Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

I am grateful to the Lord for the nearly 21 years that He has allowed Teri and I to serve here at Summerville Baptist Church. I am thankful for the years we have been distributing food boxes to help families during this holiday season. This year the Lord enabled God’s people here to give away large food boxes to eight different families throughout the valley. A few were connected to our church, but some have never attended our services- but I hope one day they may visit us. Several employees from Grande Ronde Hospital were helpful by donating turkeys to help us to add them to the food boxes, which allowed us to help another person with a grocery gift card with offerings that were given for this ministry effort. God has been very good to us even in this difficult year with the craziness of this virus. God has met our needs, enabled us to help many with their needs, and to give thousands of dollars to special projects of missionaries around the world. I am thankful that God is still working in His church here. I am thankful that people are still responding to the Holy Spirit through the preaching of His Word in the invitation. God’s people still acknowledge that He is growing them through the feeding on the Word they are receiving personally and congregationally. Servants are still willing to step up to the calling of service when they are called upon. These are all good signs of God’s working in His church. Another sign that we need to pray for and be concerned about is the sign of new spiritual life by lost people coming to faith in Christ through His ministry in this place. That is one of the things I am missing the most through the negative effects of this year. Not enough of God’s people are spreading the Gospel. Not enough lost people are coming under the sound of the Gospel in worship services. Not enough outreach is being done to go out into the highways and hedges of our communities and compel the lost to come to Christ for rest for their souls wearied by sin, Satan, and life lived independent of God. I am also very thankful for people like the Lane family who are willing to serve God in different parts of the world and go on deputation to raise support in a trying year like this one. Talk about living by faith! This family is truly showing us the reality of living by faith and how God blesses our willingness to obey Him by faith and not by seeing everything figured out ahead of time. The Martin family also showed us how to live by faith when they left for Naples, Italy, earlier this year when Europe was supposedly closed to American travelers with no guarantee that they would be allowed into the country. Some may have thought they were being foolish by that action in a pandemic world, but God honored their action of faith, and they have been very effective in their ministry and the Lord has kept ministry doors open for them. We have all of this to be thankful for and the reality of the truth about what Christmas is really all about as well by faith in Christ as our personal Saviour for those here who know Him.