Pastor's Notes

The Thanksgiving Mistake

November 22, 2016

Words cannot express my heartfelt thanks for all you do and for who you are! I experienced and am deeply appreciative of the heartfelt gifts of Pastor Appreciation Month. However, the unrelenting Mission Spirit of Glen Alpine is overwhelming. The many mission projects have drawn more to being used for His purpose. I understand the Peanut production had many workers this year. The loving work done at Shades of Grace is always life-changing. The Food Ministry had a significant number of volunteers. The Prayer Shawl Dedication was compelling. No matter what we are involved in, God multiplies in ways we may never know. I share a story (Author Unknown) I picked up a few years ago. May each of you have a most blessed Thanksgiving!

Richie

THE THANKSGIVING MISTAKE [author unknown]

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." [James 1:12 NIV]

My Mother's father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to orphanages in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what had happened. The glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression was at its height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. "It's not fair," he told God as he drove home in frustration. "I've been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this."

Months later, the director of the orphanage was on a furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that support him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather's small church in Chicago. The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. "But most of all," he said, "I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way to replacing those glasses."

"Along with not being able to see well," the speaker went on to explain, "I experienced headaches every day. My co-workers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top." The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: "Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that."

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas. But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

There are times we want to blame God instead of thanking him! Perhaps it is something we ought to try more often, "Thank you God for not allowing my car to start this morning." He may have been saving your life from a car accident. "Lord Jesus, thank you for letting me lose my glasses; I'm sure they'll be put to good use or there is a lesson to be learned."

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