COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Thankfully Grateful” (Part 2 of 2)


Luke 17:11-19

DSC_0053.jpg
“But I will give repeated thanks to the LORD, praising Him to everyone.” (Psalm 109:30, NLT) (Zentangle(R)-inspired art by Jenn Webster)

We conclude our two-part series “Thankfully Grateful” with this message on being thankful; With the holiday that is known as Thanksgiving coming up this week, the question on everyone’s minds is this: What are you thankful for? Well, there are those who say that they are thankful that they finally have a job, while others ask how they could be thankful while they are struggling to make ends meet. So, what could be the most important thing in which you could be thankful for?
Let me ask you this: Have you in the past have been struggling with sin and addiction in your life? Have you ever tried to find other ways to try and get yourself out of your sins, but could not ever to? Well, the truth is, you can’t, as in: You CANNOT get rid of sin yourself! The only way that your sins, past and present, could ever be getting rid of would be the One in which God has sent because of His love for us and in order for all of us to be saved and to bring us back to Himself. That One is the One in which we should be so thankfully grateful for is His Son, Jesus Christ.

We should, as Christians, always give thanks to God for offering His Son to sacrifice Himself for us so that we could be saved and that we have offered eternal life; You see, Christ Jesus took our place to be punished on the cross as payment for our sins, so that we shall ever so be washed from our sins by His precious blood; Someday, He shall return to correct everything in this life, and we shall have the most grandest celebration ever. But until then, we Christians must do the work of sending the Gospel to those who have yet to hear it, and I am thinking that you yourself have yet to hear of the story of how Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice of Himself on the cross to save every one of us, so I think it is about time that you have your ears opened to hear His precious Word.
There is an example of being thankful, especially when we are so very thankful to God for His Son; It can be found in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, vrs. 11-19(NLT):

“As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, He reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As He entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ He looked at them and said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him for what He had done. This man was a Samaritan.”
“Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.’”

Yes, even the man who has been healed of this disease gave thanks to Jesus for healing him. You see, because God showed His love for each of us by sending His Son to earth to be born from the womb of a virgin named Mary in a stable in Bethlehem, to grow and to become the greatest healer, preacher and teacher that mankind has ever known or ever will know, and that He had ultimately done the will of His Father by allowing Himself to be beaten, whipped, forced to carry, and then be nailed to, suffering, bleeding, and had died on the cross and then was raised from the dead by our Heavenly Father, defeating death so that every one of us could have eternal life, that we should at all times and at all places give heartfelt thanks to our Lord God, not just at Thanksgiving, but ALL times, each and every day, every month, every year.
But what about you? Have you ever given thanks for anything in life? Then maybe it is time to get to know Jesus Christ, because He took your place on the cross and died, yes, DIED for you, cancelling the debt in which otherwise you would have absolutely NO WAY of paying. Maybe it’s time to invite Jesus into your heart-Repent of your sins, and allow the one who made the most powerful sacrifice for you on the cross to come into your heart, so that you shall be saved.

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood…” (Romans 3:23-25, NLT)
And so, my dearest friends, are you ready to give heartfelt thanks to God because of what He did to show His love for you by sending His Son to die for you? Then I very heartily ask that you please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord God, I admit that I am a sinner. I have ultimately sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins, and that He had risen from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I could have life eternal. I ask now that You please forgive me of all my sins, and allow Your Son to come into my heart, and to let me follow Him always as my personal Savior. I would like to thank You so very much for allowing You Son to die for me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome YOU into the Family of God! Now, the very next thing that you need to do now that you have become a follower of Jesus would be to read the Bible, God’s most holy & blessed Word, each and every day, and then, when it is time to worship, praise, and thank our Heavenly Father for the blessed gift of sending His Son to die on the cross for you. I very much hope and pray that you would make this most blessed choice of following Jesus Christ today, so that you shall be thankful for Him always. I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time to read this message today. Until the very next time, Lord willing, may the Lord God ever so richly bless you.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

 

 

 

 

THOUGHT FOR TODAY


From Psalms 109(NLT):

