Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1Thess. 5:18
So, I wrote about “being thankful” last week, but I have been so blessed this week that I needed to write about thanksgiving again. First, I appreciate several of you letting me know that you read/appreciate the weekly newsletter article (blog). Sometimes I wonder if anybody reads it or if it is worth the time it takes to write it. Second, I appreciate some thank you notes I have received lately. Those little notes and cards remind me of the power a few words have to bring much encouragement. I am especially blessed when I see thank you notes written by church members to other people in the church. This past Sunday, somebody put a picture of John Kendall on Facebook and just recognized his 20+ years of service in Upward and Greeting at the side door. Most people don’t serve for the recognition, but it sure is nice to occasionally take note of faithful servants and say “thank you” in some small way.
Sometimes, I feel a little overwhelmed with God’s blessings. Today, I left for lunch to work on a sermon for the community thanksgiving service. On my way home, Todd Gray (from Kentucky Baptist Convention) called to see how things were going and to speak some words of encouragement. When I got back to church, I had a nice card/note on my desk with some very encouraging words. As soon as I started typing this article, I received an encouraging text from an old friend. Whenever I get a call, card, or text, I try to think of somebody I can encourage and then I get blessed again when I write a card or send a text to somebody else. I was just thinking about Jesus’ words in Luke 6:38, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Sometimes I think the Lord just shows forth His power to do so much more than we ask or imagine.
I’ve got some other thanksgivings I should share but let me share a really big one. I can’t wait until Sunday to tell you about Mary Dickerson. Mary and Al came by Monday morning and I hope I will never forget our conversation. Mary said, “I want you to explain this ‘grace’ that you are always talking about.” What a privilege is was to talk to Mary about being saved by grace and the truth (from the Bible) that our good works will not save us. We had the best conversation and Mary wanted to trust in the Lord and be baptized. I think she is going to come forward on Sunday so I can share her decision with the church. She wants to be baptized on Dec. 8th (which is the week she turns 75). WOW! That’s how my week got started and I’m still floating a little.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that in January I was going to ask every member to identify somebody they would pray for and seek to share the Gospel with next year (called “Who’s Your One”). Well, I had already picked Mary several months ago. I’ve been praying for her. I was able to visit her once and she has been coming to church regularly. When she told me on Sunday she wanted to stop by, I was excited. When she actually came in on Monday, I was even more excited. When she wanted to be saved and baptized, I about had a fit. Today I have been thinking about what would happen at Burlington Baptist in 2020 if several of us were praying for somebody all year and looking for opportunities to share the gospel. I suspect God would answer many of our prayers and save our “one.” WOW!
I hope you had a great thanksgiving! I hope you will be intentional about being thankful to God and to others around you. Be considering who your “one” will be next year. Start praying now and look for opportunities to share the good news. By the way, did I tell you how much I appreciate you? I do! Bro Harold