Every Thursday I’ll send a note to your inbox with a devotional thought designed to help connect you with God, information about what’s going on at The Church at Clayton Crossings, and some fun facts to help us get to know one another.

What I’m thinking:
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and you know what that means – it’s almost Black Friday! I’m not sure where you land on shopping on Thanksgiving evening and/or before the crack o’ dawn on the Friday after, but capitalism is still the law of the land, so you’ll have the opportunity to join the happy throng in the mall or big box store of your choosing.

Ironically, while (almost) everyone is celebrating the free market system, I’ll be in a communist country. Naturally, my heart will be at home, but I have an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus to our southern neighbors, and I’m glad for the chance to help make a difference in someone’s life.

OK, back to Thanksgiving and Black Friday… Last year, Lisa found a way to visit the mall AND make a difference. She felt badly for the multitude of retail employees forced to work late and early hours during the mad rush of the season. Also, because she’s super smart and understands people almost as well as Jesus, she knows that a simple act of kindness is enough to make a big difference – it could even change someone’s eternal destination.

Since the ol’ adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” still rings true today, I thought I’d share a video from our familial adventures last year in the hopes you might consider doing something similar with your family and friends. It doesn’t cost much, take much time, and it’s not super awkward. Take a look, and I’ll be praying the Holy Spirit inspires you to share the love of Jesus in meaningful and creative ways this year.

If the video doesn’t play, click here to watch the video (YouTube)

Matthew 25:35-40For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’  “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

What I need to remember:

  • OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD – RETURN YOUR FULL BOXES THIS SUNDAY! Don’t have time to gather stuff for your shoebox but still want to give some hope to kids this Christmas? Take a few minutes to build your Operation Christmas Child shoebox online! Make sure you list The Church at Clayton Crossings as your home church, but you can start building right now…

What I’m reading:

What I’m listening to:

  • I’m in a bit of a nostalgic mood this week and listening to old school Rich Mullins albums. A close friend of mine was a close friend of Rich’s. It’s kind of sad how I miss both of them when I listen to Rich’s music – Rich is with Jesus and Mikal is in Colorado, which is too far away these days. Mikal, if you’re reading this, thanks for teaching me how to write, and get to North Carolina as quickly as your unusually long legs can carry you!

About me:
John Sanders is the non-stuffy pastor at The Church at Clayton Crossings. His primary mission is to help people find and follow Jesus. Additionally, he longs to write like the child of Aaron Sorkin and Dave Barry, preach like W.A. Criswell, look like Bradley Cooper, and eat like he’s seventeen years old. A more complete (and less snarky) bio can be found here.