EP 114 – Importance of Thankfulness in All Circumstances
We’re celebrating our fourth Thanksgiving here at the bootcamp. Jimbo is staying local, baking bread, and celebrating with family. Bob is making his way, over the river and through the woods, to his Mom’s home in Arkansas.
The guys spend some time sharing things they are thankful for and then Jimbo wraps up with a great story on the value of giving thanks in all circumstances.
We wish you, our Bootcamp listeners, a very happy and blessed thanksgiving, we’re thankful for you.
We are thankful for our great sponsor at One Eighty Digital, they can help get your church website up and running or consult on a strategic refresh, contact them today and let them know the bootcamp sent you.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back at the bootcamp, our third ever Thanksgiving special. It’s like the Macy’s day parade here. And so I hope that everybody’s tuned in sitting. do you guys, do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade bomb?
Bob Bickford: absolutely. I grew up on that. My dad, introduced that to me as a little kid. And so I came into, you know, kind of adult. Thinking that the Macy’s day parade was something that everybody did. So when Barbara and I got married, I said, Hey, do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade? And she said, what’s the. So I was, I had to, I had to introduce her and at the time Jimbo, we were poor college students. And so we did not have a TV on which to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade, but I tried to introduce my kids to it. And I think my kids just like to sleep in the morning. And so they did, they were not quite as into it as I was.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, Audrey is super into the Thanksgiving day parade. I don’t mind the zone in the background, but I’ve never been huge in a paid attention to it, but Thanksgiving always been a really [00:01:00] big deal for Audrey’s family. and so the day after for black Friday, after Thanksgiving dinner, all the women in Audrey’s family get together and put together.
Plan for hunting the next day they call it their hunting game plan to go black Friday shopping where all the men get ready to go, actually hunting out in the woods and kill deer instead of writing makes their game plans and goes and does their hunting the next day.
Bob Bickford: That’s really good. We, we have typically gone to my wife’s aunts for Thanksgiving and she goes out on a farm and we have about 70 or 80 people gathered in a ranch style house meeting upstairs and downstairs. And then we would shoot clay pigeons and the kids would play. You know, baby calves and jump on hay bales and all that stuff.
But since COVID hit, we haven’t had that. So, um, I miss that, but we’re, we’re getting together with our family, my family, my mom in Arkansas, my sister’s coming up and then, some of our grandkids are coming over, so we’re, we’re heading over there. So [00:02:00] we will be on the road, paying high gas prices and stopping at the local Stuckey’s to celebrate Thanksgiving on our way to grandma’s house.
JimBo Stewart: There we go. we’re staying in Jacksonville. We have done that last several years, Thanksgiving, and there’s a wonderful family. that was part of redemption. There’s still part of redemption that, invites us to be a part of their family gatherings. And it’s like going to like a chip and Joanna Gaines type situation, man.
Like it’s, it’s highly. Decorated designed really amazing food there. I did back into my, pre ministry pastry chef days, and I’ll make some bread from scratch. some dinner rolls from scratch. That’ll make you slap your grandmother and I’ll make some homemade Akasha bread. And that’s always my offering is, is I, they always say, you’re welcome to come.
If you bring.
Bob Bickford: man. Jimbo. I know I’m going to see you right after Thanksgiving. If he could. Sneak me, one of those roles, I would be like really happy. but I don’t know if it’ll, if it’ll hold that long, if we’ll save that long. you know,
maybe one day.[00:03:00]
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, it definitely wouldn’t be as fresh.
Bob Bickford: Yeah. Well, we’re having smoked Turkey and, ham and you know, all that kind of thing, pasta salad.
And so we’re looking forward to it. It’ll be okay.
JimBo Stewart: Good. I’m glad that you guys are going to have a good time. You do a little skeet shooting whenever you go. Right.
Bob Bickford: No. Well, and my aunt, my, my wife’s aunt’s house, but this is my mom’s home in Arkansas. So it’s just going to be a lot of sitting around. So, if the weather’s nice, there’s a lake that’s close by and maybe I can take the grandkids on a long walk and wear them out and, have fun. But, this is a city Thanksgiving instead of a country Thanksgiving.
JimBo Stewart: Gotcha. Gotcha. I do have to tell you one other really fun thing happened in this week for our family. I sent you some pictures the other day. Our family has entered the Jacksonville gingerbread extravaganza, annual competition. And, it’s a big deal. So a couple years ago, that, well, my family has attended this event.
