Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. Ephesians 5:4
I agree. No obscene stories. No foolish talk. No coarse jokes. Just thankfulness to God!
With Thanksgiving just a few days away let me express my thankfulness to God for the following:
- The gift of Jesus Christ – through whom I have found forgiveness and eternal life.
- Mrs. Koop – the woman who shared the good news of Jesus with me when I was 10 years old and help to me cross the line of faith.
- My wife Karen – the most significant human relationship I have ever had or ever will have. 33 years of marriage and still going strong!
- Rebekah, Emily, Lacey, Micah, Matt, Daryn and Angelika – awesome children who bring me great joy. They all make me laugh – all for different reasons!
- Shane and Atticus – my delightful little ankle biter grandsons.
- My mom. She has always been there for me and I love her to pieces.
- An incredible church staff that I get to hang out with every week – Carolyn, Jim, Chris, Scott and Melissa.
- A leadership team of fellow-elders that set an example for me (and our church) and I count each of them as good friends – Ray, Jim, Jim, Jordan and Patrick.
- My Bible – God’s word brings me great encouragement and inspiration.
- ACC. I love my church. The people are so genuine, accepting, and generous. It is a joy to pastor this flock.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. This is a good start.
What are you thankful for?
Christmas is just around the corner! It’s a busy time of year. If you’re anything like me, it’ll be over before you know it. In situations like this, I find that I need to plan ahead and be intentional about the things that matter most to me. Failure to do so results in the urgent crowding out the important. In the case of Christmas…decorating, parties, shopping, family gatherings, and the like (all very good things by the way) can fill up my time and crowd out my spiritual life. In the midst of enjoying all the Christmas season has to offer, I long to engage my heart and mind and my family around the deep spiritual truths that we remember in this season.
The people at AWANA have put together a great resource for the Advent season. They’re offering a FREE Devotional. You can get it here. There are options for individuals, couples, and families. You can sign up to have the devotion emailed to you daily, or you can download the whole thing to print or use on your device. We’ll have some copies of the family version at the Children’s Check-In desk starting this Sunday. Advent official begins Sunday, November 30th. Whatever you chose to do, I hope you’ll be intentional about prioritizing your spiritual life this Christmas season.
This coming Sunday we will be singing a new song called “Because He Lives (Amen)”. Some songs take a few listens to grow on me; this is one of those songs that I loved right off the bat when I first heard it!
It’s important to be infusing new songs into our church services on a regular basis – I am amazed at how often scripture specifically mentions and encourages us to sing new songs. Just a few examples are Psalm 33:1-3, Psalm 40:3, Psalm 96:1-2, Isaiah 42:10, and Revelation 5:9.
Watch this video to listen to and learn the song:
Here’s three reasons why I love this song:
1) The words revolve around the power of Christ’s resurrection, and speak to how that power influences every corner of our lives as Christians. Romans 6:4 says that just as Christ was raised from the dead, so also we are raised from death to life.
2) Musically, this song soars, is easy to sing, and has a great piano part.
3) The bridge lyrics are taken from a hymn titled “Because He Lives” by Bill Gaither. I love when new songs are wedded with older hymns and give a fresh sound to lyrics that the church has been singing for many years!
I hope you will come ready to sing it this Sunday!
We may have had to move our Trunk or Treat event inside and change some things up a bit but that didn’t stop it from being a huge success! There were about 200 people that came through. About 75% were from the surrounding communities and do not attend ACC. Isn’t that awesome?!? What a joy it was to watch families create lasting memories. Many kids roasted their first marshmallow and ate their first s’more in our gym. There were many giggles and smiling faces!
I want to thank everyone that was a part of this event. Not only were the tables you decorated awesome, but you were a great example of Christ’s love to all that attended. Sometimes we are called to evangelize by boldly proclaiming the gospel. Other times, though, we are called to simply love and that is exactly what you did. My prayer for those who attended is that they saw the love you showed through your hospitality as a mirror of Christ’s love for them. This event was a team effort and YOU WERE AWESOME! So, consider this my high five to you to keep up the good work God has called us all to. Church, you really nailed this one!
Enjoy these pictures taken by Lacy Smith to get a glimpse of the evening!
Grace and Peace,
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. — Colossians 3:17
As I read this verse, I’m challenged to consider how every aspect of my life can be an act of worship. As a Christ-follower I’m called to a lifestyle of worship. This transforms how I approach everyday life.
I put forth my best effort at my job – because I represent Christ
I strive to be the best husband & father I can – because I want to lead my family toward Christ
I take care of my body – because I want to be in the best possible health to serve Christ
I hope you’ll consider how you can approach each aspect of your life as an act of worship.