Author: rtnatlanta

Pastor Bill’s 101 Reasons

44247-happythanksgiving.1100w.tn“IN ALL THINGS GIVE THANKS….”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I challenged our church this season to come up with 100 reasons to be thankful. Surprisingly, some of our visitors told me about their lists before our members. Nonetheless, there are a million reasons to be thankful this season. This challenge was to encourage us to sit for a few minutes and give thanks to our Creator for all He does for us.

So here is my list broken down…

1-5… My Faith in The Lord Jesus
His life – He fulfilled God’s righteous requirements for my benefit
His death – He willingly embraced the cross for my salvation
His Resurrection- He conquered death to empower us for life and death His Grace – It’s what calls me to him every day
His Holy Spirit – His Conviction, Encouragement, and life in me

6-18…My Family
Counting brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and of course parents.

19…My Country – The United States of America

20…Housing – Lord, watch over those in our world and country without homes today.

21…Food – I had more than I needed yesterday!!

22-23…Water
Access – Over 2 billion people in the world still do not have access to clean drinking water
Hot Water – Try taking a cold shower this January for a month

24-28…Health
Though I do not hear well I still have all five senses! I met someone this year without the sense of smell…

30-32…Freedom
-Freedom of Worship
Freedom of Expression and Speech Freedom to Vote
Freedom to Protect Myself and Family

33-35…Security
Local Police – Yes, they do protect us
Firemen
Armed Forces and Military

36-38…Communication
Mail and Postmen
Cell Phones
Email

39-43…Clothing
Shoes
Pants and Shirts Gloves
Jackets
Hats
Socks

44…Job – The US has more jobs than unemployed people. I’m thankful I can work.

 

45…Transportation – I know hundreds who do not have a car and I see how difficult it can be here without one

46. Friends
47…Bed- I’ve slept in all kinds of places in this world…Yeah, I’m thankful for my bed!

48-51…Education
Someone taught me how to read
Someone taught me how to write
Someone taught me the basics…math, science, history, language
Someone is there to teach me more. I’m thankful that education is accessible in this country.

52…Church – RTN is an incredible place. I’m thankful however, for more than that as I have brothers and sisters across the world that pray for me, encourage me, and give me a place to serve.

APTOPIX California Wildfires

Remembering those now homeless in California and Florida

53…The Word of God – There are still thousands and thousands that do not have access to a Bible. Thank God for ministries like The Gideons International, Wycliffe Bible Translastors, and others who make God’s Word accessible.

54…Evangelism – There are millions of people living today that have never heard the gospel and do not have access to hear it.

55-66…Creation
The gift of colors – Imagine how boring life would be…
Mountains
Rivers
Gardens – How awesome is it that we can grow food and plants!
Sunrises and Sunsets
Full Moons
Stars
Trees
Oceans
Coolness of Fall
Warmth of Spring
Beasts, Birds, Fish, Insects

67-70… My Experiences
Places, States, and Countries where I’ve beenPeople I’ve met….Some I’ll never ever forget!

Struggles and Trials I’ve been through…they’ve built my character and strengthened my faith
Miracles that I’ve seen – Yes, my God does perform miracles

71-74… Financial Hope
I can pay my bills
Health Insurance – I don’t have to think twice if I need to see a doctor yet many still do
Gov’t Assistance – No, I don’t need it or use it but if I do I’m blessed to live in a land where it’s accessible
Advisors – I’m blessed with people who don’t want to take my money but help me make it and manage it!

75-77…Medicine
Access – We have access to it and millions do not
Doctors – I’ve been to places where you’re on your own!
Hospitals – People die everyday for lack of hospitals, surgeries, and the care they provide

78-83…Electricity
Refrigeration – I almost died b/c of the lack!
Microwaves – Who doesn’t like a warm meal
Washers and Driers – I’ve had to do it by hand before and millions still do Coffee Pots -I think you know…
Indoor Lighting
Power Outlets

84-87…Sanitation
Indoor Plumbing and City Facilities – Our sink waste, trash, recyclables, and other stuff all gets managed
Toilets – 2.3 billion do not have access to a toilet…you could have been one
Toilet Paper – Ever heard not to shake with your left hand…
Soap – Thousands died from Ebola simply b/c they did not have hand soap or sanitizer

88-90…Media and Information
Internet – We have the world and it’s history at our fingertips
Television
Libraries –

91-95… Abundance and Choice
I choose what I want to eat everyday I choose what I wear every day
I choose my career path
I choose who and if I want to marry
I choose where I get to live

 

96-100…Law and Order
Checks and Balances – Our president good or bad is held accountable in the end Courts and Justice – It’s not perfect but it’s good
Food Regulations
Businesses Regulations
That new law about telemarketers!

