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5 Reasons To Be Thankful This Thanksgiving

What a crazy world we live in. If you aren’t careful you can get swept away in all the violence, discord, political rhetoric, horror, and grief that is the world today. With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us you may find it hard to be truly thankful for anything. But there are a few things you should consider being thankful for this year.

(1) You or your family doesn’t have EBOLA – Thats a pretty big one considering all the hype the news media has thrown in our face for days and weeks on end. I was almost afraid to leave my house or even send my grandkids to school because someone may have traveled to Africa and brought EBOLA back to Dade City FL. But thankfully, all are safe from the horrible threat. BE THANKFUL!

(2) You have a roof over your head and food to eat. – Even though our economy has been flourishing, inflation has pushed many of us to the brink personal financial crisis. If you aren’t struggling, BE THANKFUL. For those of us who are, we are still better off than over 75% of the worlds population. BE THANKFUL!

(3) Your daughter is not a Kardashian – Need I say more? BE THANKFUL!

(4) You don’t live in Ferguson MO. – Considering all the media attention again given to this one single incident I am glad that my family does not live anywhere near Ferguson. Of course, what happened there could happen in any small town/suburb in the US. (aka – Trevon Martin) So remember, it COULD have been in your neighborhood. BE THANKFUL!

(5) You are free to worship God or any other entity you so choose in our great country. Or, you can choose to worship all the things of this earth: Money, music, celebrities, sports, yourself,etc.- The God I worship, the one TRUE God, gave us “FREE WILL” at birth. You can choose to believe and trust in God, or not. – BE THANKFUL!

I myself am thankful for my family, the blessings God has given me of a decent home and a place for my family to live. Mainly I am thankful that I have the freedom to worship my God and freely express myself just as I am in this post.

Please take moment to post what you are thankful for in the comment box. If all you have are negative comments they will not be posted. (I’m thankful I have the right to do that). BE THANKFUL!

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Spiritual Recession

I was reading an article online yesterday titled “More Americans Say They Have No Religion”. I thought it noteworthy enough to paste into my blog. It is my opinion that the church in general is as much to blame for this trend as anything due to their lack of compassion and hypcritical approach to issues facing many Americans today. Perhaps if we were to set aside the “Country Club” atmosphere that tends to surround most traditional church denominations this trend would slow a bit. But chances are that Christ will come before that ever has a chance to happen. Enjoy!

Here is the entire AP wire story.

More Americans say they have no religion

Published – Mar 08 2009 11:14PM EST

By RACHEL ZOLL – AP Religion Writer

RELIGIOUS SURVEYA wide-ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic population has been shifting out of the Northeast to the Southwest, the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all.

Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still, the study found that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state.

“No other religious bloc has kept such a pace in every state,” the study’s authors said.

In the Northeast, self-identified Catholics made up 36 percent of adults last year, down from 43 percent in 1990. At the same time, however, Catholics grew to about one-third of the adult population in California and Texas, and one-quarter of Floridians, largely due to Latino immigration, according to the research.

Nationally, Catholics remain the largest religious group, with 57 million people saying they belong to the church. The tradition gained 11 million followers since 1990, but its share of the population fell by about a percentage point to 25 percent.

Christians who aren’t Catholic also are a declining segment of the country.

In 2008, Christians comprised 76 percent of U.S. adults, compared to about 77 percent in 2001 and about 86 percent in 1990. Researchers said the dwindling ranks of mainline Protestants, including Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians, largely explains the shift. Over the last seven years, mainline Protestants dropped from just over 17 percent to 12.9 percent of the population.

The report from The Program on Public Values at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., surveyed 54,461 adults in English or Spanish from February through November of last year. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.5 percentage points. The findings are part of a series of studies on American religion by the program that will later look more closely at reasons behind the trends.

The current survey, being released Monday, found traditional organized religion playing less of a role in many lives. Thirty percent of married couples did not have a religious wedding ceremony and 27 percent of respondents said they did not want a religious funeral.

About 12 percent of Americans believe in a higher power but not the personal God at the core of monotheistic faiths. And, since 1990, a slightly greater share of respondents _ 1.2 percent _ said they were part of new religious movements, including Scientology, Wicca and Santeria.

The study also found signs of a growing influence of churches that either don’t belong to a denomination or play down their membership in a religious group.

Respondents who called themselves “non-denominational Christian” grew from 0.1 percent in 1990 to 3.5 percent last year. Congregations that most often use the term are megachurches considered “seeker sensitive.” They use rock style music and less structured prayer to attract people who don’t usually attend church. Researchers also found a small increase in those who prefer being called evangelical or born-again, rather than claim membership in a denomination.

Evangelical or born-again Americans make up 34 percent of all American adults and 45 percent of all Christians and Catholics, the study found. Researchers found that 18 percent of Catholics consider themselves born-again or evangelical, and nearly 39 percent of mainline Protestants prefer those labels. Many mainline Protestant groups are riven by conflict over how they should interpret what the Bible says about gay relationships, salvation and other issues.

The percentage of Pentecostals remained mostly steady since 1990 at 3.5 percent, a surprising finding considering the dramatic spread of the tradition worldwide. Pentecostals are known for a spirited form of Christianity that includes speaking in tongues and a belief in modern-day miracles.

Mormon numbers also held steady over the period at 1.4 percent of the population, while the number of Jews who described themselves as religiously observant continued to drop, from 1.8 percent in 1990 to 1.2 percent, or 2.7 million people, last year. Researchers plan a broader survey on people who consider themselves culturally Jewish but aren’t religious.

The study found that the percentage of Americans who identified themselves as Muslim grew to 0.6 percent of the population, while growth in Eastern religions such as Buddhism slightly slowed.

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On the Net:

Survey results: http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/

God and The Economy

You would have to live under a rock not to know how badly the economy of the United States is doing these days. Record gas prices, inflation, unemployment, stock market in constant turmoil. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t even want to hear the news at night or check on my retirement investment account. It is during these times that we see a huge increase in people being treated for stress and depression, the weight of the world on their shoulders.

But even in these tough economic times you don’t have to look too far to see how well off we as Americans actually are. Just take a trip to Haiti, or Cuba. Visit www.worldvision.org and see how people are living in Africa and Indonesia.

God blesses you every day. Look around you. Open up your cabinets. Look in the refrigerator. Shake your piggy bank. You probably have more change in there than the average Haitian makes in a month. Think about it.

Want to be rich? Start giving it away. Find someone who needs something you have worse than you. Maybe it is a bicycle or an old car. Maybe it’s clothing or shoes. Maybe it is the food from your pantry. Maybe it’s the change in your piggybank. Your reward will not be measured here on earth, but in Heaven.

Peace Out

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