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  Life Style Worship
                                    The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.” – 2 Timothy 4:13 KJV
 
As many of you know by now, Carol and I are moving to Oklahoma. The Lord has led us to establish a new ministry dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through music, mentoring, and missions. We have absolutely loved being here with you these past 3½ years! This is one of the most loving, bodies of believers we’ve ever had the privilege to serve! We love you!!! It is our heartfelt desire to remain connected to you. We truly value our friendships and relationships and hope you’ll allow us to stay a part of your lives. We also intend to travel back here, as the Lord allows, to see you and catch up on what God is doing in your midst. The verse quoted at the beginning of my article gives a glimpse into the ongoing relationship between fellow-servants of Christ. Paul and Timothy remained connected despite the distance that separated them. We covet your prayers as we walk into this faith-ministry. If the Lord is willing, Carol and I hope to fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts as we travel all around the   country sharing the Gospel!

Our new address is:
            
Stauros International
Mario & Carol Parga
13200 S. Robinson Ave.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73170
 
I thank you for the honor of having served the Lord with you here at FBC!
                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Soli Deo Gloria!

Mario
                                                                                                                                    
                                                                               
  

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                        From the Heart of Pastor Keith                        

 Thanksgiving: Just a Bunch of Talk?
 
One of the things I have always disliked about the Thanksgiving season is the ritual our Sunday School    teachers put us through every year. You know what I’m talking about. You never out-grow it. You can be 87 and they still do it to you. “Now, let’s go around the circle and everyone tell what you’re most thankful for.” It’s not so bad, but it’s just always so predictable. Someone is going to say they’re thankful for their health. Someone is going to be thankful for their family. Someone else will take, “I’m thankful for my church.” And the rest of us are sitting there thinking, “Rats! That’s what I was going to say. Now I have to come up with something else.”
 
Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t that I am not thankful for all those things. It just seems to me that talking about our gratitude is only one small part of being thankful. Are we appropriately grateful just because we’ve told someone we appreciate something? Is giving thanks just a bunch of talk?
 
How can you tell if someone is grateful for a gift you gave them? If they say thank-you, that is something. If they tell other people what you have done, that says even more. But what if they never use your gift? Or worse, misuse it? Using that new shirt as a polishing rag is a perfect way to show your wife you couldn’t care less for it. Putting the chop-o-matic in your next garage sale in its original carton will send your husband the strong hint that you don’t appreciate him shopping for your birthday gifts in the hardware store. It doesn’t matter how much you talk about it, how many times you say thank-you; the real expression of gratitude comes with how we use and care for the gift.
 
Think about the things you genuinely appreciate in your life. What do you cherish most? They may not be the things you told your Sunday School teacher when she asked you to share with the class. They are the things you use, the things you care for and protect. Want to let God know you appreciate His grace? Want to    demonstrate the gratitude we often only talk about? We start by thanking Him. It is important that we bow    our hearts to Him in gratitude first of all. We continue by telling others what He has done for us.
 
But the best expression of our thanks comes from using, carefully and faithfully what He has given us. Polish up those unused gifts, dust off those talents and put them into service with tender loving care, guarding what God has entrusted to us as wise and faithful stewards. That is Thanks-giving!