Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Carolyn and I traveled to North Carolina to be with family. It was there I discovered a new restaurant called Cook Out. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this chain of restaurants that are found in abundance in the Southeast, but it was new to me. Now, since it was Thanksgiving and the turkey wasn’t the only thing that was stuffed, we didn’t actually eat at Cook Out (other than a delicious malt), but it afforded me the opportunity to learn something about the menu.  

What I discovered is that a single Cook Out tray (yours for only $4.99) is enough to feed a family of four. Or two Steelers’ linemen. Or one college student. For instance, you can order the big double burger, which you might think would come with a side of fries or some coleslaw. And yes, that would be an option, but why be so predictable? You actually get two sides with your burger and the sides are more like meals themselves. So, you could get the big double burger with sides of a chicken wrap and a quesadilla, or two bacon wraps, or a corn dog and chicken nuggets. And, of course, you’ll need a drink to wash all that down so you can choose from their two beverage sizes — large and huge. 

Now, the reason I bring up Cook Out is because it reminds me of the Christmas season at Pathway. You see, at Pathway, it is easy to find an entrée-sized outreach endeavor to participate in to show the love of Jesus. Maybe you’d select the recently completed Thanksgiving Kit outreach where Pathway volunteers provided all the food for 74 complete meal kits that served over 400 people. I have heard a number of stories of deeply grateful families who were blessed by your generosity. It would seem that with a little side of some other gift giving, your season could be complete. But if you consider the other choices this season, you will see that instead of little sides, the options are other entrée outreaches.  

There is Operation Christmas Child. The people of Pathway recently packed 525 boxes that are headed around the world to brighten the Christmas of needy children. A couple dozen volunteers also turned Pathway into a relay center, managing shoebox collections from another 38 churches and groups. In all, nearly 3,000 boxes passed through the Pathway lobby. 

Another entrée for your consideration is Project Angel Tree. You can select an angel from the tree in the lobby that will give you gift ideas or the clothing size of a particular child of a prison inmate. You can then purchase an item that will be delivered to them for Christmas. We anticipate that hundreds of gifts will be given by the Pathway family for Angel Tree children. 

Then there is Give Joy to the World. Through this project we hope to provide clean water to those in desperate need in Liberia. A single well can provide disease free water, as well as the living water of Jesus Christ for about 1,000 people. A small portion of the Give Joy proceeds also will go to advance our partnership in Orkarkar, Kenya. You can find more information about Give Joy at the table in the Chippewa lobby or at www.lifeatpathway.com. 

In this Christmas season, I encourage you to feast on the outreach opportunities that are right before you. Gluttony is usually a problem, but in this case feel free to fill your plate for the sake of those in need close to home and around the world.  


Merry Christmas and Happy Eating!

Pastor Jeff