Randal and Douglas from the Urbanova congregation with brethren from a Rio church.

I’m thankful today

I’m thankful today for the medium of the internet that makes it possible to communicate easily and quickly with you and so many others, seeking as we do to edify and build each other up in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I’m thankful today for my time yesterday morning with the congregation in the Pimentas neighborhood, in the city of Guarulhos, about an hour from here, as I shared with them the “7 powers of the servant of God.” They’re looking to choose some men next month to serve in some important functions, a sign of good growth for this 10-year-old congregation.

I’m thankful today for the two and a half hours I spent yesterday afternoon, in the Pimentas church building, with a dozen men from several congregations in greater São Paulo area, answering their questions about spiritual service. They are earnest men, dedicated to the work of the Lord, aware of their needs, desirous of doing a better job.

I’m thankful today for a patient and loving wife who holds the fort down while I’m gone, who is flexible and hospitable, who stretches herself to serve outside her comfort zone, who sticks with me through thick and thin, who keeps my feet on the ground, who finds joy and meaning even far from children and grandchildren.

I’m thankful today for men like Humberto and Ricardo, young Army captains, who preach and teach in the Taubaté church and allow me freedom to be gone and not be concerned with the saints there.

I’m thankful today for the relatively new congregation in our home, for people willing to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, for saints open to new challenges, for growth in spirit and love and number and service, for friendship and camaraderie, for easy comfort in each other’s presence, for a sense of mission among us.

I’m thankful today for opportunities for new efforts, for courage to start anew, for doors that open in new cities and places, for knowing that, before I go, the Lord has already arrived, for a purpose that gives eternal meaning to time and space.

I’m thankful today for the gift of writing, for offset presses and free computer programs, for tools and talents, for mind and communication, for the language of love, for poetry and prose, for thoughts revealed and feelings shared.

I’m thankful today for our children’s faith, for our parents’ guidance, for the positive influence of godly teachers and proclaimers of the gospel, for the passing on, from one generation to the next, of the saving story of Christ, for the privilege of being a link in that process.

I’m thankful today for the hearts of people willing to consider the message of Christ, like Denilson, Jandira, César, Elaine, Emerson, and so many others, and for those who have responded to the call of Christ, like Daniel, Bene, Alcides, Silvia, and other converts.

I’m grateful for faithful supporters who provide the means to serve, who like the women who helped Jesus and the Philippians who sent help to Paul again and again, give willingly and freely for the sake of the gospel.

I’m thankful today for the plans of God that came to fruition in the crucifixion of his Son, for the divine promises that will be fulfilled tomorrow and in the day of Christ, for the works and books and teaching that the Lord allows me to look forward to, as a part of his grand project that quickly is reaching its fulfillment.

These motives for thanksgiving are just the beginning. So many more blessings to count! How many ways is grace given! The invisible providence of God whose face bubbles so often to the surface! The gifts of the Spirit, the love of his people, the simplicity of faith!

I’m thankful today!

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet.

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