Temperatures are dropping and leaves are beginning to fall. It’s hard to believe it, but November is already here. We are just a few short weeks away from Thanksgiving, and from there it will be a full court sprint to Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year. Yes, our calendars are beginning to fill up, and yes, lots of planning and stress is undoubtedly commencing. Nonetheless, I’ve found this season can also bring a refreshing new perspective. As our schedules get more crowded, our minds also tend to see things more clearly. The holiday season slows us down to focus on the people that matter the most, and on our God who is the source of all our blessings.
Psalm 77:11-13 says, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?” I encourage you to slow down this week and remember the deeds of the Lord. Here at ABC, we have a lot of great things to remember. Today I’m remembering the 47 lights that have gone into our “Let There Be Light” sign in the Great Hall. Each light represents an individual who was baptized this year, and each baptism represents a life that has been forever changed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I remember the 130+ new members that have joined our church in 2021. I remember our new staff members, and the wonderful lay-leaders who have risen up to serve our church. I remember all the deeds that God has done through our ABC Kids and Student ministries this year. And I remember the impact that God has made through our church as we’ve seen Him light up our homes, neighborhoods, and the world around us. As we ponder His work, we should all come to the same conclusion as the psalmist: “What god is great like our God?”
I encourage you to slow down this season and give thanks to our great God. Give thanks for what He’s doing in our church, but also give thanks for what He’s doing in your life. If gratitude is not a natural discipline in your life, I encourage you to journal this November and December. Every day, as you spend time with the Lord, I challenge you to write down three specific things that you are thankful for. Your list can include specific family, friends, leaders, circumstances, resources, or anything else that you consider a blessing in your life. James reminds us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). Anything that you consider “good” in your life is not there by chance. It’s there because a good Father purposefully blessed you with that gift. I pray that we all may remember that truth this coming season and give thanks to the Father of lights.
This Sunday, I’ll be giving thanks for two specific things. First, I’m be giving thanks for an extra hour of sleep! Don’t forget to “fall back” and move your clock back one hour when you go to sleep on Saturday night. We should all come to church rested and ready to worship. But I will also be giving thanks on Sunday for our veterans. As you know, Veteran’s Day is November 11th, so we’ll be paying honor to all of our local heroes in church this Sunday, November 7th. We will recognize our veterans in our both of our worship services, pray for our country, and we will have a beautiful Wall of Honor display in the Great Hall. Take some time to drop by this wall, which will pay tribute to ABC’s military heroes. I encourage you to wear red, white and blue to church this Sunday, and give thanks to the men and women who have served, and are serving, to protect the freedom that we enjoy. But above all, give thanks to God for giving us the great privilege to live in such an amazing country, and pray that God will continue to bless America in the days to come.
I encourage you to invite a friend to join you this Sunday. One simple invitation can make a life-changing impact on someone who is around you. Stay warm, give thanks, and I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday.