Thursday, September 4, 2008

30 reasons to be thankful

This Sunday Southland will be celebrating thirty years of ministry and worship. I’ve only been here for two of those thirty, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful for the first 28 years. So for today’s thought, I give you thirty reasons I’m grateful for Southland (feel free to add your own). I’m thankful . . .

…that Southland is a place where each Sunday I expect to encounter God, because I’ve encountered him there so many Sundays before.
…that Southland is a place where my family feels at home.
…that Southland’s members are always looking for new ways to minister to our community.
…that Southland values ministry to children and students.
…for the ways those children and youth minister to the rest of us.
…for the nursery staff and volunteers – they’ve done a great job of taking care of my children (and the children of others).
…for Javier and Louis – they not only do their jobs well, but do them with kindness and love.
…for the ladies who volunteer their time to fold and label newsletters.
…for the men who’ve been working long days without pay to help get the remodeling of the Multi-purpose Building done for the big party this Sunday.
…for Terry and Kathy’s ministry – they constantly remind me of the largeness of God’s vision for our church and this world.
…for all who give generously to Terry and Kathy’s ministry.
…that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all feel comfortable worshipping at Southland.
…for Jill, Shelley, Matt, Gary, and Stephanie and the work they do that often goes unseen.
…that Southland is a church that puts hands and feet to God’s love – I specifically think of the Stephen Ministers and the Deacon body.
…for the musicians who bless us with their talents each and every Sunday. There are many Sundays I want to turn to you and say, “Could you play that again for us. I was so blessed the first time through.”
…for Martus Miley, Dan Williams, and Bill Shiell – their faithful service to this church has made my job so much easier.
…that Southland gives so much of its money away to local ministries, to state missions, and to foreign missions.
…that Southland is a place that takes Bible Study seriously.
…for Bob Conley. Most know of the thousands of e-mails he organizes for the church, but did you that he and Pat are the ones who get to the church early Sunday morning to unlock doors and make coffee?
…for the support staff, Angie, Dana, Suzy, and Suzanne and the patience they show towards the ministerial staff.
…for all the retired ministers who now call Southland home. What a wealth of experience and giftedness God has blessed us with in you.
…for Sunday School teachers who give up significant chunks of time and energy to bring God’s Word to life each week.
…for every member of Southland who gives someone else a ride to church. Though a small task here on this earth, I have to imagine it ranks as a large one in heaven.
…that at Southland we aren’t afraid to ask tough questions about our faith.
…that Southland is a place that wants to see our building used not protected.
…that Southland is a place where people are constantly asking me, “How can I get involved?”
…for the Sunday School classes that pray for me each week. Your prayers make a difference.
…for the many who pray for our church on a daily basis – your unsung efforts do more to keep Southland on the right track than anything else we do.
…that Southland is a place where God is moving and the baptismal waters are stirring.
…for you, for without you, Southland wouldn’t be the same.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all his people – Colossians 1:3.


Martus Miley said...

When I was reading through your Thursday Thoughts, I responded to your invitation to add some of my own. I don't know if you are doing any recognitions on Sunday but one person who responded to the beginning of Southland with enthusiasm, heart and integrity was Earl Dunn. Seldom is he mentioned as a part of the beginnings. At the start up, the Concho Valley Baptist Assoc purchased the land, a group of people had emerged, other churches did not want to sponsor a church in the SW part of Angelo. Earl was pastor of Harris Avenue at the time and stepped up to the plate to lead Harris Avenue to sponsor Southland. I was on staff at Harris Avenue as mission pastor for the first year or so and Earl was nothing but faithful and generous to a growing, vibrant congregation. I am grateful for Earl and Paula Dunn and their vision of what could be.

I hope Sunday is a wonderful day of celebration for you and the wonderful people of Southland. May those touched by Southland's caring be touched with the life-giving presence of His Spirit.

Taylor Sandlin said...

Martus, thanks for your comments. I wholeheartedly agree that Earl and Paula are an important part of our church's history. I would add they are a terrific part of Southland's present. They generously and faithfully support me, today, just as they did your ministry years ago. Blessings, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I went to Southland for many years and am still a member, but since my divorce have not been back. But, I will one day. There are so many, many people over the past 30 years who have built Southland and contributed to what Southland has become today. Martus Miley is one of them. But, there are too many to mention them all. I look forward to meeting Taylor and all the new members since I have been away. God Bless you all and I hope the next 30 years will be a blessing to many. Susan Cole