November 14, 2018
Good morning congregation,
It feels like winter is here, which means that Thanksgiving must be just around the corner. Really, November is about thanksgiving. We should take the time to remember how much we have and be thankful for it. We also need to find ways to thank those around us and encourage them. So often we are dealing with first world problems and complaining, when we could still be thanking God for our abundance. For example, last week our washing machine quit working. I thought how awful it was for it to be broke down. Then I began to think more about it. So, for the past week we have not had a washing machine. But I confess, we have gotten along fine, with a few inconveniences. Viola took some clothes along to work and washed some there, and we both have more than one pair of each clothes item we wear so we could just wear something else. So, I had to remind myself that I have so much to be thankful for. I have more than one pair...of everything. We have a washer at the store that could be used. We can and will get ours fixed. I was reminded of those persons I met when visiting in Mongolia, that had only one change of clothes. Most didn’t have a washing machine… Thank God for everything!
It flows into what Pastor Dan talked about last week, being content. Contentment is not about what we have it’s about the relationship that we have with Jesus Christ. Contentment is based on a relationship, not on the things we have or are getting. Next week is Black Friday. Maybe it should be renamed Bleak Friday. People go shopping for things that they don’t need but want because it’s on sale. Or Cyber Monday the following week, where people are encouraged to buy things online. I like Giving Tuesday, a day where out of our abundance we give to those that have needs! We are blessed here in Fulton County and can attend the Giving Tuesday event at Northwest State sponsored by Everence. Our own Shari Beck has been doing the planning for this. Feel free to ask her about it. It is an opportunity for us to give and have our funds matched up to $500,000. Which means it will be possible for $1 million to be given away to various non-profits here in our community. Our church can be a recipient, which is awesome.
This coming week we are going to be looking at the second part of tithing. How do we use the abilities, talents and gifts that God has given us to help in the work of growing God’s kingdom? You can read 1 Corinthians 12 in preparation. When we withhold the using of the gifts and talents given to us by God, it’s like having a grill and putting meat on it but not starting the grill. Verse 7 of that chapter says that, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” Wow, what I have been given is for the common good of the body of Christ, the church. Um, how have we been doing in that area? How have we been making a difference for the common good? When I don’t use my gifts and abilities, I am robbing the body of Christ.
So, it’s Thanksgiving next week. What are you really thankful for? I would encourage you to tell as many people as you can the source of your thankfulness. I am thankful for Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, I am thankful for my wife and children and all the love and happiness they bring to my life. I am thankful for the staff that I get to spend time with each week. I am thankful for an awesome church to be a part of, to learn from, grow with and be encouraged and challenged. I am thankful for a warm dry house, for friends, wonderful neighbors and… the list can go on and on. But for me, it starts with the relationship with Jesus Christ!
I was reading cards and notes again this week from Pastor Appreciation. Thanks so much to each of you for your words of affirmation, your wonderful gifts and your love! You are truly awesome people!