Next week is THANKSGIVING! When I think about Thanksgiving, this one particular passage always comes to mind:  Luke 17:11-19, “As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”  And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!”  He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?  Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

“Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?” – piercing words from Jesus.  It’s sad to say, but sometimes it seems as though the statistics (1 out of 10) haven’t changed that much.  Which group would you be in?  Would you be with the nine, the majority, who wanted and received a great blessing from God, but refused to give Him thanks?  Or would you be like the one, who knew he had been greatly blessed, who recognized it came from the Lord, and who personally made the effort to give Him thanks?

There was an old chorus we used to sing years ago simply entitled, “Give Thanks.”  It went like this, “Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.  And now let the weak say, ‘I am strong’, Let the poor say, ‘I am rich, Because of what the Lord has done for us’, Give thanks.”

I can think of no greater reason to be thankful – “because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.”  How are you expressing your thanks?  I’m sure the nine lepers were glad they were healed, but remember, only one actually made a physical effort to express it.  When we gather together (online or in-person) to worship God on Sunday mornings and God asks, “Where are the others?  Weren’t they all blessed?” which group are you in?  When we remember the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf by taking the Lord’s Supper and God asks, “Where are the others?  Didn’t my Son die for them all?” which group are you in?  When we take up our offering to reach our community and world for Christ and God asks, “Where is the rest?  Haven’t they all been blessed?” which group are you in?  When ministry opportunities arise and God asks, “Where are the others?” which group are you in?  When God sees so many people who need someone to build a friendship with them, to reach out to them, to invite them to a church or a LIFE Group, and yet He sees only a very few doing it and He asks, “Where are the others?” which group are you in?

Let’s do our best to be in the group that expresses our thanks with every aspect of our lives.  And let’s be like the one who was healed who “fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done.

Have a great Friday!  Hope to see you Sunday morning for worship, in-person or online, 9:30am & 11:15am!  Whether you are in-person or online don’t forget to “share” our services on Facebook.  And if you are online, don’t forget to join me about 10 minutes before the service for our little “pre-service show”!  Oh and speaking of Sunday services, there will only be one in-person service on Sunday, November 29th (the Sunday after Thanksgiving) at 9:30am.

Giving Thanks for You Always!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

  1. Upcoming Outreach Projects:
    Coastal is constantly and continually engaged in being the hands and feet of Jesus in our community.  Here are this week’s opportunities! 
    Lowcountry Orphan Relief –  Today Friday, November 20th from 9am-11am we’re sending a team to serve.  We meet at 1850 Truxton Ave in North Charleston.
    Suburban Hotel Tailgate –  Tomorrow, Saturday, November 21st from 10am-1pm we’re sending a Tailgate Team who will provide grilled burgers and hot dogs for those in need. We meet at Coastal in the Welcome Center! This is a project that is suitable for the whole family.
    Tricounty Family Ministries –  We will be assisting with a special Thanksgiving Meal Preparation and Distribution, Tuesday November 24th & Wednesday, November 25th, from 9am until 12noon.
    If you are interested in serving in any of these projects, you can sign up on your Connect Card this Sunday.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613. 
  2. We announced our Annual Christmas Offering last week! Our goal is $75,000!  Now through the second Sunday of the New Year, January 10th (8 weeks), we are encouraging our entire Coastal family to give above and beyond their regular tithes and offering to this year’s Christmas Offering.  To give, all you have to do is designate your gift “Christmas” on your check, offering envelope, card swiping “description”, online through Paypal, or TEXTing (843-277-8337).  You can give your gift during these 8 weeks at any of our regular Sunday morning services or anytime through TEXTing, our website, or our App.  You might also consider giving it all at once during one of our 3 Christmas Eve Services (Thursday, December 24th, 3pm, 4:30pm, & 6pm).  Our entire Christmas Eve offering will go toward our Annual Christmas Offering. |

    So what are we going to do with that $75,000?  Mainly 3 things: 1. We’re going to fully fund our 2 current monthly Tailgate Parties where we feed hundreds of people each month.  2. We’re going to buy a “Box Truck”!  We’re super pumped about all the outreach possibilities of this truck – equipment and supply transportation for the tailgate parties, advertising for the church, disaster relief, community events, and more.   3. We’re going to purchase indoor and outdoor playground equipment for our new Children’s facility.  So, start praying about what you and your family can give toward this offering.  Remember, this offering should be over and above what you regularly give.  If you’re not regularly giving (weekly, monthly), use this time of year and this offering to start.  If you’re not tithing (10% of your gross income), step out in faith and start tithing.  Reaching this goal will be a celebration of what God can do through our church as together we stretch our faith.  Again, simply use the the keyword “Christmas” whenever and however you give toward the Christmas Offering.
  3. As we quickly approach the end of our Fall Semester of LIFE Groups, we are beginning to prepare for the next semester in the new year.  If you are possibly interested in leading or assisting a LIFE Group in 2021, please let us know.  You don’t have to have it all figured out yet – study, day, time, location, style (in-person/online) – we’re just curious if you’re interested.  If you are, please reach out to Pastor Scott Huff or simply respond to this email.
  4. Our “Christmas at Coastal” series kicks off on Sunday, December 6th!  We’ll have 3 special Christmas Eve services on Thursday, December 24th at 3pm, 4:30pm, and 6pm.  Coastal Volunteers make sure you reach out to your Ministry Team Leaders about signing up to serve.  Most importantly, be praying about who you will invite and bring.  Also, please make note that the Sunday after Christmas (December 27th), services will be online only – no in-person services.
  5. Christmas at the Suburban Hotel!  On Saturday, December 19th, 9am-1pm, Coastal is going to throw an Outdoor Christmas Party & Traditional Holiday Meal for all the folks at the Suburban!  We need your help to prepare, provide, and serve an outdoor meal for the transitional residents complete with a lit Christmas Tree, holiday music, wrapped gifts, and holiday themed blessing bags!  Sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday or contact Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613 for more details.

    P.S. Don’t forget that during construction Coastal Kidz is meeting across the street (where most of you park) at Orange Grove Middle School! We set up Coastal Kidz every Saturday morning at 8:30am.  We would LOVE for you to join us!  If you are interested in being a part of the Coastal Kidz Set-Up Team, respond to this email or reach out to Janet Rollins at 843-442-8299 or just show up on Saturday morning.  Volunteering even just once a month makes a huge IMPACT!