Friday, November 28, 2014

Daily Encouragement (11/28/14) "The Sin Of Unthankfulness"

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Farm in Blue Ridge mountains (Click to enlarge)
Traveling to Nashville we passed this farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Parkway
Click to enlarge

Note: We are in Nashville, Tennessee visiting with Brooksyne's sister and niece for Thanksgiving. As we suggested on Tuesday our internet access is limited where we're staying (an RV owned by Brooksyne's sister). We hope all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving regardless of where you may live! We don't expect to post again while we are travelling. On the way to Nashville we drove a distance on the Blue Ridge Parkway and saw some beautiful scenery such as our photo above and several more we will post below.

Note: No podcast prepared for this message.

"The Sin Of Unthankfulness"

"Neither were they thankful" (Romans 1:21). "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Thankless lane in Rising Sun, MarylandWDAC, our local Christian radio station, often announces the temperature of neighboring towns and often includes "Rising Sun", Maryland. It's a small town with a pleasant sounding name that kinda brings a smile to your face when you hear it, sort of like Mount Joy or Mount Pleasant. However, in researching its name it appears that the town is actually named after a tavern!

Several years ago we drove through Rising Sun and passed a road named "Thankless Lane". Now that's a most unusual name for a road so we stopped and took a photo.  How did they ever come up with such a negative name, we wondered, and began to speculate. Was there a grumpy old farmer that one time lived on this lane who had a reputation for being unthankful? Perhaps a good deed was done for someone and the kindness was spurned by ingratitude. Brooksyne and I have determined that this is a road we wouldn't want to live on either literally or spiritually. 

We recently talked to a resident of Rising Sun and inquired about how Thankless Lane got its name. He didn't know but recalled getting a traffic ticket on that lane for which he was not at all thankful, so the name "thankless" fit at the time!

Whatever the reason, there are a few folks who actually must identify their address as "Thankless Lane."  Can you imagine the conversation?  "What is your name and address, Sir?" "My name is Thomas Hane and I live at 923 Thankless Lane." "What was the street name again?" At least I know that's how the conversation would go if I were asking the question. I would wonder if I was hearing the street name properly.

Today, following a day we are specifically to focus on Thanksgiving, we consider people who by their outlook in life live on Thankless Lane. Unthankfulness is one of the most dominant and universal sins in the human race. We see plenty of evidence of that all around us, and if we look within, we're certain to find some within our own hearts as well. Let us consider the sin of unthankfulness.

We consider people who by their outlook in life seem to live on Thankless Lane.
 Unthankfulness is one of the most dominant and universal sins in the human race.  The Apostle Paul in his sweeping, panoramic view of human depravity in Romans 1 makes this dismal statement, "They neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him." Later in his final epistle Paul lists some of the characteristics evident in the perilous last days. Among them we read that men will be…"unthankful".

Being thankful is an often overlooked fruit of the maturing follower of Christ. Unthankfulness on the other hand is a mark of man's depravity. And in this age of entitlements unthankfulness is ever increasing! I can recall several occasions in my life when the lack of gratitude was deafening as it was replaced by a grumbling, complaining outlook. The focus moves from "I've been blessed" to "I'm not getting what I deserve." It's a good thing we don't get what we deserve, but instead we receive God's abundant mercy and lovingkindness!

Jesus often asked questions to get his hearers to think, although He obviously knew the answer. In Luke 17:11-19 we read where He had healed ten lepers but only one returned to say, "Thank you". We've often wondered what excuses the other nine had in failing to return and give Jesus thanks?

