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“In All Things Give Thanks” By Pastor Jo

“In All Things Give Thanks” By Pastor Joe

Amazingly over 14 years ago we said goodbye to our previous congregation and the 17 years spent with them as their Senior Pastor. 24 years prior we were in the midst of a building project for a new 10,000 square-foot worship facility. With no general contractor experience, I became the person leading the building venture. However, individuals, who cared genuinely about me and this venture, thought it was “crazy“ for me to be attempting this challenge.

I spent four years in the United States Air Force, and during one of those 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 using documentation with all the procedures, a step-by-step process of verifying the functionality of each piece of equipment. Looking back at these four years of military service finds me contemplating what benefit came from an electronics career? Metrology ended up not being the direction of my life. Never thinking 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; as a matter of fact, one individual who helped often, but didn’t attend our church, would drive-by on a regular basis and 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. Clearly recalling him saying, “Winter will soon be here and you need to get it done!”. Lyle Pownell passed away 3 weeks ago and he will be greatly missed.

Here is a truth learned during the project, knowledge without experience creates a very interesting opportunity. While building the soffits and facets for the gable ends of the church, our first attempt was horrific. It was one of those moments where the volunteers realized knowledge is not always enough- there is something to be said about skilled workmanship.

Dave Lent and his construction partner happened to stop at the church for his weekly review and progress report, and his comment was that it was as crooked as a dog hind leg! This was the only time during the project where a feeling of overwhelming inadequacy came over me. Walking away from the guys to compose myself required wiping away the tears. Dave commented he and his buddy could get it fixed in a couple hours and renewed hope was inspired in my heart. Dave just passed away last week, but his construction lessons and help will never be forgotten.

Daily prayer on the job site is why we were able to successfully navigate the 10-month construction project. The Lord was honored at all times. Whatever was happening, whatever we got done, we started each day in prayer and ended each day in prayer. Throughout the entire process, even when things were not going according to plans, the following statement was declared… “in all things……. (pause)……give thanks”. This verbal dynamic in the Christian life, expressing the right attitude, especially when things do not go according to plans, is vital. There is something very powerful in overcoming any adversity as you declare the promises from God‘s over each situation.

Yes we are praying for divine intervention and miraculous healing for my Mom and Dad even as this article is being written in Willmar. Next week’s article will be about the miracle taking place in Spooner concerning the unfinished roof. Maybe you have something unexpected you’re dealing with- God is your source, choose to let the passage in all things give thanks bring healing and comfort to your life today.


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