Truth Matters Too

“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  (John 1:29  ESV)

Image result for image jesus is the way, the truth, the lifeThese days, if you watch the news and read about many main line churches, or what’s going on in many college campuses, the great passion of today is not what John, the Baptist, is saying here.

There is an overwhelming pressure for social justice, diversity, full acceptance of many minority identity groups, and the idea that “you are not a Christian church or a good person if you don’t love, promote, celebrate, and endorse just about every lifestyle and identity plea that is thrown at you.” Inclusion! Inclusion! Inclusion!

The Apostle Paul emphatically states in 1 Corinthians 14:1 to “pursue love” (ESV). Another version says, “Make love thy great quest.” The KJV renders it, “Follow after charity.” Paul, earlier in 1 Corinthians 13:3 says, “. . . but have not love, I gain nothing” (ESV).

God is love and God is for love. We dare not forget that!

But He is also the God of eternal, unchanging, inerrant truth. I believe John the Baptist knew about this never-to-be-separated duo of love and truth.

Image result for image proverbs 3:3Proverbs 3:3 states this essential connection: “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the tablet of thine heart”  (KJV  Bold added).

These two, mercy and truth, are never to be found separate. Yes, Jesus was, is, and always will be about love. But as John declared here, may we never forget the eternally important truth that Jesus came to save sinners from being damned and lost forever!

I guess in these days of the watered down or forgotten Gospel, I’d like to see us all return to a more healthy balance of mercy and truth.  Concepts like conviction, repentance from sin, and a holy reverence for the Word of God are desperately needed in our churches, our campuses, and our culture. Please join me in praying for this if you are led.


Many thanks to Jim Grunseth for contributing this guest post. Jim and his wife, Barbara, are the authors of numerous materials on marriage, marriage preparation, family, dealing with past emotional wounds, and discipleship. People from over 93 countries have visited their website, www.marriageanchors.com . Couples and churches from over 50 nations have downloaded their free ebooks. They have sent free of charge their materials to 186 local pastors, missionaries, seminaries students, and orphanages their materials to strengthen families, build up local churches, and advance the Gospel. They have 7 children and 11 grandchildren and live in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

Jim has been on staff with Campus Crusade for 37 years. He is a graduate of The United States Military Academy at West Point and also has a Masters in Counseling – Psychology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Barbara is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and taught 13 years at Faith Christian School in Williams Bay. She has been on full time staff with Campus Crusade for 18 years.

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Taste and See

My favorite Persian dish is Khoresh-e-Fesenjoon, a chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce. With the proper ingredients and right preparation, it tastes out of this world. The flavor is like no other. It’s tangy and sweet at the same time. I believe one of the dishes served at God’s Banquet Table will be Khoresh-e-Fesenjoon served over Saffron rice.

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Photo by Artur Rutkowski on Unsplash

The recipe consists of two super foods, walnuts and pomegranates. In a rich sauce, the walnut adds a wonderful nutty taste to make all the flavors come together. However, all the credit goes to the pomegranates’ thick syrup or as we call it in Farsi, Rob-e-Anar, which gives the stew its amazing tangy sweet flavor. Having several Pomegranate trees, we make our own syrup. It takes several hours, and it takes a gallon of Pomegranate juice to make about 18 ounces of syrup. But it’s worth every minute of the labor.

This is how the stew is prepared.

The following is taken from Persianmama.com

INGREDIENTS

1½ large yellow onion sliced thin and fried golden brown in 3-4 TBSP vegetable oil 2 pounds skinless chicken drumsticks or thighs (4-5 pieces)

8 ounces walnut halves (about 2 cups)

¼ cup cold water

1 cup pomegranate concentrate

¼ tsp kosher salt

⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Pomegranate seeds for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pick through the walnuts for any shells and add to a food processor and process until it turns to a tan-colored paste.

2. With the food processor running add ¼ cup cold water through the feed chute. Continue processing until the paste becomes uniformly beige in color.

3. Fry the sliced onions with 3-4 TBSP vegetable oil in a 6-Qt stockpot until golden brown. Remove from the pot.

4. Add chicken to the same stockpot and top it with the walnut paste evenly over the fried onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Drizzle the pomegranate concentrate over all the ingredients.

6. Bring to a boil over medium heat. The pomegranate concentrate tends to stick and burn fairly quickly so avoid high heat.

7. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.

8. Now reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for an additional 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is fork tender and falls off the bone.

9. Stir every 15 minutes or so to make sure the sauce does not stick to the pot. If at the end of this time period the sauce has not thickened enough, leave the pot uncovered for about 10 minutes on low heat for a thicker sauce.

Transfer the Fesenjoon to a serving dish and sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on top as garnish.

Serve over Saffron rice.

And this is a photo of the final product.

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Can you feel your nostrils tingling and your mouth salivating? Are you licking your lips wondering what kind of amazing dance Fesenjoon might do on your taste buds? Why are you wondering about that? Everything you need to know about Koresh-e-Fesenjoon is in writing in front of you. You know its ingredients, you know how to make it, you know how to serve it, and you even have a photo of it.

But all that means nothing when it comes to actually knowing what the dish is all about. So, what’s missing here? You have not eaten the food. You have not experienced its TASTE.

The Bible is clear that reading about God, studying theology, or even becoming a Bible scholar is not enough when it comes to knowing God. That is just like studying Fesenjoon to death, knowing its ingredients, knowing the nutritional benefit of every ingredient, the calories per serving, how to prepare and serve it, or even get a PhD in Khoresh-e-Fesenjoon (I believe there are some schools that hand out PhD in Khoresh), but never know the depth and the richness of the dish because you never tasted it. That is why the Psalmist says,

“TASTE and see that God is good.” Ps. 34:8

In order to know the Creator, one has to experience or taste him and if you don’t agree with me, the next time you come to my house for dinner, your meal will consist of a picture of Fesenjoon with its ingredients and how to prepare it written underneath the photo.


Many thanks to guest blogger Shah Afshar for today’s post. Please visit his website.

ABOUT SHAH

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Shah Afshar

Shahkrokh “Shah” Afshar is an original. He founded and pastored the first Iranian Christian organization in the United States. Shah has been instrumental in reaching the Muslim world with the gospel. His work as a professor and as a Muslim world mission coordinator for Foursquare Missions International expanded his influence worldwide. As a former Muslim and seminary-trained leader, Shah shares unique insights with humor and wit. His passion is to communicate the relevance of Christ’s message to a skeptical generation. Shah is available to speak at conventions, churches, schools and for TV/radio interviews.

God Loves You! How God Commissioned Me

It was a hot, sunny day in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1987. I was standing behind thevan-rensberg sliding door in our lounge, watching the birds enjoying themselves in the birdbath that I have installed that afternoon, together with a bird feeder, filled with food, nearby. They were flying backwards and forwards, feeding and then going to the birdbath to enjoy themselves in the cool water. Lots of noise as they coo-ed and chirped, and the water was splashing everywhere.

Behind them I can see the amazing view of verdant valley where a river flows through the Glenvista golf course. The people who designed the course created a few dams and waterfalls in the flow of the stream as it meandered through the valley. “How blessed we are to be able to live in such a beautiful place, “ I thought to myself. Lainie and I bought the stand years before and then took quite a while to develop it and build the house we wanted, with a view that went on forever. “God has been so good to us, “ I thought.

A sudden flapping of wings and wild squawking from the birdbath brought my thoughts back to the pigeons, sparrows and finches in the hot sun. I smiled and was very pleased that I had installed the bath and feeder for them and had an irresistible urge to move the lace curtain and go out there to tell them how much I love them and how I was enjoying seeing them enjoying the cool water. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they would fly to me and land on my shoulders or hands to thank me for what I have done? Yet, I knew that if should even move the curtain a little bit so that they would see me, they would take off and fly away in fear of their lives. And how silly is that? Did I not buy the birdbath and feeder and install it for them? It is my money that pays for the water and purchased the birdseed! And yet, they would flee from me in fear?

As I was thinking this, the voice of the Lord came to me: “Meyer, now you have an idea how I feel,” He said. “I created the earth and everything in it and I provide in all man’s needs and yet, they are constantly fleeing from Me in fear of their lives! I want them to come to Me and thank Me for what I have done for them. I love them and want them to enjoy the gifts I have given them! Now, I want you to go out into the world with this message: Tell them how much I love them. I love them with a Father’s agape love and they don’t need to be afraid of Me!”

