November 2016 CBA Newsletter

I recently heard an interview with A. J. Jacobs, a secular Jewish man, who wrote The Year of Living Biblically after spending a year trying to closely follow every law in the Bible. Jacobs does not claim to be a follower of Christ or even a believer in God. But according to the interview, among the most important thing this year taught him was the value of gratitude. Thanksgiving is a powerful principle that is found throughout Scripture. I wonder how our lives would change if we practiced it more often.

In a culture in which we can go to the store and get whatever we want 24/7, we take for granted pretty much everything. If we ever find ourselves without electricity or food or some other convenience, we complain a little, but know that it is probably just temporary. If we are honest, most of us are pretty spoiled. Thanksgiving reminds us that we are not our own provider. Everything we have comes from a loving God who cares deeply for us and meets our needs in abundance.

I am as guilty as the next guy in my lack of gratitude for God’s blessings. You would think that those of us who live comfortable lifestyles compared to the rest of the world would be more grateful, but I think the opposite tends to be true. So what is the solution? I started by reading from the book of Psalms. The various authors remind us over and over to give thanks to God. We are to remember His blessings and cry out to Him with thanksgiving and praise. Our worship is to reflect a grateful heart for His presence in our lives. We should be aware continually of how He has delivered us from our enemies and the sin that would destroy us without His ever-present help. That’s a good place to start.

I am thankful for the great year we have had together. I am grateful to work with so many great churches and pastors who understand the power of the Gospel to save. I praise God that we have freedom to proclaim His truth and to live out our convictions. I thank God for the family and friends He has given me. And I thank God for the calling He has placed on my life, that I can live my life with purpose know He has a plan much bigger and greater than I can even imagine.

Join me this Thanksgiving season in being more intentional in our praise and thanksgiving to the One who gives all good gifts. Keep your eyes open to His goodness and grace in all the little things in life. Enjoy the time with family and friends and let each one of them know how thankful you are for them. And take the time to tell God how thankful you are.

In His Name,

Steve Laughman