Binding Everything Together in Perfect Harmony

The house is quiet this morning, so I just wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I’m looking forward to a wonderful day of spending time with family & friends, and reading Shinichi Suzuki’s classic book on Talent Education, Nurtured By Love. It’s great so far!

This week I have been reminded powerfully of what can be accomplished when God’s people give action to Love. On Tuesday, volunteers from at least 20 local churches pitched in to help deliver more than 16,000 hot turkey dinners to people all over Putnam County. This is something our church calls “Feeding the Multitudes”. In just four years, God has grown this ministry from feeding 1,000 people out of the vision of some of our members, to partnering with churches around our county (and with the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief Task Force) to expand our reach exponentially!

It is our prayer that many who received meals would be blessed with the knowledge that they are loved by Jesus Christ, and by His Church! I can’t wait to see what this annual undertaking will look like in a few more years… but here are a couple pictures of what it looked like Tuesday:

One of the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief Kitchen Support Units, set up in our church parking lot to cook a TON of turkeys! These guys are all volunteers, but they are truly professionals. I couldn't believe how smoothly the whole operation went!

Here is a crew from early in the day, boxing dinners in our Fellowship Hall. This year, SSBC was just one of many distribution hubs set up around the county. The logistics of getting all the food and people to the right place at the right time was astounding, but thanks to some very dedicated staff and volunteers, it went off pretty much without a hitch.

It was such a blessing to be able to take part in this! Nearly everyone seemed to be excited about it. I say nearly, because someone had the audacity to chastise me at a coffee shop because he believed this was a “waste of God’s money”. After all, he said, with the same amount of resources and effort that fed 16,000 people in Cookeville, how many could we have fed in a third world country?

I realize that people love to complain about anything the Church does, but really? You’re going to complain about this? I’m not going to answer this increasingly common utilitarian argument with a detailed response right now (though I did have a great conversation with him at the time). Instead, let me offer a counter question: How could we meet physical and spiritual needs across the ocean (also a major emphasis of our congregation) with integrity and a good conscience if we ignored the needs in our own back yard? Thankfully, God does not ask us to choose between meeting needs at home or abroad.

Enough of that, though. This is a day for thanksgiving, and my heart is filled with it. This is my first Thanksgiving with Carrie, my third with Nate, and my fifth with Laurie. May the Lord so greatly bless you and keep you, as well!

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17)

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