Dear Church Family,
So, what do you write about the night before having a total knee replacement surgery? It took me awhile to decide but God prompted me to write on thankfulness.
That may seem like an odd topic right before surgery, but scripture makes it plain that we are to give thanks in ALL circumstances.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 states… “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
I have so much to be thankful for even as I approach this surgery and the weeks of rehab that follow. In this circumstance God has surrounded me with wonderful people.
My wife Paula and I have been through so much together. She is such a constant support and strength to me. God blessed me greatly when He brought her into my life. She is the perfect wife for me. Her strength and care minister to me and I am so thankful for her giving herself away to help me in my time of rehabilitation.
My family blesses me constantly. My kids and siblings care, pray, and help me in so many ways. Their unconditional love ministers to me and strengthens me as I face the many different circumstances of my life.
Our church staff gives so much and does so much behind the scenes that the ministry of Oakhill would come to a standstill if it were not for them. From administrative support to care for our areas of ministries, finances, and facilities, they serve faithfully the Lord and allow me and the other elders to continue in the work of the ministry.
Our Deacon Body consists of men who truly desire to serve the Lord and give themselves away for others. They are faithful, dedicated, and supportive. I can honestly say that I have always been blessed with great deacons at Oakhill to partner together with in ministry.
My church family has loved me faithfully for the last sixteen years. We have seen God move and do so much during that time. As God has moved, we have moved with Him. And my church family has never wavered one time. I am so thankful for your faithfulness and for all the prayers that you have sent my way in preparation for this surgery!
My fellow elders are true blessings from the Lord. Nick Kessler and Mike Schloss could not fit the role of an elder any better. They co labor with me in ministry and are loyal friends who bless me tremendously. They use their giftedness in such a skillful way as they help give leadership to our church. I am also thankful for Pastor Bryan and Pastor BVD, as we labor together day in and day out. Their love for the church and dedication to the ministry is a true blessing to me and is a wonderful blessing to our church family as well. Along with this group I need to include Dr. Todd Linn. He is not serving as an elder in our church currently, but he has served as an elder for several years in ministry before God led Todd and his wife Michele to our church. He and Michele are both faithful members to Oakhill. Todd has gone out of his way to encourage and support me. He is such a faithful preacher of the Word. I am so thankful for Todd, Bryan, and Brian filling the pulpit for me while I am out. I know the pulpit is well cared for and that God is going to be honored in the sermons that they deliver.
I could go on and on. But I need to turn in and get ready for the big day of surgery tomorrow. You know as we raise our kids, we often prompt them to say thank you to people. Occasionally I would say to my children when they were little, “now what do you say?” This was my gentle way to help teach my children manners, but also thankfulness. And there were times that I would explain to them the reason that they should say thank you. As a child they just did not understand in certain situations why they needed to be thankful. The Lord has reminded me that on the night before my surgery I need to be thankful. It is as if He prompted me by saying, “now what do you say?” Thank you!
I love you and I love being your pastor!