I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3 – 5
As I write this article we are one week from Thanksgiving and I’m feeling thankful. There are several things for which I’m thankful. First I’m thankful for the leadership of our convention who give time sacrificially to advance the work of the Kingdom in our state. I want to say a special thank you to Tree Cooper for two years of service as President of our convention. Tree steered our convention with a steady and prayerful hand. As he chaired our Executive Committee these past two years he led us to saturate everything, every report, every discussion, in prayer. We started every meeting on our knees. Following our missionary and staff reports we stopped to pray for the person giving the report. Many times as we dealt with some challenging or thorny issues Tree would stop in the middle of the discussion to pray for the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Between meetings I would receive emails from Tree letting me know he had just prayed for me and my family. I truly give thanks to my God for every remembrance of Tree’s leadership.
I’m thankful for a convention that allows me to keep my family as a priority. The Saturday before our annual meeting last month I received an emergency phone call from my daughter who was distraught over the news of the unexpected death of her mother-in-law in Texas. Her mother-in-law was nearly my age (which I consider quite young), was in good health and good spirits when she suddenly died while sitting and watching TV. Sunday morning, after arriving in Waco, my daughter called again and said the family had no church connections and no one to turn to for guidance or to perform the funeral. They were simply left with someone they didn’t know who would be introduced to them by the funeral home. She said, “Daddy can you please come help us through this and do the funeral?” With the annual meeting starting on Monday, I felt I couldn’t respond to this family crisis even though I badly wanted to. However, I contacted the convention leadership and without an exception they all said your family needs are much more important than the annual meeting. They said all is in order for the meeting and they would fill the gaps without a problem. Kristy and I were able to travel to Texas to do the funeral, help out with the activities around the funeral and the Lord blessed us with some significant family time and family ministry. I truly give thanks to my God for every remembrance of a convention of churches that allow me to keep my priorities in order.
I’m thankful for a loving and skilled staff that sees their jobs as ministry and gives a 100% on a daily basis. Like the churches of the convention there was no question in any of the staff’s mind that my priority was to my family and they willing stepped in to fill the gap. I was able to leave the annual meeting with no doubt in my mind that all would run smoothly and that I wouldn’t be missed. Annual meetings are lots of work. The planning goes on year round. Facilities have to be reserved. Reports produced. Booths set up and manned. Luncheons arranged for. Transportation planned. Stages and sound systems set up. And the annual meeting came off flawlessly (like it does every year). I truly give thanks to my God for every remembrance of a staff that allows me to simply walk away from the biggest event on the convention calendar knowing it is all in excellent hands.
And I’m thankful for a wife and children that love Jesus and rally around each other in midst of grief and loss. We were able to celebrate a life, see some relationships mended and our Lord lifted up. I truly give thanks to my God for every remembrance of my sweet family.
I’m truly feeling thankful.
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