Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I mean that from the bottom of my heart!  We have so much to be thankful for.  I think of the times when I’ve been abroad on Thanksgiving and even when there’s not been one thing I recognize….not a turkey to be seen or even the celebrations I’ve been used to here in the States I have still felt that presence of God and the prayers of those that know and love me.  I realize that this is the essence of what it’s all about above and beyond the food and all the trimmings…beyond what’s on the TV I find that as usual God is what makes thankfulness possible and this is a wonderful day to reflect on that fact.  I’m very grateful to have a God purpose in my life.  I’m a person that needs to have a cause that’s higher than me and God in His graciousness has given me just that.  Tomorrow we will begin very early with concerts designed to sing about what God has done and is doing.  Some say they hate Christmas…they say it’s all about commercialism but me?  I believe Christmas is like Thanksgiving…it’s what you make it.  I believe in involving God in it all and loving it all.  Nobody needs more hate in the world.  We’ll sing about how God loves us all the way up to Christmas and how wonderful that it won’t be all about commercialism for us.  I think of the time I was in India on Christmas…it wasn’t about gifts it was about church and family…same when I was in the Philippines…it taught me a lot about what matters and helped me understand what my mom has always tried to do on these holidays and throughout the year.  God bless those that don’t let these holidays just be a day that doesn’t reflect what goes on throughout the rest of the year.


I have to admit that the difficult weather has made me miss the tropical weather in Ghana very much but more I miss the people.  They are so beautiful, and so anointed.  Like us I think they don’t really know just how blessed they are.  I see it everywhere when I’m there because I’m not used to it.  The ocean isn’t in our backyard you see  The waves don’t crash on our doorstep here.  Is that why it’s so beautiful to me?  Even the impossibly red earth stands in contrast to what I’m used tobut is it that which strikes a chord so deep in my heart?  Is it the exotic seas with fishermen so foreign to these eyes of mine?  Is it the contrast of coastline and ocean and the endless struggle of the tide that touches me?  You see, I don’t think so, I think these new things let me see what I’ve got right next to me that’s so valuable.  I turn and see my wife talking to two Filipinos…I’ve never seen Filipinos in Ghana before though they may have been there before.  Not everything in life necessarily looks palatable at first glance but if you dare to try it and see that though different it might actually be something that God is using to bless you then you might be pleasantly surprised by something that you would have possibly walked right past before!  Looking up again I saw the wonderful ocean as not something out there but something that I am a part of too.  The beauty of this place couldn’t be witnessed if someone wasn’t there to appreciate it after all.  The truth is life is so much in need of people to see the beauty in it.  Life itself is wasted on those that don’t recognize the beauty of what God is doing even in difficult situationsor maybe beauty is even more when seen through the eyes of faith in a difficult situation.  After all what would waves be without the resistance of a shore to crash against?  You, dear friends have been the lighthouse beyond the cleft in the rock that God provides.  I am so thankful for those that have been a light shining in the darkness for me because it has been the imagine of what God has always been to me.  Now as we eat whatever bounty is provided today.  I pray that we walk away not just seeing the frills of something nobody truly appreciatesbut Lord please let us know that every day we are given is a day to be thankful for because it’s by His grace that we stand and breathe another breath.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  1. Joe, I think this might be the most beautiful and heartfelt and touching post I have EVER read, and I thank you from my own heart. You have captured every nuance of the important things in this world, and Joe, you, by your writing, have lifted me higher than any other time. I can't even explain it but maybe you know what I mean. You have a way of bringing God closer to all of us even though our own faith is already so very deep. Sometimes you make me feel as if I am sitting right in His hand.
    Love and Blessings Always to you and your wonderful, wonderful family ~~

  2. Thank you Joe for this wonderful post. Your words and photos are beautiful. I feel truly thankful to count you as a friend. Blessings to you and your family.

  3. You have experienced more than I my friend in your travels. I am thankful for your friendship.
    Enjoy the day and your family and friends. Your work is enjoyed by many and the love and hope you give is priceless and touches all. Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Joe, you are truly a blessing to your blog family as you have shared the the Good News to foreign lands. I enjoy your music too.

  5. Joe, you are a blessing to ME as well, and JennyD said it perfectly. She said what I was going to-- and that is that you have a way of bringing God closer both through your words and through your photos. This blog is a shining example of that.

    It wouldn't be the same without you my friend.

  6. Everything Beautiful, and everything Good comes from our Lord. Yes we all have so much to be thankful for each and everyday of our lives.You expressed it all so well in your blog with words from your heart and soul. Love the photos Joe.They are all so Beautiful and I thank you for sharing them. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Joe.
    Dianne :)

  7. My comments seem to be disappearing before my eyes, did you get my last comment?

  8. Obviously it got lost somewhere, I'd just wanted to wish you and everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I've been having trouble with my comments disappearing.

  9. The Thanksgiving day for everybody 25th Nov,
    but it should be thank you for everyday too.
    You have explained in your blog and photos.
    The beachs are beautiful in calm and the wave shows pretty much in ourlives that ups down never the same?
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving day with your family.

  10. Hi Joe
    Thanksgiving and christmas
    every day should be like christmas or thanksgiving
    the sound of the waves the smell of the food.
    u miss Ghana Joe i can understand
    Happy Thanksgiving Joe for u and ur loved ones

  11. You are such a blessing Joe.. Thank you for the faith,insight and strength you share with us..
    I love "Christmas".. one has to get beyond the earth's view.. and submerge ones self into its contagious beauty and peace keep that childhood awe and get ready for a birth.. to open ones heart to hold and give warmth to a new born infant.. in a cold and indifferent world.. what tremendous awe that holds.. "smile"
    have a good evening tonight with your singing..
    soft "warm" hugs..

  12. You right Joe, Thanksgiving and Christmas are what you make them. If the focus is on God and people, those days mean something. If they're just about getting presents, they're just really meaningless days.

  13. What a wonderful message and I agree each holiday is felt what is in your heart. You have a beautiful one Joe, thanks for the wonderful blog!

  14. Hi Joe,
    It sound awful cold weather at your place,
    I bet you must missed such a warm place you were for a month ago? as I said normore four season?
    I don't remember we have a beautiful spring times either though we had floods from heavy rains that I feel sorry for our farmers.
    They had lost everything plus their grows on the fields.
    Hope you have a beautiful day tomorrow?
    Big Hugs,

  15. Regarding your remark on my blog...absolutely and yes..and I agree. If I could think of another way to put it, I would.

  16. I am glad you were able to enjoy the beauty that the tropic climate and beaches also brought with the journey. It gave it some balance to keep moving forward. The food looks very nice also. Must have been a treat trying all the new fares of food. Life has been very busy here and I just haven't had time here visiting everyone or blogging as much as I would like. But I am in a place in my life where I am learning to be thankful for all that God has provided me with. But mostly from the love I feel from my friends here. Hugs Carrie