Giving thanks to God allows us to be grateful every day.

Linn Winters
Nov 19, 2017    48m
This sermon recounted the first Thanksgiving celebration after landing on Plymouth Rock. The lesson centered around giving thanks to God for the times in our past and present for the way he has showed he was there with us. It goes on to say by recognizing the gifts he’s given us in the past and present we can than be hopeful for his continued, loving, blessings in our future. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Linn Winters: 00:00 Hey Cornerstone,

Linn Winters: 00:53 How ya doing? Super, super, fun to be back. Some of you are going, "you were gone?"

Linn Winters: 01:00 Yeah, for a month. Nah, so, in case you didn't catch it. Here, here is what was happening. Here's what we were doing. I had the privilege of going, uh, overseas or nationally, and doing, uh, pastors conferences. Trying to help pastors kind of lift their leadership lid, help make the church better and more effective, and had the opportunity to go to India and, uh, then to Zambia, Africa and then also Kenya, uh, Africa and hold pastor's conferences. And I ju-, and I just want to say to you, thank you. Uh, thank you for that privilege. Thank you for being kingdom minded, and sharing, uh, me to go do something like that. Uh, it just, it just shows that you and I have a heart for the kingdom; big K. That just says, "hey we get it. God's doing things that are bigger than just Chandler and we want to be part of that, uh, too."

Linn Winters: 01:47 And so just even to give you a perspective on what, what we may have done together, ya know, in the last couple of weeks. I had the opportunity to do a pastors conference with either pastors, or significant church leaders. And, uh, there were about twelve hundred of them, uh, in attendance over the three weeks that we did this. And, and if you just think this through and say, OK let's, let's say we, we just nudged the leadership lid of each of these pastors, and each of these church leaders, so that next year, uh, they'll be able to minister to four additional people. Numbers will be for people better in their leadership, and their capacity than they were before the conference. And, if they were to do that every year, so next year they're four people better, and the next year they're four people better than that. And four people that are --. Over the course of a minister's life you realize that's going to equal about a hundred people, per pastor, that we just had the opportunity to speak to and pour into their lives. And then you multiply that by the twelve hundred who attended, and you end up with a hundred and twenty thousand lives that are potentially affected, by what we just did the last three weeks. Which is a big deal guys, yeah!

Linn Winters: 02:58 And even even if you want to go, "hey let's modify those numbers. Let's take them to a half," it's still, a crazy big number of people that you and I had the opportunity to affect by just being generous, ya know, with my time. So, thank you guys for being that type of church, and letting me go do that. I'm hoping to go do it again in about two years. Uh, but, thank you. Thank you so much for letting us do that.

Linn Winters: 03:17 Hey. Ok, so we're talking about Thanksgiving, we want to have a service of thankfulness right now. And the big idea is for you and I to get our hearts ready, so that when that big meal comes we're in a different place, uh, than maybe we have been in the past. My guess is, that the majority of you are at least, somewhat, familiar with the Thanksgiving story. That in 1621 a group of Pilgrims got on a small ship called the Mayflower and headed over to America. Uh, they headed to America from England because they were fleeing uh, the; basically the oppression of the Anglican Church. Uh, They felt like the Anglican Church had become all about ritual and ceremony and had lost the idea of relationship with Jesus Christ. Uh, they thought, they felt like the Anglican Church had become all about traditions and not so much about the Bible. And so, they said, "look we're just going to go find a place where we can be free to worship God the way that we feel God's laid on our hearts to do that," and America became the answer.

Linn Winters: 04:26 So, they hopped on a boat, sailed over. What you may not know so much is the second half of the story. Uh, they get to America later than they had imagined. Uh, they had thought they would get here and have a chance to grow some crops. But because the trip had taken longer, and then because they landed slightly north of where they had originally intended to go, there was no growing season. And the stores, and the, and the food they'd brought in the ship were not enough to get them through that first winter. Thankfully, uh, there was a tribe of Indians, uh, called the Wampanoag Indians who lived in that area and who were gracious and kind to those original Pilgrims. Uh, they actually shared food with them. They taught them how to plant Indian corn, which had a much, uh, quicker growing season. They taught them how to catch eels. Uh, you got to be pretty desperate if you're eating eels. Uh, but apparently the Pilgrims were thankful, uh, for that. Uh, the interesting thing in this story is this, that part of how they were able to talk to the Indians was that there was a young man in the tribe by the name of Squanto. Who, earlier in his life as a young man had actually been, uh, stolen, uh, by English, uh, sailors. Taken back to England as a slave. And when he was there he learned English. Upon his first opportunity to get away. He hopped on a ship, got back to America, and then navigated all the way back to his tribe.

