From the Pastor's Heart,
Wow, can you believe we are already approaching the Christmas season? Here at the church we are preparing for decorating the church, the banquet, Advent, the Christmas Musical Special, and the Christmas Eve Candlelight service. I haven’t been in a WalMart or any other store like that, because I hate shopping and I’m sure they are already selling Christmas trees, lights and pushing the sale of toys. Yet, like each year, despite all the emphasis on Christmas, I am reminded of a holiday that comes before Christmas and that holiday is Thanksgiving.
Searching the Bible (NKJV), we find the word, “thanks” some 75 times, “thank” some 25 times, “thankful” 3 times and the word “thanksgiving” 32 times. As I looked through these verses, I found that none of the expressions of thanks referred to man; each one pointed to the Lord. Some of these verses are: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15); "Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.” (1 Chronicles 29:13) and “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And
into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4). God has blessed both our church family and each of us individually this year. He has blessed our church with new folks, spiritual growth, and a renewed sanctuary. We have been able to support missions, not only locally (Good News Club, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Bike Ministry) but around the world as well (Africa, Relief to the Bahamas).
When we look at all that God has enabled us to do this past year, I am reminded that we cannot add the way God adds. He has given us so much to be thankful for as a church. If we took the time to write down the many ways God has blessed us as individuals, I am sure that we could fill a book. “God is so Good!” Personally, Theresa and I have been blessed with our church family, a new home, and the return of personal family (Megan and the boys). As a pastor, I am blessed with a wonderful church family who supports us spiritually, physically, financially and with your prayers. I thank God for each of you every day. We hear stories of pastors giving up because their churches aren’t supporting them.
Praise God, that is not the case here at Rima Ridge. You have supported me and my family both in our victories as well as our short comings. “God is so Good!”
Before we get to Christmas, remember Thanksgiving. Take time to thank the Lord for all of the blessings He has blessed you with this year. Write them down; you will be amazed at what God has done both in your personal lives and for our church family.
With the Pastor’s love,