I wish all of my readers a blessed Thanksgiving
My friend Greg wrote the article below:
Hi Family: Happy Thanksgiving!
I wanted to share with you some thoughts on this day in response to a video I watched about a lady in Ferguson Missouri who had her bakery business called “Natalie’s Cakes And More” severely damaged by protesters to the latest not guilty verdict. I have included the link below if you are interested to view. Here are several of the details as reported in this video that I believe is filled with astronomically pertinent principles that you may think on in order to solving the racial tensions we have in this country:
1. Natalie, a black American worked really hard selling bakery goods at flea markets in order to pay for a storefront bakery in Ferguson MO.
2. Her motivation for doing so was so that she could provide for her family as a single parent of two children.
3. Before the verdict about that police officer, she begged protestors not to damage her business as this was her only means for living.
4. She prayed to God for protection. She mentions God on a few occasions.
5. Her business was still damaged inside and out and she had already lost several weeks of business because of the fear on the streets.
6. She was interviewed by news channels after the damage which resulted in donations pouring in to her to help cover damages.
7. She revealed an attitude of gratitude by probably at least 15 verbalizations of “thank you” to those who helped her.
8. Then at the end of the conversation the interviewers in this video asked what she thought of the verdict to which she replied how she has honestly been so busy acting and thinking about her and her family’s livelihood that she has had no time to really contemplate the sensibility of the jury’s decision.
9.She has recently engaged family members to help her to keep up with the hundreds of new orders for her bakery as a result of the exposure in this story!
My reaction to this video on this Thanksgiving day was first how amazing it is that our Good God sometimes chooses to give us the deepest meanings and understandings of Himself as well as that of good qualities like being thankful in paradoxical ways. From a human perspective, places like that of Ferguson Missouri, consideration of qualities of say thanksgiving not to mention the presence of a loving God seem so irrelevant and off topic. The second reaction I had to the video I believe was an example of how it is the Holy Spirit’s job to remind us of principles in God’s Word. As I watched this video, my mind turned to the word “gladness” which I thought I understood in context from the book of Ecc. So I looked it up and the reference is Ecc 5:19-20 where Solomon says: “Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.”
My wife and I have watched a couple of interviews with Pastors about the Ferguson verdict, who seem to be so engrained with a “I’m slighted” and “life’s unfair” mindset, a mindset like the Al Sharptons of this world. They are enraged by the verdict calling it “unjust” and from the facts, this sentiment has to be completely subjective and thus most likely generated by their selfish mentality. These men are not helping their cause and I can only conclude that issues of race and “I’m slighted” have trumped a gospel centered thankfulness to God for true freedom from sin and human equality. I can also conclude that they are negligent to acknowledge that it is only God who can ultimately judge with accuracy. This seems to be the case because a subjectivity of a human feeling has overtaken the facts that the adult male killed by that Ferguson police officer has already been proven guilty of consuming illegal drugs, robbing a convenience store (Watchman comment: and apparently had a juvenile arrest record) that day as well as punching and assaulting an officer. And to top this, if prejudice is an issue in a country anyway, then the Christians looked down upon because, say the color of their skin, have a supreme opportunity in this weak state to cling two a powerful God who longs to defend them which can lead to monumental change. I hate racial prejudice. I also hate that there are some who go about stemming prejudice in the wrong way that cause more of the same!
Going back to Ecclesiastes, where Solomon was displaying wise counsel and conclusion to the dilemmas in his life, Christ is the fulfillment of wisdom. 1Cor 1:24: “...Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Where Solomon talks about God giving temporary physical provision, Christ brings eternal provision! Solomon offers wisdom about how God also gives the ability to enjoy the earthly provision God supplies. Jesus Christ offers ongoing joy as we reflect about His work on the Cross that brings us eternal life. Where Solomon says that acknowledging God as provider of enjoyment lessens concern about the issues of the day, Jesus Christ offers eternal joy over eternal possessions that bring such true wisdom and sensibility that should be clearly seen in Christian leadership in response to Ferguson. Where Solomon began to put hope in houses and gardens he had built that ultimately caused him to say, “everything is meaningless,” Jesus Christ built for us a house that cannot be moved. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe for our ‘God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:28
Jesus Christ gently and confidently proclaims that all races of Jew and gentile are equal in His sight and will be unified for eternity after they confess, repent and be forgiven of all of moral sins, sins of self-righteous self-focus and propensity of unbiblical human manufactured maneuvering that we like to call “gospel.” And what do we all get? We get God. We get the God who made the universe who loves us all so much that He gave us his only Son! And this is the foundation upon which we get to work hard in building a bakery in order to provide for our children (1Cor 4:12) while minding our business and leading a quiet life (1Thes 4:12) and we get to do this as well as proclaim Him and His gospel all for His glory (Col 3:17) and this brings glad tidings of great joy!