Linn Winters: 06:04 It just so happened, by circumstance, that the original Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, where there happened to be a man, can imagine? Who knew English and could help him through that first winter. They get through the first winter, fifty of the original hundred, die. So now they're half the size. And despite that, they believe that God has been gracious to them. God was gracious to land them where there were, uh, kind and friendly Indians. God was gracious to them to land them where there was the one guy who could speak English. And so, they decided to have a feast that you and I call the Thanksgiving Feast, and so convinced were they that God had been present in their circumstances and that God had helped them through, that the decision was made that that feast would happen every year. So that it would always be a remembrance of the goodness, and the kindness, and the presence, of God in their lives.

Linn Winters: 07:04 It's interesting because there is a similar moment in the Old Testament. The children of Israel are getting ready to go into the promised land, and as they get ready to go they come up to the Jordan River. Unfortunately, the Jordan River is at flood stage, and they pray to God and God says, "go ahead, head across. I'm going to stop the Jordan River and you're going to walk across on dry ground." Very similar to what happened with the Red Sea, and as they do that they take twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan and they place them on the other side. Saying this, "so that everybody who sees those stones when our children come to us in the future and see those stones. We will tell them the story of how God was with us." They created a memorial. They created a remembrance.

Linn Winters: 07:57 What did the Pilgrims do? They created a moment of remembrance. What did Israel do? They created a monument of remembrance of the fact that God was with them.

Linn Winters: 08:11 You and I are going to spend some time today creating a remembrance of the goodness of God and where he's been with us. And we're going to thank him for what he's done in our lives. So here's the deal.

Linn Winters: 08:25 When you came in today. We handed you a bag of rocks. We did this because we are a generous church. And so we gave you a bag of rocks. Now here, here's what we're gonna to do. We're gonna, we're gonna set our own stones, today as our remembrance of what God has done in our lives. So I'm going to give you a moment. I want you to untie, uh, the bag of rocks that you've got right now. Take the card off. And you're gonna reach in and you're gonna pull out the rock that says past. And, I just encourage ya to kind of hang on to this rock while we're having this conversation; the rock that says past.

Linn Winters: 09:09 There is something powerful, uh, when you and I create memoriams. Remembrances, of when God moved in our lives. Moments when we go look, look, look, look, I know that wasn't coincidence. I, I know that wasn't just the convergence of circumstance. I'm telling you that's a moment when God did something that only God could do, and I saw him at work in my past. Some of you folks know this already. In my office, if you come in, I have a wall of remembrance. I've got a wall in which I've just taken special moments in my life where I said, "I'm just telling. I know God was in that moment. I know God did that." And the cool part is right now I'm having to double stack things on my wall. Because I have so many moments of remembrance, in my life.

Linn Winters: 10:00 One of -em, and some of you have heard about it before. Is a moment when I'm nine years old. I'm living in Tempe. My family has just kind of blown up on me, and my family is out of church. Part of the reason we're out of church is that my baby sister Diane is autistic, and you can't possibly take her into a service. She would have been so horribly disruptive. So we found ourselves sitting home every Sunday. And this tiny little church just a few blocks away from our house. Two ladies, came and knocked on our door and said, "we will take turns watching Diane. So that your family can go to church." And guys I'm just telling you that was the beginning of my entire family reconnecting with God. And I am convinced, uh, guys I'm just telling you. God sent those two women to my house.

Linn Winters: 10:55 He spoke to their hearts. He put them on mission. And he changed my life by their knock at the door. The reason I've got this little shirt is, is because at that little church, they had this program called Christian Service Brigade. Which was really a Christian version of Boy Scouts, and true to form, it was much crummier than the original version. But anyways, uh, it got me in, it got me reconnecting and rethinking about God. And I'm just telling you that in the moments that I feel forgotten. I remember a 9 year old boy who had a knock at a door, and a God who did not forget him.

Linn Winters: 11:43 Some of you have heard me tell this story of Pastor George. I'm uh, I'm 20 years old. I'm in ministry, and I'm pretty sure that I know everything about everything. Because that's just who I was when I was 20, right? I was smarter than every other human that ever lived. I'd figured everything out even though I hadn't lived as long or done as much. I was just sure that I knew.

Linn Winters: 12:07 It was interesting because God brought Pastor George into my life. And the one thing I knew almost upon meeting him was that he knew some things I didn't know. And, for some reason he took me under his wing. And for years, guys, for years he would take a young man out to a cup of coffee and just pour in to my life. Still don't even know why. But here's what I do know. I would not be pastoring this church today. If it hadn't been for this man's input in my life. And the fact that I stand on his shoulders every Sunday, when I leave this church, and I have no doubt, you ready for this? I have no doubt. That God gave me Pastor George. That he brought him into my life at a critical moment in my life and ministry and I needed a Pastor George.

Linn Winters: 13:02 Matter of fact, just recently, I flew up to Washington State because he's in an Old Folks Home there. His mind is starting to fade. His body is breaking down. And I went to tell my friend George. "George you, you were God's gift to me and I know, I know, I know, I know I've told you this 20 times, but I don't want you to go to the grave and not know how thankful I am that God gave you to me."

Linn Winters: 13:40 There's power. There's power in creating memoriams, remembrances, of the moments that God has clearly showed up in our past that are obviously him. So here's, uh, what I want us to do for a moment today. I, I want you to grab the card that we gave you along with the little bag. Uh, there's also some more in the seat backs so everybody can have one and I want you to take just a moment, and it says past, present, future. I want you to go to the past part, and simply write there just one word, two words, a little phrase, whatever it is, that reminds you of moments in which God showed up in your lives. And I know some of you in this room and say, "hey you know, know what. I'm not even a Christian yet. I haven't made that - -." I know. But if you would stop and think. I guarantee you, you've got a grandma praying for you. You, you got a Christian who bugged you and got you to church today and, you ready for this? That was god.

Linn Winters: 14:38 And so I just want all of us to write. Hey here's moments when I know God intersected my life and showed up and did what only God could do. And then after we've had a moment or two to write that down. Then the guys are going to come out. They're going to lead us in, in just a worship song. Uh, that just basically says, "Hey God, I need you. I needed you in my past, and I need ya now." So take a moment to do that.

Worship Group: 14:38 "Lord, I come, and I confess, Bowing here I find my rest, Without you I fall apart, You're the one that guides my heart"

Worship Group: 14:38 "Lord, I need you, oh, I need you, Every hour, I need you, My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, how I need you"

Worship Group: 14:38 "So teach my song to rise to You, When temptation comes my way, When I cannot stand I'll fall on you, Jesus, you're my hope and stay"

Worship Group: 14:38 "When I cannot stand I'll fall on you, Jesus, you're my hope and stay, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

Worship Group: 14:38 "Lord, I need you, oh, I need you, Every hour, I need you, My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, how I need you"

Worship Group: 14:38 "Lord, I need you, oh, I need you, Every hour, I need you, My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, how I need you"

Worship Group: 14:38 "Your my one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, how I need you"

Linn Winters: 19:02 So go ahead. Reach back in to your bag again and pull out the stone that says, present. If, If you and I were being, uh, honest today we'd admit and say, "you know sometimes, sometimes it's pretty rough to see God in my present." I mean, I can see all the things I wish God was doing in my present, sometimes, it's hard to see him moving in my present.

Linn Winters: 19:32 It's easier to look back and go, "ohhhh, that was God, and I see it and -." But the here and now? That's a little rougher. Matter of fact, grab your bibles because there is a great passage in scripture, about a guy who was going through exactly that same struggle. It's in Genesis, Chapter 32, and if you're not familiar just go to the front of your Bible and start working to the right. You're going to find this book of Genesis and you're going to find Chapter 32. Let, let me set up this story.

Linn Winters: 20:04 It's the story of a guy by the name of Jacob who is a manipulative schemer. Uh, he's the second born son in his family, and in the culture of the time, the first born is gonna get the lion's share of the inheritance. So he comes up with a plan to steal the inheritance from his older brother. And on a certain day, his brother comes in from hunting. He's absolutely exhausted. He's absolutely famished and Jacob has purposely cooked his favorite stew to which he says to his brother, "Hey trade me your birthright for the bowl of stew." To which Esau, his older brother says, "well if I die of hunger, what good does the birthright do?" and he says, "Sure I'll give you my birthright for a bowl of stew." He knows that his father will never go along with it and his father will know that he's schemed and supplanted to get it done. So he comes up with a second plan which is to sneak into his father's tent, who by the way is mostly blind by now, uh, and on the verge of dying. He puts animal skins on his arms because his older brother Esau is incredibly hairy. So just in case his father touches him to see. And he says to his father, "hey this is Esau, Give me the blessing." And his father does.

Linn Winters: 21:16 By now Esau is outraged and wants to kill him and his father, Isaac, isn't going to stand in the way because his father Isaac's been tricked and so Jacob flees to a distant land. When he gets to the land he ends up hooking up with a guy by the name of Laban. Who, are you ready for this? Because this sounds so much like God; is a better trickster than Jacob. And so now he spends years, and years, and years, and years being outwitted, and outsmarted, by Laban. It's God's way of teaching Jacob what it feels like to be on the other side of manipulation and scheming. And now God has spoken to Jacob and says, "Jacob it's time for you to go home."

Linn Winters: 21:55 And as he heads home, hoping that his brother has forgotten or at the very least, forgiven. He sends word ahead to his brother, "hey I'm coming home" only to be told, "your brother is coming out to meet you and he brought his entire household of men to come with him; four hundred strong." To which Jacob is absolutely certain his brother is coming to slaughter him.

Linn Winters: 22:18 And here's the prayer that Jacob offers in his present. Ready? Genesis, Chapter 32, starting in verse 9, "then Jacob prayed, Oh God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac. Lord, you who said, go back to your country and to your relatives and I will make you prosper. I'm unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness that you've shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan but now I've become two camps." He had so many people, so many herds, so many servants, coming with him that in order to navigate it there's two camps coming with him.

Linn Winters: 22:59 "Save me I pray from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me and also the mothers with their children. But you said. I will surely make you prosper and I will make your descendants like the sand of the sea which cannot be counted." So you get the moment? Jacob's looking at me going, "I can. I can see the dust of my brother, rising in the distance and God, God, God. My present looks really, really, really bad." And so he begins to pray and it's almost as if mid prayers something hits his heart and he says, "You know, the first time I crossed this Jordan. All I had in my hand was a staff. And now I'm returning with two companies with me. So even though I hadn't even thought about it, even though I hadn't noticed, even though I was so worried about how my uncle Laban had treated me, even though I've been so worried about my brother who's coming after me. The truth is God, you have blessed me and it now occurs to me."

Linn Winters: 24:05 Here's why that's important. Because you and I have pulled Jacobs before, haven't we?

Linn Winters: 24:10 We've lived in our present. Looking at all the things that weren't right in our present, and so focused on them that we hardly thought to go, "oh my goodness, there's God, there's God, there's God working. He blessed me with this." And we failed to be thankful in our present because we didn't notice what God had done in our present. We only noticed what wasn't working in our present.

Linn Winters: 24:39 Guys I'm, I'm just going to tell you this, man this, is easy for me to get wrong.

Linn Winters: 24:47 I, I'm sittin three years in on a building project, and apparently all of the bankers are demon possessed.

Linn Winters: 24:56 It's my only explanation for why we can't get a loan. And guys, I'm jus- g-, I mean, I have prayed, I can, I have prayed. I've got a daughter who's, not living the way she ought to right now, and you just think God if only, and why couldn't you? And it's so easy to get my heart, on the things that aren't right in my present and yet. Her-, her-, here's what I miss. My relationship with Lisa; it is so rich. It is, it is the best season of our lives right now. I mean it's like we're on our perpetual honeymoon. Together.

Linn Winters: 25:58 My son, my son, just had a son. I'm watching my son be a father, and he's remarkable. He's better than I was at it. And, and, and, he married this amazingly, godly, Christian gal. I can't tell you how many years I just thought, "oh dear Lord, please don't let him marry granola girl."

Linn Winters: 26:22 You can be a Christian and eat granola. You just have to sit at the back of heaven. But yeah, yeah, yeah

Linn Winters: 26:26 I, I'm teasing. But you uh, you uh, understand right? I'm like, "oh God, all my kids are going to be named alfalfa." Yeah, I just, I knew it, I knew it was going to happen. And he married this unbelievably, godly, Christian woman. I mean how good is that? My granddaughter is living with me right now. How-I'm watching her grow up in front of my eyes and I'm watching God rescue her from a bad situation.

Linn Winters: 26:57 I get to pastor an amazing church with a really good pastor at it.

Linn Winters: 27:01 How cool is that?

Linn Winters: 27:04 And how easy is it for us in the moment to put our eyes on all the things that aren't working and forget to see what God is doing in our lives? And just to stop and say God thank you for being the God of my present.

Linn Winters: 27:19 So here's what I want us to do. I want us to grab our cards again and go to the portion that says present and I want you just to take a few moments and say, "hey where is it that I see God working in my here and now. And I probably should be saying thank you. Thank you for not leaving me alone. Thank you for not making this - -.And there are, there are some other areas I wish you were doing more, or you were doing less. But, I see you working in my present and thank you for that." And then you write those down and then the guys are going to come back out again and they're going to lead us in another, moment of worship.

