Link to November's newsletter:
Being thankful: opens conversations
Years ago I was asked “how are you doing?” This was asked by a believer I knew really cared. My dad had passed away and a lot was unfolding as I had left the secular business world and was just beginning full time ministry at Salem Heights Church. This person’s greeting was not the American greeting of how are you doing? You know what I am talking about. They ask but do not really want to hear what’s really going on in your life; it’s… just a greeting. So Americans say, “I’m fine” or “doing good.” I did not lie to the saint that asked me but said, “today isn’t easy. I am not fine, but I am thankful. There is a lot to be thankful for.” That interaction began something for me. From that point on my response to that question has stayed, “I’m thankful.” And it has opened many awesome conversations at the checkout line in the grocery store or when grabbing a cup of coffee. When they ask, “so how are you doing today?” The response, “I’m thankful” often opens a conversation. It does at church. Most consistently in my life, it does at The Most Excellent Way.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says it this way, “in everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” When we take time to get thankful, it is a form of worship, and it changes our heart and brain. At TMEW after introduction and token celebrations we challenge people by asking, “so quickly tell us something you’re thankful for.” We do this every week, because it challenges us and those we are ministering to. When we are thanking God as He commanded us in 1 Thessalonians, it really is a mind changer.
Here is something I am thankful for sitting here writing to you all about thankfulness. A couple months ago The Most Excellent Way began a group here in Corvallis, Oregon. You may have seen our welcome to them in the newsletter. This past Saturday evening I received a text from Senior Pastor Brian Bernard at Redemption church.
Here is what was said, “not sure if Carrie told you but a lady showed up to TMEW, definitely high in her first visit. But came back, got saved, and we are baptizing her tomorrow.” Carrie is the women’s leader for TMEW at Redemption. My response was, “I love that message so much!”
I share that with you all because God is doing that all over the world. I am so thankful as I hear from all of you about what God is doing where you are at. It has me walking around in Salem Oregon, truly thankful. Even though things are not easy, boy am I thankful for all God is doing! Every soul matters and no matter how hard life is, there is much to be thankful for.
We are thankful to be a part of something so special as The Most Excellent Way International. This “Thanksgiving week,” we will do what we do every day. We will give thanks for all God is doing and we will let people know of a loving Savior who makes people whole.
God bless you all!