Here we are standing on the edge of another year finishing and a new one beginning. Even though these are fairly artificial, they do provide a watershed moment. One day ends and another begins. December 31st slide into January 1st effortlessly, and if it were not for the calendar, it would just be another day passing.
Yet, we need these markers, these monuments of transition. Somehow it gives us a place of closure and a new beginning of sorts.
We even depict the change with images of Father time and Baby new year. For many, we breathe a sigh of relief as the year ends and say things like, “I do not want to go through one of those years again,” or, “This was one of the best years of my life.”
Each year I look to the hope of a better day, a better experience. I am not necessarily a negative person, but my makeup is to constantly evaluate and seek to improve. Often, as we seek to improve; things get worse first. The resolutions to improve health, fitness, the mind, or any business goal starts with worse first. If it is health, the changes in diet are tough to take. Can you remain on the program? If it is fitness, the soreness of exercise is the first experience before there is improvement. Want to improve the mind, it means reading and study. At first it is hard to be disciplined. Spiritual improvement are the same. The regimen of practiced discipline is not easy. Reading the Bible regularly, praying regularly, attending church consistently, all take time and effort. Not every Bible passage is going to be life changing in the moment. Not every prayer is going to feel like it is answered immediately or at all. Not every service is going to send you home thrilled and inspired. But it is the discipline of regularity that yields long term results. Laying one brick on the wall does not build the house, but consistent building of brick after brick finishes the house.
As a church we have been diligently building. Line on line, precept on precept. One step at a time, disciplined and consistent. It has not been easy, but we continue to build, one brick at a time. Sometimes it seems so slow, but the house is being built.
- We now are beginning to see some young folks come into the church. We now here the cry of babies from time to time in the church.
- Discipleship continues in the form of “Elevate.”
- We sent 17 kid to Church Camp.
- Roy Levingston became an Elder
- Had a successful outreach with the “God is not Dead” movie and series.
- We had the Outreach in the Park for the Summer with free ice cream for the kids, sponsored by Joy Wagon.
- Brought Josiah on as full time youth pastor and worship leader
- Hospitality Team hosted several successful events.
- The church ministered to families in crisis on several occasions.
- Ralph Howe held great seminar.
- Paid off over $25,000 in mortgage debt. Down to $15000 from the starting point of over $100,000 in just 3 years. Projected to be debt free by July.
- Celebrated our 50th Wedding anniversary
- Matthew and Robin got married.
- Matthew and Dani got married
- Bryan and Robin got married
- Cole and Kate had a baby
- Josiah and Whitney had a baby
- Miranda was baptized as were several others through the year.
Really, there were a lot of good events.
So, it is with hope and expectation that we face 2015. What will it bring? That is the mystery. We must continue to follow hard after God and see what He gives us. There probably will be hardships and great victories. There will joy and sadness. There will be giving and taking in marriage. Life will go on with all its messiness, but the Lord will be faithful!