Almost [00:04:00] every year that we’ve lived here in Jacksonville. There’s this historical society. It’s an old church building an old church that died downtown Jacksonville. That’s right next to the jumbo. Baseball stadium and the veterans Memorial arena where a lot of other stuff happens. And every year they host in that building this Jacksonville gingerbread extravaganza and as a competition.
And there’s like some, I mean, unbelievable dynamite, impressive things that show up there every year. So two years ago, Adria, and some of her friends who. Who decorate cakes and cookies on the side for a living, you know, stuff like that had this idea and they wanted to enter. And so she asked me if I was interested in helping, I was still doing doctoral studies and I said, absolutely not.
I do not want to be a part of this. So her and her friends got together and they did the house. With the, with the balloons, carrying it from the Disney movie up and they won basically, I don’t remember the official title of it, but the, basically the people’s [00:05:00] choice award, essentially. Like when you go, you attend, you can vote for which one, you like the best.
And they won that award. They, they were one of the best ones, according to all the people who voted, they didn’t win the official thing, but they won the people’s choice one. So Audrey has convinced me to participate in this. And we made a whole family affair with the kids and we watch the show Lego masters together.
so listeners shout out if you’re a Lego masters fan cause our kids love Legos. Lego is not Legos. I’ve been corrected so many times, you know, that the plural of Lego is like,
Bob Bickford: Yeah. Okay.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, the plural Lego is Lego. Or if you want to say it with an S you supposed to say Lego bricks, but Lego masters is a TV show where they compete making, these incredibly extravagant Lego things. And, it’s a game show, reality game show. So we built the Lego masters. TV set, inspired gingerbread [00:06:00] house thing.
That’s like, it’s like the TV set and the, the competing teams are building gingerbread houses. for the competition. It’s, it’s cute. It’s adorable. I’ve never, super-glued so many candy Lego bricks together in my life, by my fingers are still covered in superglue, in hot glue and candy dye and food coloring and all sorts of things.
I don’t know that we’re going to win any awards, but we’ve made some great family memories.
Bob Bickford: That’s awesome. I’m looking at the picture now. And, you guys did a great job with that. And if I was there voting for the people’s choice award, I would vote for you.
And if I ever built a gingerbread house, I would not receive the people’s choice award. I would receive the hall of shame award. I am not, I am not a crafty guy, in any form or fashion.
I like to do woodworking and all that kind of thing, but just never excelled at the crafts. The Jimbo. I just gotta be [00:07:00] honest.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I get it, man. I get it. You are a good woodworker. I’ve seen some of your woodworking. so to all of our listeners that have wondered why we are rambling much longer than normal. we decided to take it light this episode and do a Thanksgiving episode as the stats have revealed to us. You guys don’t listen to the podcast this week anyway, so we figured we could talk about whatever want to talk about.
Bob Bickford: Well, some people, some people that are driving to grandma’s house or riding on an airplane, they might give us a little. You know, if they’ve got like, you know, Barney tunes or if there’s family sleeping or something, you know, they might, we might make the playlist this week, but we do want to just talk about.
what we’re thankful for and why.
Thanks. Giving thanks is important as part of our podcast. And I think this is kind of an annual tradition. we’ve we’ve had mark Halleck on, I think, and we talked about gratitude one year, and then I think we just talked about the things that we’re thankful for. in the first year, but Jimbo, I just want to say man, three [00:08:00] Thanksgivings, as the bootcamp podcast, I’m thankful for that.
It’s been a lot of fun and I’m super thankful that the listeners, are listening and actually we’re really, we’re seeing some traction, we’re gaining some audience members. So I think that’s a really cool thing.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I am really thankful for this platform and being able to discuss this. It’s made me a better leader, a better pastor, just thinking through all of this stuff with you. and so I am thankful for three Thanksgivings on the bootcamp. I am thankful for. The role that I get to play, with Nam and, and helping leaders and helping churches and, all the great friends that God has brought along our way in this process.
And, we’ve become good friends in this process and we’ve got good buddies like Brian Croft and mark Halleck and Evan skeleton, and, and so many that have been a part of the journey along the way. Keelan cook the Missy ologists double doc. So many that we’ve gotten to have. along the way that it’s just been a blast.
And I do, [00:09:00] I do, actually, I joke about how few listeners we have, but I think it’s like, you have to do that on a podcast. It’s a podcast requirement when you have one. but no, our, our listenership has been growing and we’ve we hear from, from guys every once in awhile, how it has been an impact to them.
