It’s just one word, but it makes a ton of difference. Thank you may be the most appreciated words you will ever speak, in any language. Some of us believe that gratitude is a key virtue in living an honourable life. A lack of gratitude signals a sense of entitlement and privilege. Gratitude is prominent in the writings of the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 1:16; Hebrews 12:28; 1 Timothy 2:1).

How fitting that I take the time in this week’s blog just to say THANKS to all who made our Good Friday and Easter weekend a significant Christian celebration. We held seven services (five English and two Arabic), with 200 ministry partners (volunteers) serving all weekend. They even wore a dusty blue T-shirt with the words “here for you” on it. While I’m so thankful for the many who worked so hard all weekend, it was their attitude that brought so much joy to our campus. 

A BIG THANKS to the hundreds of people who attended and/or livestreamed our services over the weekend. In fact, our total numbers were nearly 3,500 people (1,300 livestreamed). People lingered after the services, enjoying a great sense of community. The Krispy Kreme donuts and ice cream truck were hits. Numerous people commented that they especially enjoyed the spirit of friendship on the weekend. 

I have to give special mention to the number of youths and young adults who served. There were 57 next generation folk who donned the dusty blue t-shirt to light up our campus. Their attitude was stellar. Special thanks to them. Speaking of younger folk, I was thrilled to learn that we gave the children a copy of Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Easter,” which has been adapted for 8–12-year-olds. The long line-up of children and families at the ice cream truck after the services blessed my heart. 

From parking lot attendants to greeters to ushers to event table hosts to the media team, we say a giant thank you for your service to the Lord. I stopped as many of them as I could just to say “thanks” and to remind them that “their work is for the kingdom of God.” It was really cool for me to see entire small groups serving together at different services. THANKS to everyone. An extra big thanks to our worship team members (30 of them) for their hours and hours dedicated to leading us in worship.

We distributed 43 new believer packages and 138 newcomer gift books. In both the English and Arabic services, the pastors were careful to give an invitation to pray to receive Christ. We counted around 25 people who indicated that they were becoming new believers in Jesus. We know that number could be higher or lower. Our responsibility is to lead people to the front door of their salvation (Revelation 3:20). What happens in that sacred moment is between them and the Lord. I’m excited to report that ministry partners have already been at the church this week to start follow-up phone calls and texts with newcomers. The responses have been distributed to the corresponding staff members for further follow-up.

The months of planning and detailed execution were blessed by the Lord and rewarded with spiritual fruit. Just two weeks ago, 270 hours of prayer were dedicated to the outreach of our Good Friday and Easter worship services. THANKS to all who prayed with us; now take time to THANK Him for answering our prayers. 

I’m personally blessed and thankful for the day-to-day, behind-the-scenes leadership of our staff. They have been the “tip of the spear,” so to speak, leading the way for the benefit and blessing of the congregation. THANKS team! I couldn’t finish this thank-you note without asking you to recall the most important thanks of all. “Thanks be to God” (a phrase that appears at least six times in the New Testament). We give thanks to Him for His “indescribable gift” in Jesus Christ, our Lord. All the time, money, sacrifice, and effort are our way of celebrating His great gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. If you happen to be reading this thank-you note and have not yet opened your life to Jesus, why not do it right now? 

Giant THANKS church family,

Pastor Deric

Yes and THANK YOU!

John 1:29 is one of my favourite verses in the entire Bible. When John the Baptist saw Jesus walking toward him at the Jordan River, he announced, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Those awaiting baptism had to be perplexed by John’s depiction of Jesus. They knew all about lambs. Sheep and lambs were an essential source of food and clothing, but they were also a central part of the ancient Jewish sacrificial system. John’s reference to Jesus was a metaphor for the sacrificial lamb that was slain as a temporary covering for sin that God inaugurated when the Israelites were enslaved in ancient Egypt. God instructed the Jews to choose an unblemished, perfect lamb to kill and then apply its blood to their doorposts. In the 10th plague, which took the lives of Pharoah’s firstborn, God promised that when the Angel of Death swept over Egypt and saw the blood, the Israelites’ firstborn would not die. The blood of lambs saved lives!

On Palm Sunday, two thousand years ago, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on what was called the “Day of Lambs.” It was the day that Jewish shepherds herded huge flocks of Passover lambs into Jerusalem, signalling the beginning of the annual Passover celebration. It was “The Day of Lambs!” Historian Josephus estimates that as many as 268,000 lambs could be sacrificed in the Temple for Passover. One lamb per household meant that the crowds in Jerusalem at Passover swelled to over a million. The sacrifice of the lambs began on Friday afternoon of Passover week at 3 p.m. Jesus fulfilled the prophetic descriptions of the Old Testament, graphically portrayed in Isaiah Chapter 53. Jesus lived His life on earth steeped in Jewish customs and religious practices. When the time came for His destiny as our sacrificial Lamb, Jesus entered Jerusalem, a city He loved, fully understanding that His arrest, beatings, betrayals, and crucifixion lay ahead. 

John was clear: Jesus died as “the Lamb of God,” who takes away the sins of the world. Do me a favour. In your mind’s eye, picture a direct line drawn from John 1:29 all the way back to Isaiah 53, especially verses 3 – 6.  Slow down and read it prayerfully and deliberately. See how personally focused Isaiah makes it. The Lamb of God took “our griefs, our sorrows, and our transgressions; with His wounds we are healed; the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Like Christians all around the world, I’m thankful that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son.” But I think the power of the beautiful reality of Jesus’ sacrificial death lies in the personal application of His gift. He was wounded for me! He was wounded for you! You have to wrap that gift around your own life. He died for you. 

The breathtaking wonder of Jesus laying down His life is that He died for me. God’s great Good Friday and Easter Sunday message is told to draw you into the heart of God. His love for you is the life-changing message that your soul longs to hear.

Just say YES and THANK YOU to Him. Yes, it was I who caused Your pain. I repent. And THANK YOU for dying for me. I open my heart to welcome You as Saviour and Lord of my life. 

Church family, here we are about to share our seven services with the help of nearly 200 ministry partners over this weekend (five English and two Arabic). Invite a friend and join us to say “YES” and “THANK YOU” to the Lord. For more details, visit


Pastor Deric