happy thanksgiving

by J. C. Corcoran

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving

and I have much to be thankful for; most notably the strength in my legs. For several years now, ever since my mini stroke in 2013, I have been unable to get up from the floor without help. If no one was around, I had to crawl to a chair or table and use my arms to push myself up.

But for several days now, I have been noticing a new strength in my legs. A few nights ago I knelt beside my bed to pray. usually I would sit at my desk or pray after I reclined on my bed. But this night, I felt compelled to get on my knees. I knew it was going to hurt but I felt strongly that this was what I needed to do. It hurt but not as bad as I had feared; and I was happy to see how much easier it was for me to get up.

So today, during my exercise, I decided to get down on the floor (flat on my back) and do some things to strengthen my legs and tummy muscles. When I finished, I layed there thinking – do I have to crawl over to that chair or do I dare to just stand up?

Well I dared and, amazingly, I just stood up using my legs only ( the first time in 2 years). And I sit here crying as I write this to think of God’s wonderful grace. He is renewing the strength in my legs according to his promise in Proverbs 3:7-8 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Praise the Lord all you people and thank him for his goodness and grace. Obey his word and you too will receive a blessing(s). His word is truth and all you need do is trust him with all your heart.

Remember this, all of you who live by faith; God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Can I hear an amen?

Our Time Is Not Our Own

Image result for time

Our Time is not Our Own
Yesterday, Wednesday – August 26th – at 11:30 am, I sat stunned in front of my television as they aired the unfolding story of the two people shot and killed in Virginia. A news reporter and her cameraman were gunned down at seven o’clock in the morning as they conducted an interview on the sidewalk. The lady, who was being interviewed, was also shot but these two news people, both in their twenties, were killed.
They were doing their job just as they had done the day before and the day before that etc.. They both probably woke up around 5 am to start their day. They probably had coffee and thought about their plans for the day. They probably even had thoughts of what they would be doing later that day when the job was finished.
I’m pretty sure they were not thinking that their lives would end before their day ended. And that brought me to the realization that our time is not our own. We just don’t know, do we?

And that reminded me of a friend of mine.
It was a Friday afternoon when I pulled through the gate to report for the 3-11 shift and my friend, Ron, waved to me as he was leaving. And he shouted from his car, “See ya Monday,” and he drove on; happy as a lark to be going home for the weekend. But when Monday came and I arrived at work, I heard the sad news; Ron had died over the weekend.
He was almost half my age. When we got off work that day, he drove away waving to everyone. He wasn’t sick; he wasn’t overweight; didn’t have diabetes or cancer and, as far as anyone knew (including his wife), he didn’t have any heart trouble. He was strong as an ox and appeared to be in good health. But he died the next day.
He was outside working on his garden and just collapsed. By the time they got him to the hospital, he had passed from heart failure.
So, let me ask you; are you healthy? It doesn’t really matter, apparently, because when God calls you to leave this earth, you have no choice; no matter how healthy you may be. Now, it’s true in many, and most, cases that death usually follows a sickness or injury but there is nothing in the playbook that says that will be the case.
I was a police officer for many years and I saw many of my fellow officers around the country fall to a madman’s bullet. Look what happened on 9/11. Many people died that day while they were simply going about their daily routine. None of them gave it a thought when they left for work that morning. And, Oh my God, look at the number of police officers killed in the line of duty in the past 2 years.
They probably kissed their spouses goodbye for the day; probably even promised to bring home a quart of milk or a loaf of bread; whatever. But they never came home. They died.
Life is fragile and there are no guarantees of longevity.
Ecclesiastes says in chapter 3: “There is a time for everything…..a time to be born and a time to die.”
And the age-old question is this: If you were to die today, do you know if you will go to Heaven?
I’m sure that most people don’t even think about it. And, probably most people have never been asked that question. That’s why I’m here; to spread a seed of hope.
So let’s go now to God’s word and see what He says about our final destiny and the times.
In the Book of Job it says in 14:5 that “man’s days are determined” and Psalm 31: 14 &15 says “But I trust in You, O Lord; I say You are my God. My times are in your hands.” So, as the title of this article says: “Our Time is not our Own” –  Our time belongs to God and is set by Him. Jesus said in Acts 1:7 that “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.” And Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:1 “Now brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”
We don’t know when our time will end; it can come while you’re cutting the grass, preparing a meal, enjoying a good laugh with a friend; or even on your job. So we must be prepared. But, how; What shall we do?
When Peter was asked “what shall we do?” he answered, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” Acts 2:38.
Reading and studying the word of God brings hope to everyone. “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:9-10.
2 Corinthians 6:2 says “…now is the day of salvation.” Now is the only time you truly have because you don’t know if you will still be alive five minutes from now. Now is the time to start preparing for the day your life on earth comes to an end. I’ll bet you have life insurance and probably some sort of medical insurance so you think you have all the bases covered. Well let me tell you something brother, you need after-life insurance and there’s only one policy that covers it. That policy is salvation delivered to you by the blood of Jesus Christ because “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
You need to repent, which means to turn away from your present life and turn your life to God. Believing in Jesus means to fully trust your life to Him to the point that you obey His words. Jesus says in Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father in heaven.” And in John 6:40 Jesus says “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day.”
“Believe in Jesus”

“Trust in Jesus”

“Come follow Me.”

How can we believe in Him and trust Him and follow Him without knowing what His word, the Bible, says. After you repent and get baptized, you need to obtain a Bible so that you can read and study the word yourself. Going to church once or even twice a week and listening to a sermon – no matter how inspiring it is – is not enough for you to truly learn.

You need to do as Bereans did. Acts 17:11 says, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
So, there it is; I’ve laid it out for you and now is the right time. Repent, be baptized, and learn the will of God. Read the Scriptures (Bible) every day so you can know that what your being taught by your leaders, or preacher, is true. In fact, search out everything I’ve just told you to see if it’s all true. And don’t allow your time to run out before you do.
God bless you and may He keep you in the palm of His hand.