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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

E-Note From Pastor Andy 11-23-16

November 23, 2016

Dear Eastridge Family,

Tomorrow we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day.  Of course for those who follow Jesus every day is a “Thanksgiving Day.”  What does it mean to give thanks?
When the Bible says “in everything give thanks” we might be prone to question the injunction, in everything?  Not everything that happens to us is worth thanking God for, we might say.

There is no question that many things that happen are evil, difficult, and filled with turmoil, sorrow and tragedy.  In one sense, we are not to give thanks for everything, but rather in everything, or in the midst of every situation.
Giving thanks to God in the midst of difficult events that happen to us is only possible if we have the right perspective.  What do we deserve?  What does God guarantee us?  Is happiness an eternal right?  The answers to these questions help us focus on the right perspective.

If we deserve nothing due to the sinful condition of our nature, then anything we have brings gratitude.  If God guarantees, not happiness or good happenings as we might define it, but the assurance that He has allowed what happens in order to build our character, then our perspective changes.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” Luke 17:15-17

Once Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one returned and gave Him thanks.  He replied, “were there not ten cleansed?”  The ingratitude may appear shocking, but it only reveals a similar culture here in America as well.

We live in ungrateful times.  Children no longer thank their parents for providing shelter, food and clothing.  Parents no longer thank employers for providing them a job.  Church members often fail to thank those that serve them with sacrifice and faithfulness.  Why?

We have perverted God’s provisions into entitlement guarantees.  Even preachers can begin to simply tell their listeners what they want to hear – that all that God has for them is health, wealth and happiness.  Anything less would be beneath our status as King’s kids!

But this perverts both God’s goodness and man’s need.  God is perfect, holy and righteous, owing us nothing.  If we don’t start here, our basis for giving thanks will be selfish and limited.

Giving thanks is thus our duty, and the first response we owe our Creator.  We ought to be thankful for each breath, for we have no guarantee of tomorrow.  We ought to be thankful for those who serve us, and thankful for every meal and the simple joys of life.

Black Friday Activities
Yard Clean Up
If you run out of money by noon on Friday or if you just would like to help rake up leaves, paint or maybe even decorate at the church we have good news for you!  Miguel Cruz and Tim Bertrand will be at the church about 12:30pm to help work on a couple of these projects.  Anyone who would like to join them is more than welcome to come out and help.

Youth Movie Night
Friday evening at 6:30pm at the church the youth group will be watching a movie together and having some snacks as well.  If any of our teenagers (7th grade through college) that would like to come out are more than welcome.  If you have any questions you may contact Tim Bertrand via phone or text.

Children’s Christmas Program
Each Sunday the Children will be practicing the songs for their presentation of the Christmas Program on Sunday morning December 18th.  All the children 6th grade and under are welcome to attend to prepare for the presentation.

Holiday Dinner

Following the morning worship service on Sunday December 18th we will share a meal together.  The church is providing the meat (Turkey and Ham) so we are asking you sign up to bring a side dish and desert or drinks.  The sign-up sheets are located in the entryway of the church.

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