DSC_0054.jpg
(Illustration by Jenn Webster)

O God, whom I praise,
    don’t stand silent and aloof
    while the wicked slander me
    and tell lies about me.
   They surround me with hateful words and fight against me for no reason.
  I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations
    even as I am praying for them!
   They repay evil for good,
    and hatred for my love.
They say, “Get an evil person to turn against him.
    Send an accuser to bring him to trial.
  When his case comes up for judgment,
    let him be pronounced guilty.
    Count his prayers as sins.
  Let his years be few;
    let someone else take his position.
  May his children become fatherless,
    and his wife a widow.
May his children wander as beggars
    and be driven from their ruined homes.
 May creditors seize his entire estate,
    and strangers take all he has earned.
 Let no one be kind to him;
    let no one pity his fatherless children.
  May all his offspring die.

May his family name be blotted out in the next generation.
   May the Lord never forget the sins of his fathers;
    may his mother’s sins never be erased from the record.
   May the Lord always remember these sins,
    and may his name disappear from human memory.
   For he refused all kindness to others;
    he persecuted the poor and needy,
    and he hounded the brokenhearted to death.
He loved to curse others;
    now you curse him.
He never blessed others;
    now don’t you bless him.
   Cursing is as natural to him as his clothing,
    or the water he drinks,
    or the rich food he eats.
   Now may his curses return and cling to him like clothing;
    may they be tied around him like a belt.”
May those curses become the Lord’s punishment
    for my accusers who speak evil of me.
   But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord,
    for the sake of your own reputation!
Rescue me
    because you are so faithful and good.
   For I am poor and needy,
    and my heart is full of pain.
    I am fading like a shadow at dusk;
    I am brushed off like a locust.
   My knees are weak from fasting,
    and I am skin and bones.
   I am a joke to people everywhere;
    when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
Help me, O Lord my God!
    Save me because of your unfailing love.
   Let them see that this is your doing,
    that you yourself have done it, Lord.
   Then let them curse me if they like,
    but you will bless me!
When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
    But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
   May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
    may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
   But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord,
    praising him to everyone.
   For he stands beside the needy,
    ready to save them from those who condemn them.

“Goodbye, For Now…” (KALEIDOSCOPE TIME PODCAST)


Although this last episode of my podcast’s first season is short, it is no less sweet as I offer a word of thanks…

ALICE’S RESTAURANT: The Story of an 18-Minute Song


ALCE

On Thanksgiving Day, most classic rock radio stations across the country play this song, a song by a man by the name of Arlo Guthrie, who could prove that he could be good at telling a story/song as he is at singing City of New Orleans; That song is called “Alice’s Restaurant”, or rather, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”.
This song that is “Alice’s Restaurant”, which consists of protracted spoken monologue and complete with a constantly repeated fingerstyle ragtime guitar backing as well as a light brush-on-snare drum percussion with bookends of a chorus about that certain diner, is Guthrie’s most prominent work, and has since gone on to become a song in its own right; It tells the tale that is based on an actual true incident from his own life that had begun on Thanksgiving Day in 1965 with him being in citation for littering, and ends with the U.S. Army refusing to draft him after being convicted of the crime.

Of course, the song ends with an iconic punch line by Guthrie: “I’m sittin’ here on the Group W bench ‘cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the Army-burn women, kids, houses, and villages-after bein’ a litterbug”, and then ends with Arlo Guthrie encouraging the listeners to sing along to the chorus of the song, while urging to resist the draft and to end war.
The original song, one that has become Guthrie’s signature song, originally clocks in at 18 minutes and 34 seconds, thus occupying the entire A-side of the album of almost the same name, Alice’s Restaurant. The song’s title itself refers to an actual restaurant that was at the time owned by Guthrie’s friends, however, it plays no role in the story except being mentioned in the chorus. As for the “Massacree” in the title, it is a colloquialism originating in the Ozark Mountains that describes “an event so wildly and improbably and baroquely messed up the results are almost impossible to believe”. That word happens to be a corruption of the word massacre, but it actually carries a much lighter and more connotation of the sarcastic kind, thus never being used to describe anything that involves an actual death.
“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” later spawned a 1969 film, while the original album spent 16 weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart, peaking at #29 during the week of March 2nd, 1968; After the release of the movie, the song re-entered the chart on December 27th, 1969 at #63. Two years later, Arlo Guthrie released a shorter version of the song, entitled “Alice’s Rock & Roll Restaurant”, which removed the entire monologue, incorporated the chorus, and used a slightly different arrangement, not to mention adding extra verses, which does little except to advertise the restaurant.

