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Your Story

(This post was written by Michael Wallace, High School Pastor)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  It’s a great day.  It’s a day where you will probably find yourself around a table surrounded by family and/or friends, and you will get a chance to share what you are thankful for.

What surprises me about this cultural norm is that in all my years of Thanksgivings I have never seen anyone read from notes.  Not once has anyone needed to look at a calendar or call someone to help them remember the reasons that they have to give thanks.  Strange, right?  Why don’t we do those things? Because the process of me sharing what I am thankful for is simply me sharing my story.  It’s easy because it’s all about me.  There’s no memorization or studying or pre-planning necessary.

Why isn’t sharing our faith the same way?  If you are a Christ-follower, you have a story about how you met Jesus and how he changed your life.  I have found that sharing your story is the most effective way to tell others about Jesus because in your story you will inevitably define salvation.  Your story probably flows something like this: “I was like this…and I did this…and I realized that I needed Jesus…I accepted Him…I have a relationship… and I live differently.”  Your story of coming to Jesus, no matter how many different twists and turns it takes, or characters that are involved, or moments of conflict that arise, is the story of who Jesus is and why He did what He did on the cross.

Here’s the great thing about YOUR story: people will listen to it.  Maybe it’s just because they don’t want to be rude, but most people will hear you out on a story about YOU.  And the best part is, they will be able to identify themselves in your story…which is a great way to help them identify their need for Jesus.

What’s your story? When was the last time you shared it?

Happy Thanksgiving from Pastor Chris!

Hello Faith Promise Family,

Believe it or not, the holidays are here!  As we look forward to Thanksgiving and a wonderful day of feasting, fellowshipping with family and friends, and football watching, let’s not forget to give praise to the One from whom all of these blessings come.  Our amazing God has given us so much to be thankful for, and He has told us in His Word that we are to live with an attitude of gratitude.  As you gather around the table on Thursday, I encourage you to share at least one thing for which you are grateful.

For those of you who are in the area, you won’t want to miss this weekend as we wrap up the HEREAFTER series with the sermon, A Reason to Rejoice! This series has been life-changing for so many, and I encourage you to come and bring your families who are visiting as we talk about the most important reason to be thankful – our salvation!  If you are traveling, remember you can watch on our Internet Campuses at either 9:00, 10:20 or 11:00 am, or 9:00 pm on Sunday.

Also, please mark your calendars now for our First Wednesday service beginning at 6:30 pm on December 1. Join us at any of our campuses as we have special Christmas music, meet new FPC family members, share the Lord’s Supper together, and hear from God’s Word.  What a great way to begin the celebration of our Savior’s birth!

I pray for God’s blessings on you all.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

Your Pastor

P.S. Please remember that our church office will be closed Wednesday through Friday, November 24-26.

Family Life: Thanksgiving

(This post was written by Chuck Carringer, Pastor of Family Ministries)

Like most families this week, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s interesting that I enjoy holidays more the older I become. I am not exactly certain why I do, but I do. I love the traditions and experiences surrounding holidays that have become part of our family fabric.

Parents, what an opportunity to establish traditions and reinforce values that are vital to your family. I want my children to be thankful, grateful, and appreciative. We have a blessed life in so many ways. The attitude and spirit that I want my children to develop (and pass on to their kids some day) is that our thankfulness is not based on circumstances but rather our faith. Certainly I realize that circumstances impact and influence our feelings and happiness, but as Christ followers, we have hope and assurances that transcend circumstances.

This year, let’s make sure our kids understand (as always our children learn more from what we do, the lives we model, than what we say) the source of our thankfulness, the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Are you thankful?

The Discipline of Thankfulness

(This post was written by Gina McClain, Director of Children’s Ministries)

Discipline is not one of my favorite terms.  I bristle a little when I hear it.  I understand the need for discipline, however, applying discipline in my own life inspires some resistance.

But the definition of discipline is “an activity or exercise that develops or improves a skill”.

Well, when you put it that way… I guess, discipline can get a bad rap.

Last week my husband and I read an article in Thriving Family Magazine about teaching our kids the discipline of being thankful.  In a world where we tend to focus more on what we don’t have rather than what we have, thankfulness is a lost art.  Just stick your kids in front of Saturday morning cartoons for any amount of time and a sense of deprivation creeps in with every toy commercial they watch!

November is a great opportunity to spend time teaching our kids (and reminding ourselves) to acknowledge the ways God provides for us.

Here are a few activities you could do at home:

  • Basket of Thanks (great for elementary kids): have a stack of cards w/ a small basket at your dinner table.  Each time you sit down to dinner together, take the first few minutes, grab a card, and write down one way God blessed you that day.  On Thanksgiving Day you can review the cards and be reminded of the many ways God crept into your life to remind you of His love.
  • He Meets My Needs (great for preschoolers):  Create a small pile in your living room made up of blankets, toys, clothes, video games, socks, shoes, etc.  As a family, sort each item into one of two categories:  NEED & WANT.  Talk about some of the items that land in the ‘want’ pile.  Sometimes these can seem like a ‘need’ yet they are not.