It may not means a lot to us when we hear that and know that we are making an impact. So. So truly to our listeners, we really are thankful for you. You’re, why we do this. We do this to try to be an encouragement to you and to equip you in some way. And so if there’s a way we can do that better, man, let us know.
And if it’s meant anything to you and been helpful, we would love to hear from you.
Bob Bickford: Agreed. I’m also thankful that, I think you mentioned this earlier, this, this is made you, the podcast has actually made you.
a better pastor, a better leader, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to. one be in community with, with you as a leader and just kind of be challenged. And, and even right before this podcast, we started recording.
We were working through [00:10:00] some specifics on a training that we’re doing together and, in new Orleans here in, and I’m really thankful for the opportunity for us just to collaborate together. To live on mission here. And so, one thing I’m thankful for Kevin is L and his vision for replanting and his commitment to resource the team and us, and to really give us an opportunity to make a difference and thankful for mark Clifton, our, our boss man, our lead guy, who’s created vision and space for us to come back in, and really fill that with strategy and an equipping opportunities and thankful for.
The team members that we’ve added over the last several years, too, we’ve gone from a team of like, you know, four to a team of nine right now. And, and, uh, it’s just been amazing to see, you know, all the things that God has done. And so I’m really excited to, uh, to have the opportunity to work together and, and the churches that are, You know, the churches that, that are asking us to come in and the [00:11:00] leaders that are asking to come in, I’m thankful for an openness for partnership and an openness to have discussions about how do we help the church thrive, especially in a difficult season.
Like we’ve been in the last couple of years here. So man, there’s lots of things that we think before. On the Nam side on the church partnership side on the, on the colleague and teammate side. And, I think if we just sat back, I, I’m pretty amazed often that I get to sit where I sit in. The Lord’s been gracious to give me an opportunity to work on the things that I’m working on.
I’m just humbled by that and amazed by that
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, it really is humbling. How much of an opportunity we have to get to serve the bride of Christ. I am thankful people ask me since I I’m, I’m about a year, almost a year of transitioned from redemption to working with Nam full time and helping churches and working with JBA. And, and a lot of times people will say, I mean, how’s the transition going?
Are you liking the job or are you [00:12:00] enjoying what you get to do? I say, I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more in my sweet spot. I, I am so grateful all the time for what I get to do right now. And I feel like I’m getting to make a difference and I get to serve right now and Manor in Baptist church as, as the pastor of missions and multiplication.
And man, it’s been a great church to get to be a part of. And we had our annual meeting as a church the other night. And I want to tell you just an idea for you, if you haven’t already had your annual meeting, or if you’re thinking about next year already, kudos to you for thinking that far ahead, Mandarin does a great job.
They call it a night of thanks and they do it in November and it’s their annual. Meeting where they vote, the budget and leadership teams and all that sort of stuff, man. It was a massive celebration. I mean, it was, and, and I don’t mean massive just in attendance. I mean, attendance was good. but just the way that it was put together, there was a baptism, there were testimonies.
there was really good food and fellowship together. And then there was the business [00:13:00] part of it, of voting things. But, uh, there was vision casting and it, it was, it was the funnest business meeting I’ve ever been to. and was. It was a blast. So just a great idea, as you think about those things. And it made me really grateful to be a part of a church like that, I’m blessed that I get to serve on a national level as Nam.
I get to get a little more local with my time with JBA, but w one of the things that I wanted to do is also serve in a local church since I’m really grateful to get to be a part of the Mandarin Baptist church.
Bob Bickford: mean, I I’m, I love that such a great story. And as you were explaining that and talking about your church.
and then your associate, your affiliation with association and, and et cetera, I think, I’m thankful for the Southern Baptist family, you know, w we can all be honest. The Southern Baptist have had a rough year, in the last, last year.
So last half a year, I would say maybe a, a rough year, but, we come together very well as a group of churches as a convention of [00:14:00] churches. And. Together, we can do a lot in terms of accomplishing mission and resourcing mission. You know, this, this whole year we’ve had record offerings in down to, uh, down an economic downturn, uh, for any Armstrong, which is important to us here at the north American mission board.
And, the Lottie moon Christmas offering, which is the international missions board offering and then cooperative program, which is where we give all of our resources together to fund ministry together. And so, In spite of, you know, some of the challenges we’ve had as a convention of churches, we’ve come together to, to use our resources, in positive ways.
And then we’ve also seen more resources given over the last. Year, and I’m super thankful for our Southern Baptist family. And that’s my background and that’s my heritage. And some of our listeners, I know don’t have a denominational affiliation. and, maybe they’re out there on their own. And this is, let me say, look, Hey, if you want to be part of the SBC family, contact your local association, contact your state convention and consider joining our family.