Three great truths concerning the importance of thankfulness can be derived from the leper who returned to give thanks:
  • Thankfulness matters to God. Jesus was disturbed that the others did not return with thankfulness to give Him thanks: "Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?'"
  • Thankfulness is an act of the will. The healed leper chose to return and give thanks. He did so very publically and expressively. He "came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him."
  • Thankfulness is an excellent testimony. Others observed this and the story became part of the Scriptural record.
Will we be like the one who returned to give "Thanks" or like the nine who did not? Are you expressing thankfulness to God and to others? We sure hope you're resting your head each night on Thankful Lane!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, each of us make our dwelling on Thankful Lane when we daily attribute thanksgiving to You who provides for all our needs. You give us shelter from the harsh elements, food on our tables, clothing for our bodies and people who love and care for us. We've been blessed beyond measure, both physically and spiritually as You provided for our greatest need; salvation. Worthy is the Lamb who died on the cross for our sins. We will eternally praise You for Your goodness to us. Amen.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. The parkway, which is America's longest linear park, runs for 469 miles through twenty-nine Virginia and North Carolina counties, mostly along the Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. (Wikipedia)

Appalachian Trail over James River 11-25-14
As we climbed the Blue Ridge to get on the Parkway we walked a small portion of the Appalachian trail, crossing a foot bridge over the James River.

Blue Ridge Parkway vista 11-25-14
A majestic vista view. Scenic pulloffs for these views are all along the Parkway.
Blue Ridge Parkway mountain lake 11-25-14
Peaks of Otter Lake
Blue Ridge Parkway mountain 11-25-14
Another view of the Peaks of Otter lake and mountain but showing the rustic split rail fence.
Blue Ridge Parkway bridge 11-25-14
The bridges on the Parkway are very distinct.

Abandoned farmhouse near Blue Ridge Parkway 11-25-14
We had to exit the Parkway north of Roanoke, we assume due to a forecast snow storm. Coming down off the Ridge passed this fixer-upper.

Chaplains at Knoxville TFC chapel
In Knoxville, Tennessee we stopped by to visit with the chaplains at the TFC chapel for truck drivers.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Special Thanksgiving Resources

We offer these resources to families and church leaders
to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday.

We appreciated singing the traditional Thanksgiving hymns. Here are several classics that you may or may not have heard this season.

"Be Magnified"  Video   Kim Hill

"In Everything Give Him Thanks"
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"In Everything Give Thanks"
 Video   Charlotte Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter

"In Everything Give Thanks"  Video   Charlotte Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter  This song will bring joy to your heart!

"Now Thank We All Our God"  Video  Best Loved Hymns

"Come Ye Thankful People Come"  Video  Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video

"Thanksgiving Medley" (We Gather Togather, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come)  Video  Studio Musicians

"Give Thanks"  Video  Don Moen

"Thank You Lord"  Video  Community choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.

"Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul"  Video  Holland Davis

Thorns"Thankful For The Thorns": A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. The Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Some of you are not in charge and are only visitors at your Thanksgiving gathering, but if it is possible share together around the table the theme of "Thankful for the Thorns"
(printable webpage).

"A Thanksgiving family exercise" (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service several years ago. (webpage) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading:
A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)

 Video  Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers

"I Want To Thank You"
 Video  Karen Peck and New River  This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who impact our lives and also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly insignificant expressions of faith.  From the Gaither Homecoming series.

"Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me"  Video  Gordon Mote & Jason Crabb

"Thanksgiving Medley"  Video  Nice selection of grand old thanksgiving hymns.

"Now Thank We All Our God"  Video  Traditional version  Here's a bit more contemporary version with same lyrics.

"Come We Thankful People Come"  Video  
Traditional version  Here's a bit more contemporary version with same lyrics.

"I'm Forever Grateful"  Video  Willow Creek

"Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart"  Video  Don Moen

"When I Thank Him For What He Has Done"  Video  The Cathedrals

"Worthy Is The Lamb Crown Him .. Crown Him With Many Crowns"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"Thank You, Lord"  Video  Dennis Jernigan

"Thank You For Loving Me"  Video  Tommy Walker

"10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)"  Video  Matt Redman

"For These Reasons"  Video  Lincoln Brewster

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Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 38th anniversary photo (click on photo to enlarge)Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
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Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
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Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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