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Happy Thanksgiving Part 2

Posted 11/21/2017

First off, I would like to wish my American friends Happy Thanksgiving!  We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada back in early October.  Now it's your turn!

 

As you gather around with your loved ones over a feast--or multiple feasts--of a well-stuffed turkey and treats while watching the NFL or catching up with one another, may you also remember God's blessings on you throughout the year.

 

As for me, I have a lot to be thankful for.  Most notably is for writing and publishing my first book: Joe Faith Gives Thanks It was truly God's grace that had made this a reality, and you may know from reading my bio.

Perhaps you have already seen the book cover image on this website's home page, or you have read my posts or profiles on Facebook or Twitter.  Maybe you have even read the book's summery or purchased the book.  But how did Joe Faith come about?  And why is he relevant to you? 

 

The Creation of Joe Faith

 

Every story needs a main character, and this character usually has a name or an identity.  The main character in Joe Faith Gives Thanks is, of course, Joe Faith.  I created Joe Faith six months ago, as I portrayed myself in a fictional story based on a personal experience I had with God few years ago.  It was an unforgettable experience when God spoke to me directly to encourage me to give my heart to Him.  It happened after a breakup, and I recorded the incident on a personal journal that was never published.

 

Those who are close to me, including my church family, knew about this experience.  But I wanted to share this to others who may have been through--or will go through--such turbulence in their lives, that we can overcome this by God's grace.  But instead of sharing it as a real-life testimony, I decided to protect the lady's identity and also to write it as a story so reach even more people.  In doing so, I ended up portraying myself as well, and so Joe Faith was created.  The story will be included in a future book

 

The name of the character can be explained in this way:  "Joe" isn't my name, but it is a common name, and I got it from the term "average Joe" to describe a commoner, or in this case, a typical male Christian who loves God but also has his own dreams and desires that may or may not be in God's plan.  Because of this, he sometimes struggles to be content, and he needs encouragement from the church family and God Himself to continue on.  "Faith" may be his surname, but one that he is trying his best to live out everyday.  Together, "Joe Faith" means a typical Christian from the middle class who lives by faith to the best of his ability despite having uncertainty whether his own desires would be fulfilled.

 

Joe is Just Like Us

 

Like Joe, we are not perfect, as no one is perfect except for God.  We learn new things and improve everyday to be closer to God and to become more glorious.  In the short story collection: Joe Faith Gives Thanks, Joe faced many personal struggles, mostly related to his attitude or outlook on situations, and these hindered him from fully trusting God or enjoying His love.  The only way to overcome these barriers was to come before God with those who have a pure heart, such as the church family.  The stories in this collection are all from my actual experiences and personal challenges that some may be too embarrassed to write about.  No, I am not proud of the experiences actually, because they show my weaknesses, but I assumed that I am not alone, and hopefully you feel the same way, too, as we walk on this journey together.

 

In heaven, before the stage of Christ, our journeys on Earth will be revealed before everyone, as the Lord rewards us with crowns to show His appreciations and love towards our love and labor for Him.  Until then, we continue to improve everyday and strive on until He comes to receive us.

 

May we, who may seem average or even insignificant to many, be faithful to God everyday.  And may we count our blessings, especially on Thanksgiving Day.  

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© 2017 by John Leung.  All Rights Reserved.