It since went on to become a tradition for most classic rock stations to play the song every Thanksgiving each year (probably as a way for those who want to listen or watch anything but the Macy’s parade), while Guthrie himself has since performed that certain song in his concerts throughout his career. If you would like to learn a whole lot more about “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, please go to www.wikipedia.org and look up the aforementioned song title.

 

 

Tale of a Holiday Sweet: The Gingerbread Cookie!


 

GNGRBRD

November 21st is going to be a VERY SWEET day for those who traditionally love a certain kind of cookie: Yup, it’s the gingerbread cookie! (Wow, funny I should talk about gingerbread on the week before Thanksgiving, huh?!)
The gingerbread cookie happens to come from, what else, the gingerbread, which refers to a broad category of baked goods, those that are flavored typically with ginger, cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon, while being sweetened with either honey, sugar, or molasses. There are a variety of gingerbread foods that range from something close to a ginger snap to a soft, moist cake.

The backstory of how the gingerbread came to be is as old as time itself; it was claimed to have been brought to Europe by an Armenian monk named Gregory of Nicopolis in 992 CE; He would then leave Nicopolis to live in Bondaroy, which is north-central France, near the town of Pithiviers, until his death in 999.
Then the German immigrants brought gingerbread to the 13th century, while two centuries later, a gingerbread guild-controlled production in Germany. There are early references from the Vadstena Abbey that show that the Swedish nuns in 1444 baked gingerbread to help ease indigestion, while it was custom to bake and paint white biscuits and use them as window decorations.
The 17th century is where the first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates; Gingerbread began to be sold in pharmacies, monasteries, and town square farmer’s markets. In Medieval England, it was thought that gingerbread would have medicinal properties. In one hundred years time, the Shropshire, England town of Market Drayton would become very best known for its gingerbread, and they had certainly displayed it properly on their town’s welcome sign, claiming to be the “Home of Gingerbread”.
Settlers from Europe would bring gingerbread to the Americas; Before molasses came along, sugar was quite expensive, but then they began to use the molasses, which soon became a common ingredient while producing a softer cake. In 1796, Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery was published, which offered seven different recipes for gingerbread.
One of the most popular ways in which one uses gingerbread is when one makes a gingerbread house; It is a novelty confection that is shaped like a building that is made of cookie dough, mostly gingerbread, and is cut and baked into appropriate components like walls and roofing, and then it is glued with and covered with icing and candies.
So, when you plan on honoring National Gingerbread Cookie Day on November 21st, don’t forget to complete the cookies with milk…or egg…nog…

 

 

 

🐚Announcing the Winner of My EBook, “The Sea Centaur”!🐚


Well, last week I think, I had begun a giveaway in celebration of the recent release of my eBook, The Sea Centaur, in which only one winner would digitally receive the prize…

Well, it turns out that there was no winner in that giveaway, but I had then created a new giveaway in which people such as yourselves would have another chance at becoming a winner of my eBook. And so, I am so very happy to announce that we FINALLY have a winner, and the winner is: JAMIE M.! Congratulations on winning the prize, Jamie-I am glad that you have gotten my eBook, and I hope that you enjoy it! For those of you who have entered in my giveaway and did not win, I am sorry that you did not win, but you can purchase my Amazon Kindle Edition eBook, The Sea Centaur, either for your Kindle or your tablet or smartphone device that has got a Kindle app, at the Amazon Kindle Store at http://www.amazon.com!

Be sure to stay tuned to my blog, because very soon I am about to have another giveaway, this time it involves another of my eBooks, namely The Spirits of The Seasons: (A science-fantasy); In the meantime, if you have missed any of my past posts or would like to read them again, then I very well suggest that you visit here today at http://www.jenniferkaleidoscope.com!

