It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Oasis! Amazing things are happening on the property even as I type this email. Our volunteers and staff have done an incredible job of preparing for this year’s annual community Christmas light display. I can't thank each of you enough that have contributed hours, sweat and resources to making this year’s Christmas Outreach the best yet. Butttttttt isn’t it Thanksgiving? Yes, but it’s also Christmas season! Are you conflicted? Of course you are if you live in America. And I won’t even mention Black Friday. YUCK times two! (BTW if you want to recover from Black Friday and stuffing, you can join our Christmas team and volunteers on Saturday from 9-1pm as we continue to finish the decorating on the Pines campus.)
But it’s Thanksgiving. What else could we talk about on Thanksgiving? While I am disappointed by the deterioration of our nation’s morals and the decline in the Judeo/Christian basis of what our Country and constitution is based on, I am THANKFUL WE STILL HAVE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND AS A COUNTRY STILL TAKE ONE DAY A YEAR TO BE THANKFUL (See my P.S. below for a short video on how you can live out your thankful spirit this season).
As a country, a church, and families, we have so much to be thankful for. With all the Christmas Spirit all over our Oasis Campus at this moment, I want to stop right now and just remind us what a great God we have and how full of grace and love He is in our lives, our church and our families.
This Thanksgiving is even more special for Tonia and I as we are spending it in the Orlando area with two of three sons (we are going to be missing our youngest, Corey, and his dear family in NYC) 3 of our grandchildren, a beautiful daughter-in-law and both Tonia's parent's and my mom. This is a gift that no money can buy. I am so grateful to God we are all gathering around one big table on Thursday and giving God thanks together. Even if you do not have your family this Thanksgiving, I hope you gathered with friends or someone who does not have family or friends and gave thanks together.
As Oasis Family, will you join me not only in Thanksgiving, but also prayer for those who will shed tears of loneliness, physical illness or loss of a loved one since last year? Let us not forget that in our abundance of blessings there are others for whom this season is actually more painful this year.
I am thankful for Oasis Church and your love for each other and the hurting here and in other countries. I am thankful for the most incredible Staff Team that any Pastor could ever hope for. They amaze me daily, not only with their passion and their talents, but their love for you, Oasis Church, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am most thankful for God’s grace and love that has been poured out on me through His salvation and the day-to-day care He gives.
As I close, I want to leave you with what has become my traditional reading around our Thanksgiving Table each year since my sons were in Kindergarten and memorized it. Psalms 100.
P.S. Briefly, I would like to remind you that as we give thanks, we have the chance to not just say we are thankful but to practice it – like I said last weekend, "Be like Jesus" by living it out by giving to those who are not as fortunate. Please pledge one or ten TREES to our hurting families this Christmas for our "Trees of Hope" Outreach to the hurting, jobless, single parents and others who will be blessed to get a free live tree with lights and all next week. We still NEED 350 partners toward our 500 to be able to underwrite the entire Outreach. What better way to show our Thankfulness than to give back? You can do it online here, 24/7, or bring your filled-out pledge card this weekend at the service. You can give anytime in the next couple weeks. But we want to have all 500 trees pledged by the end of this Thanksgiving weekend.
Posted on Thu, November 27, 2014
by Oasis Team