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RS

EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Thanks

Annually, I like to use today, as the most appropriate day, to tell you all how thankful I am for each of you. I know many of you pray for me and this site, and I very much appreciate it.I appreciate the front page contributors here who make me look good and, day in and day out, provide some of the best commentary in conservative politics.I am thankful for the folks at Eagle Publishing who make it possible for us to do what we do each day.I am thankful for my wife and kids and family. I am thankful for a Creator who really did bring forth water from a rock and really did bring forth bread from Heaven.We live in a day and age when many of you today will be too stressed out to even read this. You’ll be worried about the turkey, the gravy, the guest list, the dinner, the directions to the house you’re going to, etc. You’ll be too worried to be thankful, let alone grateful. Today, your motto will be “why pray when we can worry.”In this age, there are preachers who tell you that you can have your best life now. They tell you if you surrender all to the church, God will reward your wallet. There’s a new movement among Christian pop theology that is the prosperity gospel not for your wallet, but for your soul. If you surrender all, God won’t make you rich, but he’ll richly reward your soul.Apparently, Jesus needs your Xbox more than you. But don’t worry, if you give Jesus your Xbox and head out to Africa, he’ll reward you greatly, or at least your soul.We compound the worries in our lives. We make it so difficult to be thankful for things. And here comes a group of Christian pastors to tell you you’re doing it wrong. If they’re not telling you to surrender all for your wallet, they’re telling you to surrender all for your soul, or, the newest craze is to tell you to surrender nothing. Just worship an effeminate Jesus in an emasculated church and grace will overwhelm you. All you have to do is sit there and listen to some pablum about Emo Jesus who cries for you and pours out his grace on you with no repentance necessary.In fact, we’ll accept you as you are, warts and all, with no need for change to get your best life now. Just throw a few dollars toward the church or buy the preacher’s book so long as the New York Times positively reviewed it (Hint: if this happens, burn the book).It’s all rather appalling and hurts the true soul. Many of us get wrapped up in it and are overwhelmed by it and just cannot focus on what we are thankful for. I get it. I truly do. Sometimes the hardest thing to do at this time of year is to stop and be thankful.But folks, I’ve got to tell you, you need to stop. I know you want to get the lumps out of gravy. I know the pie has to go in the oven. I know the guests are on the way and pop theology Emo Jesus is just gearing up to hug the money changers out of the temple so Rachel Held Evans can feel empowered and roar platitudes, but just stop for a minute.Be thankful. Focus on that. Just be thankful. Whether you believe in him or not, there is a Creator who believes enough in you and me to create us. We live in a society where we can write these things and you can agree or even disagree without repercussion.The turkey may be dry. The gravy may be lumpy. The food may be cold by the time the kids put down the iPad long enough to say grace. But be thankful you have a turkey or gravy or iPads or just a person next to you.At this time of year we get so overwhelmed with what we don’t have or can’t provide, we get lost. And many of us will try to go find ourselves. The Bible says “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10 ESV). At this time of year, it is important to remember that often, instead of trying to find ourselves, we need to let Christ find us. We’re lost. We’re not going to find our way out of this mess. God will find our way out. So be thankful.The God some say we should surrender our wallets to or our houses or Xboxes or whatever so that we are richly rewarded is the same God for those of us who can’t do that. The God of the surreal and overwhelming is the God of the mundane too. The God who will pour out rich blessings on your soul if you sell your house and move to Africa to share the Gospel is the very same God who will pour out rich blessings on the single mom who is just trying to keep her family together. He’s the same God who will bless the mom who spends all day changing diapers and the dad who spends all day at a job he doesn’t like just to make ends meet. He’s the same God who watches over the college kid barely aware there is even a God. So for that alone we should be thankful.For those of you still stressed and worried, I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. Just yesterday a total random stranger stopped me in Lenox Mall in Atlanta and thanked me for recommending this book on my radio show. It did my soul good to read it. During the holidays, when so many of us are so worried and stressed, I cannot recommend it enough.Be thankful folks. And know I am thankful for each and every one of you.God bless,
Erick

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