Exchanging Gifts

    Most of us are familiar with the after Christmas practice of exchanging gifts at a store. For one reason or another, we may already have that particular item or want to exchange it for something else. Gifts from “the Father of lights” are “good and perfect” because of God’s consistency, with “no variation or shadow of changing” (James 1:17). Like Job, we “bless the Lord who gives and who takes away” (Job 1:21, 22).

    We are saying goodbye this weekend to Pastor Doug Pigg, who has served over the last 10 years at our church in administrative and pastoral roles. We rejoice in the new open door of opportunity for Doug and Renee at the historic Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Doug will draw from years of experience in Jacksonville, Orlando and Naples to assist my friend, Dr. Stephen Smith, the Senior Pastor there. We also appreciate Renee’s educational investment in the lives of our middle school children at First Baptist Academy. Please show your appreciation after church at a reception this weekend.

    God has given us a gift in our new Business Administrator, Mr. Clint Holland, having been affirmed by the Personnel and Finance Committees. Clint grew up in Naples and received his B.S. in Business Administration and Masters degree in Business Administration and Accounting at Auburn University. He received his CPA designation in accounting and has also worked as a broker in Naples. He has also served as the Controller/Administrator for Golf Club of the Everglades since 1999. He and his family have served in our student ministry for a number of years.

    After Conard Wrightsman’s departure, Clint has been serving as interim Business Administrator for several months. Though not a pastor, Clint will serve the Lord by providing wise support and oversight for our church and academy budgets and other related administrative issues. Concerning our staff, I continue to claim God’s promise, “Because you are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, people in exchange for your life” (Isaiah 43:4).

    Please continue praying about your gifts to the “All In” campaign. When you give to the First Fruits Offering and Two Year Pledge to help us with Worship Center renovation, in exchange, God will not only bless you but multiply your sown seed into changed lives. “You are enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (2 Corinthians 9:11). This exchange reminds me of when I worked as a student in clothing retail. I would hear my Jewish boss say, “Such a deal, already!”


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