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Why I'm Thankful

11/23/21 | Weekly Pastor's Email | by Eric Wakeling

    Thankfulness. I feel like I have always been a person that appreciates the people in my life, the gifts of love and grace from God, and the provision from God to have what I need. I probably haven't always been great at receiving kindness or service from others. Part of how I’m wired as a pastor is that I want to serve and I want to give, but it's a totally different thing to learn how to receive.

    Since I broke my collarbone, I have had to suck up my pride and be dependent on others. My incredible wife, Bea, has helped dress me, wash my face, and cook all of our meals (that’s normally my job). Getting dressed by someone else at age 47 is humbling. But, it has been necessary.

    And I’m thankful.

    A group of friends from Calvary Church reached out to me and offered to help me put up my Christmas lights, because they recognized that this is something that brings me joy that I would not be able to do myself. They took time on their weekend to serve me. There were parts of that which were very hard to receive, but we all knew it was necessary - Christmas lights - necessary.

    And I'm thankful.

    We live in a country where we seem to have more division and dissatisfaction than ever before, but we have so many blessings and so many freedoms even when our culture will try to tell us that we should be completely ungrateful.

    Here in Orange County, we can be upset about gas prices, issues surrounding covid, cost of living, or changing ways of life. But let's choose to open our eyes and see the beauty that surrounds us in the beaches, the mountains, the sunshine, the food, and most importantly, the people. I remind myself often that I am blessed to live in one of the most free and beautiful places in the entire world.

    And I'm thankful.

    This Thanksgiving, let's turn our eyes to Jesus and to the truths of the Scriptures. We are loved by God. We are chosen by God. We are redeemed by the work of Jesus Christ. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are completely dependent on God. We are sent on mission by God to live a life of great purpose!

    And we are thankful.

    I encourage you to take time this Thanksgiving to pause, reflect, and express your thankfulness to God. As we read in Psalm 107:21-22, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.”

    I also invite you to join us this Sunday, November 28 as we begin our Advent series “Good News of Great Joy!” It will be a Family Service with everyone 1st Grade and up together for worship (Nursery - K program available), English/ASL 9:00am in the Worship Center, on the Patio, and online here, or in Spanish at 11:00am in the Chapel and online here. Come celebrate the good news of Jesus’ birth and discover through each Sunday of Advent how we can live with more of God’s hope, peace, joy, and love.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you,

    P.S. Check out upcoming opportunities to celebrate together this Christmas at Calvary: