“Some Christians who do know Christ are in great doubt as to whether they know him. This ought not to be. It is too solemn a matter to be left to chance or conjecture. I believe there are saved ones who do not know of a surety that they are saved. They are raising the question often that never ought to be a question. No man ought to be content to leave that unsettled, for mark thee, my hearer, if thou art not a saved man, thou art a condemned man. If thou art not forgiven, thy sins lie on thee. Thou art now in danger of hell if thou art not now secure of heaven, for there is no place between these two. Thou art either a child of God, or not. Why say ye, ??I hope I am a child of God, yet I do not know; I hope, yet not know that I am forgiven??? In such suspense ye ought not to be. Thou art either one or the other ? either a saint or a sinner, either saved or lost, either walking in the light or walking in the dark.” Charles Spurgeon

Sunday in Alabama

I finally posted some photos taken after a Sunday morning church service in Alabama. These are taken in Papa Mike’s and Mama Lynn’s front yard.
Click here to see the photos in the Lombardi Spot galleries
Click here to see the photos in the Flickr Galleries

 

Thanksgiving Reflections

I sent an email out to all the registered members, giving some things to be thankful for. I also meant to close by stressing the importance of being thankful. I talked with a woman at the dentist office the other day who said that her kids are just not thankful for what they have. There is always something else that they want and they always seem to find something wrong with what they currently have. She was frustrated with her situation and even gave me a sarcastic “good luck” as I left.

Her struggle is not uncommon for we live in a society of consumers who are continually unsatisfied with what we currently have. I can really identify with that kind of thinking because that is very much the way I have behaved for many years and I still struggle to be content and thankful for what I have. The nationwide pastime of shopping and accumulating credit card debt is a testimony to this reality. Sometimes, we can say we are thankful, but our actions show that we are restless with what we have. Compassion International started selling shirts that have a little wisdom printed on each one. The front of one of the shirts said, “the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth” and the back side said “the opposite of poverty is enough”. Sometimes we have to realize that we have more than enough in order to truly be thankful both in our thoughts and our actions.

I suppose what better way to express thankfulness than to share our abundance with those that have little to nothing. Compassion International is a great way to do this. I’ve been sponsoring a child through Compassion who is in India. Our neighbor down the street had commented that we are wasting our money on these charities because they spend it all on fancy, expensive conferences and hotel bills. I think his position is more of an excuse to neglect giving to people in need. I haven’t found this to be that case at all. Recently I sent a $25 birthday gift and a $200 family gift through Compassion International and I received a thankful letter in return where my “loving daughter” (she addresses herself as that), explained that with the birthday gift she purchased a dress, aluminum vessels, a steel can, steel glasses, cake, and chocolates. With the family gift she purchased sand and bricks to replace the house walls that were previously made of coconut leaves. I still get all choked up that she was living with just coconut leaves as walls for the years that I’ve been sending letters back and forth. I had no clue what everyday living was like. And that’s partially the point of getting in touch with people in poverty. Through people in poverty, we become acutely aware of our abundance and luxurious living, realizing we truly have more than enough and more than enough to share with those in need.