God had previously confirmed my calling as a teacher of His Word, but since that day, I have been endeavouring to fulfill that commission. In the Old Testament, the people were so afraid of God that they told Moses: “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear…” (Ex.20:19,20). Amazing: God delivered them out of Egypt and brought them safely through the Red Sea: He provided a cloud by day and a fire by night to keep them from harm, He gave them food in the desert and yet they were afraid of him!

Today, my friend, we are the same: people run away from God instead of to Him. He loves us so much He came and died on the Cross for as so that we can be saved and come into His presence boldly!

Like I did with the birds, it is God’s desire for us to come to Him and not run away from Him: to accept Him as our Father who loves us and cares for us. My message to you today is: “God loves you so much more than you can ever think or imagine, therefore run to Him, not away from Him!”

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb.4:16)


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Many thanks to Dr. Meyer van Rensburg for this guest post. Please visit his website!

 

 

About the author:

Dr. Meyer van Rensburg was born again in 1982 and has been studying God’s Word ever since. He attended Bible School in 1985/6 and then continued his studies to obtain various degrees: Bachelor of Theology and Master of  Christian Counselling and Master of Divinity from an American Institution as well as Master of Theology from Wales, Bangor and Doctor of Ministry. God has called him as a teacher of the Word and told him to “go and tell them how much I love them.”

In 1987 he was ordained as a minister of God by the International Federation of Christian Churches. After establishing various Bible schools in South Africa, he accepted the post of Senior Lecturer with a Bible Training Centre in Bristol, England, in 2004. After two years he accepted the position of Senior Lecturer and Dean of Students from a London university college. He travels to teach all over the world, especially in the UK, South Africa and Poland. He holds various degrees: Bachelor of Theology and Master of Christian Counselling and Master of Divinity from an American Institution as well as Master of Theology from Wales, Bangor and Doctor of Ministry.

In South Africa he was well-known with Radio Pulpit listeners for programmes such as “Running the Race” on Friday mornings where he used to interview Christian sportsmen, as well as “Music & the Word,”  “Mosaic,” “Light before Midnight,” and others.  He writes extensively, regularly contributing articles for Lucerna and other magazines, as well as being the author of seven books: “Brother to Brother: A Handbook for the Study of Covenants,” “A Dwelling Place for God, A Handbook for the Study of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness,” “God & sons: A Study in  the Fatherhood of God” and “Images of Christ in Genesis, Vols. I, II, and II, and “The Cure for Today’s Dying Church: The Wellspring of Life.” The books are available from the Amazon or one can order it directly from the author. drmeyervr@yahoo.co.uk

Dr. Meyer is married to Lorraine and is the proud father of five daughters. He also paints in oils, does sound engineering, writes poetry, and loves doing woodwork and gardening. His favourite Scripture is Galatians 2:20:  I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet, not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Website: https://www.meyervanrensburg.com/

 

Resurrected Life

Today’s post was contributed by Rev. Anita Keire, the author of A Parent’s Guide to Prayer; the ten levels of non-denominational Mustard Seed Series Sunday school [or homeschooling] curriculum for churches, individuals, homes, and religious schools; Resurrection Dialogues with Skeptics and Believers; and Walking on Water: Skeptics and Believers Discuss Whether Jesus Matters. I encourage you to visit her website to learn more: MustardSeedSeries.com.

_____________________________

One thing we can learn from the resurrection of Jesus is that what looked like a dead end is just the beginning of new life. The same applies to the life cycle found in nature. Spring has arrived. Trees and plants are coming to life. Soon they will be in full bloom fulfilling the purpose for their existence.

As we awaken to our own new life found in Jesus Christ, let us commit ourselves to be our Lord’s heart, voice, and hands in this world. For starters, let us reflect on the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi on peace.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console,

To be understood as to understand,

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

Think about it.

  • Do you agree with this peace prayer? Why or why not?
  • How does this prayer reflect the way we live our lives?
  • Should we take into consideration the fall of our lives? Why or why not?
  • Have you truly internalized this prayer?
  • What does the empty cross image suggest to you?

More from Hal Lindsey

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Here is a follow-up email from Hal Lindsey, the second half of “2018: The Prophetic Year in Review.” I hope you will take a few minutes to read it.

