Christmas greetings to you and your family! It has been a wonderful Christmas season!
As we near the close of 2013 to open the chapter of a new year, it is a time for reflection. So many wonderful things filled this past year: Attending the National Youth Gathering in San Antonio with a group of incredible youth, another groundbreaking year of Vacation Bible School, launching a new Sunday morning menu with the birth of Modern Worship and KidZone, and personally, seeing the Kuhlman family expand with the addition of a new puppy. God’s blessings have been many, His faithfulness true!
A new year means new beginnings, new challenges, and new opportunities. This past year has been a wonderful year filled with God’s blessing and handiwork! Only God knows what the new year will bring. As we step toward tomorrow, we trust and follow His lead today. As the hymn-writer Isaac Watts so eloquently penned: “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.” (verse 1 of “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”) As followers of the One, True God, it is to this hope and promise to which we cling.
As we enter a new year, take a moment to ponder:
- How did you see God’s Hand at work in your life in 2013?
- What do you look forward to in the coming year?
- Is there an area you seek God’s provision or guidance?
Personally, 2014 is already shaping up to be a God-stretching year.
As the Body of Christ, we are called to lift our fellow brothers and sisters up in prayer at all times, but in particular, during times of need. As Paul writes, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6) At this time, my family would covet your prayers as I will be having surgery in early Jan. to repair a double hernia and will be out 1-2 weeks for recovery. As an infant I had the blessing of being born with double hernias, which were repaired prior to my release from the hospital. As my current doctor described, it was not a matter “if” but “when” they would return. This being said, if a need should arise while I am recovering, please contact the church office and we will connect you with the appropriate next steps of care. I have worked alongside the Board of Elders to stand in the gap during my time of recovery for Sunday morning as well as during the week. You will be well taken care of!
God has been teaching me many things through this experience. I have gained new perspective on what it is like to be on the receiving end of care from others. I have learned that I am not a very patient, patient (ask my wife). I reaffirmed my strong dislike of needles or blood. I do not like or deal with pain very well (again, my wife can attest to this)! I have been truly humbled by your many prayers, conversations, care, and support throughout this time of healing and recovery. But most of all, I have (re)learned the significance of leaning on God during in-between times of uncertainty. I trust God’s provision of peace and faith as I lean on His watchful presence.
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. My door is always open. I close with some words from the Book of Hebrews:
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16)
A new year is upon us! A page now turns as the Word made flesh leads us into whatever lies ahead. On every page of this journey is written one word: Jesus. His grace, His love, His forgiveness is the core and sustenance to our faith-walk as followers of Christ. May our eternal God the Father richly bless us as we seek to live under His grace-filled guidance and creative presence. May His Holy Spirit challenge us to boldly step toward places that stretch and grow us in our faith and trust of Him. And may His Son, Jesus Christ, lavish us with an overflowing love to face the unknowns of whatever our tomorrows may bring.
Thank you for your continued partnership in mission and ministry!
Living boldly in Christ’s grace,