Thanksgiving Prayer – 2016

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As the sun rises on this beautiful day I give you special thanks Lord for all the many blessings you have poured in abundance into my life. Though my body aches with age, everything still works. I pray for those, such as our military veterans, and others, who don’t have all their limbs, for I know they would be grateful to experience my aches.

While my relationships with family are not always perfect, Each family member is truly a gift from you. Many broken families will spend this day with an empty chair at the table, wishing their loved one would, or could, come home, or was alive to be with them. I pray you will comfort them and encourage them that this is not the end of their story, that you have a plan for them even in trial, chaos, or loss.

Though, like most people, I wish I was making more money at work, I have a job where I’m appreciated while millions of people in America alone are pleading with you to help them find work. I pray you will be with them, as you were with me when I was in their shoes. Sustain them as you guide them into the blessings of a new job, and may they be mindful to give you thanks.

You are a wonderful Father, worthy of thanksgiving in famine and in feast. As I set down today to feast I will be careful to remember your blessings, and be thankful, especially for the greatest gift ever given, the gift of your Son, Jesus, the Christ. Amen

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Talon’s Point of the Day – Nov. 20th, 2016 Don’t “Give Him Up”

jesus-crucified

To paraphrase the great John R.W.Stot, one of the principle authors of the Lausanne Covenant, from his classic book Cross of the Christ,

Judas gave Jesus up to the Priests (out of greed). The Priests gave Jesus up to Pilate (out of envy). Pilate gave Jesus up to the soldiers to be crucified (out of cowardice), but God, and Jesus himself, gave him up to the Cross out of pure love.

Share him generously, but never give him up.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

The Gospel of a Drowning Boy

bubbles

One afternoon, while he and his family visited an area creek a young boy, about 3 or so years old, with his family nearby, was walking through a very shallow creek. Stretching his sense of independence he’d cautiously take a few steps and stop, look back towards his parents and ciblings who had remained just upstream, then take a few more steps.

Little by little the youngster worked towards what looked like a stone crossing placed nearby that had drawn his attention, every few steps continuing to glance back towards the safety of his parents who where keeping an eye on him while also managing the other children climbing around on nearby rocks and splashing in the cool creek.

As the boy took the last few steps to the crossing, the water skimming smoothly over the stones, he stared into the crystal clear water of a small pool that had formed on the downstream side next to the edge of the creek. Looking for a few moments, the boy considered whether to turn back or to investigate the small pool. Finally the boy decided he would step into the waste deep water to feel the inviting sand he could see resting at the bottom much like the sand he’d enjoyed on visits to the beach. As soon as he investigates the pool he’d return to his family to tell them about his discovery.

Stepping in he immediately found himself submerged well over his head with the force of the incoming water quickly thrusting him to the bottom. Confusion rushed through his mind. How could the water that appeared so shallow be so deep? How would he get out of this hole? Could he climb the beautifully green plant growing from the sandy bottom up to the surface? How long could he hold his breath since he hadn’t take a breath when he stepped into that “shallow” hole?

Could he climb up the wall? He looked at the wall of what wasn’t a crossing, but an old stone dam that had completely filled with material on the upstream side, and even on the downstream side, except for what was suddendly apparent was a narrow wattery pit. Reaching out he felt the slippery stones. He knew there was no way to climb the wall. He turned toward the creekside. It was shear smooth rock. The plant was clearly too spindly to climb and looked like he could just get tangled in it. Turning downstream it too looked too steep to climb. Confusion quickly turned to fear. The only option was to try to swim up. The problem is the boy could not swim. He’d have to jump towards safety.

Jumping he rose a little more than midway. He’d have to try something different. Bending his knees low he again jumped towards the surface with all his might, this time reaching high enough for his hands to break the surface of the water, only to be thrust back down by the flow. Again he tried. Again he failed. Fear gave way to terror. One more try, once again only to reach high enough to splash a little. Becoming weaker and his lungs screaming for oxygen, he sank to the bottom.

Mustering all his remaining strength he lunged once more towards the glistening sheen where water meets air. This time he couldn’t reach above the surface. One last try ending in one more failure to even touch the surface. His heart sank as fast as his body. Swallowing hard the spent air now begging to be released he knew he no longer had the energy to keep trying. He knew he truly had no hope of saving himself.

