Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Give Thanks"

My two favorite holidays of the year are Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think this is the case for several reasons. 

1. They are designated times of rest from work, school, and the routine of daily life. 
2. They are time spent with extended family that we don't get to see often enough. 
3. They are both in the fall/winter, which is my favorite time of year. 
4. We are traveling on at least one of these holidays and I love to travel!
5. Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinner! 'nough said!
6. Football!
7. Most importantly, they are designated times for all of us to reflect and celebrate on the goodness and provision of God in our lives. 

This Thanksgiving, I give thanks for many things. 

1. God's goodness, love, and faithfulness as He displays His character and love through the blessings given in my life. 
2. My wonderful wife and children. 
3. My extended family. 
4. My church family. How thankful I am to God for His call on our lives to come to Fayetteville First Baptist Church this year and for all that He is doing for His Name and Kingdom's sake through this local body. 
5. For God's provision of a new house and new community. 
6. For friends new and old. 
7. For the blessing and opportunity to weekly serve Him through this local Body and to preach the gospel. 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving week? How has God blessed you this year? What are those things that you take for granted that should be cause for an offering of thanksgiving to God? 

My challenge for you this week is to intentionally give thanks to God through Jesus Christ for everything He has given you and for his goodness, love, and faithfulness in your life. 

"Give thanks to the LORDfor he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 118:1 (NIV)

Thursday, November 1, 2012


What a crazy week! In the midst of the closest Presidential race in over a decade, Fall Festivals and Holiday events, and the over $4 billion dollar sale of LucasFilm (The Star Wars dynasty, for the uninformed!) to Disney, the U.S. also experienced one of the biggest and most destructive storms on record.

This past week seemed like some scene out of "The Day After Tomorrow" or some other apocalyptic movie. The world is spinning at such a fast pace that many of us can't seem to keep up. Fear and anxiety are the rule of the day, and, depending on who wins the Presidential election, how the Stock Market is affected by the hurricane, or some other determiner, our futures hang in the balance.....

Or do they?

Though I agree that the issues of national leadership, cataclysmic events, and a continuous sinking economy are critical issues, and need to be addressed as we learn to navigate life in the second decade of the 21st Century, I also believe that we can too easily allow a sense of fatalism to take over.

I was meeting with a group of pastors from our area a few weeks ago and one of the things we talked about as we discussed the issues of the day was the sense of fear that exists in society--even in the church. Fear of the future. Fear of a lack of financial security. Fear that we won't be provided for in our old age. Fear of the uncertain.

Though fear is a natural, and a very human, reaction to the circumstances of our lives, we as believers in Jesus are called to a different response. Trust.

Hear the Word of the Lord....

Psalms 99:1-3 (ESV)- "The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples. Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he!

Colossians 1-3 (ESV)- "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Proverbs 3:5-6- (ESV)- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

May we not allow the fear of the circumstances of this life to supersede the reality that God is sovereign, He still cares, and He still moves on behalf of those who love Him. May we find our hope, trust, and peace in Him alone. And, as a result, may we engage this world and its problems with the faith that comes from someone who is walking in trust with the Savior of the World. 

Navigating life with you. 

Pastor Jim