“Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God has done…” Every Thanksgiving I think about this wonderful old hymn and try to think specifically about the blessings from God. With that in mind let me share a few of the blessings that have meant the most to me this year.
First off, I am so thankful for my church family. On more than one occasion this year I have watched as they demonstrated the love of Christ to others in need. They have taken meals to someone who was recovering from surgery or to a family who had just lost a loved one. They have helped some of the senior adults by mowing their lawns, cutting wood, and repairing things around the house. We’ve even had a couple of members give a car to someone in need.
They also reached out to our community to make a difference. For example, they adopted an elementary school here in town and provided school supplies for all the teachers; cooked hot dogs for the parents, students, and teachers during the “Meet the Teacher” night; as well as giving each child a back-pack. When the movie “Courageous” came out, they raised money to rent out two theaters and gave away over 400 tickets so people could enjoy the movie for free.
They also focused on people outside our community. They collected items for newborns and donated them to the Hope Pregnancy Center. They blessed the Owasso Home for Children with money to buy back-to-school clothing. They sent money to Samaritan’s Purse to provide goats, chickens, and even dig a well in a poor community overseas.
There are way too many things this loving family has done this year for me to mention them all; however, let me tell about my favorite. Each year, we have a church Thanksgiving meal the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We invite the community to come and celebrate the holiday with us. Afterward, we give needy families a basket with everything they will need for a decent Thanksgiving meal. It is always heart warming to see our church family sitting with and getting to know the many visitors we have in attendance. It is equally special to see the gratitude on the faces of those who bless us by receiving a basket.
Living Oaks Baptist Church is filled with kind people who just want to make a difference. They want people to experience first-hand the love of Christ Jesus. They want them to know that once you enter into a relationship with Him your life will never be the same. They love because Jesus first loved them!
In just a few weeks I will be celebrating seven years as the pastor of this wonderful church. It is privilege to be a part of such a wonderful family. I can not begin to tell you of all the ways they have blessed me. They have been there during terrible losses, great pain and suffering, discouragement, as well as the times of celebration. They have shown over and over again that they are Jesus’ disciples by the way they love one another and by the way they love me!
So, the first blessing for which I am thankful that I want to share with you is the people who make up Living Oaks Baptist Church. Thank you LOBC! I love you and I am eternally grateful that you allow me to be your pastor, brother in Christ, and your friend!