101…Diversity – Believe me, it would be boring if we were all the same. I’m thankful for all I’ve learned and overcome from interactions with different races, cultures, and religions.

I wonder how many thousands before they got up on Black Friday said thank you to their Creator. It’s probably good for those businesses that many did not! The truth is we are so blessed to have what we have.  I believe the more we give thanks the more content we are with what we have and the more we will give to those who don’t.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to stop and give thanks this season!

 

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Giving back

IMG_4839The Stone Mountain Baptist Association has taken part in the Southern Baptist disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. The people in some of the areas affected by the hurricane were without clean water to drink, so the association asked for the churches within the association to collect water. The people of our church came together and collected almost 20 cases of water! Many of the people in ourIMG_6014 church were once victims and are now in a position to give back and empower others who now find themselves victims of a horrible tragedy. We are excited and beaming with pride that our church members are willing to be so generous in helping with the disaster relief efforts.

Fathers and Sons

 

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On Saturday, October 20, Brewton Parker College came to Clarkston for the weekend. They brought with them ten young men who helped host a father-son event for the men in our church. They hiked up Stone Mountain together, grilled hamburgers at the base of the mountain, and made slingshots together. Those who attended had a great time, and we were excited to provide an opportunity for the fathers in our church to pour into their sons. Our church has many incredible44381668_2165621557039370_7026589255287701504_n.jpg men who are amazing fathers to their sons, but with the work schedules that come with the jobs many of these men have, sometimes quality time is difficult to come by. Some men in our church are looking for new jobs because the jobs they currently have take time from what they know is important time to spend raising their children. The men in our church recognize the vital importance a father plays in the life of his child. We hope you will join us in praying for our fathers to have opportunities to spend time with their families and raise them up in the ways of the Lord.

Taking Ownership

IMG_5632Over the weekend of October 6-8, the RTN leadership team took a trip up to Helen, Georgia for a retreat. During the retreat, the leadership team had opportunities to fellowship and grow in their relationships with each other. This included a trip into Helen and a hike to a waterfall. The theme of this year’s retreat was ownership. Each session focused on opportunities for the team to take ownership of what Reach the Nations is doing in the community and what God wants to do in and through them. Each family returned home with a cactus. Like our ministry, if the cactus is not nurtured and cared for, it will fail to thrive. Overall the results of the retreat were above and beyond what we could have hoped. Our team is already asking when the next retreat will be with great anticipation.IMG_5571

Gilliam Springs Baptist Church

The heart of this team has shown from the minute they stepped off the bus. After engaging in the orientation and driving tour, they were ready to go for an evening prayer walk. The team split up and enjoyed walking around meeting people and seeing our different places of ministry. Another group of them went to our Wednesday night Bible Study to learn music for church on Sunday. Landon led debrief that evening where everyone talked about what they did that day and what exactly God showed them.

The next morning started with more prayer walking and preparing for the Hindu Temple tour. They went in with prayerful hearts ready for the service. It broke their hearts to see all of these people worshiping false gods but the team was able to prayer that the one true God would reach their hearts and make Himself known to the Hindu people. For their service project that afternoon they helped work with the leasing office in our complex by picking up trash. After dinner a large group went to help Pastor Bill at his garden while others went to visit church members and others to play soccer. They all came back in the evening with stories to tell and testimonies of God’s love.

The next morning went very similarly with prayer, service projects, gardening and visits. Saturday was a day for Back2School school supply handouts. The team prepared the bags for the children in our church and went out to deliver them. Everyone was so grateful for his or her gifts. After lunch they went out to have a free day and some time at Stone Mountain. The next morning they came to help us set up for church and have a time of debrief before service. This team was full of love, prayer, and energy. Thanks for your service to our community and church! We can’t wait to see you again!