THE LUTHERAN HOUR: “What is Heaven?”


NOTE: This is the final link in which I share with you from Lutheran Hour Ministries. I hope that you have enjoyed the links in which I have shared from Lutheran Hour Ministries throughout the past 6 years of my blog. Thank you so very much for enjoying them.-JW

COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Thankfully Grateful” (Part 1 of 2)


Hebrews 12:28-29

CFJ THNKFL
“Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor Him with Thanksgiving.” (Psalm 69:30, NLT) (Background illustration by Jenn Webster)

In the next week, this great country of ours will be celebrating all of the many things that we should be thankful for; The holiday that we are celebrating is Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is a holiday that should not ever be treated as a day to eat turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and the like; Thanksgiving should be treated as a day in which we must learn to be grateful for the many blessings that our Lord God has bestowed on us.
For those two weeks, I would very much like to talk to you about something in which I would like to call being “thankfully grateful”; What does it mean by being thankfully grateful? Well, it means that we are to be both thankful that we have survived through another year of our lives, thankful that we finally have that job that we had been looking for so that we would have enough money to pay the bills, and thankful that our children had finally been recovered from illness. We are truly thankful for things such as these and many more, while also being grateful for what our Lord God has provided for us throughout all our lives.
But what about you? Are you “thankfully grateful”? Well, there are people whom we would like to be thankful as well as grateful, but the truth of the matter is, those people do not ever know who God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, really is. They go about their lives not ever caring about the One who was sent by God to pay the ultimate price for our sins by dying on the cross, and being raised from the dead, defeating death so that all of us could very well have life eternal. My friend, are you among those people who would like to give thanks to, but do not want to ever know who Jesus Christ is? If you are, then there is no time to get to know Jesus Christ than right now.

You see, we as Christians are so very thankful to our Heavenly Father that He has granted us the most blessed gift of all: Eternal life, and that gift has ultimately been paid for by the precious blood of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus that has been shed on the cross at a place called Calvary. And although we do not exactly know the time or date that Jesus Christ will come, when He comes, He shall very well give us a Kingdom that cannot ever end: “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29, NLT).
Yes, we can be thankful that God showed His love for us by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us so that we can be saved. Yes, as Christians, we are thankful that because Jesus died for every one of us, God answers our prayers, He blesses every one of us, and we can also be thankful that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, we are so very thankful that God saved us from the fires of eternal damnation through the blood shed by Jesus Christ, His only Son.
But what about you? First of all, let me ask you this question: Are you thankful for the blessings of God? If not, then how can you be thankful when you have taken drugs or have been drinking alcohol? How could you be so very grateful when you have been trapped in the addition of pornography and have been trying for many years to get out of that poisonous trap? Most of all, how could any of you be “thankfully grateful” when you have been struggling with sin for so many years of your lives? Well, have I got good news for you-In spite of your flaws, God just wants you to know that He loves you so very much, and He would like for you to know that He has shown His love for you by sending His only Son to take your place on the cross as the punishment for your sins, dying and shedding His blood for you, and then defeated death and was risen from the dead. Now, Jesus is alive, and God would very much like for you to accept His invitation by repenting of all of your sins, and by giving your very own heart to Jesus Christ right now! So, one question remains: Will you be ready to be thankfully grateful for all that our Lord God has done for you by giving your heart to the One who died for you, Jesus Christ, today?

   “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17, NLT)
So with that, are you ready to give heartfelt thanks to God who has sent His Son to save you by giving your very own heart to Christ Jesus right now? Then please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am a sinner. I believe that You have died on the cross for my sins, and have risen from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I could have eternal life. I ask now that You please come into my heart, and to let me follow You always as my personal Savior. I thank You so very much for taking my place on the cross and taking the punishment for me. In Your most holy & blessed name. Amen.”
If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome YOU into God’s Great, Big Family! Now, the very next thing that you need to do now that you have given your heart to Jesus Christ would be to read the Holy Bible, God’s Most Blessed Word, each and every day of your life, and then you need to go to a good, Christian church, each and every Sunday of your life, so that you can worship, praise, and thank our Lord God for His blessings and for sending Jesus, His Son, to die for you. I very much hope and pray that you make the ultimate choice in following Jesus today, so that you can always give thanks. I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time to read this message today; Please join me next time as we conclude this two-part special series on why we need to be “Thankfully Grateful”. Until then, Lord willing, may God bless you ever so richly.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

