For all of AC3, from the newest guest to the seasoned staff and board, the Elders would all like to offer you some thankful thoughts this holiday. 1 Peter 5:2-3 says, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them-not because you must but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve.” As the Elders are called upon to be shepherds of the flock, we recognize a shepherd without a flock is nothing. It is with humble hearts we wish to acknowledge and thank all of you.
Thankful Thoughts from Rick
Contentment begins to happen through thankfulness. I begin to see all of life through the lenses of God’s ownership of everything. Contentment begins by rejecting the idea that what I have is all mine and all self-achieved. Contentment begins by accepting that there is nothing I have I did not receive.
But further, contentment hangs on not only the gratitude for all I have been given, it hangs on a secret ability to enjoy what has been given. Who holds the key to that secret? Eccl. 2:17-26
- Therefore, I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind. I hated all my work at which I labored under the sun because I must leave it to the man who comes after me. …This too is futile.
- [Therefore]…There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and to enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God’s hand. For who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from Him?
Mere accumulation is meaningless for developing contentment, the Preacher says. This does not mean God does not allow us to accumulate. He does. Yet the greatest gift, is the ability to enjoy what God has given. Many who have the former do not have the latter.
I pose this question to you AC3, God gives first the gift and second, the ability to enjoy the gift. Which is greater?
It is with great joy I say to you AC3 thank you for allowing me and the elders the honor to serve.
Thankful Thoughts from Dea
Twenty years ago, this very month Lee and I went under the waters of baptism. Clearly, that day changed the trajectory of our lives. The way we approached our marriage and our extended families, the way in which we raised our young children, and the way we handled our finances (eventually) shifted from the perspective of selfishness to selflessness. This shift did not occur overnight. I am sure in our early days as young Christians it was hard to distinguish us from our unbelieving neighbors. But Scripture promises us that like babies who crave spiritual milk we too will grow in our faith and seek out a more satisfying state of being.
The Bible reassures us that though we start out rough around the edges of our faith God will be refining us as we walk in step with him. 1 Peter 2:1-3 states, Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
In whatever fashion Thanksgiving 2020 is celebrated I pray it is with a grateful heart. When we gather at the table even if it’s not the table we had envisioned for this year, let us be mindful of the state of being that glorifies God. Life has bombarded many of us with challenging situations this year. We have walked through some dark valleys and there is no timetable for when or even if the threat of COVID will become a distant memory.
What we can hold onto…
What we can hold onto is that still small voice that whispers through the storm. 1 Kings 19:11-12 reminds us 11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
I urge you AC3, that you seek out the gentle whisper. With emphasis I implore you to search for the beauty from the ashes. I encourage you to glean from the trials. Reflect that you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior. Humble yourselves as you draw near to our Lord. Make a point to rest in His promises and petition His presence. Commit to loving God our good, good Father with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind. In the maturing of our faith, we will count our blessings and taste that the Lord is good.
Happy Thanksgiving 2020
Thankful Thoughts from Christian
When I was first approached about being nominated for elder at AC3, I was unsure of what to think. Two days later I was approached again by someone completely different, I began to see there was a pattern forming. There are no coincidences…God has something to do with it. It was when a third mention came, from my wife, I decided to answer the call. God had something for me, and who am I to refuse Him to which I owe all thanks.
I quickly discovered He wanted me to grow, to act, and to do so in a way which is loving and humble. AC3, it is not a service I begrudge, actually I embrace it for as long as God wants me here. It is an honor and a privilege to know each of you, to seek God’s will for AC3.
AC3 is not my church, or the elders church, or even all of our church; it is God’s Church. I am thankful for each and every member, guest, staff, and the board members. I am thankful for the team of elders with which I get to serve, I am thankful for my family who are always in my corner. But most of all I am thankful for the God who loves me and all of us so much.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, AC3.
With Love and Thankfulness Christian
Thankful Thoughts from Wayne
Today much like every day for me lately I am running through my thoughts, the names and faces of people I have met in this journey called life. I have so much gratitude for my AC3 family and I find it difficult to find words that adequately express my feelings about you all.
Over the years I have experienced many of my deepest most intimate, spiritual and emotional moments with the body of the church present and participating in the moment that it cannot be separated from who I am. In my heart I am eternally grateful for you who have prayed with me and for me.
I am grateful for each gift you have put into practice with the expansion of the Kingdom of God in mind. Because of your faithfulness my faith increases. My heart is thankful for every one of you who have endured trials and not fallen away or abandoned the faith we have in Jesus. Your lives are a testimony of encouragement for me and my family members.
I am grateful for the kindness and authenticity you express to one another and to me. Your transparent lives make me, and others feel safe and accepted. And I know I am not enduring this crazy world alone. How do I know that this is so? Because of the time you have given up so that we could come together in many places.
Sometimes gathering with with me and with God’s family. Other times I hear of your loving interaction with your neighbors and community to lift their spirits and help them know they are not enduring this season alone. The visits, the live streaming. The prayers, phone calls texts and messages. The zoom meetings, emails, and the snail mail letter. The grocery drops and meals on wheels. I am thankful for each one of you. My heart rejoices in the stories of your loving kindness. I am most thankful for the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit, God’s mercy and his grace, then my family, and my church.
I find myself amazed by you and I give thanks for all you do.
With Sincere Gratitude,
Thankful Thoughts for James
As I (Christian) sit down to write this on behalf of James, I realize the very reason I am doing so is because of his servants’ heart. James has had a full week and was unable to get to writing. Serving his work role, while longing to write this. Life balance is hard for all of us.
James is always highly thankful for all who God has placed at AC3. He is thankful for the privilege to serve as elder, for the honor of working for God’s church, and the chance to be God’s hands. It is with full acknowledgement James recognizes and is thankful for family, friends, community, and especially God.
With James’ Deepest Thanks
A Big Thank You
AC3, thank you! Thank you for being the flock God has called together in this place. We thank you for adapting with us, growing with us, and even lamenting with us.
Looking forward to serving with and for you. Thankful thoughts for all you are, all you do, and all God has in store for us.
Happy Thanksgiving AC3
Your Elder Team