There for a moment he stood looking towards the air just above him. So close, yet as far away as the sun from the earth. Looking down towards his feet he took in the reality as one much older. He was mortally trapped and he knew it. Feeling his warm tears mix with the cool water he again turned his gaze to the heavens, his salvation just beyond his reach, yet far beyond his strength. Remembering what his mother had taught him about God he resigned himself to facing death. As the sun’s rays, like heavenly arms, reached through the shadows of the plant waving in the current, he reached towards God, raising his hands as children often do when they want their parents to pick them up in their loving arms. Knowing in his heart that God would do the rest, he prepared himself to breath death in.

It was at this moment that he saw the face of his mother, vailed in shadow, looking down at him. Joy now burst from his re-energized heart as the spent air burst from his weary lungs. Having realized that the splashing boy wasn’t being playful, his mother had ran to the “crossing’s” edge just in time. As she would tell him later in life, she too was shocked at the water’s actual depth when she jumped in and feared drowning as she worked to save both him and herself.

 

We enter life with curious hearts, seeking adventures great and small that we sometimes don’t properly appreciate the dangers of. Sin can seem like such a shallow thing. We step into it often without obvious consequence, until suddenly the force and weight of it pins us in a deadly pit with the realization of having no hope of saving ourselves. Yet hope does exist, just beyond our mortal reach, but not beyond God’s immortal.

Our only hope is found when we open our spiritual eyes, look to the heavens, and reach to the Father who lovingly sent his son Jesus ahead of time. Jesus is right there, at the edge of the pit, already reaching down to pull us to safety if we’ll only reach back.

 

By the way, this story is true. It was written by that once young boy who, now grateful to God for the event, found himself at the bottom of a watery pit.

 

 

Talon’s Point of the Day – Oct 20th, 2016 Sign of Love

If longing to be with someone until it hurts in our heart is a sign we love them then what does it say about us if we call ourselves Christians but do not long to be with our Savior?

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Sept 22nd, 2016 Hacked

Be advised: Your eternity has been hacked and your destiny has been rerouted.

Immediately contact Jesus Christ for a password reset.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day -Aug 28th, 2016 Scorched Earth

Just a reminder to all that think Jesus was all just about making sure you can have the warm fuzzies in life; the very Christ Jesus who willfully gave all of himself to set us free from sin and it’s eternal hellish consequence is the same Jesus who has a scorched earth policy.

The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

Don’t get caught in the firestorm.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Mar 3rd, 2016 “Leave us in peace, Jesus”

At the end of the 8th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew we read of the confrontation between the demons within two possessed men and Jesus where he grants the demons’ request to enter nearby swine, that then rampage into the sea in what was probably understandable panic. It’s a bible story often used by preachers but the portion of the story that from childhood always struck me was rarely touched on. It’s what occurred shortly after. After the aforementioned encounter, those who were keeping the swine ran into town telling of what just occurred. What happened next is what amazes me. The “whole city came out to meet Jesus” but instead of being interested in this man who can set people free of demonic possession and oppression, the town collectively begs Jesus to leave them to their way of life.

“And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.” – Matthew 8:34

 

How often, when confronted with the power of Christ to speak to the demonic influences in our lives (propensities toward repeat sin likely have a demonic component), do we secretly, within our hearts, want Jesus to leave us to our way of life, all while professing our devotion to him?

Aren’t we really saying “Leave us in peace, Jesus”? In other words, aren’t we really begging Jesus to depart from the region of our heart?

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

 

 

Talon’s Point of the Day – Feb 28th, 2016 The One Place You Can Hide Sin

There’s only one place I can hide my sin….under perfect blood. Perfect blood can only be found at the foot of a single cross. That cross can only be found with a humble honest heart. A humble honest heart can only occur when I recognize how disgusting my sin is and desire to have God not see it. When I recognize that God sees past everything but perfect blood I realize there’s only one place I can hide my sin…under perfect blood. (Repeat as necessary)

 

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” – Leviticus 17:11

“And when I see the blood, I will pass over you” – Exodus 12:13

“He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, b so that we may serve the living God” – Hebrews 9: 12-14

” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1st John 1:9

“He will again have compassion on us; He will subdue and tread underfoot our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” – Micah 7:19

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

 

Talon’s Point of the Day -Feb 26th, 2016 Please Don’t Presume Me Innocent

Are we presumed innocent until proven guilty of being real followers of Christ? Is there sufficient evidence to charge us, let alone convict? Please don’t presume me innocent. I confess, I’m guilty!

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.