Thursday, November 28, 2013


Our Thanksgiving weekend began yesterday when friends who live in Niger stopped by for lunch and fellowship. We enjoyed spending time with them and catching up on all that is happening in their lives.

Last night, we had dinner at our daughter's house. Our son-in-law, his parents, our grandchildren, our son and his fiance, a friend from Sierra Leone and my Mom enjoyed a great feast. 

This morning, I woke up in my warm home, next to my beautiful wife. Our son, my Mom, our friend from Sierra Leone and two children from the Congo all spent the night here. Today we will be joined by the rest of this family from the Congo, my daughter and her family, a friend from Mexico and his wife - who serve now in Sierra Leone and their children. We will gather this evening around our table and enjoy another feast and fellowship together. 

I am currently serving as the Pastor of a church I love deeply. I am surrounded by an incredible staff of dedicated servants of God. I am invested in The Great Commission and I begin serving on the Board of a university whose Christian mission is unparalleled. 

So - am I thankful on this Thanksgiving Day? What do you think? 

Is everything perfect? Of course not. We have experienced times of testing, loss, challenge and difficulties -- like most of you have. We have made hard decisions, navigated through transitions and accepted circumstances that we cannot change. But - in the face of both challenge and blessing -- I am truly grateful to be where I am today. 

My life has been enriched by the Lord Jesus in ways that are inexpressible. The calling to serve Him and the Gospel that bears witness to Him has changed my life forever. This weekend is a great example of that. My table will be home to people from my immediate family and people from across the world. My parents raised me to have a love for Jesus. We have raised our kids to do the same. Cindy and I now find ourselves enmeshed in a network of Jesus followers that circles the globe. Our hearts are full and our lives are blessed beyond measure. 

So - to my family, my friends, my fellow-laborers in the Lord, my church family -- I can truly say, "I thank God on every remembrance of you. I pray on this Thanksgiving Day that our God will fill you with the knowledge of His will through all of the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. I pray that you will live a life worthy of our Lord -- that you will please Him in every way. I pray that you will be rooted and grounded in God's truth. I pray that you will bear fruit in every good work. I pray that you will be strengthened with all power according to God's glorious might. I pray that you will find your way on The Jesus Way. May God be glorified through your life." 

Happy Thanksgiving.