Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I've been feeling it all week - this welling up of gratitude deep in my chest. I have more to be thankful for than anyone I know. In fact, I could make a list that would stretch a mile wide. But my grateful eyes are gazing on one thing that's so beautiful, it's hard to look at anything else. It's Christ, through His church.

It's like a big, bright bouquet of balloons that takes my breath away even though I'm 32 years old. It's a collection of Jesus followers with brilliant gifts, engaged hearts, and strong servant arms. They are filled with the Holy Spirit, who takes flat, rubbery lives and gives them impossible dimension and lightness. They are generous with their time, money, and love. They don't keep a mental list of all the things they've done for the Lord so they can cash it in when they think they've done enough. This is their calling - to be a living sacrifice. Every minute, every heartbeat, every step, every breath is purposed for the glory and renown of their God. His Word renews their minds and fills their mouths. They face opposition, but they are ready for battle. Having been forgiven and set free, and they preach the Gospel to those who are suffering in their hopelessness and frustration. They love Jesus. They bear each other's burdens. They forgive each other because Christ forgave them.

To our friends at Bayou City Fellowship, Curtis and I are so thankful for you. We praise God today because of your great faith, your hard work and endurance, your authenticity, and your humility. You are beyond all we could have asked for or imagined. We asked God to put together a team of believers that represented every spiritual gift and every part of the body, and He did it. We marvel at His faithfulness through you.

Thank you for believing God. We love you so much.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)


Kristy said...

Oh, friend, great big tears in my eyes!

We are so thankful for you and Curtis, for your obedience to Christ and your willingness to bring those beautiful, broken, forgiven sinners along with you!

Love you and your whole family!

Barbara Head said...

Some days we much simply bow before God in total silence. This is one of those times!!

Karen said...

We love being a part of the BCF family, serving the Lord and growing as we do so. Thankful that God called us to join this new church this year. We love it and look forward to some awesome years to come. Glory to God. The Pohle Family

Jennifer said...

And we are thankful for you and Curtis and your desire to follow what God called you to do. We are growing and learning so much and love being part of the BCF family.

Vicky said...

We are humbled by your obedience & transparency. What a privilege to be serving with you! Looking forward to what God has in store.

Kelli said...

what a testimony of the body of Christ "getting it" and BEING the body! thanks for sharing and happy thanksgiving to your family!

katiegfromtennessee said...

That is such a beautiful, inspiring description of the Body of Christ Amanda:)

Shellie Paparazzo said...

Oh, Amanda, that is so beautiful! What an Amazing God we serve!!!! And that is an understatement!!!!!! I'm so hoping to get to visit Bayou City Fellowship in January and see this beautiful thing that is happened in your world for myself!!!