Thursday, November 22, 2012


Fall leaves, 

 Good food,
Pumpkin pie,

Ask most people what the word “Thanksgiving” means to them and you will get many of the above answers...and usually the word on which the celebration was founded is omitted...Gratitude. 

A cold, forlorn group of weary Puritans huddle silently upon the desolate beach as storm tossed waves break upon the rocky shoreline. Expectantly they gaze out upon the battered sea, straining to catch the faintest flapping of canvas amidst the gale. Finally they hear the sound they have waited for so long. Their tired faces turn to smiles as they envision themselves sailing away to freedom...

Hours later all hopes of freedom are trampled, for instead of setting sail to the promised land, they find themselves locked up in a damp, smelling, rotten prison...

But why are they here?

The answer is simple...

They are not willing to bend or compromise to the will of the King...

Because they cannot deny their God.
Even if it means suffering and even death.

Yet through it all they are not discouraged...their lives are in their Father's hand and with that knowledge they quietly rest, trust, pray, and wait for another opportunity.


Years slip away...the day arrives when the persecuted band of believers finally step aboard the Mayflower...the ship that will carry them away to freedom. But their trials are not over...the trip is long and the sea rough. When they eventually arrive at their promised land the winter is cold and the food supplies low. By spring many have sickened and died.

Yet again their hearts are filled with thanksgiving to their Savior for bringing them to a land of freedom...a land of peace. 

As the leaves turn crimson and the breeze once again whistles cool, the pilgrims announce a feast of gratitude to God for all the many blessings He had given them that year.

And thus the first Thanksgiving was born. But sadly we have well nigh forgotten the purpose of the has become only...a feast.

So this Thanksgiving may we remember our fathers who gave their lives for the freedom we now enjoy. And may we learn from them to have a spirit of gratitude. Not just today when all is fun and games, but also on those days when trials and sorrow draw near to discourage us.

For just maybe our trials are blessings in disguise.

So my friend...
What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Prison Doors

It's not unusual:

Eyebrows raised, puzzled expressions...and inevitably the question comes...

"Why do you have an open prison door, and chains for your lock screen and background?"

I smile...

"Because my friend, they have become my all consuming passion of late..."

"Prison doors and chains, you've got to be kidding!!"


It's true...

But the chains which consume my thoughts are not hard and metal as you may expect, but they are just as real...

The prisoners in the cell are not really behind iron bars, but they are as hopeless as if they were locked behind them...

So why have these become may passion? Because my prince...the one who alone can break chains and open doors has bidden me to help Him...
Though I'm completely and utterly unworthy of such a trust, I except the call because I once was one of the chained ones...I understand the misery and pain of chains...

I used to have gaping wounds where the chains had cut into my wrist...but now I only have scars...and they are my trophies...a reminder of how merciful my Prince is.

So my friends, you too may be free...if you know not how to begin or where to start, let me take your hand...I once was in your shoes...and I will take you to the chain smasher...the one who can make you free. And when He makes you are free indeed!

To all who are tortured and ravaged by sin,
The frail and the wounded about to give in.
There's news of release and captivity's end.
We've been set free, come and see!
Oh sleeper awake, come out of the night,
Throw open the door and step into the light,
For sin is undone and the wrong is made light.
We've been set free, come and see!

Come and see, the power of sin has been broken!
The gates of your prisons stand open, come and see!
Arise, believe, for the power at work both to rescue and save,
Is the power that raised Jesus Christ from the grave.
We've been set free, come and see!

I, too, lived in slavery, unmercifully bound.
Battered and broken I finally knelt down,
And there in obedience freedom was found, I've been set free!
And now through the dungeons of darkness and night,
I run in the freedom of liberty's light
And shout to the captives, "Oh prisoner take flight!
We've been set free, come and see!"

If the enemy's holding a knife to your chest,
Demanding you give up or die.
In Christ crucified you've already died
And now you are free!

Come and see, the power of sin has been broken!
The gates of your prisons stand open, come and see!
Arise, believe, for the power at work both to rescue and save,
Is the power that raised Jesus Christ from the grave.
We've been set free, come and see!