Today is Thanksgiving all across the United States of America. We pause this day to give thanks to God Almighty for allowing us to be born and reared in the greatest nation on planet earth. We thank God for the freedoms we enjoy today. Those freedoms have come with a great cost to our fighting men and women who have served in the Armed Forces of our country.
I count it a great honor and privilege that God has given me to have served in the Marine Corps, the Army, and the Air Force. In all, active duty and reserves, I served for 29 years and 29 days. It was in the Marine Corps that a Methodist Navy chaplain by the name of James Hull from North Carolina ministered to me as I was backsliding. His ministry of presence, and his kind words of encouragement to me helped me to turn around and turn toward God. I knew the truth and the Holy Spirit gave me the gift of repentance, and I confessed my sins, and rededicated my life to Jesus. It worked and I have endeavored to live for the Lord with the assistance of other Christians, and the church that continues to be central in my life and that of my family.
As we give thanks for the blessing we enjoy each day, I never want to forget the young men and women who are serving in our military all across the United States, in foreign countries, aboard ships and aircraft carriers, and submarines in the midst of separation and sacrifice. Many of them will not be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. I want to stand tall and salute those who are bearing the burden to keep our land safe and free.
I want to thank God for all of our missionaries who are serving under the authority and blessings of the IPHC World Missions Ministries Department. We are grateful that you, my readers, sent Melvine, Greg, and me to Hong Kong for the Fifth IPHC Global Assembly, and the trip to Beijing, China. May 4-14, 2015. Let us pray as never before for our IPHC missionaries and their families as they carry the Gospel to peoples of other countries who need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how to come to Him for salvation and the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and become witnesses for Christ.
While we are far removed from those who gave thanks to God in 1789, we must never forget the sacrifice they made to travel to America and suffer many hardships to provide a country where we can worship God without fear or demands from a tyrant government.
I am grateful for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church and the opportunities that my church has afforded me to enjoy as a pastor, Army and Air Force chaplain, college president, and director/endorser of IPHC Chaplains Ministries. I am grateful for this ministry, Hugh's News, that God has provided and has sustained by His grace and provision for 18 years. I thank God for more than 5,000 readers He has given, and for all who have willingly given of their financial resources to help me with the financial obligations I have monthly to maintain my website and publish each newsletter via a mass mailing provided by MailChimp.
I am grateful for Mel Tinney, my faithful webmaster who resides in Pepin, WS, who has successfully guided us through a newly designed website and newsletter format. He sizes every photo that I use in the various articles or blogs, and carries out many administrative tasks for me.
Most of all, I want to thank God for Melvine who has stood with me for over 55 years and has helped me behind the scenes to give me time, and lots of it, to put together every newsletter. She is with me through thick and thin, and is always cheerful, optimistic, and encouraging. We will be celebrating our birthdays on December 15 and 16. I am two years older than Melvine. We celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary on August 13.
Today Melvine will have a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with guests from our church whose parents are deceased and are without their families. She has prepared Turkey, ham, cornbread dressing made with buttermilk, green beans, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, squash casserole, rolls, apple and lemon pie, coffee, and ice tea (sweetened and unsweetened). I want to declare that Melvine is the best cook in the known world.
I want to wish you and your family a blessed and happy Thanksgiving this 26th day of November 2015.