My Thanksgiving List
Dear Saints of newhope,
I sure hope this finds you doing well and ready to celebrate Thanksgiving! Most of you have heard me say before that this is, by far, one of my favorite holidays of the year. There is something beautiful, wholesome, biblical, and healthy about giving thanks. In fact, I believe Thanksgiving should be practiced year around by the child of God. The greatest, most effective, and anointed believers in all the world are almost always men and women who overflow with gratitude 365 days a year!
The Bible says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1) Today, I would like to simply share with you my Thanksgiving list. As I read that verse this morning, and started giving thanks as Psalm 107 instructs, I felt the Lord whisper to me that I should share my list with those for whom I am most grateful. Therefore, without any further ado, here is a quick overview of the things for which I am most thankful:
–God has been so good to me through His mercy, which the verse says, endures forever! Beloved, forever is a long time! Think about that for a moment. Regardless of how much we blow it from time to time, for those who are in Christ, the Bible says His mercy endures forever!
–One of the ways in which God has been so merciful to me is by giving me my wife, for life, and blessing us both with five healthy children. I am eternally grateful for Amy Lynn, Anna Grace, Benjamin Cole, Wesley Jacob, Caleb Timothy, and Joshua Hunter Kelley! You guys are the wind beneath my sails and you make coming home the best part of my day. I thank God for each of you!
–I am also most grateful for you and everyone, for that matter, who make up the movement of newhope church! I have visited churches all over the world and truly believe that God has enabled me to pastor one of the most beautiful congregations on the face of the planet. I know I say that from time to time, yet today I want to drill down more specifically and share various and sundry things for which I am most grateful about our church.
–I am grateful for the spiritual growth taking place around newhope these days! We are not only reaching people, but the church is growing in her hunger for the Lord and His Word. Moreover, newhopers are actually starting to apply and live out the Word like never before! The Turkey Drop and You Got Christmas’d are two prime examples! Way to go, church!
–I am grateful that newhopers will do whatever it takes to open up seats and space for people God is calling us to reach. The shift from three Sunday morning Worship Celebrations to four, with two being in the evening, has been yet another example of the way in which you are not afraid to change for the sake of the vision! I love that about our church.
–I am grateful for the world class pastors and staff at our church! Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I cannot believe that I get to serve the church, let alone beside these men and women of God! Our pastors and staff really have become the Dream Team!
–I am grateful for the socio-economic and racial diversity of our church. Entire denominations, Christian leaders across the United States of America, and certain publications are actually talking about the newhope movement in Central North Carolina and our diversity. I am so thankful that our church fully represents God’s created order!
–I am grateful to Jesus, who makes all of the above possible and remains the Head of the Church! (Ephesians 1:22)
Because of Jesus,