Worship Group: 27:19 "Old things have passed away, But Your love has stayed the same, Your constant grace remains the cornerstone"

Worship Group: 27:19 "Things that we thought were dead, Are breathing in life again, You took these rags and made us beautiful"

Worship Group: 27:19 "For all that you've done we will pour out our love, This will be our anthem song"

Worship Group: 27:19 "Jesus we love You, Oh how we love You, You are the one our, Our hearts adore"

Worship Group: 27:19 "Our affection, Our devotion, Poured out on the feet of Jesus, Our affection, Our devotion, Poured out on the feet of Jesus, Our affection, Our devotion, Poured out on the feet of Jesus, Our affection, Our devotion, Poured out on the feet of Jesus."

Worship Group: 27:19 "We love you, Oh how we love You, You are the one our, Our hearts adore, Jesus we love You, Oh how we love You, You are the one our, Our hearts adore"

Linn Winters: 27:19 If, you'd reach back in, in to your bags again and the final stone, says future on it.

Linn Winters: 32:19 If the other two are challenging, the past and the present, to be able to see what God is doing and be thankful. This one, this is the one that trips us up, because we look to the future, and the whole idea of being thankful about the future. I mean the future is scarier, right?

Linn Winters: 32:45 And, and the k- and the future has a whole bunch of blanks and aren't filled in yet and there's something about our human hearts that wants to fill in the blanks with the worst possible scenario. And the truth is, most of the time we look to the future and it fills us with concern. And there's an amazing passage in scripture, that helps you and I navigate this stone.

Linn Winters: 33:10 Grab your bibles. Go with me to the book of Philippians, Chapter 4. And if you're not familiar, if you go to the back of your Bible start working to the left don't go very fast, but you'll run into this book of Philippians Philippians, Chapter 4, starting in verse 6. Here's what it says. "Do not be anxious." Stop worrying about what's going to happen. Stop, stop dreading what could possibly be. "Do not be anxious about," next word.

Linn Winters: 33:53 How uncomfortable does that make you? Because I'm just like crum, God, really.? Don't be anxious about, Anything? You must not have seen my list. You, you, you kn- -,you, you don't understand where I am financially right now because if, if you had any sense of where, I mean you'd be worried to. God, you don't understand. I've been dating that guy for two years. I thought he was the one. He just broke up. There is nobody asking me out. And I'm 26, which means I'm old.

Linn Winters: 34:40 God you must not have been in the room when the doctor gave me the report. When he said: cancer

Linn Winters: 34:54 So, how do you say to me don't be anxious, about anything? And yet, the scripture goes on and reveals to you and me the secret. To being able to look at an uncertain future and be thankful, and maybe even confident.

Linn Winters: 35:17 Here's what it says, "Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation. By prayer and petition." So tell God what's going on. It's OK to say hey God this is a big deal. God, I'm not sure how this turns out. "With Thanksgiving," and there's the key. "Present your request to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Linn Winters: 35:48 So watch the moment. Scripture says, "Paul says hey don't be anxious about anything. Instead start with Thanksgiving. Prayer and Thanksgiving." It's as if what I'm supposed to do is take my past and set that stone and say look, I saw God.

Linn Winters: 36:08 I experienced God in my past and I'm just telling you there's nothing to explain it. There, there's no coincidence here. That was God, and that was God's strong hand. And that was God's goodness to me, in my past. And then, you set the next stone that says hey in my present, sure, I mean there's a couple of things that I, I wish were going a little differently but I'm just telling you, in my present I see God at work. I see his hand in multiple places around me, in my present.

Linn Winters: 36:46 So that now when I come to the future, I have the opportunity to change perspective. Because you ready for this? If I look at my future like this, if my future becomes isolated from my past and my present then my future is fearful. And I go, "God where are you and, and where's the answer to the questions that I don't see answers to?" But Paul says, "instead you look at your future, by being thankful for the God who delivered. The God who is delivering. Which now gives me hope that he will deliver." Suddenly it changes. Suddenly the future looks completely different when this God is there.

Linn Winters: 37:47 Recently I'm at a pastors meeting. I'm walking down the hallway at the hotel. I see one of my friends, and as I'm heading toward the next gathering I go, "Hey, how you doing?" And kept walking. Expecting him to give you know the typical response, "Ah, doing good." Instead, I saw his eyes go down and I heard him say, "hmm, not so good." So I stopped and I went back to my friend I said, "hey what's up?"