January 18th, 2019

As I noted last week, at the beginning of each year, it is my practice on “The Hal Lindsey Report” to review the previous year and highlight both major and minor events or developments that I believe have prophetic significance.

This week, I’ll present the second and final part of “2018: The Prophetic Year in Review.”

On May 14, 2018, Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its rebirth as a nation. On that day, the United States finally did what its Presidents had been promising to do for years. It officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s actual capital, Jerusalem.

Since then, several other nations have followed America’s lead or plan to do so. President Trump said the move only acknowledged “the plain reality, that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.”

But at the end of the year, President Trump announced another move. It, too, is one that may have definite prophetic significance.

He said the United States will withdraw its military forces from Syria. The primary goal of the US had been to destroy ISIS and the President feels that has been largely accomplished.

However, by withdrawing a US presence, it leaves Russia, Iran, and Turkey as the three controlling forces there. Ezekiel 38 predicts that these three powers will form a coalition and one day invade Israel from the north. Syria and Lebanon, which is controlled by Hezbollah which is controlled by Iran, sit on Israel’s northern doorstep.

By propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran has prolonged that devastating civil war. More than half a million Syrians have died and more than eleven million have fled their homes. Five million have fled the country. Most of them ended up in Europe, which is on the verge of collapse from the weight of the migrant invasion.

In 2018, Israel had better relationships with several of the Arab Muslim nations than at any time in modern history. But as the year ended, that progress was placed in jeopardy by the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

It appears he died at the hands of Saudi operatives. And they may have been acting on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

It may well be that the Crown Prince had this man murdered. It is consistent with his family’s philosophy and history. And that is an abhorrent deed.

But from the beginning, the mainstream media has deceived the public about Jamal Khashoggi. Only at the end of his life did he write a few columns for The Washington Post. But the American media claimed him as one of their own. TIME magazine made him their “Person of the Year” and called him a “guardian of truth.”

But they downplayed the uncomfortable fact that he had been a longtime friend and associate of Osama bin-Laden. He publicly blamed the 9/11 attacks on “Americans who neglected the suffering of Palestinians for half a century.”

Like bin-Laden, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood as a young man. Throughout his career he was an apologist and advocate for the Brotherhood. And, like Israel and Egypt, Saudi Arabia considers the Muslim Brotherhood its enemy.

Canada Free Press called Khashoggi “a cynical and manipulative apologist for Islamic terrorism, not the mythical martyred dissident whose disappearance the media has spent the worst part of a week raving about… [he was] not a moderate.”

Also, though he worked in the Middle East as a journalist, Khashoggi was not a supporter of a free press. According to Canada Free Press, he complained loudly that the Saudi government allowed “some journalists to report positively on Israel.”

None of that means that he should have been murdered, but it’s an important part of the story and it should have been reported.

And it’s telling that the western press took at face value the word of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was the first to point the finger at the Saudi government. Erdogan is a known liar and despot. After an alleged failed coup, he jailed more than 180,000 Turks. He professes to champion a free press, but more than 170 journalists are being held in Turkish prisons, on Erdogan’s orders.

Unfortunately, some national leaders in our world do despicable things all the time. Why is the American media so vehemently against Prince Mohammad, yet turns a blind eye to other global villains, like the Chinese communist government or the mullahs in Tehran? Perhaps it is because in April of 2018, the Prince became the first Saudi royal to publicly say, “The Israelis have the right to have their own land.”

But Syria and Lebanon aren’t the only places Iran is exerting a controlling influence. According to the United Nations, if the civil war in Yemen continues, that country faces the “worst famine in 100 years.”

The media blames this disaster solely on Saudi Arabia. But the Saudis did not cause Yemen’s civil war, Iran did, through their proxy, the Houthi rebels.

Iran wants to control Yemen because of its strategic location. It borders the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. That connects the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Five million barrels of oil pass through this narrow strait every day.

Iran itself sits beside the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, where even more oil passes to the world daily.

With at least partial control of both straits, Iran could disrupt much of the world’s oil supply. That could destroy the economy of Saudi Arabia, its mortal enemy. It would send the west into a deep depression.

In other words, by fighting Iran’s takeover of Yemen, the Saudis are protecting the world economy. But you would never know it if you only get your information from the western mainstream media.

