Monthly Archives: November 2013

Returning To Give Thanks

Max Lucado tells about living as an American in Brazil.  One day, as he was walking along the street on his way to the University to teach a class, he felt a tug on his pants leg.  Turning around, he saw a little boy about 5 or 6 years old with dark beady eyes and a dirty little face.  The little boy looked up at the big American and said, “Peo, Senor.  Bread, Sir.”

There was a little beggar boy, and Lucado said, “There are always little beggar boys in the streets of Brazil.  Usually I turn away from them because there are so many, and you can’t feed them all.  But there was something so compelling about this little boy that I couldn’t turn away.  So, taking his hand, I said, “Come with me,” and I took him into a coffee shop.”

He told the owner, “I’ll have a cup of coffee and give the boy a piece of pastry, whatever he wants.”  Since the coffee counter was at the other end of the store, he walked on, and got a cup of coffee, forgetting about the little boy because beggar boys usually get the bread and then run back out into the street and disappear.

But this one didn’t.  After he received his pastry, he went over to the big American and just stood there until Lucado felt his staring eyes.  Lucado said, “I turned and looked at him.  Standing up, his eyes just about hit my belt buckle.  Then slowly his eyes came up until they met mine.”  The little boy, holding his pastry in one hand, looked up and said, “Thank you, sir.  Thank you very much.”

Lucado said, “I was so touched by the boy’s thanks that I would have bought him the store.  I sat there for another 30 minutes, late for my class, just thinking about a little beggar boy who came back and said, “Thank you.””

I can’t help but wonder if God feels the same way.  I wonder if His heart bubbles inside when we, His children, come to Him and say, “Thank you, Sir.  Thank you very much.”  But more than that, I wonder how often we are like all the rest of the beggar boys, we get what we want, and then we run and disappear, never returning to say, “Thanks.”

You know…, Jesus had a time like that happen to Him.  In Luke chapter 17, Jesus encounters ten men with leprosy.  The Bible tells us that after being healed, one of them, “came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him…”  But then, I want you to notice what Jesus asks.  In verse 17 Jesus says, “Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?”

Do we tend to be a part of the nine that received their blessing, and then went on their way and never returned?  Like the beggar boys, do we disappear and forget to come back and say, “Thanks?”  Or…, are we that one grateful person that returns to God, falls at His feet, and simply says, “Thanks!”  It’s my prayer that we are like this one leper, and the little beggar boy that Lucado encountered.  When was the last time that you truly thanked God?

In Christ,


Serve More!

“2013: The Year Of Resolutions.”  The challenge is to end the year in a better place than we are today.  Unlike most years with one big resolution, we have a 12 step program to help us get there.  And here we are, approaching the last part of the year.  But what is it that we have tried to do.

January – Pray More

February – Read More

March – Give More

April – Attend More

May – Get More Involved

June – Share Our Faith More

July – Call On Others More

August – Invite More

September – Fellowship More

October – More Acts Of Kindness

We are about to round the year out, and for the month of November, we should strive to serve more.  In I Peter 4:10 we read, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”  God desires that we serve each other.

Service, or the idea of serving others is not something that our society views as admirable qualities.  After all, we should strive to be the kind of people that others serve, right?  But are any of us greater that Jesus Himself?  Just look at Matthew 20:28 as it talks about Jesus.  It simply states, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus came to this earth, and though He was fully God, He did not hold that over people.  Instead, He humbled Himself, and became like a servant, serving those around Him.  Just look at the example that He set when He washed the disciples feet.  Nothing was beneath Him when it came to serving others.  Jesus, the Son of God, the soon to be Savior of the world humbled Himself, and washed the nasty feet of His very own disciples.  The people that were following Him, the people that should have been bowing down and washing His feet, yet He takes the role of servant, and He demonstrates for us the value in serving one another.

This month, can you find a way simply to serve?  Come and help out with the community dinner.  You can set things up, tear things down, clean up, or just be here to help out wherever the need arises.  Or maybe you can get involved in serving God with you talents.  I know we mentioned this a few months ago, but get involved and use what God has blessed you with as a way of serving others, and serving Him.  Play an instrument, sings in the praise team, sing a special, run the sound room, say a prayer, give a devotion, volunteer with the youth, help out with the elderly that are among our congregation.  Perhaps you have time on your hands, and you can start a new ministry, or you can devote time to getting out and helping others.  Whatever the case, focus this month on serving more.  Take on the character of Christ, and serve those around you in some way.

So…, for the month of November, allow yourself to become a true servant.  Come help out at the community Thanksgiving dinner.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Ring a bell for the Salvation Army.  Or just find another way that you can serve one another.  And in doing that, you are serving God in the process.

Here’s to “2013: The Year Of Resolutions!”

In Christ