Stones of Thanksgiving

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. (1Sa 7:12)

After the Lord worked and provided a miraculous victory over the Philistines, Samuel set up a stone memorial of thanksgiving for the Lord’s help.

Here is a simple outline I used at our church’s Pie, Prayer, and Praise service on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.  Here are my Stones of Thanksgiving.

Stone of Thanksgiving for Saving Me

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (Eph 2:12)

Stone of Thanksgiving for Securing Me

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1Pe 1:3-5)
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (Rom 8:33)
 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (Joh 10:28-29)

Stone of Thanksgiving for Staying with Me

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb 13:5)

Stone of Thanksgiving for Staying Me

I need not fall

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. (Deu 33:27)

I need not falter

The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exo 15:2)

 I need not fear

A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psa 27:1)

Stone of Thanksgiving for Serving Me

And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. (Luk 12:36-37)
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:14-16)
 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (Psa 121:1-3)

Stone of Thanksgiving for Succoring Me

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Heb 2:16-18)

Stone of Thanksgiving for Supplying Me

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Php 4:19)
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat 6:33)

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Providing for Honest Things

Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. (2Co 8:21)

During his time as a rancher, Theodore Roosevelt and one of his cowpunchers lassoed a maverick steer, lit a fire, and prepared the branding irons. The part of the range they were on was claimed by Gregor Lang, one of Roosevelt’s neighbors. According to the cattleman’s rule, the steer therefore belonged to Lang. As his cowboy applied the brand, Roosevelt said, “Wait, it should be Lang’s brand.”

“That’s all right, boss,” said the cowboy.

“But you’re putting on my brand,” Roosevelt said.

“That’s right,” said the man.

“Drop that iron,” Roosevelt demanded, “and get back to the ranch and get out. I don’t need you anymore. A man who will steal for me will steal from me.”

Honesty is an old fashioned “classic” virtue.  In days past a man’s word was his bond. But one needs only to take a cursory look at today’s political and business scene to see that  “the best policy” is “a “forgotten policy”.

Let’s set the framework by trying to understand a little of what God says about dishonesty.

– Dishonesty is despised by God   

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Pro 6:16-19)

– Dishonesty is deep-seated and depraved

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psa 58:3)

We are born liars.  Our very nature is to be dishonest if we feel we will benefit by leaving the truth being.  We are tempted to lie by fear, pride, or greed.

– Dishonesty is demonic 

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (Joh 8:44)

– Dishonesty must be defeated by a developing Christian character

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:9-10)

How to become an honest person and “provide for honest things…”

1. Develop an Honest Heart (Luke 8:9-15)

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luk 8:15)
  • Honest heart needs to be soft (vs12)

  • Honest heart needs to be deep (vs13)

  • Honest heart needs to be cleared (vs14)

2. Practice an Honest Mind (Ph 4:8)

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. (Pro 23:7)

3. Build an Honest Report (Acts 6:3)

 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. (Act 6:3)
Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. (2Co 8:21)
  • Build an Honest Report with God

And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. (Job 2:3)
  • Build an Honest Report with Man

An honest report will allow us to be chosen by man to be used by God.

 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. (Act 6:3)

4. Commit to an Honest Lifestyle (Rom 13.13)

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (Rom 13:13)

Watch the entire service – Click Here

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Remembering on Veteran’s Day


Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (Rom 13:7)

Clippings from Remarks by President Ronald Reagan
Veterans Day National Ceremony
Arlington National Cemetery
November 11, 1985

We celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, the armistice that began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise.

We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived.

When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men.

They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.

And the living have a responsibility to remember the conditions that led to the wars in which our heroes died. Perhaps we can start by remembering this: that all of those who died for us and our country were, in one way or another, victims of a peace process that failed; victims of a decision to forget certain things; to forget, for instance, that the surest way to keep a peace going is to stay strong.

Peace fails when we forget what we stand for. It fails when we forget that our Republic is based on firm principles, principles that have real meaning, that with them, we are the last, best hope of man on Earth;

We endanger the peace and confuse all issues when we obscure the truth; when we refuse to name an act for what it is; when we refuse to see the obvious and seek safety in Almighty.

Peace is only maintained and won by those who have clear eyes and brave minds.

Peace is imperiled when we forget to try for agreements and settlements and treaties; when we forget to hold out our hands and strive; when we forget that God gave us talents to use in securing the ends He desires.

Peace fails when we forget that agreements, once made, cannot be broken without a price.

And peace fails when we forget to pray to the source of all peace and life and happiness. I think sometimes of General Matthew Ridgeway, who, the night before D-day, tossed sleepless on his cot and talked to the Lord and listened for the promise that God made to Joshua: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Thank you. God bless you all, and God bless America.

President Ronald Reagan

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Our Model for Prayer and Life


And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (Luk 11:1)

When asked by His disciples to teach them to pray, Jesus gave them a pattern for prayer.  It is a pattern for prayer, or an outline, showing us the type of items our prayers should include.

Since we are to pray without ceasing (1Thes 5:17), our prayer life should model our daily life and our daily life WILL mirror our prayer life.

Let’s take a bird’s eye view of the model prayer of Luke 11 and thus a model for our daily life.  We are to live what we pray!

1. Reverence God’s name 

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (Luke 11:2)

– Reverence His name with our lips

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Exo 20:7)

As old-fashioned as this may sound, we need to keep a clean and reverent mouth.  Obviously this means we should not swear, but we should also let our words be always honoring the Lord.

We should never use His holy name as a swear word and we must also be careful about using bywords that refer to Him.

Take a few moments to look up those “innocent” words we use to “spice up” our conversations and you will find that these are just euphemistic substitutes for the words we are commanded to avoid.  …Oh be careful little lips what you say…”

– Reverence His name with our lives

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2Ti 2:19)

If we take His name as our own by calling ourselves “Christians”, God says we are to remove ourselves from sin.

2. Remember His Kingdom

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. (Luke 11:2)

– We should be living for His kingdom

His will be done, not ours. Our prayers and practice should be to quickly, joyfully, and carefully seek and submit to God’s will.

– We should be laboring in His kingdom

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luk 9:62)

 3. Rely on Him for our needs 

Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. (Luk 11:3-4)

– Rely upon God for our daily need for provision.

Look to God for our food and clothing needs.  …for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.. (Matt 6:32)

– Rely upon God for our desperate need of pardon

Seek and rely on God for our own forgiveness

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jn 1:9)

Seek and rely upon God’s grace and help for us to forgive others. – “…we also forgive every one…”

– Rely upon God for our desired protection

Rely upon God for protection from temptation and from evil.

Lord, teach us to pray. Let’s strengthen our prayer life and have a life of prayer.

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