Happy Thanksgiving!

Ok, so it’s not Thanksgiving yet. But, after last night’s churchwide Thanksgiving banquet, I decided to go with the mood and avoid the rush of getting that bit of good wishes out there.

It was very encouraging to see the fellowship hall filled with our church family, many of whom had filled themselves with turkey, ham, and all the trimmings. We were given the great news that after only two years into our 5 year capital campaign, that we had reduced our debt by 64% and as such could possibly pay this thing off a year earlier. This is an incredible piece of good news, as I remember coming to the church just over three years ago and sensing a nervousness about $1 million plus debt and what to do about it. I”m really proud of this church and its generosity in the face of a gloomy financial picture.

There’s more I could say about our church, but instead want to express gratitude for some personal blessings leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.

I”m thankful for my family. Lori and I are blessed to have 3 healthy children. Cally will be a teenager in December, Lucy will be 8 years old next month too, and Matt turned 6 in September. They are all attending Hickory Hills School and should for the remainder of this year and next. I get to take them there in the mornings and despite the brevity of the trip find it amazing that Matt and Lucy can find something to get into a disagreement about. These days will pass soon, and I am doing my best to enjoy them.

I”m thankful to be in Springfield, which would not be possible except for our connection to the University Heights Baptist Church family of faith. We’ve made it 3 1/2 years thus far, and appreciate our neighborhood, school, and Ozarks area in general. We did make it down to Branson to the Dixie Stampede a few weeks ago, and except for working in Andy Williams and seeing the lights at Silver Dollar City we should be in good shape holiday sights wise. The church has been good to us, and we are grateful to celebrate another Advent season with the folks on the corner of Grand and National.

Another surprise has been being able to teach out at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. I have two sections of Intro to Spiritual Formation and thus far this has been a good experience. I”ve enjoyed meeting the students and faculty in the Redford College, who I find are dedicated to their work and calling. The church has been supportive of this opportunity, and thus far I’ve been able to keep all the plates spinning at the same time.

It’s been a pretty tough stretch workwise, and I’m looking forward to some time off during the Thanksgiving break. We’ll make the trek down to Montgomery to see Lori’s folks and watch the Iron Bowl game together on that Friday. The Auburn season has definitely been exciting, for reasons off the field as well as on, and I share the sentiment of Auburn fans of hoping that things with Cam, Auburn, and the NCAA will have a good ending. It has been what one sportswriter called “splendid chaos on the Plains.”

Well, I’ll stop for now. I’ll finish preaching on the 7 churches of Revelation this Sunday and then Cory will lead the Hanging of the Green service on the 28th. Advent will be here, and Christmas. Wow, where has 2010 gone?

Let’s count our blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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