In 2018, Hamas intensified its efforts in Gaza to provoke war with Israel. It convinced Gazans to participate in its “March of Return.” Hamas assured the Gazans that the March would be the beginning of the “liberation of all of Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.” In other words, the beginning of Israel’s annihilation.

So thousands of Palestinians crashed the Israeli border fence day after day. They burned thousands of tires, creating massive clouds of dangerous smoke. They threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers and planted explosives along the border fence.

They flew kites and balloons with incendiary devices into the skies over Israel, causing wildfires and burning thousands of acres of grassland in the process. They fired almost 400 missiles and crude rockets at civilian population centers in southern Israel.

Besieged Israeli soldiers, guarding the nation’s border with Gaza, responded with remarkable restraint. Yet the media blamed Israel for everything.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement that put it succinctly: “The border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip separates a sovereign state and a terrorist organization.”

But the Israel Defence Forces weren’t the only ones under attack in 2018. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a series of storms, as well. He was accused of crimes. (Sound familiar?) His wife was accused of crimes. His governing coalition fell apart late in the year. It didn’t crumble because the liberal Knesset members were displeased. It fell because the very conservative Netanyahu was not conservative, or aggressive, enough for some members of his coalition.

Now, Israel is facing new elections in April, 2019.

In October of 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shouting anti-Semitic slurs, he began firing. He killed 11 and wounded seven. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history. But it was only one of an increasing number of attacks against Jews worldwide.

In November, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan tweeted a video of himself from a few years ago. In it, he laughingly scolded people for calling him an anti-Semite. He said, …[when they] call me anti-Semite, stop it! I’m anti-termite!” The crowd roared with laughter.

To her credit, Chelsea Clinton publicly denounced him for it. She tweeted: “Comparing Jews to termites is anti-Semitic, wrong and dangerous. The responsive laughter makes my skin crawl.”

However, the world’s worst aggressor against Jews continued to be the United Nations. In 2018, the UN continued its unending onslaught of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic actions.

But perhaps a 2018 headline in The Jerusalem Post gave a glimpse into a future spiritual awakening among the Jews that is prophesied in Revelation 7. It read: “Study: One-fifth of Jewish millennials believe Jesus is the son of God.”

Revelation 7:4 mentions the gathering of 144,000 Jews, during the Tribulation, who will go forth into the world and preach the Gospel. They will be from all the tribes of Israel.

Obviously, these revelations from 2018 are not a fulfillment of Romans 11, but it does indicate that there is a growing awareness among some Jews that there is more to the claims of Jesus Christ than they have been led to believe. And that may be a precursor to its fulfillment. It may be one of the most definite signs yet that we are getting extremely close to the end of this age.

As I said last week, it’s past time to get ready to leave this world behind!

Don’t miss this week’s Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations,mwww.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com. Check your local listings.

Happy New Year!

God Bless,
Hal Lindsey


mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147
email: comments@hallindsey.com

What Is the Real Meaning of Christmas?

This article was contributed by Y-JESUS. I hope you will take time to explore their website. You will find answers to many of life’s questions.

Christmas means different things to different people. To most, it is a heartwarming time with family and friends. To many children, it’s about presents and Santa. To merchants, it means a season when many retailers finally begin making money.

But if you were to go back seven hundred years before the birth of Christ and ask theChristmas Isaiah prophet Isaiah what it means to him, he would tell you Christmas is about the birth of a special child:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

We hear these words each Christmas season during the singing of Handel’s Messiah. This profound message is that God Himself would come to earth as both King and Savior.

Most Jews were waiting for the Messiah to deliver Israel from Roman oppression. They were looking for a Messiah of power and authority. But God had a different plan. He chose to send His son as a humble servant whose primary mission was to die for our sins (see Philippians 2:5-11).

The writers of the New Testament present Jesus as both fully human and fully God. Isaiah had said as much when he foretold the Messiah coming to earth as both child and Mighty God. Confirming the words of Isaiah, the apostle Paul writes of Jesus:

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

What would motivate the Creator of everything that exists to step down from his lofty position as the sovereign ruler of the universe to become one of us? Jesus tells us that he came because God loves us–each of us.

The wonderful meaning of Christmas is that Jesus came to rescue us from the death sentence caused by our sin, and to give us hope and peace with God. He did it because he cares for you and me, and wants to adopt us into his family–now and forever.

