Thankful

Thankful

DonaldThe attitude of gratitude fills this time of the year. From “Pastor’s appreciation” in October to the great holiday of Thanksgiving in November, this is the season to express appreciation and gratitude.

Being thankful is definitely a common theme in scripture, either as blind omission or an essential quality to the life and worship of the people of God. Gratitude is peppered throughout the Psalms as a virtue. It is interwoven into the Apostle Paul’s letters.

I love the ancient biblical concept of “The Feast of Tabernacles” or “Sukkot.” Sometimes it is referred to as “The Feast of Booths.” It is a time to remember God’s provision in the wilderness. Even today Jewish families will build a little hut, decorate them, eat their meals in them, sometimes-even sleep in them. It is a time and a place to remember God’s provision from Egypt to the Promise Land and to be thankful for the blessings He provides today. The idea is to celebrate the God who makes us flourish.

If I were to build such a booth, here is what I would put in it…

A sign on the front that says, Life is a gift. Too often we view life as a reward. At the heart of many personal problems and difficulties is this attitude of entitlement. It has been ingrained in most of us – “we deserve it!” A life of entitlement is measured by performance and our achievement. It can quickly lead to a sad life, strained and desperate. The truth is our life and everything in it is a gift – a gift given by a good and gracious Father who loves us. When we remember life is a gift, our striving gives way to contentment and peace.

I would fill this hut with a collection of stories, not stuff. Though we have a tendency to fill most of our lives with the endless pursuit of more stuff, Thanksgiving brings me back to the simple fact that my priceless treasures are relationships, friends and family. Author Amy Bloom reminds us that without stories, our houses are filled with “pretty, pointless, expensive things.”

Some scholars suggest there was a strong possibility that Jesus was born during this time of the year. That it is around this Feast when God came and dwelt (tabernacled) among us. And until He comes again and we reach our Promised Land, we have His constant provision. So until then – Be thankful!

Follow the Son,

Don
State Pastor

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Ministerial Christmas Dinner

The dinner was December 3 at Mountain Park Community Church. It was a great evening, celebrating the Christmas season.

A time of roller skating was had by all

Allan brings a Christmas message

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AYC Winter Camp

Mark your calendars for 2016 Arizona Youth Camp (formerly Winter Blast) at Lost Canyon Camp in Williams, AZ. Students in grades 6-12 are invited to join in this life-changing weekend, filled with fun, worship, and challenging messages!

AYC will be February 12-15, 2016 and Zane Black will be our speaker.
This weekend costs $179  which includes lodging for three nights and seven meals.
If you would like to receive information about registering your group, please contact Kayla Harden.

Below are photos from last year’s camp!

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How to Contact Don

If you wish to contact Don by email you may do so at don.d@azchog.org.
Or you may call him at <480-387-7787<.

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