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The Window

10 Things I’m Thankful For (The Window)

fall leaves

Happy Black Friday!  I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday.  We have so much to be thankful for this year.  Let me just briefly share with you 10 things I am thankful for this year, in no particular order.

  1. My wife.  I am thankful that when I am weak, she is strong.  When I am discouraged, she is there to encourage me.
  2. Chick-fil-a.  Do I really need to explain this?
  3. My mother.  The kindness and love she demonstrates to those around her is without equal.  She continues to show kindness even to those who are unkind to her.  She is a wonderful example to me.
  4. My church.  Our church is not perfect – far from it!  Nonetheless, I am so thankful for our church.  I have been a member of FBC for over 20 years.  The men and women of FBC are such an encouragement and blessing to me.
  5. My fountain pen.  There is nothing quite like writing with a fountain pen.
  6. A debt-free church.  I hope I never lose my excitement over our church being debt free.  I am thankful for the sacrifice and vision of FBC to save and to live within our means.  There is such joy and freedom where there is no debt!
  7. Evernote.  This truly has become my ‘digital brain.’  I use it almost every day and do not know what I would do without it.
  8. Birds.  I have learned from Lee Dusing to enjoy going outside and watching the wide variety of birds that God has created.  I am thankful for the many beautiful places in Polk County where we can enjoy God’s creation.
  9. My new office furniture.  Wow.  It is amazing.  I am so thankful for it.
  10. For the friends and church members who went to Heaven in 2013.  Jeanne Campbell, Kent Sawders, Jean Ann Long, Karen Mulford, Marilyn Schwabauer, Jean Armstrong, Loren Ogborn, Richard Gregory,  Hester Hart, Christa Barber, Mary Madden, Pete Obgartel, Jack Simmers, George Durham, Al Sollenne, and many more.  I am thankful for their faithfulness to their God.

That’s all for today.  I hope you have a great today.  Remember, just because Thanksgiving is over, you do not have to stop being thankful.


PS – The Deacons have asked me to include the following announcement in this week’s Window:

We are collecting a Love Offering for the staff of Faith Baptist Church over the next few Sundays.  This offering will used to provide each of the Pastors and staff a monetary gift this Christmas.  If you would like to participate, you can put a note on either your giving envelope or your check that says “Staff Gift.”  The gift will be presented before Christmas.


Change is in the Air (The Window)

Update #1:  The epic fail has already occurred.   Thank you for your patience 🙂

It is time for a change.  

I am hoping that most of you will not even realize that we have made a change.  But, I feel compelled to let you know about it.

For several weeks, I have been thinking of ways to better integrate the Window (our weekly e-newsletter) with our Blog.  I have finally decided to ‘pull the trigger’ and just make a change.   Starting today they are fully integrated.

So here is what is changing.

  1. Each week’s Window will now become a blog post on our website.
  2. If you remain subscribed to our mailing list, you will still receive the Window delivered directly to your email inbox.
  3. From time to time, you may also receive an additional email whenever we have posted an additional blog post.  My current thought is that most weeks you will just receive one email.  We have no intention of flooding your email inbox.  However, if you ever feel like you are getting too much email from us – feel free to unsubscribe.  No hard feelings!  I promise.

I am hoping that this transition will largely go unnoticed by most of you.  However, the reality is change is often difficult and awkward.  You may receive a few extra emails through this transition.  Please be patient with me while I work out the kinks.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below (on our blog) or just reply to the email.

That’s all for today.


PS – Many of you will remember Owen & Anna Boothroyd.  They were longtime members of FBC before moving away.  They now live in Sebring.  The Baptist Bulletin recently posted an article on their website talking about Owen and his experiences as a POW in Japan during World War II.

Amazon Holiday Toy List

5 Reflections on 5 Years of Marriage (by Stephen Simpson)

Today is my 5th wedding anniversary.  It seems like only yesterday I was at the church getting ready to say my vows.  Our wedding reception was the first event held in the post-hurricane renovated fellowship hall.  January 21st, 2006 is definitely a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.  In honor of this special occasion, I would like to share with you 5 reflections on the first 5 years of my marriage.

My first 5 years of marriage have been:

Tragically, marriages that last even 5 years are becoming increasingly rare.  I praise God for the 5 years of marriage that He has given to us.  I pray that God will continue to bless our marriage that will grant Nicki and me many more years of marriage.Beautiful.  I am married to a beautiful wife.  Her beauty shines forth externally as well as internally.  Marriage has also brought me two beautiful daughters.  Their beauty makes me smile all the time.

  1. Easy.  My wife and children love me and serve me in so many ways.  They are genuinely excited to see me when I come home from work.  Knowing that my family loves me unconditionally makes being married seem so easy.
  2. Hard.  God often brings hard times into marriages.  For us, He has chosen to bring hard times with every pregnancy.  Every one of our pregnancies has been very hard.  The hardest moment was during our last pregnancy when God chose to take our son.  Holding his tiny breathless body in my hands was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  Sometimes, marriage is very hard.
  3. Good.  God brought me and Nicki together.  He has made us one.  He has blessed us with children.  What He has done is very good!  It is so good for my children to see a Mom and Dad that love each other and seek to serve each other.
  4. Unpredictable.  For us, this has been best demonstrated in our pregnancies.  Before we were married, I thought that having children was a pretty automatic process.  Five years later, I realize how fragile life is.  I better understand that every child is a miracle.  The unpredictability of marriage reminds me of my need to trust God.  God’s plans are infinitely better than my plans.