“Everyone needs Whipcream!”

by: John Thomas Heiligenthal

First off let me say Happy New year here on the 8th day of 2017.  I hope your 2016 was good but I hope this year is even better!

When I say, whipcream, you most likely think of a sweet dessert topping for ice cream, milkshakes and of course on top of PIE!  Everyone loves whipcream and the few that don’t well they are just missing out and there will be more for me.

On December 23rd of 2016 the ballet organization that my two daugthers are affliated with (Ballet Yuma) were involved in helping at a local shelter called Crossroads Mission serve a pre-Christmas lunch.  A great local organization to help men, women and families get off the streets, clean up and get help with addictions.

As we arrived we were given aprons and introduced to what we would be doing to help serve at the lunch time.  My oldest daughter was passing out candy and water before the lunch.  The director of the mission came up to me and my youngest daughter and said “John, we have no whipcream for the pies!  But I guess they don’t need it we will have some tomorrow.”  Before I could utter a word my little one says “They need whipcream!”  Mind you, this girl will put enough whipcream on a piece of pumpkin pie that you will not be able to see the pie.  To me it looks like a plate of whipcream!  So, this girl knows that Everyone needs Whipcream!  The director laughs but we agree that whipcream is needed.

My little one and I head out to the nearest grocery store…and yes you guessed it they are out of whipcream!  Back in the car and onto the next store.  Plenty of whipcream in the cooler section.  The director said 4 cans of whipcream would be plenty.  So, 4 can in the basket to head up to pay for them.  “Dad, really only 4 cans?  There was so much pie!  Maybe, we should get 8 cans just to be sure!”  My very convincing 7 year old added 4 more cans to the basket.

“8 cans of whipcream, that’s all?” The cashier asks.  We explained the story and she just laughed and without saying anything else she also says “Well everyone needs whipcream!”  We all laughed and headed back to the mission to add whipcream to all the pies that had already been cut and platted.

My daughter didn’t hesitate for a second that pie needs whipcream.  She knew our goal for the day was to help the less fortunate and serve.  She knew prior to going that all the food and goodies were not for us and that we would not be eating this and she knew the whipcream was not for her.  But even with knowing all this she didn’t delay in saying that if we have something for our desserts they need the same treatment.  We give unto others because God gave us everything by just believing and following him.

In 2017 I hope I can be more like my little one.  I don’t want to hesitate to help others.  I want to be able to love and put my blessed life on the back burner in order to bless my friends, family and strangers on a daily basis.

Isaiah 41:10 ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’  To me this verse says it all.  God will always help us and be there with us.

Have a Blessed and Happy 2017!

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“Thanksgiving 2016”

Thanksgiving is upon us.  Actually in less than 24 hours the majority of people in the United States will be sharing a meal with friends, family and loved ones.  So, I thought thankful-comicI would take the time to mention somethings that I am thankful for.  Psalm 107:8-9Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.’  This verse tells us of God’s lovingkindness to us all and he is our best example of how to lead our lives.  He is truly an awesome God!

I am thankful that I live in a country where I can worship my Lord and Savior openly.  I am humbled by his awesome love that He has for me.

I am thankful for my parents who raised me to be a believer in God.

I am thankful for the love my parents and sisters have shown me in my life.

I am thankful for my two beautiful daughters, without them I wouldn’t understand ballet.

I am thankful for my ex-wife’s forgiveness and that she remarried a good man who is helping raise my daughter’s part time.

I am thankful for my extended family across the world that cares and prayers for me.

I am thankful that God continues to bless me daily even though I do not feel I deserve what I have been given.  He forgives me daily.

I am thankful for each one of you that will read this and I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your time with loved ones and remember we all sin daily, no man (woman) is perfect…Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

I am most thankful for God’s gift of salvation.

11.23.2016

(comic by: reverendfun.com Bible Gateway – Copyright © 2015 HarperCollins Christian Publishing.)

“FREE TACOS!”

FREE TACOS!  Most everyone loves tacos and free is even better!  My oldest daughter Gracie came up to me with a coupon for a ‘FREE TACO’ at a Mexican fast food restaurant.  “Dad, can we go get my FREE TACO soon!  It’s free Dad you don’t have to pay anything!  They are just going to give me a FREE TACO!”  “Ok ok ok slow down yes we can get your FREE TACO!”  How can I let my kiddo down by not getting this FREE TACO?  “We will go soon!” I promised.

