THANKSGIVING

At in-gathering offerings and celebrations, we give thanks to God for bountiful harvests and joyfully celebrate as family and congregation the successful completion of another season.

Though their first winter in the New World was hard, tough and difficult, the Pilgrims and many early settlers took the spring to learn from Native American Indians how to cultivate their new lands and adapt to their new home.

The peace pact between the settlers and the natives gave a peaceful atmosphere that colored their first in-gathering celebrations in the fall of 1621, and thus the first American Thanksgiving.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:6,7)

In 1881, the great historian the Rev. Samuel Johnson, Pastor of Oyo, described great-grandfather, Pa Jonathan Ojelabi, as “the foremost Christian gentleman” in his town. Grandfather Emmanuel left his wealth and immense connections, prepared a trust and care for his family, and went on Christian evangelistic campaigns. He died in the course of these missionary works, and was buried within the courtyards of one of the churches he helped to set up. His offspring thrived and stay in Christianity till this day.

Dad and Mum were Roman Catholics, and so were we, the children. It pays to serve Jesus!

I give thanks to God today for a good life, a happy family, a kind, understanding, and loving wife and godly children.

It has been a wonderful experience in life for salvation, justification, and the great hope of eternal redemption. The greatest experience of any man is his transformation from a Gentile into one of the partakers of the blessings and covenants of God through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is. That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”( Eph 2:12,13).  It is great to understand that God loves me so dearly and gives me the wonderful gift of Jesus Christ.

Life has provided me with caring tutors, wonderful schools and a very rich education, to touch and gladden other lives and people. This is not just a coincidence but also the wonderful benevolence of God to His undeserving child. God I thank you. Jesus I praise you.

God cares, and performs His wonders in mysterious ways.

Heikki Koivu was once the MD of Perusythyma, the Finnish Civil Engineering Construction Company, where I started my working career.

Armed Robbers attacked one of the project sites of the organization where I was the Accounting Officer. The Police arrested me and locked me up as their prime suspect. Heikki Koivu trusted me, flew down to site, and went through a rough ride with the police to get me released.

However, the police vehemently refused but Mr. Koivu spoke glowingly of me and stuck out his neck to sign all necessary papers that led to my release from detention.

Three months afterwards the robbers were caught in their attempt to cash some Thomas Cooks traveller’s checks stolen from us. Heikki Koivu was proved right and I was vindicated. Had Mr. Koivu not taken that risk my life would have gone in a different direction, probably pitched with gangsters and criminals.

“An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.” “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.” (Pro 17:11, Psa9:15).

Dr. Donald Eickner, in his inaugural address to college freshmen, taught me how to value time, and make best use of every passing moment. “Write down your achievements in the past five years, and then explain what you seriously want to achieve in the next five years. Work hard and pray hard about it!”, the college President taught new college students.

Though I was born into a family of strong dedicated Christians and strong believers, Professor Johnny Manassian opened my understanding of the Good News that no one get saved or converted into Christianity by virtue of religious background or lineage, but through personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Dr. Manassian led me to Christ!

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Joh 8:32

Not much of a swimmer, I was caught off-guard once at an ocean brook and within a quiet sea beach. Drowning and almost lost at sea, I owe my life to the grace of God and prompt intervention of friends who rushed and swam deep to rescue me and revived my life. For what else are friends and friendships, than ‘that a man lay down his life for his friends’? There is no greater friend like Jesus Christ.

As a Graduate Assistant at the Lebanese American University to Professor Robert Polhill, the famous American Professor of Accounting and kidnapped in Beirut in January 1987, I became a prime subject for kidnap because of my closeness to the American Professor.  Polhill was very fond of me as a lecturer, boss, friend and counselor.  Well, I graduated from school in fine colors, and Professor Polhill came out of captivity in April 1990 after 39 months in captivity. All things are possible with God.

Talking of friends, I surely have them plenty, and across the nations. Friendship is good when your friends are true. Korion came from Armenia, Barn is from Lebanon, Newborn is an American, Phillips is from Trinidad and Tobago, Murray is a Canadian, Tabingo is from the Philippines, Balcha Gizaw came from Ethiopia, Takeo is Japanese, Burgess is English, Emilio is Argentine, Gramkow is German, Luigi is Italian, Zekry is from Egypt, Sonig is from Syria, and so on.

John called to see me, immediately he flew in from London, and would be very glad to meet my family; our last meeting was in 1987.

Of my friends, I can truly say, “That man had nothing and gave me half of it, and we both had abundance”.

You may not be rich or wealthy, but if Jesus makes a great difference in your life, then you must be living a rich, peaceful, virtuous and abundant life. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

God’s only begotten Son came to change your gloom to brightness. He has come on wounded feet to roll out your ailment and smooth your scattered sickbed.

Christ enters your life with spike-pierced hands to soothe your pain with His balm and His precious blood shed on the cross at Calvary.

Jesus Christ washes away your grief and discomfort with His undefiled living waters.

At in-gathering offerings and celebrations, we give thanks to God for bountiful harvests and joyfully celebrate as family and congregation the successful completion of another season.

Whatever need or challenge you may have in life, you only need to “taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Oh give thanks to The Lord; Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the people!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His steadfast love endures forever! 
(1 Chr 16:8,34).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: