November 26, 2019 (Thanksgiving Week)

Family,

Allow me to offer some scattered thoughts as I sit at my desk on the Monday morning before Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving Sunday and the energy that surrounds  the filling of the Thanksgiving Baskets. Thank you LABC Hunger Task Force.

On this day in 1978 Karen I were married at the First Baptist Church of Tigard, Oregon. Love abides.

There were elections in Hong Kong yesterday.  CNN reports that a record breaking 71% of the electorate voted. The people of that city are making it clear that economic prosperity without political freedom and spiritual liberty is a very empty reality.

Two young boys were murdered in Union City on Friday night/Saturday morning. A hail of bullets was fired into the van in which they were sitting. We need to talk about the number of guns in our community and who has access to them but we also need to talk about moral decision making. In what universe it is it ok to even think about shooting at children?

Thanksgiving is as late as it can possibly be this year meaning that Christmas will come very quickly.  This coming Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent. We will decorate the church following worship.  I am a little bit anxious about having enough participants. Please join us.

December 1st is World AIDS Day. In the late 80’s and early 90’s prayers for AIDS victims, their families and those that cared for them were a regular part of our worship services. This annual commemoration reminds us that around the globe AIDS/HIV still has devastating impact.

On Friday some of you will plunge into the annual madness that is Black Friday. Here is a prayer for you and those that join you.

Loving God, We first and foremost thank you for the provision to be able to buy gifts during a time when the world’s economy is very uncertain. But as we thank you for this provision, we also ask for knowledge, wisdom, and discernment so that we can be good stewards over the financial resources you have given us. Do not let us exceed our budgets but let us stay within our budgets remembering that beyond the sales, on the other side, are people who could really use the money we would spend on gifts. Let us remember that our wants represent someone else’s needs. Do not let the spirit of greed and consumption overtake us on this day. Let us remember that the Christmas season is not about buying things and receiving things as much as it is about spreading love and reminding people of the great love that came to the earth for us. May that same love extend on this day. May we exercise patience in long lines; kindness in crowds and may traveling mercies be extending to us in traffic. Grant everyone safety throughout the day and beyond. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (BeliefNet)

Certainly our prayers must stay with Pastor Allison as she travels to the Middle East seeking justice for the Palestinian people. We are honored to have her represent us.

Peace, 

Jim H.

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