Then I started to think about this ‘FREE TACO’.  I said “Hey Gracie, when have you ever paid for a taco?  Aren’t all tacos free to you?”  (My daughter is only 11 so I guess I won’t make her get a job yet to pay for her food.)  She thought about it for a second and said “Oh ya right, well but Dad this one is free for you!”  She had a point; this would be one taco out of how many that I would not have to pay for.  I’m not going to make her pay for the drink or extra tacos when we go either.  She will have no debt owed to me yet she cannot pay but must eat to survive.

Ephesians 2:8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God’  My daughters have faith in me that I will provide food for them, just as we have faith in Jesus giving us eternal life.  There is no way we as Christians can ever repay God for sending his son to die on the Cross for our sins yet we can have salvation for free.  FREE SALVATION?  Wait, there has to be a catch?  Nothing in this world is free, I’m sure you have all heard.  True, nothing in this world is free not even salvation.

In order to receive the FREE TACO I must physically go to the restaurant and place my order for the taco and hand them the coupon.  Easy enough, right?  So, just because Jesus died on the Cross for our sins doesn’t mean we have FREE SALVATION.  There are steps to take to acquire the salvation from Jesus Christ.  In Acts 16:31 it states ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…’  So, there we have the Salvation from God.  Then to complete this transaction for the FREE SALVATION let’s turn to Mark 1:4-5John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.’  You must ask for forgiveness and then be baptized.

I can’t just go ask for a FREE TACO and get a FREE TACO, like I said there are steps that must be made.  Just as in asking for FREE SALVATION there will be steps to take.  On a closing note I say that you will always be physically hungry and thirsty and as a Christian we should be the same for God’s holy word.  Be hungry for what God has written in the Books of the Bible and thirst to know and understand all you can.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-1816 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.   Makes me feel good to read that verse!

11.14.2016

“Be Thankful…for flat tires.”

By: John Thomas Heiligenthal

Is it really November already?  The month we celebrate Thanksgiving in America.  A time to be thankful for all that we have and the abundance of food that will be at most of our tables.  Sitting around a big turkey with family, friends and loved ones eating till we are stuffed!  Then comes desserts, pumpkin pies, pecan pies and some Jell-O dessert the neighbors brought over and you better take a “No Thank You” bite if you know what’s good for you!

1 Thessalonians 5:18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’  Oh, I have this one covered!  God, I am thankful for this amazing Thanksgiving feast and these dinner rolls are pure heaven with a little bit of butter!  What’s that?  Give thanks for EVERYTHING?  But, I’m not going to give thanks for the flat tire I just had a week ago.  And the tire shop bill that was 100 bucks!  I’m not thankful for that at all.  In everything God are you sure?

A few Friday’s back now I was scheduled to drive my first grader over to the San Diego Zoo for her class field trip.  Early that morning she woke up and was sick, twice in an hour.  We would not be seeing any lions, tigers or bears this day!  Was I “thankful” she was sick?  Not at all!  I wanted to go to the zoo as much as she did and see God’s creatures.  But I stayed in bed with her giving her a little bit of water some juice and a few crackers till she felt better (the next day).  But what happened that night driving home from the store with her…she heard a loud hissing sound, “Dad, what’s that sound?”  I knew it had to be a tire.  Sure enough as we rolled up to the house a tire was going flat.  Good thing we were at the house when this happened, makes changing the spare so much easier.  Wait! Was I just thankful for a flat tire?  Well, not the flat but being at home to change it.

At the time of the flat my daughter and I would have been coming back home from the zoo through the mountains leaving California.  A place I would not want to change a flat tire much less traveling 65 mph on a highway, who knows what could have happened.  Now was I thankful for a sick kid and getting a flat in my driveway?  You bet I was!  Too often we have our own agenda as to what WE are going to do in a day.  We do not put our trust in God as we should.  Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.’  God has a plan for each of us and he outlines it all in the Bible, but we first have to put our trust only in HIM and to stop relying on ourselves first.

11.2.2016

“Back Row, left (out)”

Bchurchy: John Thomas Heiligenthal

Let’s see, Church starts at 10:30 am Sunday and I get there at 10:35.  I mean come on nothing really happens for the first 10 minutes anyway.  I can sneak in the Church to my favorite seat; back row left side!  Oh perfect no one is in my seat.  Slide in and then sneak out early when the Preacher starts talking about being saved, well I think that’s what he says, I’ve never stayed around long enough to find out.

