In All Things Give Thanks

Amazingly, over 10 years ago, I was saying goodbye to my previous congregation and thinking about the 17 years that I spent with them as their Senior Pastor. 10 years prior to that, we were in the midst of a building project for our new 10,000 square-foot worship facility. With no general contractor experience, I decided I could be the person to lead this building venture. However, individuals who cared genuinely about me and this venture thought it was “crazy” for me to be attempting this challenge. I had spent four years in the United States Air Force; during 1 of those four years I learned how to read schematics and diagnose broken test equipment that was not working properly. Part of my work was calibrating test equipment; I used documentation that would step me through the process of verifying the functionality of each piece of equipment. Looking back at my four years of military service, I wonder what did I benefit from an electronics career? Metrology ended up not being the direction of my life. Never would’ve I thought that 20 years after leaving the Air Force my electronics experience would be of great value during our construction project in Northfield.

We had a number of volunteers who helped us every day. A matter of fact, one individual who helped often, didn’t attend our church. He would drive-by on a regular basis to see the slow progress of our framing and decided he needed to help get the job done. Lyle wanted to help because he realized we were taking longer than normal. I remember him asking “Why is it going up so slow? Only a little section at a time? Winter will soon be here and you need to get it done!”

Here is a truth I learned…knowledge without experience creates a very interesting opportunity. A few weeks ago during the sermon I mentioned an event which happened while we were building the soffits and fascias for the gable ends of the church. Our first attempt was horrific. It was one of those moments where I realized knowledge is not always enough; there is something to be said about skilled workmanship. I believe one of the reasons I was able to successfully navigate the 10 month construction project was every day we honored the Lord at all times. Whatever was happening, whatever we got done, we started each day in prayer and we ended each day in prayer. Throughout every day of the process, even when things were going not according to plans, I would remind everyone that “in all things we give thanks”. This is a very important dynamic in the Christian life; having the right attitude especially when things do not go according to plans. Fast forward, we have been planning and figuring out the best time to slip away from our responsibilities at Hawthorne Assembly and Spooner to visit Janet’s parents. For those who are not aware, Janet’s mother fell on Thursday and broke her upper femur and now the plans for the next two weeks have dramatically changed. But my response is, even as I am traveling to a funeral that was unexpected, “in all things give thanks.” There is something very powerful in overcoming any adversity as you declare the promises from God‘s Word over each situation. Yes, we are praying for divine intervention and miraculous healing for Marilyn, and we’re believing for comfort and peace that is supernatural for James and Liam as they are grieving the loss of their parents. Perhaps you have something unexpected that you’re dealing with. God is our source. Let the passage “in all things give thanks” bring healing and comfort to your life today.

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