I Can’t Help But Be Thankful Today

(1-2 minute read)

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Exactly six months ago on May 23, 2017, I entered Lenox Hill Hospital for a full hysterectomy.  Doctors had discovered that the great discomfort I had been having earlier in the year was actually a 6 1/2 inch dermoid cystic mass on my left ovary which turned out to be small cell carcinoma, a very rare but aggressive ovarian cancer.  In addition to a full (and I do mean full) hysterectomy, my doctor, who is the head of gynecologic oncology at Lenox Hill removed my appendix, my lymph nodes, and my omentum.  What is normally a routine procedure requiring a two-day stay turned into 11 days due to gastrointestinal complications.

So six months to the date, I am grateful for life.  Sounds trite and common, I know. But it’s real.  Nothing sobers you up about life and puts you in the seat of introspection like a life-threatening disease that you never thought you would have.  And although your body may be whole, there are life-threatening forces all around us. Forces designed to shorten the quality of your life, if not life itself.  So cherish each minute of each day.  Make the most of life. Grasp your faith and don’t let go.

Tomorrow may not be promised, but joy is possible!

May God bless you on this day of tradition when we come together to give thanks.

For those of you who missed my 2015 Thanksgiving post on the history of the holiday, here you go!

Dreamers & Doers

Unknown-1As time progresses, I am amazed at the number of people, particularly young people, who possess a limited familiarity with African-American historical figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   Little knowledge, goes beyond Dr. King’s famous, I Have A Dream Speech. And even though we often speak about Dr. King’s dream and that the dream lives, we must remember that Dr. King not only was a dreamer, but he was a doer. Dreams are not meant to languish inside of us. Dreams are birthed in our spirits so that they can be manifested into the universe. Three things we should remember on this historic holiday for which we fought long and hard.

1. Dreamers gain clarity for their own lives and their community.
True dreamers understand that their dreams and creative thoughts allow them to realize their purpose in life. Dreams point us toward our passions and those things which trigger our hearts into actions. They help us gain clairity. But with our own clarity comes a clearer understanding of our place in our communities. Dreams help answer the questions, how can we connect, touch, repair and heal those around us? Dreamers realize the unfolding of God’s plan in their lives and the connection with those around them.

2. Dreamers realize that their dreams must turn into reality — and they make it happen. Dreamers are not sleepers. Don’t get it confused or twisted. Dreamers stay awake and on the job. Because dreamers know that dreams, visions, hopes and goals are worthless unless they are acted upon. Dreamers are realists who set up plans to make their dreams a reality. Dreamers do not put off for tomorrow what can be done today. In the words of Dr. King, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”  Dreamers have a ‘now’ mentality. Not a “tomorrow” mentality.

3. Dreamers realize that their dream extends beyond their existence. This is what Dr. King meant when he said, “I may not get there with you, but we, as a people, will get to the promised land. We need more women and men who are not afraid to dream and cast visions which will extend beyond own lifespan. Dr. King also said that it is “the quality, not the longevity of one’s life that is important.”  While we are busy dreaming, we must imagine and fashion a life full of quality that will extend to generations after us.

As we remember Dr. Martin Luther King and his dream, may we forever be doers as well as dreamers. May we continue to fashion a great future, not just for our own existence today, but for a better world tomorrow.

 

What does the dream mean to you?  Do you think that our country is living the dream that Dr. King envisioned?  Why or why now? What can we do to make the dream (or a dream) reality?

Finding Jesus…

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 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12, NIV translation, emphasis mine)

Much can get lost at Christmas time.  In the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorations, preparations for feasts and travel plans to visit relatives and friends, many people miss finding Jesus during the Christmas season.  The Bible reminds us of the shepherds who were busy with their normal routine. But an angel got their attention and told them where to find the world’s Joy.  Do not let your routine and the expectations of the season cloud your vision.  Do not be afraid to break out of the ordinary to gain the extraordinary! The Love and Joy of Jesus the Christ is present and precious!

Have an awesome Christmas and New Year.

In the meantime here’s an archived blog on the use of the term Xmas which dates back ages. No, it is not an attempt to take the ‘Christ” out of Christmas.  I know many people have been saying this for the past few years; some of them famous.  But it’s just not true.  (Note… the X is not the English letter X, it’s the Greek letter Chi which is the first letter in Christ or Christos. The term was widespread centuries ago.  If there’s anything Christ-like at Christmas, it’s ‘Xmas.’   More here for your reading pleasure!

In the meantime, continue to operate in God’s power & purpose.  And remember, I’m believing God for your future this season and always!

Pastor Lisa D Jenkins

Enough With The Halloween Debate…

...and pass me a Kit Kat bar.

Unknown-4Here we go again. The age-old debate about whether Christians should celebrate Halloween. I know a great many Christians who refuse to open their doors when trick-or-treaters come around. Churches that preach against the evils of Halloween and shun any event that remotely resembles Halloween are wide-spread and are not shy about letting you know how wrong you are for buying Halloween candy and that Spiderman costume. Oh, the transgression of purchasing a pumpkin for the purpose of carving a jack-o-lantern rather than baking a pie! Just what is the muckety-muck about Halloween anyway? Why do some Christians get bent out of shape about it? Well, we have to look to the origins of Halloween to understand why folk are so leery about Halloween.

Yes, Halloween does have its roots in pagan worship. As a matter of fact, for many who adhere to Wiccan beliefs and others who practice witchcraft, Halloween is a bona fide holiday for pagan worship and celebration. But let’s be real, those who adhere to pagan beliefs and witchcraft do not relegate their practice to one day a year. They are out there 24/7. So what’s a Christian to do on October 31, 2015?  Let’s look at a few scriptures and then we can chat.

1. The earth belongs to the Lord and we are his stewards & disciples. Psalm 24:1 says The earth is the (more…)