Thanksgiving

Church Update
Well, the new road hasn’t affected us much. The traffic that increased by people using our parking lot for a shortcut has finally decreased (though not completely) – which is much safer for our Hearts & Hands pre-school and daycare kids and families. I personally like the new road. I can’t wait to see it continue.

On that note, no word from the airport yet.

Here is a great Thanksgiving story: On Sunday night (19th) we received a call and an email from a church in Chicago who wanted to come see our pews (which we are trying to sell and replace with chairs). We scheduled it for Wednesday (22th). They came, they saw, they offered (my apologies to Julius Caesar) – and we accepted! They even sent a deposit. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, our pews will not work in their remodeled building without their contractor cutting them down and basically rebuilding them.

However, there are still other people / churches inquiring. The pastor from Chicago said that he believes we might still sell them this year, and for more than they could pay. He wants me to send him the story so they can celebrate with us when it happens!

Isn’t it great when God’s people rejoice with each other!

Personal Update
We had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Saralynn’s parents came over Thursday morning about 11:00. We had a big “snack” at noon – all of the pre-dinner appetizers – then set the little kids to naps and played games for a couple of hours. After a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s physical and spiritual blessings upon us, we feasted about 4:00. We capped off the day with more games and the movie “Cars” (now on DVD at your favorite retailer).

I hope you all experienced a wonderful holiday and remembered to thank God for His blessings.

Scriptural Thought of the Week
A couple of posts ago I introduced the phrase kathos kai and mentioned that Paul used it six times in Ephesians. The basic meaning is one of pattern – “just as also”. Here is another pattern that God left for us to follow:

“And you are to be walking about in love, just as also Christ loved us and gave Himself over on our behalf an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:2 (my trans.) 

Jesus pattern was that He personally loved us – not just “God so loved the world”, but also “Jesus loved us” – to the extent that He handed Himself over to those who would brutally torture Him without cause. To us it was a model of unsurpassed love and giving. To God it was exactly what He expects from His children.

What would happen in this world if you and I were always to conduct our daily lives in such a way that God considered it pleasing, and say, like that air freshener commercial, “Nice!”

Quote of the Week
I have appreciated this book, and have finally finished it. Imagine this description of us from God’s point of view as He prepared to send His Son, and from Jesus’ point of view as He prepared for what awaited Him here (see comment above):

“[T]here is no special name for a group of porcupines. They travel alone.

Porcupines don’t always want to be alone. In the late autumn, a young porcupine’s thoughts turn to love. But love turns out to be a risky business when you’re a porcupine. Females are open to dinner and a movie only once a year; the window of opportunity closes quickly. And a girl porcupine’s ‘no’ is the most widely respected turndown in all the animal kingdom. Fear and anger make them dangerous little creatures to be around.

This is the Porcupine’s Dilemma: How do you get close without getting hurt?

This is our dilemma, too. Every one of us carries our own little arsenal. Our barbs have names like rejection, condemnation, resentment, arrogance, selfishness, envy, contempt. Some people hide them better than others, but get close enough and you will find out they’re there. They burrow under the skin of our enemies; they can wound and fester and even kill. We, too, learn to survive through a combination of withdrawal and attack. We, too, find ourselves hurting (and being hurt by) those we long to be closest to.”

Quoted from: John Ortberg, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), p. 22. ISBN: 0310228646

 

 

Until next time,

Dan’l

The comments in this blog are always the personal opinions of Daniel Goepfrich and are not meant to be taken as official statements of Oak Tree Community Church, its staff, or its members.

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