From the Pastor

A Message From Pastor Miranda Denler

We spent several sessions in Bible Study recently talking about living with grateful hearts and how that changes your attitude in life. As I sit on this rainy day and write this article, I can’t help thinking about how grateful I am. It seems appropriate with Thanksgiving on the horizon. I am so grateful for every one of you who have made me feel so at home here at Northwest. Each of your notes last month for Pastor Appreciation are greatly treasured. I am grateful for my wonderful husband and my furry dog who drives me nuts. Every opportunity that God gives me to serve the Kingdom is another opportunity for me to choose gratitude.

Sometimes I’m good at making that choice and other times I’m not. It often depends on how much sleep I’ve gotten or the last time I had a meal. And yet, God doesn’t really give us an out for living into gratitude. There’s no time off or sick days. Being grateful is just a part of the Christian life, in all times and places. We are reminded during certain times of the year, like Thanksgiving, that we should be making gratitude a priority in our lives, but that often doesn’t translate into our busy schedules. A life of gratitude is one that recognizes the hand of God in small and big situations. We should be grateful for the moments that bring us closer to God and to who God has called us to be. I must remind myself that even moments of constructive criticism from you all or my family are opportunities to be grateful. The grace shown to me through the chance to be better and to grow as a person of God is important.

Colossians 3:12-17 reminds us of who we are meant to be in Christ:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

As you gather with friends and family during the upcoming holiday season, don’t forget to be grateful. Do everything in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God. Praise the Lord while baking that pie! Remember your blessings while driving in the snow! Be in prayer for all those in your life you enjoy! Keep that gratitude journal into the new year! Whatever it is that reminds you to be thankful, do it, starting now!

Rob and I would like to invite you to the parsonage for an open house. Please plan to stop by, have some Fall treats, and see the plans for the kitchen renovation coming in the Spring. We are grateful for the roof over our heads that you provide for us and this is one small way for us to give back to you and our community. We want to use this opportunity to also help those in the Bahamas who are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Dorian. At the open house, we will be collecting items for Personal Dignity Kits for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center, as well as monetary donations. Please consider bringing some of the items on the list with you when you come to visit our home. We hope to see you there!

Fall Open House
Saturday, November 23rd 1-4 p.m.
3910 N. Keenland Ave.
Peoria, IL 61614

Items Being Collected:

  • Bath hand towels – no kitchen towels
  • Bath washcloths – no kitchen dishcloths
  • Combs – no rattail, pocket size, or picks
  • Nail/Toenail clippers – no nail files or emery boards
  • Adult Toothbrushes – packaged individually
  • Shampoo – 3-4 oz.
  • Deodorant – 2-3 oz., stick or roll on
  • Bar Soap – 3-4 oz.
  • Razors with guards
  • Toothpaste – 2.5 oz. or larger
  • 1 gallon sealable plastic bags

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Miranda