The Church at Onslow had an incredible season ending 2016. From our Thanksgiving event, we have two inspiring articles and lots of photos with happy faces. The Bridge Crew is busy ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ over the 2016 Family Thanksgiving Album. To be honest, we’re laughing. Because dessert bandit. (Wait til you see who it is.)
Elder and Sister Jean welcomed everyone to a delicious Thanksgiving feast, and Elder reminded us to count our blessings and appreciate what we have. When it comes to being gracious, Elder and Sister Jean don’t live like they deserve anything. They live being thankful for everything. Real-life examples of God’s love, through good and bad, sickness and health, they’ve dedicated themselves to serving God and His people. The fruits of their labor are seen across all our churches as we work together in unity and become a stronger, closer family.
Outlook, Very Optimistic
Gratitude contributes to a healthy, positive life. Elder’s shown us that focusing on blessings correlates with high levels of spiritual and personal benefits. All compelling reasons to be extra thankful.
You can count on Elder for a lot of things. His teachings give us stability in the Word of God and fill us with hope and joy, so naturally we want to spread it. He’s taught about every life topic and Bible subject you can imagine. Along the way he’s handed out keys that open big doors, like living a happy and fulfilled life in Christ. We’re passing five keys on to you. Yes, you need them and they’ll help you.
1. Choppy Waters, Be Still.
Life gets tough and you need answers. We feel you. Paul told us to be content and know God’s grace is sufficient.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
Elder agrees. He lives these words and we see the power of Christ resting upon him. Thankfulness comes when we’re content with what God’s done, not by wanting everything we don’t have. It’s easy to take basic provisions for granted–food, breathing, and a roof over our heads. Elder instructs us to give thanks in all things and know God’s grace is sufficient. This key opens hope when you’re troubled and worried and your strength is gone. God’s strength is made perfect in your weakness. Hit ‘play’ again. Your spiritual life just went from strong to very strong.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” -Philippians 4:11
Questions about why things happen? These scriptures change how you think. Elder has used both to remind us to be thankful when life is good and to carry a grateful heart down in the valley. Hanging on is hard sometimes, but these keys give you the peace you need and mark a turning point in your favor: One, be content where God has you. Two, whatever situation you’re facing, know that God’s grace is enough to take you through.
2. If You Really, Really Want Success.
If we could just have this or that, that career, that life, that house, that wealth, that education, that opportunity. Life would be perfect. Dreams, answered. Except dreams keep moving. You reach one…a new one takes its place…and then another…and another. Living for God, serving His people, embracing loved ones, and cherishing experiences–are more valuable than goods. Early in life, Elder found the meaning of true success through his insight on thankfulness. Being grateful every day changes your life and leads to happiness. He told his wife, Sister Jean:
“If we lose everything, and we still have the Lord and each other, then we have Everything.”
-Elder R.B. LaFleur
3. You’re Holding Up The Line.
A thankful heart endures, especially during change and uncertainty. At some point, you’ll look at your life and see the dreams that didn’t come true, the losses, the wins, the moments you savor, the times you’d plead for a re-do. Dwelling on do-overs? Elder says no. He’s spent a lifetime preaching not to waste another minute on the past. Make it right, learn from mistakes, and grow on.
Go. Keep walking forward.
4. We’re Hearing ‘You Can Make It’ A Lot.
The power of thoughts (cough, talking to you, right brain) shapes our walk with God and determines where we end up. When we’re thankful, we’re productive. When we believe, the sky’s the limit. Knowing we can make it is a big, big deal. That confidence is one of the greatest gifts Elder has given to God’s people.
5. The Old Man Has Been Crashing On Your Couch Too Long.
Time to kick him out. Heaven’s closer than you think, and the carnal nature is standing between you and winning. The Ministry preaches that we’ve come too far to turn back, and we’ve been through too much to up ‘n quit. Take their exhortation and get a ‘keep the faith and don’t give up’ mindset.
Our churches are blessed to hear these teachings. With Elder and Sister Jean and God’s Ministry as our support system, we can’t help but make it.
Hope you’re enjoying all the smiles from our Family Thanksgiving Album. Say an encouraging word to someone in need, count every single blessing, and spread thankfulness! (By the way, has anyone seen the desserts?)
Don’t bounce. Keep on reading. B. Robert Wadleigh’s saying thanks about something you couldn’t imagine living without and sharing tips to get glowing. He’s dropping names like Brother Nobles and Brother Gibbs. Plus, the dessert bandit is here somewhere. And more pictures. Scroll!
-S. Lisa LaFleur Meinhardt
In November, America celebrated Thanksgiving Day, but I question whether Americans understand the principle behind that concept.
These days there is always some new gadget to chase, some wrong to protest, or some cause to defend. We are in an era when everything is disposable and everyone is entitled to something. We have become a society that may say thank you, but it is more about being polite than meaning it.
Oh, I am guilty of it. I have found myself collecting things for the sake of having them more than enjoying them as blessing that God has allowed me. I’ve gone from getting the best thing ever to looking for the next best thing ever in a matter of moments. I have chased things looking for happiness, but have learned that true happiness comes from being content in whatever state I find myself.
Now I said content not complacent. Contentment comes from a place of peace while complacency hints at a lack of hope. Contentment allows you to enjoy life. Complacency can lead to a life left unlived.
I cannot think about thankfulness without hearing Brother Nobles talking about retaining value in what we have. As he puts it, “When we no longer perceive value in what we have, we will let it go to gain what we value more”. In his teachings, he generally applies these thoughts to holding on to the faith we have developed and our spiritual walk, but this concept is far reaching and can apply to all facets of life. It can go into a house and strengthen a marriage, it can make an employee perform better in the workplace, and it can allow one to cherish those things that were once so dear we couldn’t imagine living without.
I remember Brother Gibbs referring to thankfulness as being much like an enzyme. In the natural body, an enzyme is a catalyst that brings about a specific chemical reaction. For example, an enzyme can work to break nutrients down into something the body can use. Similarly, thankfulness can bring about changes that make us more usable to God. It can allow you digest a tough concept. It may cause you to sacrifice your time to see things in the church get taken care of. It can create a glow in you that will draw others to God.
Thankfulness can do all these things, but we tend to look passed the things God has given us and tend to focus on the things that we have been told we need.
This year, I want to be thankful for what I have and prepare myself for what lies ahead.
-B. Robert Wadleigh
Operation Sweet Tooth.
S. Sandy! We Know Her!