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Generous People

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What an incredibly generous church. Pastor Joe, Hannah, Cathy, and myself were blown away by the generous gift cards we received for Christmas. And each one was anonymous! You honored your pastors’ families in such a loving way and desired no honor for yourselves. Wow. Just wow. And that was on top of the church’s insistence on blessing us for Pastor Appreciation in October.

         This church has shown itself to be amazingly generous even during a time of high uncertainty. We took payroll protection funds back in April, not knowing how many families might lose their jobs and not be able to tithe as generously. But God was faithful. Giving was indeed a bit down but then so were expenses. The church recently turned around and blessed LeTourneau Christian Center with an amount higher than the funds we received. Wow.

And the two offerings for missions we took this year were above and beyond the goals we set.  People we’ve never met will be blessed with the Gospel message because of the generosity of God’s people. And Operation Christmas Child reached a new high in the number of shoe boxes this year. Throughout the pandemic, even when we couldn’t meet in person, people were donating items to go to kids around the world.

I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 8 where the apostle Paul marvels at the generosity of God’s people saying in verse 5, “and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.” That’s the way it works. You give yourself first to the Lord and then generosity wells up because of your passion for your Savior and your love for His children and His mission in the world. See you in church on Sunday!

 

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Sign of Victory

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Are you surviving or thriving? Does your trust in the Lord help you to just hang in there or does it compel you to step out in faith? There may be plenty of challenges coming at you from all sides. Are you going to respond by desperately seeking your survival options or will you, in trust, look past the situation to see how God might have something bigger going on?

         It’s hard to focus on the bigger spiritual picture when the situation in front of you is shouting danger and panic. But rest assured, no matter what your situation, God is still in control. He still loves you with a powerful, unfailing love. He still has plans to involve you in His triumphal kingdom work.

Let this Christmas season remind you of your personal guarantee of victory. Jesus came into a world in turmoil. His very birth was immersed in stress and discomfort. His personal triumph was years away and that only after hardship, deprivation, and agony. But still the angels enthusiastically proclaimed Glory! and a peace yet to be accomplished. Let this be your unfailing song as well. See you in church on Sunday!

 

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