November 20, 2017

It is the Monday before Thanksgiving so let me start by saying I hope you have an amazing and wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are able to spend time this week with friends and family and I pray you will also find time to spend with God. I pray you will acknowledge Him and His goodness to you. I pray you (and me) won’t eat too much and that it will be a time of love and joy and bonding with family. I am going to miss being away from my wife on Thanksgiving for the first time in many years (though there was that one year where I stayed home with some of the kids and we ended up at Pizza Hut, but I don’t have time for that one today). So be thankful today and every day for the blessings God has given you!

I was thinking this morning about being thankful . . . of course. This month here at FBCWS we have been focused on being thankful and every sermon has focused on areas where we need to be thankful. This coming Sunday we will finish up that series but I will finish by continuing to remind our people how utterly essential it is for us to exhibit thankfulness in our lives. I truly believe we as a society and culture have lost a lot of our gratitude and it has made us less of the kind of people we need to be. As believers one of the main defining attributes must be an attitude of thankfulness. If we don’t possess that then we fail to communicate to a world without Jesus. They need to see people who are grateful and appreciative and thankful as a normal part of who they are. I am reminded of Romans 1:21 which says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” The Message translates that last part like this, “so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.” When we fail to praise and thank God we have missed His way.

As I continued to think about thankfulness this morning I happened to see the latest blog post from David Huffstutler. David’s wife, Ashley, is the one that many of you have been praying for over the last few months. We have known Ashley since she was a little girl. Today she is a wife and young mother to two precious children. But she is also suffering from a very aggressive form of brain cancer. In the midst of this incredibly tough journey for this young family I find myself on the one hand very close to tears and on the other hand I am amazed by their steadfast trust in God. If you want to find some reason to complain today, first go read Ashley’s story and you will find many things in your life to thank God for today. Here is one paragraph from David’s blog which will hopefully do three things. Hopefully it will entice you to read the rest of David’s blog. Second, I hope it will encourage you to stop right now and pray for Ashley and David and their sweet family. And third, I hope it will remind you of how precious life is and how blessed you are and how much you need to thank God this week. Here is the excerpt:

Now you may ask, "How is Ashley doing with all of this going forward?" ...and that would be a great question to ask. I've actually asked her that question multiple times. Here is the response I get: Every. Single. Time.
  • I'm scared.
  • This is a tough situation.
  • I love you and the girls.
  • ...but, God is so good and He will be glorified no matter what.
I love her heart. I love that she's honest with me. I hate that I can't fix any of this. I'm glad that we get to go through this together.

God is good. But life can be tough. Give THANKS!!

If you missed our annual Thanksgiving Dinner last night then you missed a blessing. Not only was the food better than ever, but the fellowship was sweeter than ever and it was just a great night. Thanks to Jason and Larry Ferguson and Scott Evans for cooking the turkeys. Thanks to Andy Hutchison for the praise and worship time. Thanks to Judy Walker and all the ladies for the organization and preparation of all that wonderful food!

We also thoroughly enjoyed Andy Hutchison and his wife, Theresa, yesterday as they led us in worship in the morning worship service. They will be back this coming Sunday as well so come join us! We are praying for Stephen and Elizabeth Passmore as they take a couple of well-deserved weeks off!

Thanks to my wife, Jennifer, for joining us via video call yesterday all the way from Athens, Greece. God is indeed working there among the refugees that continue to pour into Greece. Thanks for continuing to pray for Jennifer! For those who keep asking, she will be home very late on December 3rd.

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?