Pastor's Weekly Musing

Hey all,

We’ve been playing Christmas music at our house since November 9th, which is the Flores family tradition. We got some favorite albums, favorite songs, and favorite radio stations, running round the clock. It’s awesome and obnoxious at the same time. We love it.

One of the radio stations plays “Holiday Classics” starting in November, which aremostly just Christmas songs. But they played a song the other day that threw me for a loop. It was the song “My Favorite Things”from The Sound of Music.

In the movie, Maria sings to the kids that when she is in need of comfort, she would “simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.”

I heard that on the radio and thought: “That’s not a Holiday song!” Then I thought about it for a bit. And I came to this conclusion:

Yes, it’s not a Christmas song, but it IS a Thanksgiving song!

Maria tells the kids that she actively remembers some of life’s greatest joys and gifts while in the midst of pain and sadness, recalling and listing them to herself in song, and it causes her to change her perspective. To be more thankful. To give thanks. 

Christians have a list too. Found in the Bible are promises from God – keepsakes we can cling to at all times, including periods of worry, trouble, or despair. These promises urge Christ-followers not to be troubled or to feel alone. They are words offering great hope because they are not the words of mere men. They are inspired, never-changing words given to us from our Savior and Lord. 

Here are a few of our “favorite things” found in Gods Word:

- God will give His people strength. (Psalm 29:11) 
- He hears our cries. (Psalm 34:17)
- He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4-5) 
- He will answer when you call to Him. (Jeremiah 33:3)
- You need notbe afraid. God is with you. (Isaiah 41:13)
- God will give rest to your burdened soul. (Matthew 11:28-29)
- He will comfort you. (John 14:27)
- He has given us His Spirit to guide us. (Acts 1:8)
- You will have everlasting life when you believe. (John 3:16)

ALSO, some of my own personal favorite things:

- A beautiful wife, inside and out.
- Three awesome, healthy kids, that all love Jesus.
- A hilarious family, that support me, back me,and are for me.
- Great friends.
- A church family that loves and accepts me.
- Great weather recently.
- Several large meals forthcoming.
- My oldest son, Ethan, getting Thanksgiving off (from Marine Corps training) and coming home late tonight.
- Christmas music.
- The new lobby and sweet bathrooms at church.
- A hospitality team that gets to church before I do on Sundays and makes everyone happy by preparing snacks and coffee for everyone, all with smiles on their faces the whole time.
- A worship team that works hard, and is as high-talent/low-ego as any I’ve ever known.
- An audio team that sets up on Saturday, comes early and stays late on Sunday, has the most thankless and difficult job in the building, and still seeks to serve quietly and transparently, week in and week out.
- A visual team that somehow manages to follow me during my rambling (and often incoherent) sermons, and still puts up the right slides every Sunday.
- Awesome kid’s ministry volunteers, who come early on Sundays, set up the class rooms, teach our kids straight from the Bible, clean up afterwards, and go home, all without any fanfare or acclaim. Amazing.
- Nursery workers who really love babies, and pray over them all service.
- A security team that keeps us safe, and ushers and greeters that make everyone feel at home.
- The walkway.
- Wednesday nights at Meadows, with youth, kids, and nursery volunteers who serve selflessly every week.
- Avocados.
- A church staff that loves Meadows deeply.
- A multi-generational church, with Jr. Highers worshipping alongside silver saints. So fun to be a part of.
- All the effort and time that went into making Operation Christmas Child happen here at Meadows. Through the efforts of Susan Elliott, her husband Randy, the army of volunteers serving at our collection site, and all of you bringing boxes from Meadows, we saw our church do the following:

    - pack over 26 thousand pounds of shoe-boxes onto trucks.
    - fill and pack 453 cartons, all filled with shoe-boxes.
    - receive 7,733 individual shoe-boxes from around the valley.
    - Meadows alone brought in 512 shoe-boxes! Way to go guys!

What is said in God’s Word can be trusted, and the good things in our lives are gifts from Him, even if/when other areas in our worlds get ugly. So, just like Maria, “when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad”,be encouraged to remember what God has promised to you in His Word and what He’s gifted to you everyday. 

Happy Thanksgiving!