Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is coming. Now is the time to be thinking and planning for 2014. How has the year gone physically, emotionally and spiritually in our relationships? Are there changes that can be made to improve in one or more of these areas? Thanksgiving and Christmas can be times of over spending or over committing physically and emotionally. The results can be stressful with regrets.
Thanksgiving day will soon be here. The day was initiated in America. That is one good reason to be thankful. We can give thanks for every night we sleep in a warm bed. It may be a single dwelling house, town house, condominium or apartment. This makes little difference. Food, clothes, fresh water and other basics of life are a blessing. The pilgrims planned a one or two day thanksgiving that turned out to be a weeklong celebration.
A street person may be successful if he gets a meal and bed at the Union Gospel Mission. A student is successful if he/she receives satisfactory or good grade. An athlete is happy if she/he makes the team. Winning is a team goal. A high school or college graduate is happy to find employment. The kind of job that they desired makes them feel even more successful. These are very important goals to achieve.
Our world is filled with laws, rules and regulations. It was the same way 2,000 years ago when our Lord was on earth. They also had legal people and religious leaders to sort out details. The Master Teacher in every way gave some answers and commandments. Legal scholars and religious leaders tried to trap Him.
Hopefully this has been a good week for you who read this column. It was especially busy and good for me. Sunday was church and Sunday school. Monday was jail ministry day. Tuesday is our food shelf and nursing home visitation day.
Time and money are a concern for all of us. We all have the same number of hours each day. Money is a different story. Most of us do some planning for each day. We also do some tentative planning for the weeks, months and years ahead. There is no guarantee that we will have a tomorrow.
Where was God when that happened? It always intrigues me when people ask questions like that. Many of us have been asked those kinds of questions for many years. Often the inquiring person is honestly looking for answers. One of my favorite authors asked these kinds of inquiries over and over. He also answers many times. He wrote many of the Psalms. You probably have guessed that I am thinking of King David.
Each year at our retired faculty luncheon Kathryn Wingate is our hero. She is 102 plus years young. Her answers are cute: “Pray a lot, smile a lot and dance a lot.” She covers the spiritual, the emotional and the physical. We all know about eating a good diet, getting enough exercise, keeping a positive attitude and following God’s Spiritual program.
“History repeats itself,” is an old expression. Most of us have heard it, Perhaps many times. Certainly this is true in a limited way. One good example that has gone through my mind many times is how national leaders have turned from doing what was right. Ancient Israel, God’s chosen people, did this over and over again. When God’s patience finally gave out He would punish them severely. Other nations used to persecute His people then were punished for their crimes.
The Oak Hills Christian College alumni come together for alumni days each year. The planning committee does a great job of putting together the schedule. It lasts from Friday afternoon through Sunday forenoon. Oak Hills is a small college located outside of Bemidji, that started in 1946. Most of the older alumni were rural northern Minnesota residents.
Most of the readers of this column likely have never heard of Oak Hills. Fewer if any have ever been there. It was the outgrowth of a non-denominational missions outreach to the northwoods areas of Minnesota. Many Sunday schools and small churches were founded between 1926 and 1946. The college campus is located where two lakes come together on two sides of the campus. The beautiful wooded area was home to the headquarters and a Bible camp since the 1920s. The Bible camp is still operating and growing.