Dear Coastal,

I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!  Words can not express the deep gratitude I feel for you!  It is an honor to be your Pastor.

One passage of scripture always come to mind when I think about Thanksgiving – 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 lepers 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, their leprosy disappeared.  One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God, I’m healed!”  He fell face down on 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?  Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?”  And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has made you well.”

“Didn’t I heal ten men?  Where are the other nine?”  It’s sad to say, but sometimes it seems as though the statistics 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 didn’t give thanks? Or would you be like the one, who knew he had been greatly blessed, who recognized it came from Jesus, and who personally made the effort to thank Him?

Let’s 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 “praised God in a loud voice” and who “threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him.”

Father thank You for loving me and saving me in spite of who I am!  Thank You for Jesus!  Thank You for Your grace and patience.  Thank You for the best life I could ever imagine.  Thank You for my beautiful wife Janet.  She is my best friend.  She is the best wife and mother I could ever imagine.  In her, You gave me more than I could ever ask, dream, or imagine.  Father, thank You for Lydia and Christopher.  Seeing them grow to know and love You and others is the joy of my life.  I am so proud of who they are and who they are becoming.  Thank You for some of the best friends a guy could or should ever have – friends that I could call at 3 in the morning and they would drop everything and be here.  Thank You for Coastal Community Church!  It has been the adventure of a lifetime and I truly believe the best is yet to come!  Thank You for allowing me to preach Your Word, shepherd Your flock, lead and serve Your people, and cast Your vision.  I am Your unworthy servant.  Thank You for the hope of heaven.  I can’t wait for the day when You call me home or when the sky splits, the trumpet sounds, I bow my knee, cry out, “Jesus is Lord,” and get to see Jesus face to face!  And thank You that in the meantime You allow me to share Jesus with the world around me!

If you and your family are in town, we would love to see you at Coastal on Sunday!  This is a great time of the year to come back to church!  On Sunday, December 6th, we kick off our Christmas series, “Presence.”  Take advantage of this season and this series and invite your friends to church!

I love you and thank God for you every day!

Pastor Chris (friend me on facebook)

P.S. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you download Coastal’s app!  Go to your app store and search for Coastal Community Church, Charleston.  You’ll see our logo.  It’s a great way to listen to messages, keep up with events, and share the good news with your friends!