I Thank God for You

 

Dear Spry Church,

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! I'm reminded of the many times we read in the Bible a call to give thanks to God, including this passage that I've shared with you before: "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Those are great words to take to heart!

I'd like to thank you for the birthday surprises last Sunday, when I turned 40. The delicious lunch, your thoughtful cards, the cutouts of my face...wow. Those cutouts, by the way, are multifunctional; they can be used as dart boards or fly swatters, and even for target practice. :) Seriously, I give thanks for each of you, and I'm still amazed that you managed to keep all that a secret from me!

I also want to thank all of you who returned your 2020 estimate of giving cards last Sunday in worship or completed the form through our website. I'm so grateful for your commitment to Christ through our church. Individual commitments vary from children committing $1 per month, to some commitments over $1,000 per month. The Bible calls us to give proportionate to our income so that the person who earns less gives less than the person who earns more. It invites us to consider giving the first 10% of what we earn, and I'm proud of those of you who are doing this or taking steps toward this. Every gift of every size matters to God and to the ministry of the church.

I have on my desk and at home various gifts my children have bought for me for Christmas, Father's Day, and birthdays. I've also saved the cards they have given me. Why? Because they were expressions of their love for me and they touched my heart. I believe that is how God sees your tithes and offerings - they express your heart, your love for God, and your trust in God. They convey your desire to serve him with that which the world says is most important in life. You say by your offerings, "You matter more to me than this." Every person I know who tithes (gives the first tenth of their income to the Lord's work) tells me they feel blessed by God by this practice. In Malachi we read, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse...put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing." God is moved by our gifts, just as you are when your children do something to express their love for you.

Whatever you choose to give to God through our church next year, if you've yet to make your commitment, would you be willing to do this today, online? Or you can bring your card to worship this weekend. I'd like to ask you, if you are able, to take a step forward in your giving, moving toward the tithe or beyond as God leads you. Click here to submit your estimate of giving and then, when you are in worship this Sunday, pick up your bookmark at the Welcome Center as a small token of our gratitude for your generosity. Your gifts are an expression of thanksgiving to God, and an investment in the lives of every person impacted by your church. Again, thank you to all who returned your commitment cards so far - this is really important in helping the church set our ministry budget and plans for 2020. Thank you so much.

On Sunday we start a new series called "The Wonder of Christmas." We'll sing songs that speak of the hope and peace of this holy season, and the message will lift your spirits and encourage your faith. I'm so excited for this series, and for all that we have to look forward to as we prepare for Christmas!

See you in worship,

Ken