A Reason to Celebrate

Joshua 4: 5-7


It is a significant time in Candlewood’s history, one to remember in Omaha for years to come. It is really an honor to be associated with you! It is so encouraging how you have rallied and gotten behind Rory, I, and the rest of the leadership team.


Your generosity is amazing, giving enough to secure a building. Some have given very sizable one-time gifts. Others have been very sacrificial with your monthly pledges. Some were very creative in giving. Some sold possessions and gave the proceeds. Some gave when you had very little to give, but God sees and knows. When the widow gave her two small copper coins in the Temple, Jesus noticed and pointed it out to his disciples. May God bless you all. He has, and He will.


If someone had told me a couple of years ago that we would be buying a $1-million-dollar property, I would not have believed it. I would have thought that we would have to wait until we were bigger, or wait until some of us were more established in our careers, but I am happy to confess that I was wrong.


Now what God does with this property remains to be seen. I believe God will use this property in big ways to expand our influence in the city of Omaha and our community, to advance the Gospel. Even if He does not (this is crazy talk), God has to be smiling up in heaven. You have not only given to Candlewood, but you have opened your pocket books and put your money where your mouth is. In a world where almost everyone asks, “What’s in it for me?” or “What can I get out of this?,” in contrast you said, “How much can I give?”


2 Corinthians 8:3-4


Not only did you give financially, but many of you worked countless hours, making brochures, handouts, graphics, prayer lists, etc. There were meetings, committees, looking for properties, organizing, serving. There was a willingness to do whatever was needed to be done. Again, God bless you.


We made prayer lists, and you prayed. We prayed at noon. We prayed morning, noon, and night. We gathered for prayer meetings. You lifted your eyes to heaven. God saw. God heard. God answered in many cool, amazing ways. Many of you have stories that you can tell the next generation of how God heard and answered your prayers.


If someone says, “But, Gary, I want to DO something. I want to accomplish some great exploit for God!”


I would respond, “But you have!”


Maybe I am getting old, but I thought we just did do something! You have done something, and it is something very significant. If all the believers would do what you have done, this would be a different world! We should celebrate!


And of course, we want to thank our God and Savior for His grace and acts of kindness that He has shown us, and for the prayers He has answered.


Psalm 136

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