November 22, 2918

Dear Friends,

The annual day we have set aside to pause and purposefully give thanks for the many blessings we experience is upon us. Mary Ann shared with me a video from a church in North Carolina that you may have seen already. It’s a great reminder of how easily we take our daily blessings for granted. You can click here to watch.

Sometimes the day of thanksgiving can become, shall we say, “less than festive” when dinner table discussions turn to current events or politics. Nothing can spoil turkey and mashed potatoes like one relative who gets a daily feed from Huffpo or Slate locked in a debate with a Fox News super fan.

So here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to spend time with friends or family members who may view the world a little differently than you do:

1. The gospel matters more than any political or public policy issue.

2. People who affirm the scriptures as God’s word and who have surrendered their lives to Jesus have not always been right when it comes to social and cultural issues and questions.

3. Be careful of not trying to bring the authority of scripture to an issue where the Bible does not speak clearly and specifically.

4. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love others. Loving others matters to Jesus a lot. Keep that in mind.

5. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)

And if the talk at your table does turn to current events, here are some ways to do your part to keep the conversation as peaceful as possible:

Ask questions. Seek to understand. Seek to learn.

Show respect for the person who is speaking, even if you disagree with what they’re saying.

Speak softly.

Make sure you talk about the issue, not about the other person’s character.

Stay humble.

Paul David Tripp reminds us that Genesis 1 is the only time in human history when there was no war of words between human beings or between mankind and God. “In Genesis 1, the world of communication was a world of peace, truth, and life. Words were never used as weapons. Truth was never used to tear down. Words were always spoken in love, and human communication never broke the bonds of peace.”

Here’s hoping the conversation around your Thanksgiving table this year will help usher in a season of peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

This Sunday we head into the Christmas season with a night of Hymns, Carols, Cookies and Classics with singer/songwriter Bob Bennett. Here are the details:

Having Bob join us this Sunday is a great “invite a friend” opportunity. Or maybe invite everyone who follows you on Facebook. Or Instragram.

And remember, the kids who don’t want to sit through the concert will get to watch this:

It’s gonna be a great big fun night for everyone. A great way to wrap up the holiday weekend and begin to tune our hearts for Christmas.

And we’re just a few weeks away from the annual Women’s Christmas Tea. Have you RSVP’d? Here are all the details.

We have a great opportunity coming up on December 17 to show some love to the teachers and staff at David O’ Dodd Elementary School. We’ll be hosting a special Christmas lunch for the staff. Your small group leader will be in touch with you soon to let you know how you can help out with the event.

And keep praying for God to open doors for us to be good neighbors in our brand new neighborhood.

Esther is about to tell her husband what she wants from him. And Haman is about to see his day go from exhilarating to disastrous in one instant.

We’ll study Esther 7 this Sunday.

See you in church.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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