January 2019 Newsletter
Save The Date
Jan 1 - New Year's Day
Jan 21 - Martin Luther King Jr Day
Happy New Year! We are praying that together we would be encouraged by the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:4, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (ESV) January is the Sanctity of Human Life month and we pray the Lord would move in our land to ignite a passion for human life in every stage. From the baby in the womb to the man or woman nearing the end of their life we thank the Lord for the gift of life and pray we might honor the gift he’s given.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
We all find ourselves looking back on 2018 as we do most years and say, “Where did the year go”? It seems so fast. Yet when you think on all that has happened in the last year, it was jammed packed with so much. There was so much good that happened and so much trouble and heartache. As Christians, we must navigate through the good and the bad with our hope set on our Savior. It is not my intention to focus on the trouble and heartache but those are the things we are to shine our light to.
We are to comfort the hurting, help the helpless, give to the needy, and bring hope to the hopeless. Many of you have practiced your faith through our collections this year. Because of your generosity, many nursing home residences were blessed with your thoughtful gift. Thank you to everyone who gave desiring to bless someone. I apologize for the lack of photos. Just know that if you gave, people were blessed. Thanks to everyone who donated a toy or gift card. A special thanks to the anonymous giver of the Mother Lode of stuffed animals. They will be a blessing throughout the year to all those children who are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Thanks to the Sewing Garret for the beautiful pillow cases. Everyone will have a child’s head resting on them.
I just received a text from the rescue mission thanking you for your gifts of blankets, socks and sleeping bags for the homeless. Don’t forget to share your faith. That is something we can do all year long. To all those who lost a love one this past year or faced a health crisis, hold on to your faith. Our hearts and prayers are with you. The year went fast, and I am sure this next one will fly by as well. One thing is certain is that our hope in Christ will never disappoint. (Rom 5:5) and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Let us all hope for a great year in 2019. The year 2019 is a clean slate; let’s make the most of it. Keep the faith, share your faith, and do some good.
Happy New Year
A RESOLUTION TO BE RESOLUTE
I like New Year’s Resolutions, I really do, however I’m beginning 2019 with a slightly different perspective than in prior years. I suppose you could say my resolution is to remain resolute. By that I mean that I’m not intentionally adding anything “new” to my list but instead evaluating what I’m doing right now and doubling down on my commitment to being faithful in those things. Long term faithfulness is the mark of the follower of Christ and with each passing day that must remain our life long resolution.
In Matthew 25, the Lord tells a parable about three servants who are assigned various opportunities to be good stewards of their master’s resources. Two of the three proved to be faithful in their duties and were rewarded by their master with accolades of praise and even greater stewardship opportunities. They were also welcomed into the “joy of their master.” The third proved to be no servant at all but an unfaithful fraud. R.C Sproul commenting on this said, “Jesus was saying that we will be judged by the wisdom and diligence with which we manage what He leaves us. He is going to ask us whether we invested in those things that do the most to benefit people. Of course, that which most improves the well-being of people in this world is the work of the kingdom of God. That is where our chief investment needs to be. Christians need to seek to be productive. Only in this way will we have the inestimable blessing of hearing him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” The Lord has promised an ever flowing stream of grace to enable us to be faithful and yet he’s called us to obedience and hard work. May the Lord be pleased to allow 2019 be a year of fruitful labor in His service. Happy New Year to you all! _____________________________________________________________
Sproul, RC. St Andrews Expositional Commentary: Matthew. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.
He was beautiful- the harlequin doll in his shiny burgundy and black satin clown suit with matching cap and painted porcelain face, looking frozen in thought. Like a watchman, he straddled the arched top of the old juke box in our home, and I began to dust him off as part of my regular Saturday chores, making the little bells on his cap jingle. And… I wished he were mine rather than my mom’s.
At twelve years old, I didn’t know the word “coveting”, yet I knew what it felt like to covet and to also feel coveting’s guilt and shame. Suddenly and without warning, he slid right off the juke box, hit the nearby piano, and smashed his foot into pieces. Oh, no! I’m in trouble now! I whispered. I was guilty and would be punished, and it would hurt. I hid in my bathroom a whole floor below my mom, and I tried to cry quietly, but sometimes, a mom just knows things. Before long, she appeared in the doorway, demanding an explanation for my state. I sloppily confessed through my sobs. Her response? Unexpectedly, she softened and opened her arms to console me. More than the need to discipline, she answered my need for mercy and forgiveness. And before I stopped crying, I shed more tears, tears of relief.
I appreciate my mother for the day she taught me about the mercy of our loving God, who is “rich in mercy” according to Ephesians 2:4. She has since passed, yet as I think about her this holiday season, I realize that I can pay it forward to others. And truly, God is rich, overflowing even, in many other attributes that can be shared with one another- love, patience, hope, joy, strength. They can become invitations to appreciate Him more and to bring Him glory. I want to do more imitating of Christ this new year of 2019, so I am praying and adopting a Bible reading plan in the hopes that it will give me more of the mind of Christ and the courage to follow Him and to pay it forward, as the Lord leads. I hope you will to.
IN EVERY SEASON
Was 2018 not the fastest year? I know we talk about it all the time how fast time flies by, but seriously, 2018 is over! I expect 2019 to go by just as quick and if I’m honest I wouldn’t mind if it slows down a bit in the summer months. In fact, if I’m really honest I miss SUMMER! I want to go to the beach, enjoy the sun, go out for ice cream and not shiver, and just enjoy those laid back afternoons. I didn’t realize how much I love summer until December came. I know when Chris reads this he will probably mock me, but I have a feeling he knows I’m right. I’d simply ask him what outdoor activities did you enjoy this winter? I’ll bet the answer is nothing. No one wants to be outside in the cold throwing a football back and forth with frozen hands. Not to mention everyone is sick! So, no one is going to be outside in the cold with a cold throwing a football with frozen hands. Just sayin’.
Some of my best memories are in summer. My birthday is in summer along with my husband and the rest of my family. It’s the season in which we take the time to celebrate one another and it’s very special to me. I’m sure those of you can relate to what I’m saying but in a different way. When you stop to think about the seasons of life that God has put you in. Sometimes seasons can feel like winter. Dormant, cold, lonely, slow. But He has us there for a reason. He brings us in, shows us that we are not alone, and draws our hearts to trust Him. We rely on His strength rather than our own. Then we have seasons like summer. A time of celebration. One where you can look back and say “what a blessing.”
Regardless of which season you may be in right now. We must remember to praise Him in the storm and praise Him in the sunshine. He does nothing without purpose and so we must lean on His understanding and not our own. It is easier said than done but that is why we get our help from Him the creator of Heaven and earth. P.S. Two and a half months to go until we get our sun back. We can do this!!