 

THOUGHT FOR TODAY


LEAF
(Zentangle(R)-inspired illustration by Jenn Webster)

From Psalm 41 (ESV):

Blessed is the one who considers the poor!
    In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him;
 the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
    he is called blessed in the land;
    you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.
  The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
    in his illness you restore him to full health.
As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me;
    heal me, for I have sinned against you!”
  My enemies say of me in malice,
    “When will he die, and his name perish?”
  And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words,
    while his heart gathers iniquity;
    when he goes out, he tells it abroad.
  All who hate me whisper together about me;
    they imagine the worst for me.

They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him;
    he will not rise again from where he lies.”
  Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
    who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
  But you, O Lord, be gracious to me,
    and raise me up, that I may repay them!

By this I know that you delight in me:
    my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.
   But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
    and set me in your presence forever.

   Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.

 

Here is Something VERY Special…Thanksgiving Food Ideas!


Well, I hope that all you bloggers and blog followers out there have enjoyed this special series on the foods/food companies that have helped make Thanksgiving the holiday that it is; And now, it is very well time for me to inform you that there happens to be a slew of ideas that are based on those foods of Thanksgiving, and they can be found on that ever-so-full-of-ideas website, Pinterest (www.pinterest.com); Yours truly has personally selected some of those ideas for you to try out for your very own Thanksgiving table…

ONE
Of course, the HUGE centerpiece of all Thanksgivings is the turkey, of course, but here is an idea that ones up that tradition even better: Bacon-Roasted Turkey!
TWO
You just cannot have Thanksgiving without cranberry while most of us think of marshmallow fluff; This is the one cranberry idea that’s as surprising as any dish: Cranberry Fluff!
FOUR
Yes, I have covered the backstory of chicken broth (and of Swanson), but now you can make your own kind of chicken broth at home, only this time, all you must use are a few ingredients and a crockpot! Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth!
FIVE
The stuffing was, is, and always shall be one of the most time-honored dishes that has ever graced a Thanksgiving table; But there is something about stuffing that one must put an ingredient to the mix, like sausage, for example: Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing!
SIX
And finally, I have certainly already covered the history of the green bean casserole, and indeed, there is no better side dish idea that has graced many a Thanksgiving dinner table for a little over 60 years than the one that’s as legendary as the holiday itself! So, once again, here it is: Green Bean Casserole!

 

 

“Happy Birthday, KALEIDOSCOPE!” (KALEIDOSCOPE TIME PODCAST)


Learn about the upcoming 6th birthday of this here blog, plus a word about my special series on Thanksgiving foods as well as why National Blog Posting Month is so very special to me!

A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING MY “MEMORIES OF THANKSGIVING” WRITING CONTEST…


THANKSGIVING FRAME

I would very much like to give an update regarding a writing contest in which I had set up and has now just ended; I am announcing that only one entrant has just submitted her story, and now her story has been declared the first prize winner. As for that planned special series in which I was to feature any other winning stories, well, because of having a lone entrant in the writing contest, that planned special series has been canceled, but fortunately, I have finished my special look at the foods/food companies who have made Thanksgiving special. If you have missed or would like to check it out, then please visit www.jenniferkaleidoscope.com and search “The Foods of Thanksgiving”.
Meanwhile, the story in my closed contest is called “Her Last Thanksgiving”, and it is written by Maria; I shall present that story to you very soon.

Time is Running Out to Enter in the “Sea Centaur” Giveaway!


There is simply not too much time to enter in my giveaway to celebrate the recent release of my Amazon Kindle Edition eBook, The Sea Centaur, written by yours truly and featuring cartoon illustrations in which I have drawn almost 10 years ago! And what’s more, this story is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s time-honored fairy-tale, The Little Mermaid, only this time, the main character is not a mermaid, but a half-human/half-seahorse creature called a sea centaur!

To enter in my giveaway in which you could be the lucky winner of my eBook, then please go to the link right here. But you better hurry and enter in my giveaway soon, because it all comes to an end this Monday, November 12th, 2018, at 11:59 PM PST (That’s Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, at 2:59 AM, EST). So, don’t FLOUNDER off (yuk, yuk, yuk), enter in my giveaway now, and good luck!