Six Years, and Counting…


DSC_0041_kindlephoto-169592804.jpg
(Illustration by Jenn Webster)

Six years ago this very day, this very blog made its debut on the world of WordPress as first called Dream In Music, and is now called KALEIDOSCOPE; However, I would very much like to make a correction: Throughout the 6 years, I have been addressing to you bloggers that my blog’s day of birth had been November 12th…But now I think it is very well time for a correction: The actual birth date and year in which my blog made its debut is not November 12th, but actually November 13th, yes, it was on November 13th, 2012 that a certain blog had entered into the WordPress world, and in which I had chosen the old name as Dream In Music.
When I had first started my blog, I had at first had no idea how or what I should begin my blog’s beginnings with; Then, I had this thought: At that time, my pal Svengoolie had a special series on his own blog in his own website that shines a spotlight on each day’s monster for Halloween. When the actor who had played Svengoolie, Rich Koz, had suffered a heart attack, then that feeling came over to me of just how very important Svengoolie became to me, and began thinking that I needed to do something both for honoring him for getting me started on my blogging adventure in the first place, and the fact that Christmas was coming. So it was with that, that I had begun my Christmas Treasure of the Day, and that was that series that got my blog off on the right foot, with 190 views to boot, and the rest, as they say in the blogging world as well as everything else, is history…
When I had first started my blog, I had at first had no idea how or what I should begin my blog’s beginnings with; Then, I had this thought: At that time, my pal Svengoolie had a special series on his own blog in his own website that shines a spotlight on each day’s monster for Halloween. When the actor who had played Svengoolie, Rich Koz, had suffered a heart attack, then that feeling came over to me of just how very important Svengoolie became to me, and began thinking that I needed to do something both for honoring him for getting me started on my blogging adventure in the first place, and the fact that Christmas was coming. So it was with that, that I had begun my Christmas Treasure of the Day, and that was that series that got my blog off on the right foot, with 190 views to boot, and the rest, as they say in the blogging world as well as everything else, is history…
For the past 6 years since its debut, KALEIDOSCOPE has presented the best posts that please readers of all ages, races, and colors, with its regular features such as Squibbles, Photo of The Day, and Who Am I? KALEIDOSCOPE has also brought you specials over the years, such as the “Chicago TV Legends” series in which I had this past summer. This blog has also got you excited for those story serial extravaganzas: A Girl Named Cinderella (2016), Hansel & Gretel (2017), and this year we have presented our third story serial extravaganza and our first musical, So Long, Guys!, which happens to be an original historical fiction story while the previous two are adaptations of fairy tales.

And yes, there have been times while in good days my blog was doing moderately well in view ratings, there are also bad days in which my blog would not do a good job in terms of views; For example, my blog post view would get a rating of only 7.
But all in all, I think it is so very wonderful for a great company such as WordPress that has given me the chance to show off something that I have always been dreaming about doing, and that is showing off my writing, photography, art, and cartooning talents; Had it not been for WordPress, I would not have any other place to go to show off my God-given talents. To those wonderful people at WordPress, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for giving me that chance to make my dreams of displaying my talents come true.

And to all of you, my fellow bloggers as well as my fellow blog followers who have followed me from my blog’s very beginning, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you as well, for being the such kind fans that you are, and for giving me all of the most beautiful love that all of you have ever given me. Thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart. For my blog’s 6th birthday, as well as throughout all of National Blog Posting Month (NatBloPoMo), I do not want to ask for very much; All I want is you each of you to tell all of your friends as well as others about my blog, so that they would be able to visit it and enjoy it.

Thank you, one and all, for making KALEIDOSCOPE the most COLORFUL blog on the planet for the past 6 years, and I would very much like for you all to stay tuned to this blog for more of the wonderfully colorful things right here, just as I have presented to you ever since the launch of my blog on November 13th, not November 12th, 2012. Thank you all once again from the bottom of my heart.

SX BRTHDY.jpg
(Background artwork by Jenn Webster)