As inspired by something I saw on another website a few days ago, I would like to take a moment to give thanks for some of the churches with whom I am no longer in fellowship. Though, for one reason or another, I may have left that particular church, from each have I grown spiritually.
For St. Joseph Catholic Church, I give thanks for teaching me the awe, majesty, and mystery of Christianity, and for giving me my first exposure to ministering to others.
For my college time wandering in the spiritual wilderness of agnostism and Deism, I give thanks for showing me that evolution and science on its own cannot explain those things that we know to be true in our hearts, and for giving me a better appreciation for the wonder of God's creation.
For University Baptist Church, I give thanks for grounding me as a young believer in the basics of the faith and the Bible.
For Oak Bowery Baptist Church, I give thanks for learning to love and respect the Scripture, and for officiating my baptism and marriage.
For Oasis Church, I give thanks for learning to simplify my life and my first serious exposure to leading ministries, as a pastoral advisor, a financial representative, and a small group leader.
And for my current church--Grace Church--I give many thanks. For it is here that my family is finally being challenged with the "meat" of our faith that Paul describes in his letters. It is here that we have seen our children grow spiritually far beyond what we could have ever imagined possible in merely a year. And it is here that we have found like-minded believers--committed, intelligent, faithful, real, and open-minded.
Above all, thanks to God. Thanks for seeing what was needed for my growth and my family's growth. Thanks for leading us each step of the way, and I trust always that You will continue to grow us spiritually.
Amen. Happy Thanksgiving to all.