Linn Winters: 38:25 He said, "I'm three weeks in, we just heard that my wife has stage three breast cancer. She's, she's got lumps the size of golf balls. It's moved to multiple places. They know it's in her lymph nodes." And he said, "I can read the tone of the doctor's and it's bad." And I said to my friend at that moment, "I hate this moment for you. I hate that you're having to walk it. Cause, neither of us would have chosen this for you. But here's what I know. I know there's a God who's been good to you in the past. Who's delivered you. And I know there's a God who you can see working in other areas. In your present. And here's where I'm asking you to hang your heart my friend. That the God who delivered, can deliver."

Linn Winters: 39:40 And, and we don't know that he will. I mean right? Because God gets to be God.

Linn Winters: 39:44 All I'm saying is we know that the God who did deliver can deliver and that ought to change, how you pray and think about the future.

Linn Winters: 39:57 So here's what I want us to do. I want us to grab our cards one last time. And to go to the future section, and just to write there and say, "hey God, here's the things I'm praying about. Here's the things that I choose, based on the God you've been to me so far, to trust you, that you're bigger than, stronger than, smarter than, greater than, whatever that thing is in my future. And that the God who has delivered can deliver and so I'm going to simply trust you for that."

Linn Winters: 40:31 And my promise is if you would choose, I would thank, I would tell everybody your story. If you would do that.

Linn Winters: 40:43 So I want you take a few moments and to write those things down. It may be a child who's living out of control, it maybe finances that have gone south. it may be I don't, I don't know. But what is the thing you would say, "God I'm trusting that the God who has delivered, can deliver" And you write those down.

Linn Winters: 41:01 The guys are gonna come back out, and when they come back out, when you're done writing this time I'm gonna ask us to all stand together and sing this last song together.

Worship Group: 41:01 "And He is jealous for me, Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree, Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, And I realize just how beautiful You are, And how great Your affections are for me."

Worship Group: 41:01 "And oh, how He love us, oh, Oh, How he loves us, How he loves us, oh."

Worship Group: 41:01 "He loves us, Oh how he loves us, Oh, How he loves us, Oh How he loves, Oh."

Worship Group: 41:01 "And we are His portion and He is our Prize, Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes. If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking. And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss, And my heart turns violently inside of my chest. I don't have time to maintain these regrets, When I think about the way...."

Worship Group: 41:01 "He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves, He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves, Ohhhhhh"

Worship Group: 41:01 "He loves us, Oh how, "Come on, you sing that out," Oh how he loves, one more time, just the voices we sing, he loves us oh how he loves us, oh how he loves us, oh how he loves."

Linn Winters: 45:42 So a couple thoughts as you and I get ready to leave this place and hopefully step it up in our thankfulness. So let me give you a couple things to think about maybe, maybe doing. One is this, would you consider starting a memorial wall in your home? Do you think back to the moments in your life where you go, I know God was there. I know God helped? And, and you pick a little shirt or a knickknack or a photo and you stick it on the wall so that it's just there as a memory. That one day your kids would come and say, "Mom, Dad what's that?" And you tell the story. "That's when God was real and when God delivered, our family."

Linn Winters: 46:29 Another thought, if while we were talking today someone came to your mind and you went, "wow that person, that person was a gift from God to me. And I'm just telling you I wouldn't be where I am if God hadn't brought them to me." And what would it mean for you to just write a little note, or make a phone call and just say it. "We were just talking about Thanksgiving together and you came to me, because I'm just telling you, God used you to change me. And I just want you to know how thankful I am. For you."

Linn Winters: 47:10 Final thought, what if you took your rocks, what if sometime between now and when we get together again next Sunday. You just went around with your family and just let each one pull out one of the rocks past, or present, or future and just say, "hey what, tell me something you're thankful about. Tell me something you're hopeful about. In your life. Just sharing and look here's the de- -. I'm, I'm not going to do this at Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving I'm gonna have like fifty people at my house. It would be weird. Ok, I'm not gonna, but sometime between now and then it will just be me and mine.

Linn Winters: 47:41 And we're going to take the time, to pull out a rock, and to say, "hey, tell me what you're thankful for from your past? Tell me what you see God doing in your present?" And we're gonna share.

Linn Winters: 47:54 And could you do that. So here's the deal if you need someone to pray with if you need to meet with somebody there's going to be people here at the front for the rest of us leave this place and be thankful.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286