Now that I’m officially in the family, what is the first message I want to share with all of my new brothers and sisters in Choctaw? I’m going to “pull a Paul” and take a page out of his books. In nine of his thirteen New Testament writings, Paul begins with a message of thankfulness. If you’ve never noticed this, take a look and see for yourself.
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.” Romans 1:8
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus…” 1 Corinthians 1:4
“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…” Ephesians 1:15-16
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…” - Philippians 1:3
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…” Colossians 1:3-4
"We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,”
1 Thessalonians 1:2
“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right,”
2 Thessalonians 1:3
“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.”
2 Timothy 1:3
“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers,”
Paul believed it was important to have heart of thankfulness and to share it early and often. I want to echo this sentiment as early as I can with all of you. Choctaw you are the answer to many, many prayers. I’ve always wanted to serve back home in the heart of Oklahoma and God made it possible. It fills me with joy to be in this family. After experiencing the love and kindness from many of you this first week, I know this truly is a family. I pray I serve the Lord and His church well and I always remember how special it is to be one of God’s people here in Choctaw. I look forward to the day when I can look back on years of being together and like Paul say, “I thank God every time I think of you.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Jon Arvin
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.