THE FOODS OF THANKSGIVING, THE GRAND FINALE: Green Bean Casserole!


GREEN BEAN FRAME
(Zentangle(R)-inspired frame art by Jenn Webster)

   I hope that all of you bloggers and blog followers have enjoyed my special series on the foods/food companies that have helped make Thanksgiving the most special holiday that is, as well as blessed; But alas, all good things have to come to an end, so with that, we conclude this special series on the foods/food companies of Thanksgiving with a dish that has been around for 6 decades of Thanksgivings…But before I get into that, I would like for you to know just what you think of my special series-Just leave your thoughts in the comments below! Oh, and please understand this: I have tried to cover as much on the foods of Thanksgiving as I could very well possible, and if there was anything that I have left out, then I heartily apologize.
Now, to the grand finale: This dish made its debut way back in 1955, and it has since become as much a part of many a Thanksgivings today; The dish in which I am talking about is none other than: Green Bean Casserole!

   A woman by the name of Dorcas Reilly was working as a staff member of the home economics department of the Campbell Soup Company; She created the recipe in which the inspiration was this: “to create a quick and easy recipe around two things most Americans had on hand in the 1950s: Green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup.” At first, it did not test well within the company, but then it had gained a reputation for being “the ultimate comfort food”, next to chocolate chip cookies and mac & cheese, all because of Reilly’s persistence.
However, long before the casserole of green bean went on the scene (yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk), Campbell’s Soups created the Cream of Mushroom soup variety in 1934, and for those who have and are still living in the Midwest, it was widely used as casserole filler, so much so that it had been sometimes referred to as something called “Lutheran binder”. But until Dorcas Reilly came up with the time-honored recipe that we know and love today, no one had ever thought of adding frozen green beans in the mix. Today, it has been estimated by Campbell’s Soup itself that 40 percent of the Cream of Mushroom soup sold here in the U.S. had and has been still going into the making that green bean casserole, in which Dorcas Reilly had presented the original recipe card to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.

   Dorcas Reilly passed away at the age of 92 on October 15th of this year in her hometown of Camden, New Jersey, but her most famous recipe lives on, and shall continue to live on in many a Thanksgiving table for generations to come.

 

 

TO THE FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS…


DOVE

   There are so many things in this life that would make a person such as myself completely numb with emotion; That numbness has returned to me once more when I have heard the news of a mass shooting that has happened at Thousand Oaks, California. Somehow, whenever there is a mass shooting, then my heart would break for those who have lost their loved ones in each of the attacks. I have prayed for them, done the very best that I could to offer the best kind of love that I could ever give.
Yes, my heart is once again sad, but this time, it is even more sadder: I have heard that Tamera Mowry’s niece had been missing, and I had been hoping that she is alive. But unfortunately, I became crushed when I have heard that her niece was among the 13 victims that have been killed in that mass shooting. I feel so very sad and heartbroken for Tamera; I feel this pain for her and so many other families who have lost their loved ones in this senseless tragedy. So it is with that that KALEIDOSCOPE would like to offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of those who have been killed, especially to Tamera Mowry, who has lost a niece who shall never grow up to experience all of the wonderful joys that life can bring. To you parents who are reading this post, I know that you have children whom that you are thankful to God that they are still alive, so would you please do me a favor? Please hug your children tonight, and tell them that you love them so very much. Oh, and it is OK to make them chocolate chip cookies…

   I have once presented something here on this blog not very long ago, and I have presented this after hearing news any mass shooting; It is called “A Better Place”, and it is by a man by the name of William P. Maki. To those families who have lost their loved ones in this senseless tragedy, especially to Tamera Mowry, I hope that all of you are reading this, and if and when you do, may the Lord God put His loving arms around each and every one of you all…

   Heaven will be a much better place than this earthly world. Remember this and it will help ease the pain and sadness when a loved one passes. Those who believe in Jesus Christ will be with Him as promised.
Jesus said, “In my Father’s house, there are many rooms, and I will go and prepare a place for you. I will come again, to take you home with Me. You will not have sickness or be alone. Nor will you be hungry or thirsty. Darkness will not prevail because God will provide the light.”
So, take heart and trust not in the things of this world, but believe and trust in what God has promised in His Holy Book, the Bible; it’s life with God, Jesus Christ, and all who receive and accept the written word of God. Heaven is the place I want to be.