And we’re just like every other family [00:15:00] jumbo. We’ve got some family members who are a little bit different. Than others, but together, man, you just there’s, uh, there’s opportunity to give, thanks about what God’s doing across north America, around the world, through our Southern Baptist family. And so I just want to say in a time where people have really struggled maybe as a Baptist, as a Southern Baptist, I just want to say, Hey, I’m thankful for the SPC family and all that has taken place, in my life.
And then all the things that we’re doing together in spite of.
JimBo Stewart: absolutely. And look, I think about, sometimes it’s easy to be thankful when things are going really well. but there’s also times when things aren’t going really well. And one of my favorite stories to talk about that, which I was reminded of recently, my, my son, my oldest son, Is having, he’s had to read like the saddest books, like a old yeller and, uh, August all these different books or like, you know, the main character or the dog dies.
uh, and so he was so [00:16:00] sad and he’s, he’s our one kid that right. It’s just going to really struggle. And with his emotions are so deep and, and, and full. And, and so he was asking his mom at least is the next book going to be. Happy that she was like, ah, the next books, the hiding place by Corrie 10. Boom.
And, if you haven’t read that, it’s, it’s, it’s tough, man. And, but there’s this story. And in that book that has really always stood out to me and I didn’t, I didn’t bring it up to my son. I wanted to see if it stood out to him. And it did, if you’re familiar with the story, it’s about Corey and her, her sister.
Betsy, and their time and this internment camp and, and how, we, most of us probably already know the name, Corrie 10, boom. This is a background world war two, and they were hiding Jews and, and, and all that sort of stuff, in a good way, hiding Jews and protecting them. And they ended up in jail or this determent camp [00:17:00] and.
there’s one point when things are just going really, really bad. they, they, they’re trying to do these Bible studies in this interment camp and share the gospel, but they have to hide it and they have to be really careful what they’re doing and, and all these things. And so, one night or one time, Betsy, Cory sister, Betsy talks about, how in first Thessalonians, five 14 through 18.
Says comfort, the frightening, the frightened help the weak be patient with everyone. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all rejoice, always pray constantly and give thanks in all circumstances. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. So Betsy says, okay, this is our answer.
Give things in all circumstances. That’s what we can do right now. We can start right now, start listing out everything. So Corey talks about how she, wasn’t really excited about this idea at the moment. And so she kind of gives her a look and it’s like, okay, such as what? Like what can we be thankful for right now?
well, and so [00:18:00] she said the sister’s like, well, we can be thankful that we’re taking. That’s of course he’s like, okay. Yeah, sure. Thank you, Lord Jesus. That I get to be with my sister and then Corey looks down and he’s just like, all right, Lord. Thank you. That there is no inspection when we entered here and so that we were able to hide our, our Bible.
Okay. Yeah, that’s good. thank you for crowding us here so that we are packed so close so that so many more can hear the gospel. When we, when we share the gospel, we can pray and. Corey’s like, oh, okay. All right. Sure. Thank you. That we’re jammed cram stuff, packed and suffocating crowds. and so then Betsy says thank you for the fleas.
And Corey says at this point that she’s like, stop it. No, Betsy stop. We cannot thank God for fleas. Here’s in Betsy says we give things in all circumstance. It doesn’t say in pleasant circumstances says fleas are part of where God has put us. And the long story short, although I’ve already gone too long, probably Betsy reminds Corey, but [00:19:00] the reason they should be thankful for the fleas is because of the fleas.
They’re not being inspected and they’re not being watched as closely as they were being watched. And they’re crammed in with all these people. And so all of a sudden they’re able to freely have all these Bible studies and share the gospel and do all these things. They have freedom now because the fleas have kept the guards from inspecting everything that they’re doing.
And that freedom has allowed them to be more open with the Bible and more open with the word of God and sharing with others. Thank God for the fleas. And one of the things we’ve talked about a lot of times on this podcast, and I really appreciate you are the first one to point this out to me, Bob is sometimes when we’re going through a really hard season of ministry, as many of us are right now, we have to ask, okay, God, what are you doing for my sanctification in this process?
Where is it that you’re carving out idols in my heart? Where is it that you are creating opportunities? That if I’m not having a grateful heart and understanding that you’re doing something, [00:20:00]taking joy in the trial, then I’ll miss. And sometimes it’s easy to find things to be grateful for. And sometimes we need to be thankful for the fleas.