth

                           OR

They will be an opportunity to freedom and maturity.

Your response to the offense IS your dealing with the offense.

Even if you don’t respond outwardly, your response will have a powerful effect on the heart.

Whether stored in the heart!

                    OR

Set free and forgiven!

Offenses not forgiven will be stored in the heart and will hold you captive as chains that tighten with each unforgiven offense.

                                                   Thus saith Papa

Luke 17:1-4  Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Mat 24:10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Since we are warned that offenses will increase in the last days in the above chapter, we need to mature spiritually and learn to biblically respond to these offenses.

Down in the basement of our hearts, just like junk in our physical basement, is junk that is cluttering our emotional life. Experiences from the past that we’d rather shut away in our sub-conscience rather than bring them to the light and deal with them, because most of them are hoarded there because of our choice not to forgive. We are keeping ourselves prisoners to those experiences but a decluttered emotional life brings freedom. When we decide to declutter our hearts  and forgive we are saying “ I no longer give you the power to control who I am, how I think or how I’ll behave”.

An absence of forgiveness is equivalent to staying behind prison bars of buried hurt. 

 “FORGIVENESS is a MIGHTY SWORD that will cut you free”….Broadway Show- Jane Eyre

CHALLENGE: What cords of past hurts and offenses are entangled in your emotional being, robbing your spiritual life of the breathe of freedom? Set yourself free today from those cords of the past with the SWORD of FORGIVENESS. Name them one by one as you sever them from your being that you might be able to walk to freedom from the past!

Chasing After Honor or Does it Follow You?

 

photo 3Dear Father,

Forgive me for the times that the flesh has sought for honor, depriving the spirit of honor that only comes from you! Teach me and mold me, I pray!

Dear Child,

When your heart motivation is truly just to please Me, who sees all things, you will receive a reward and honor. 

You will have the reward of contentment knowing you can commit all things to My faithful hands. The stress and sweat of trying to prove oneself to others will be overcome by My peace that passes understanding.

You will be able to love and accept others because you will not be in competition with others!

Yes, you are running a race, but you will be running to please Me, not to prove anything to others.

Your life is hid in the cross!

The source of your life is hid beneath the soil of your heart and in your spiritual root structure, which is developed in secret times with Me, which no man sees. 

                                                     Thus saith Papa

Matt. 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 

When we minister only to be seen and approved by men, the word tells us we already have our reward, but that temporal reward comes at the expense of an eternal reward which we would receive if we minister only for our Audience of One.

John 21:21-22  Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him,If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

In the above scripture Peter questions Jesus about the calling of John. Jesus’ reply helps me understand  that I should not be competitively concerned about what He has called others to do, but only be responsibly concerned about what He has called me to do! 

CHALLENGE: “Honor is like the shadow, which flees from those who pursue it, and grasp at it, but follows those who flee from it.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Seek the honor that comes from solely serving your Audience of One, rather that temporarily satisfying the flesh with the honor and approval of man.

 For more information about your quiet time with God read “Developing a Secret History with God”

Book available on Amazon/ Barnes&Noble/ Walmart/Lulu/ itunes/ Kindle/ Nook/http wwwclfrance.com/ W.H. Smith UK/or a bookstore near you.
Languages: English/ French

 

We All need Surgery

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Without repentance we have only placed a Band-Aid of emotionalism over the wound of our guilty soul, it will bleed again and never heal.

©MJB

Acts 3:19

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out

Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Don’t put a band-aid on a wound that needs surgery!