So the world will know, the saved will grow, and the church will go.
Happy Thanksgiving! The Psalmist proclaimed: “Bless the Lord, O my soul! And all that is within me, bless His Holy Name! Bless the Lord, O my soul! And forget none of His benefits!” (Psalm 103:1-2) At first glance, the Psalmist appears to be asking for God to bless him. Instead, the Psalmist is calling upon his entire being to be engaged in blessing God for who He is and for all He has done. I encourage you on this day before Thanksgiving that you would make a priority of expressing whole-hearted thanksgiving to God – not just a quick word of thanks but with a fully engaged heart of thanksgiving. Also, I remind you that we should all begin our time of Thanksgiving not by thanking God for the things we have, but instead by focusing upon Him and thanking Him for who He is – “Bless the Lord!” He is gracious, loving, kind, merciful, faithful, unchanging, unchangeable, pure, holy, true,– and the list goes on and on. What an incredibly great and wonderful God we know and serve!
I am also thankful for the many wonderful things that God is doing at Metairie Baptist! Here are just a few (and the list is not inclusive because otherwise you would have a very long email!):
*.The Youth had a Game Night/Fellowship last Friday night and 19 youth plus three adults were in attendance!
*.The Preschool Ministry had a Thanksgiving Feast/Fellowship and over 31 people including preschoolers, parents, and workers were present!
*.Three new deacons were ordained into the deacon ministry: Mark, Lewis, and Wes!
*.The Men’s Ministry had a fellowship time on Sunday afternoon at the home of Errol Wilken and 21 men were present! (Remember that no ministry was even in existence a few weeks ago.)
*.Lives are being changed, people are being encouraged, and God is being honored in the service of many.
This is just a sampling and there are many more reasons to rejoice! But I am ever more conscious of the simple truth that without God’s grace and power none of this would be possible. So, again the praise and thanks goes back to God!
Personally, I have much for which to be thankful – For Jana, Kathryn, Nathan, and Andrew (soon to be an “official” part of our family) – what an incredible family God has given me! — For God’s watch care over my Mom during the past months and for His gift of great parents!– For friends and ministry at Metairie Baptist!– For friends and ministry at NOBTS! And for much more!
In the days ahead, let me remind you of several matters and two concerns:
*. Remember that tonight, Wednesday (November 21), we will not be having any activities at church in order that you may enjoy time with your family.
*.On Sunday, November 25, we will be meeting at 6:00 in the Fellowship Hall for the Gathering! This meeting will be a little different than some of the past Gatherings – we are going to focus upon giving thanks and enjoy a time of worship together. In addition, we will have a time of fellowship. Join us as we consider “all His benefits” on Sunday night at the Gathering!
*.We will begin next week to consider our budget for the upcoming year – 2013. On Wednesday night, November 28, we will hear a presentation from the Stewardship Committee. Discussion will follow that night. The following Wednesday night, Dec. 5, will be an additional opportunity to ask questions regarding the budget and to give it further consideration. On Sunday, Dec. 9, we will vote to affirm the budget. This will be followed immediately by an opportunity for each of us to pledge our support to give to the budget in the upcoming year – putting actions to our vote.
*.Begin now to invite your friends and family members to our Christmas events:
Dec. 16 – Our Christmas Celebration led by the Adult Choir with the help of the Children’s Choir during our morning worship time.
Dec. 23 – Our Christmas Candlelight Worship Service at 6:00 p.m. preceded by a church wide Christmas Fellowship.
1.Would you continue to pray for the finances of the church? We have an opportunity to give to support the ministries of the church through our tithes and our offerings. In my understanding, this is not only an opportunity of worship but also an obligation as we recognize God’s graciousness to us. This year our giving has been behind our expenses at MBC. As a result, we are working towards making up some of the deficit in the last weeks of this year. First, I do ask that you would pray for the situation. Second, thank you for your continued faithfulness in giving to the church budget. Third, would you consider praying and asking God if you are able to give an additional offering as we end this year? I realize that not everyone is able, so this is just a request that you would pray about the matter.
2. We have a definite need for more Sunday School teachers in our Children’s area. Currently, God has blessed us with a group of ladies who lead each Sunday so that our children in grades Kindergarten through Sixth can learn more about God. As the ministry continues to grow, we need both men and women who would be willing to come alongside of those who are currently teaching to provide help by being present and by working with the teachers – both as a substitute when one of our teachers might be absent and as a regular helper. Would you pray that God would raise up men and women who can help? If you are interested in hearing more about this opportunity, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 504-835-2611 – and we will forward your information to the appropriate individuals. You may also see me at church or talk with Beth Masters, our Sunday School Director. Seldom do I use this phrase, but this is a “desperate need” – it is also an immediate need as we seek to support the best for our children.
In closing, I trust that you will enjoy the celebration of Thanksgiving. Let us be mindful that as children of God we should be thankful everyday!So, perhaps this week we need to start a new habit of thankfulness.
I am thankful for you – for who you are and for what God is doing in you.
On the journey,