October 29, 2023 – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

“In everything, give thanks.”, the Apostle Paul tells us. How hard this is to do. The daily pressures of life and constant distractions easily lead us away from thanksgiving. Re-centering our lives in gratitude each day can change the way we live and see the world.


  1. Craig,

    First of all I would like to thank you and Bettina for hosting our group of 8 on 10/22/2023. It was a joy to be in your home and experience a relaxed evening of community and fellowship. I know am not alone in my gratitude to God for calling both of you to FFMC. My consistent prayers are with both of you as you continue to live Glorified, Glorying, and sharing God’s abundant Grace as you encourage many of us “to set our hearts right so we can set the world right”(NTWright).

    Now, about the podcast….
    Another thank you for your thoughtful reflections in Passages. The episodes have both challenged and encouraged me in my faith walk. I found this week anchoring me again in the knowledge that “I am perfectly safe, even if the ship sinks”, Dallas Willard 1999 Divine Conspiracy Conference. These last 10 days have been rough for me. I’m happy to share the long story of my health journey at some point but for now I will focus more recent days. Like you, I received a difficult medical diagnosis a couple days ago stacked on several other issues discovered during appointments and labs that were chasing something totally different. It was unexpected the doctor (and me).It will take some time to unpack. It is not cancer. More about that later.

    More importantly, this week’s podcast has focused me on that which is good. As I list my woes in one column and evidence of God’s faithfulness next to it, I am able to cement myself into the assurance that fear will not control my thoughts or my future. Instead of focusing on the anxiety creating ‘rough seas’ around me I am open to wonder, surprises, and the movement of the Spirit, which offers a calm beyond my understanding. Thank you!

    Also, I am thoroughly enjoying NT Wright’s “Into The Heart Of Romans”! Definitely a good way to open ourselves to new understanding of old interpretations of Paul’s message. Yet another way to experience the wonder and order of God in a confusing and messy world.

    One more thing…I think I mentioned the Holy Post podcast last Saturday. This week I’ve been enjoying some of the discussions (and the humor) in recent episodes. I thought of our table talk last week as I listened to them discuss the effectiveness of humor and sometimes lack of humor in our Christian communities. If you have time and haven’t already found HP you might check it out.

    May your participation in the Kingdom calling of helping us be ‘Image Bearers of God’ be God fueled!


    • Sally,

      Thanks for this rich response. I am sorry that you are facing new challenges to your health. In our shared journey with the Lord, there is strength from sharing our stories. Thanks for sharing a bit of yours. I welcome hearing more.

      It seems this sermon series on gratitude was well-timed for me! I am blessed to know that it is speaking to you as well. God is good. Easy to say…sometimes harder to trust.


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