Happy New Year!!!! How quickly 2016 went. In 2017, we are looking at some major changes here at our church, but one thing remains: We can always rely on the faithfulness of God. Recently as I spoke to our young men and women, we looked at two passages. Romans 8:28 says “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Then we added Jeremiah 29:11, ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” From this we learned that God has a plan for each of us and that He is using everything we have done and will do for good to give us a hope and a future. As a church body we can hold onto these verses as well, believing that God has so much more planned for us. He has a plan for our church beyond anything any of us could ever understand. He has known about this transition for over 2000 years and has been prepared for this moment in our church for just as long. We just need to be faithful to God at this time, diligent in prayer, attentive to needs, and persistent in our service. God has placed each one of us here for this moment!!!
When Jesus called Matthew, all He had to say was “follow me”, and Matthew got up and went with him, sacrificing all the money in his world to follow Jesus. In part because of his willingness to do something hard, we find his account of Jesus’ life first in the New Testament. When God called Jonah to reach out to a lost nation, he ran away and got eaten by a fish. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to be eaten by a fish. So, it may be hard, but I want to follow God to wherever he leads me.
For those who may be wondering what I mean, I announced to the congregation on Sunday, November 13th that I, along with Samantha and Piper were being called out of The People Church. Though this is not an easy thing to do, because we love this church so much, we do feel strongly that God is in this and that He will take care of us and the congregation as well.
It’s always a scary thing to leave a church family that you love, but the scariest thing about what God is calling my family and me to do (in my mind), is that we are not leaving for another congregation. Samantha and I both feel that the best way for us to make an impact in the Kingdom of God in this season, is to serve Jesus by working outside of the church. While I have been working at Chick-Fil-A, I have had some great opportunities to love, teach, serve and share with people of all walks of life. Some people are struggling in their faith. Some people don’t have faith at all. Some people are looking for a faith based community. Because of the Holy Spirit within me, I can play a part in bringing Jesus to all those people.
Also, in December Samantha is graduating with her dual license in special education and elementary education. Which means she will be a very valuable person to have in any school. While she is teaching children, she will have many opportunities to be an example of love, teach the righteousness of Jesus, and share about the way to have a relationship with the creator of the universe. She has often shared how she just wants to love the kids that so badly need love. And I am so proud of how much she loves Jesus and is choosing kids with special needs, when so often they are looked at as a nuisance instead of a blessing.
Again, I would just like to say thank you. Thanks for letting me serve. Thanks for showing grace as I grow. Thanks for holding high expectations. Thanks for loving Samantha and Piper just as much as you loved me. Thanks for being a truly special church. I just want to echo Paul’s thoughts about the Colossian church when he writes that every time they pray for that church, they thank God because of their love for all the saints and their faith in Christ. Every time I pray for your church, I will thank God because of the faith and hope you show in Christ and the love you show for all the saints. You are truly a special church!
Finally, I would like to ask for your prayers. Pray for Samantha and me as we minster to people at our jobs, but also as we raise Piper. Because not only has God blessed us with places to work that need Jesus’ love, He has blessed us with a person in our own home that needs the love of Jesus, and the support of her parents. Pray that Doc, Kaitlyn, Dylan, Alexis, Dawn, and Ricky would come to know Jesus in a personal way. Pray that Jacob, Zulema, Josh, Daeton, and I will be able to find spiritual community.
It is with much love, sorrow and joy that I write these words. These four years have been a blessing. And I know I will see you all very soon.