Do you know anyone like this?  Is this you?  Maybe, you don’t head to the back row or even leave early, but are you involved in your Church?  It’s so easy to go to Church, have your card “punched” then out the door and head over to lunch.  I’ve been guilty of this, head out of Church to grab good seats at the restaurant or to watch football.  People saw me at Church, so that’s all good in God’s book, right?  Psalm 100:2 ‘Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!’  Gladness in Church?  But, I just want to get in and get out and it’s Sunday, my only day off.

We feel we are doing well by attending Church weekly.  It is great, in fact we are told to gather together; Matthew 18:20 ‘For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.’  So, God is with us when we gather together, that sounds pretty amazing.  But, God gave us gifts and wants us to use them, 1 Peter 4:10 ‘As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace’.  Can you use the gifts of God at home?  Sure you can.  You can also use your gifts with other people at Church, work, home and just out and about.  We use Church to lift each other up and be there for each other.

I see many people posting about how they are doing on their diets or at the gym; they call it “Accountability Day!”  I made it to the gym 5 days in a row!  Everyone likes their posts and encourages them.  That is what the Church is for, to be around your brother and sisters in Christ and be Accountable to each other.  James 5:16 ‘Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.’  Whether or not you meet in a Church building, school, house or the park get involved with your fellow Church members and help out.

So maybe next Sunday in Church you sit on the second to last row and get a new perspective, just don’t let yourself be “left out!”

10.24.2016

*If for some reason your Church is so full and the last row is the only one to sit in, send me a picture of your over flowing Church!  I would love to see what God is doing in your Church!

“No time to pray”

By: John T. Heiligenthal

My calendar on my smartphone is full of “important” things to do today, tomorrow and well into next year!  Pick up the kids, help with homework, get them to ballet, go to the gym, buy groceries, do yard work, clean the house and the list goes on and on.  But I never schedule a time to pray.  I can pray anytime of the day, I don’t need to schedule that on my phone.  Did I pray today?  Well, I sort of did when I was going to bed last night.  Ok, well I said “Dear heavenly Father…” and well then I was out like a light.  Ephesians 6:18  ‘With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints’

So there, I don’t need to schedule my prayers, I just need to pray all day during my busy day with work, kids, friends and a million other activities.  I might have to rethink this.  Schedule a time to pray to God.  Maybe it’s the first thing you do in the morning or last thing you do before bed (not in bed).  Set a time to give thanks for all you have and the blessings you receive.  If you can make this a habit eventually you will not have to “schedule” a time to pray.

Dear heavenly Father please help me to set time to pray to you and become consistent with this…

God bless.

10.12.2016

Don’t Laugh in Church!

By: John Thomas Heiligenthal

Sit down, don’t talk, leave your siblings alone and by no means should you laugh in Church if you know what’s right for you!  Aren’t these the rules we remember our parents telling us as kids in Church?  Then the preacher says “Now turn to Genesis 21: 6, ‘And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby?’  The Bible just told you that Abraham who was 100 years old and Sarah who was 90 were going to be parents!

When I heard this scripture I remember looking around to the Elders in Church who were most likely friends with God in school and thinking “Bob and Louis could have a kid at their age, YIKES!”  God has a sense of humor.  Abraham was faithful to God and because of this he fulfilled his promise to continue his line exceedingly.  Just because Abraham and Sarah were old in their age and all their friends had figured they would never have kids, God said “oh just wait till they hear this!”

Laughing can help you feel better.  If you look on the internet for Doctors saying that laughter is the best medicine just stop now.  Read Proverbs 17:22; ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.’  You just read that the Bible says laughter is the best medicine.  God wants you to laugh; he knows it will make you feel better.  Make a joyful noise in Church with laughter, singing and praise, this helps to lift your spirits and makes you feel better.

But you and I both know God is all knowing and powerful so you also must remember there is a time and place to laugh.  In Ephesians 5 … ‘Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting–all of which are out of character–but rather thanksgiving.’  God is talking about locker room type jokes here; there is no place for it in God’s Kingdom.  When you are with your buddies this can be the hardest thing not to laugh at because we all want to “fit in.”  When you don’t “fit in” that is what distinguishes you as one of God’s children.

Let me leave you with one final thought and scripture; Proverbs 14:13 Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.  If you are dealing with issues such as a death, loss of a spouse or friend, job situations etc. and someone tries to cheer you up the laughing will help.  But as the scripture says once it’s all over the grief will still be there.  This is your time to turn to God to pray and ask him to ease your pain.  God is with us through the Good and Bad times if we make him first in our lives.

10.6.2016