Orcas, Octonauts and Walruses

The list of things for which my grandsons are thankful circle the stem of their Thanksgiving pumpkin, spiraling down its side, one thought after another. As you read the list, you find what you would expect to find…Mommy, Daddy, family, boats, planes, doctors, tents, trains, specific toys and Ashley, the “kid-sitter…” because at four and two years of age, respectively, Eli and Josiah do not require a “baby-sitter.”

While most of their gratitude points to ordinary things that might appear on any child’s list, three things stand out…orcas, Octonauts and walruses. Intriguing sea creatures and a cartoon. I doubt any of those three would have made my prayer list.

Their Thanksgiving pumpkin, a family tradition designed to instill a sense of gratefulness to God for his many blessings, reminds me that I frequently take so much for granted. The innocence of children tends to see everything around them as a gift, worthy of the time it takes to say thank you to a God they are only beginning to understand.

As adults we grow jaded to the gifts around us. Preoccupied. Caught up in the chaos of our own choosing. Taking precious little time to think about the orcas, the Octonauts and the walruses. My grandchildren reminded me that the world is full of wonder and worthy of my gratitude.

I am thankful for all God has given me. That which I can touch and that which I can only feel. I have lived a charmed and blessed life, filled with people who love me and whom I love. I am blessed by God in the life He led me to and the life He has planned for me. I am grateful to God for every stroke of His hand that guided me through the choices I have made. I am thankful for the joy of experiencing what can be when you give your life to Him.

“Thankful,” a song written by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, and sung by Josh Grobin, speaks plainly to that point.

In preparation for Thanksgiving Day, I share with you the lyrics and the link to a beautiful song. Read the lyrics and listen as the song is sung.

Some days we forget
To look around us
Some days we can’t see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see.
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves
There’s so much sorrow
It’s way too late to say
I’ll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It’s so long overdue

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Even with our differences
There is a place we’re all connected
Each of us can find each other’s light

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more

There is so much to be thankful for.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this week, express your gratitude for the orcas, Octonauts and the walruses. And remember, while the world needs so much of His grace, there is still “so much to be thankful for.”

Click on the link below to see the video.


Source: The Searcher

The Good Fight

Background Verses: Ephesians 6:12-18, 2 Timothy 4:7, 2 Timothy 2:2-3;

There is no question that the Christian faith is under attack across the world. Brutal persecution of Christians exists in regions of the world dominated by militant Islamic bullies. Often it feels as if too little is being done to protect those helpless, in a physical and political sense, to defend themselves.

While it in no way compares to the persecution Christians face from these extremists, it seems the Christian faith is being pushed into a corner by an American public policy that places parameters on personal and corporate worship, by the nation’s legal system that has broadened the court’s reach into matters of faith and heart and media’s penchant for encouraging controversy for controversy sake.

Yet, I wonder at times if the real and perceived erosion of religious liberty is not also an outgrowth to our strident and un-Christlike reaction to the current political and social climate. Extremist reactions from both sides of the debate drive a wedge between us, forcing us to choose sides in a battle that no one wins.

Scripture tells us in Ephesians 6: 12-18 we will face a battle against all things that run counter to the teachings of Christ. Paul encourages us to “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day.” In the battle we must wrap ourselves in truth, righteousness, readiness to proclaim the gospel of peace, shielded by faith, equipped with the Spirit and Word of God.

If we face a continual battle, then it is not a question of whether we fight, but how we fight. Do we fight fire with fire and retaliate with the same negative name-calling directed against us, or do we, as Paul decalred in 2 Timothy 4:7, “fight the good fight” by keeping the faith and “enduring the hardship as a good soldier of Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).

The battle we wage as Christians must look different that the war waged by the world. Look at Ephesians 4:31-5:2.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…”

A recent Facebook recently shared a video produced by The Piano Guys. It was a beautiful instrumental mix of Fight Song by Dave Bassett and Rachel Platten and Amazing Grace.

I doubt the lyrics of Fight Song were never intended to teach spiritual truth. Yet, the context of the song teaches that a small action on our part can create a great movement. That a single word can change a heart. That one spark can cause an explosion. The power we hold in our hands and hearts is not in the strident screaming of outrage at a world that pushes against what we believe and hold dear. The power comes when we let go of the rage and live a life of love.

A life of love is not a passive acceptance of the world’s antipathy, but an active fight…a good fight. As such, the chorus to Platten’s song speaks to the depth of commitment to engage in that good fight.

My power’s turned on.
Starting right now I’ll be strong.
I’ll play my fight song.
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes,
I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.

Therein is where the musical mix created by The Piano Guys resonates. The power turned on within us derives from the presence of the Spirit of God in our lives. Amazing Grace is our fight song. We win this battle, not with aggressive animosity toward those who do not understand, but by proclaiming the amazing grace of God that is the world’s unclaimed gift.

Listen to the music. I hope it rekindles the fight within you.

It is a good fight.


Source: The Searcher