I pray that you and all your beloved ones are well and in good health (III John 2).
One of my favourite themes to talk about is gratitude. It is so fitting to reach out to you today with this topic because next weekend we will celebrate our annual Canadian “Thanksgiving Season” which will climax on Monday, October 11. During this time of the year the question that comes to my mind in a special way is: What should we be grateful for? Well, I can mention just a few: life (a daily miracle); family (our greatest human asset in this life); friends (they brighten and colour our lives); food and shelter (millions do not have these so abundantly and are not “comfortable” as we are); the knowledge of God’s Word (what a privilege!); to belong to God’s family (a wonderful choice of ours); freedom of worship (a tremendous blessing); and above all, the amazing free salvation and eternal life that we experience in Christ, by His grace, alone!. Those are very important reasons to create a spirit of gratitude in our hearts.
Yet, it does not take much for one to notice the challenging situation that our world is facing today. Prophetically, it reveals the signs of Jesus’ second coming which are more evident than never (Mattew 24:1-14). We live in a world that is changing dramatically in its natural, political, financial, moral, and spiritual aspects. However, as we see these things taking place, we are reminded not to panic but to look up (Luke 21:28). God has been good to us. Just the fact that we can still worship Him and enjoy some relative peace throughout our nation (many people do not have this privilege in different parts of the globe) is a clear indication of how blessed we are and that we should pray for those who do not have this freedom as we do. Our prayers ought to express our gratitude for what we have and intercession for those who are not as privileged as we are!
God’s church has always faced challenges, but He has always taken care of her – she is the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8). As I consider this, I thank God for the existence of His church and His calling extended to all of us to be a part of His family and mission. Yes, this is a time for reflection. As God’s church has grown tremendously all over the world and is blessed with a rich diversity, sometimes she is posed with topics that create some heated (many times unnecessary) discussions. From time to time the enemy stirs up situations and formulates issues that bring division amongst God’s people. Honestly, when I consider subjects that make some of us to become so passionate about them, I wonder if we could only invest the same energy, passion, and motivation in the proclamation of the Gospel to those around us. If we did that systematically, how different our attitude would be. Indeed, the fruits of those efforts would generate a very positive impression in the hearts of others who still need to be reached for Christ. The concerns that we have here are not exactly, in most cases, the ones that our brothers and sisters face around the world. Despite all of these, history has shown that God has led His church in the past and that He is still in control to do the same today and always. “In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” EGW, LS, 196. I sincerely appreciate these inspired words and have witnessed them to be very true for the last 37 years of my (His) ministry. God’s church is destined to succeed in its mission, by His grace!
During this upcoming Thanksgiving Season, I humbly invite all of us to reflect, rejoice, and remember that we are a Family – one that loves, respects, cheers for each other, and have a message of hope to share with the world. We need to depend on God alone, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, to achieve that goal. Oh Lord, please give us the true spirit of gratitude for all your daily blessings over your people!
Please find below the link to our Conference new video: “Denny – His Plan is Better”. I am certain that Denny’s beautiful testimony will touch our hearts and encourage us to fully trust in God because He knows what is best for us, always!
Please, let’s pray for:
1 – Women’s Ministry Retreat (virtual) – Speaker: Sis. Kandus Thorp. This weekend. Details on our website.
2 – Family Ministries Retreat (virtual) – Speakers: Elder Mike & Sis. Pam Tucker. November 5-6. Details on our website.
3 – Evangelistic Campaign in Smithers – Speakers: Pr. Justis St.Hilaire & Sang Kwak. Ongoing.
4 – Our individual commitment to foster unity in our church and to the Great Commission: Starting in us!
5 – Those affected by the wildfires, ADRA Canada work here with us and around the world & Camp Hope Staff for their dedicated service to the LFN.
6 – Our pastors who are starting their ministry in a new pastoral district & pastoral placement in some open districts.
7 – A Special Request in My Heart and in Yours!
Thank you for your faithful service to God’s church and His children.
Happy Sabbath… and Happy Thanksgiving Season, from now!
In His Service,