I hope you all are getting ready for a wonderful Thanksgiving week! I know next week may look a little different than the Thanksgivings from previous years, as some of you have perhaps altered your travel and gathering plans. But nonetheless, I do pray that each of you still takes the opportunity to come together with some loved ones to give thanks for all that God has done. Psalm 9:1 says “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” This psalm tells us that it is important for each of us to not only give thanks, but to also give thanks specifically. This coming week, we all need to recount the wonderful things God has done in our lives.
If are struggling to create that specific Thanksgiving list, I would encourage you to think a little longer. This is because we are told that anything good in our lives came from above (James 1:17), and we have reason to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18). For instance, we can all give thanks for the breath we are breathing (Isaiah 42:5), for the families we’ve been placed in, for the community of faith we belong to, for His consistent provision of food and shelter, for our freedom in this country, and most of all, for our freedom in Jesus Christ. Personally, I can tell you that I am thankful to each of you at ABC for allowing me to serve as your Pastor. I’m thankful for your prayers, encouragement, and for the warm welcome you have given me and my family these past 4 months. I’m thankful for our phenomenal staff and lay-leaders. I’m grateful for the new visitors, new members, and baptisms that we’ve been able to celebrate these past few months. I’m thankful for God raising up the biggest deacon class in church history, as we added 28 qualified men into our fold last Sunday. I’m thankful for church growth and for steadfast stewardship, even amidst a pandemic. I’m thankful for technology helping us bridge the gap to those who wish they could be with us physically. And I am thankful for what God is going to do in this coming Christmas season, as I know He will use His church to shine brightly for Him. My list could go on and on, but instead of continuing to read mine, I would encourage you to go make your own. Then share that list, first with the Lord, but then also with those around you. If you do, I think you’ll find it to be good medicine for your soul.
This weekend will feature a special Sunday in the life of our church. For the first time at ABC, we are going to have a “Missions Sunday.” In a spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re going to thank God for what He is doing to advance the Gospel around the globe. We’re going to do this by bringing in a special guest speaker, Dr. Gordon Fort. Dr. Fort is the Senior Ambassador for the IMB. He has been devoted to Missions his entire life, as his ministry began when he grew up in Zimbabwe as one of 5 boys born to medical doctor missionary parents. Since those early days, Dr. Fort has gone on to serve in a myriad of leadership positions for the IMB since his appointment in 1985. I look forward to him encouraging our church family, and challenging us, to become even more Missions-minded in the days to come. We will also promote our upcoming Lottie Moon offering and encourage all of us to prayerfully consider how we can be a part of it. I hope you plan to join us for a great weekend. If you have family or friends visiting, we’d love to meet them at church this weekend! Have a wonderful rest of your week and we’ll see you Sunday.