Thanksgiving – and more! – in July

I hope you’ve had a great week to give thanks. Last week’s message has helped focus me on opportunities to give thanks. I’ve written a couple notes to thank people for how God has used them in my life and in the lives of others. Of course, just one week ago we were giving thanks for the wonderful nation we live in. As we learned last Sunday, a life of gratitude changes us and moves us to engaging in the mission God has for us that they might be grateful to God as well.

Tomorrow we’re going to look at what cultivating a sense of awe can do to our prayer lives. So we’re shifting from giving thanks to being awestruck. There’s a distinction many make – and it’s legitimate – between giving thanks and praising or worshiping God’s character. One is about what He has done and the other is praising Him for who He is. Both are vital and knowing the distinction is good, but not necessary.

CS Lewis, as he often does, gives some good insight into how thanks and adoration work together:

 I have tried to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration.  I don’t mean simply by giving thanks for it.  One must of course give thanks, but I meant something different…  Gratitude exclaims, very properly, ‘How good of God to give me this.’  Adoration says, ‘What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!’  One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.”   –Reflections in a Toolshed, Letters to Malcolm

So, keep giving thanks, but tomorrow we’re going to follow the sunbeam up and ask, “What must be the quality of that Being!?” I hope you’ll be there. We have some fun changes afoot for tomorrow!

See you in the morning,

Pastor Justin



  • We’d love to have a baptism later this summer some time. Let me know if you’re interested in baptism!

Celebrating Freedom!

I hope you’re enjoying your 4th of July festivities – whether that’s with friends or hitting some of the larger fireworks shows in the area. I pray amid all the revelry that we remember the reason for the holiday. We live in an amazing country. God has, indeed, blessed America.

As important as it is to celebrate our freedom as a nation, it should point us to something even deeper. Specifically, we should be reminded of our freedom in Christ. Galatians 5.1 tells us: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

This is something worth celebrating. Tomorrow’s going to be a great opportunity to do just that. As we continue on our series, “Wrestling with God in Prayer,” we’re going to look at offering prayers of thanksgiving to God. And be ready, we might even do it in church! It’ll be a family service so it’s going to be fun!

I hope to see you tomorrow – with all your fingers! – so be safe and sane tonight.