Why not take time this Christmas to reflect on God’s great gift to you? The one who created you is the same one who came to earth and died for you!

In a world filled with corruption and selfishness, there is tremendous hope in knowing that God cares. And he promises eternal life to all who believe in Jesus. Can you think of a greater reason to celebrate Christmas?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John3:16)

The article “Why Jesus?” explains how Jesus can bring real meaning to your life: http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/7-jesus-relevant-today.

“Why Jesus?” is also available to download in printer-friendly format here or as a PDF download here.

The First Thanksgiving

In an old television commercial, Taco Bell told their customers, “Think outside the bun.”

When we write, we have to “think outside the box.” Editors love to hear a familiar story told in an “outside the box” sort of way.

In this week’s blog I’ve included one of my most requested holiday pieces. The most humorous part about this piece is that it can be used for Thanks giving or Christmas because it’s written “outside the box.”

I hope you enjoy The First Thanksgiving.

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nativity sceneTens of thousands of angels stood wing to wing peering through the portals of heaven. Hallelujahs rang down the golden streets. Today was the day King El Shaddai would fulfill His promise. Prince Emmanuel would be born on Earth. The prophets had foretold of His coming for centuries, and all the citizens of the Celestial City were celebrating the birth of the newborn Prince.

The Cherub Choir filled Bethlehem’s sky and sang to some poor shepherds tending to their sheep. the soprano voice of Greta, the tiniest angel in heaven, warbled loudly, “Glory to God in the highest!”

Kylie, Greta’s best angel-friend, chimed in, “Peace on Earth! Good will toward men!”

Greta and Kylie flew to the humble stable and peeked inside. They smiled when they saw Mary and Joseph hovering over the Baby Jesus. A tear fell from Mary’s eye as she buried her head in Joseph’s chest and cried, “My heart is bursting with gratitude, Joseph!”

“Oh, Mary, I am filled with such appreciation of Jehovah’s provision for us too.”

A knock on the stable door interrupted the young couple. Kylie and Greta cranked their tiny necks so they could get a better view of the visitors. Kylie’s heart fluttered more than her wings. “Look,  those are the same shepherds we sang to on Bethlehem’s hillside. They have come to see newborn Prince and are worshipping Him.”

The seasoned shepherd lifted his staff and hands in praise. “Our hearts are overflowing with thanksgiving today because of this unspeakable gift King El Shaddai has given us.”

Three wise men entered the room with expensive gifts and knelt before the tiny King.

“We honor You today, oh little One. Blessed be the Name of Jehovah! For He has kept His promises and He has blessed us with bountiful blessings this day.”

Greta whispered to Kylie, “Wow! We thought there was celebration in heaven when Prince Emmanuel was born, but I can see humans are even more excited than we are!”

Kylie nodded her head in agreement! “Yeah! I don’t know much about planet Earth, but I can tell you this. Human beings will be sure to make this day a holiday for the rest of Earth’s existence! There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Greta’s forehead wrinkled. “Kylie, what do you think they will call this holiday?”

Kylie hesitated, and then replied, “Well, let’s see! They say they are full of gratitude, appreciation, thanksgiving, and bountiful blessings! Oh, I think it’s pretty simple to figure out what they will name this holiday!”

“What’s that?” Greta inquired.

“Thanksgiving!” Kylie beamed.

“You are so smart, Kylie. I hope when I get a little older, I’ll be as smart as you.”

Kylie flapped her wings and blushed. “Awww shucks, Greta! All I had to do was look and listen to what they were all saying about Prince Emmanuel.”

“Kylie!” Greta squealed, “Do you realize we are seeing history in the making with our very own angel-eyes? And we’ll be able to go back to the Cherub Choir and tell them we saw it.”

“Saw what?”

“The first Thanksgiving!” Greta’s voice grew louder. “We saw the first Thanksgiving!”

Kylie crowed, “There’s no other name for it! Human beings should be full of “THANKSGIVING” for King El Shaddai’s magnificent Gift.”


by Dixie Phillips, CES Editor, Writing Coach, Award-Winning Children’s Author and Songwriter 

Please visit our websites: Christian Editing ServicesCreating Christian Books for Kids, and Find Christian Links 

Questions? Email karen@ChristianEditingServices.com