The Rev. Brad Bullock, pastor of the Crossing Place Church in Franklin, was the speaker at Monthly Manna for November. Since Thanksgiving was just around the corner, his message was directed towards our gratitude to God for his goodness.
The actual first Thanksgiving was a gathering of settlers and Native Americans in 1610, almost 11 years before the celebrated event at Plymouth Rock in 1621. Five kernels of corn were placed in front of each person as they gathered to give thanks. Holding a kernel of corn, each participant was required to offer five reasons to give thanks and celebrate God’s goodness.
Rev. Brad Bullock gave five kernels of corn to everyone and offered five things to be thankful for from Psalm 103.
First kernel of thanksgiving – Forgiveness – “He pardons all your sins.” Let us be thankful for God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, for he paid a debt that we could never repay. We have all been made clean by the Blood of Christ.
Second kernel of thanksgiving – Healing - :He heals all your ills.” God cares about our well being. Brother Brad’s six-year-old daughter was in the hospital battling an infection that was going to require surgery. Believing in God’s healing power he asked his congregation to pray for his daughter. The surgeon decided against surgery and started the young girl on medication. Within three days she recovered. Was it God’s healing power or was it the God-given knowledge to the surgeon? At the end of the day it didn’t matter to Brother Brad. What did matter was that the child had recovered – she was healed. “God heals all our ills.”
Third kernel of thanksgiving – God gives us a second chance – “He delivers your life from the pit.” In the Old Testament, David is considered a great king. But King David had some serious offenses in his life: an affair with a married woman and placing the woman’s husband on the frontline in battle so that he would be killed in action. But David repented of his sinfulness and praised God for giving him a second chance. Let us be thankful for God offers us a second chance to turn from our wrongdoing.
Fourth kernel of thanksgiving – He surrounds us with love and compassion. If we had to sum up with one sentence the message of the Bible it would have to be, “For God so loved world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16) It may seem childlike but “Jesus loves me this I know, because the Bible tells me so.” We need to be grateful for God’s love.
Fifth kernel of thanksgiving -
– He fills our days with good things. Every good thing comes from God. But we focus too much on the negative things happening in our lives that we often fail in giving thanks for all of God’s wonderful gifts. Our life is like a train track – one rail the good things – the other rail the bad. Even though they are parallel to one another we tend to look only at the negative. God fills our days with good things. Bless the Lord, my soul!
With mixed feelings of gratitude and sadness, we wish to inform everyone that Monthly Manna is coming to a close with December 14, 2011 as the last gathering for this South Region Pastoral Council event. While attendance has decreased significantly over the past year, we are happy to report that since Monthly Manna began on February 16, 2005 this ecumenical lunchtime speaker series has served over 4,000 Christians with over 80 gatherings and over 70 different speakers. Praise the Lord! We can definitely call this project a success!
We thank all those who participated in any way and sincerely hope you were given “monthly manna” to help live your faith in your daily life. We also, thank the churches who faithfully supported and promoted this event throughout the years – we thank Dottie Broussard who furnished the door prizes – Rodger and Margaret Robinson who videoed each program – Franklin Banner for featuring an article on Manna each month – and last but certainly not least, we thank Al Kuhlman of the Forest Restaurant in Franklin for allowing us to use his facility and for all those who cooked and served the delicious meals.
As one door closes, so another will open. We are certain God will direct us to another means of bringing His Word, love and fellowship to our faith-filled community in the South Region. So stay tuned!
Please join us for this last program Wednesday, Dec. 14, when our speaker will be Fr. Eugene Tremie, pastor of St. Marcellus Church in Rynella. Gathering begins at 11 a.m. and lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. for $10 per person. The presentation begins at 12 p.m.