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Rewriting the Year

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I just caught myself doing it. Writing 2020 when I meant to write 2021. Normally, I just roll the eye; however, I think I just experienced trauma! Even with all of the shortcomings of 2020, it is important to remember two things. First, though no one could have predicted this year, God demonstrated His love and blessings. We need to be attentive to  how His hand was working. How He used us in the lives of others. How He provided for our needs – spiritually and physically. How He draws near to us as we drew near to Him (James 4:8). It is an important exercise to stop and recognize what He has done. I would encourage you as you begin 2021 to create a list of 20 ways that you have seen God move and provide in 2020.

   Second, this is a new year with renewed beginnings. His Word promises, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 322-23). And “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” (Joel 2:25) In our temporary minds, we consider the things we may have missed or didn’t do; however, our Lord Jesus was always aware of what we would face. He desires use these experiences and do something fresh within our lives and in His Church. Turn your attention upward and consider how you might be used by God in 2021. So do this, one morning while doing your devotions ask how God might work in and through you. Grab a piece of paper and write down what He impresses on your heart. This may be a goal to do, someone to connect with, or an aspect of your life you need to surrender. Write this as a single word or phrase and place in a location where you will see this each day. Add this one to the twenty ways that you just testified of God working and wait to see what He does!

 

Posted by Joe Butler with

Generous People

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What an incredibly generous church. Pastor Joe, Hannah, Cathy, and myself were blown away by the generous gift cards we received for Christmas. And each one was anonymous! You honored your pastors’ families in such a loving way and desired no honor for yourselves. Wow. Just wow. And that was on top of the church’s insistence on blessing us for Pastor Appreciation in October.

         This church has shown itself to be amazingly generous even during a time of high uncertainty. We took payroll protection funds back in April, not knowing how many families might lose their jobs and not be able to tithe as generously. But God was faithful. Giving was indeed a bit down but then so were expenses. The church recently turned around and blessed LeTourneau Christian Center with an amount higher than the funds we received. Wow.

And the two offerings for missions we took this year were above and beyond the goals we set.  People we’ve never met will be blessed with the Gospel message because of the generosity of God’s people. And Operation Christmas Child reached a new high in the number of shoe boxes this year. Throughout the pandemic, even when we couldn’t meet in person, people were donating items to go to kids around the world.

I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 8 where the apostle Paul marvels at the generosity of God’s people saying in verse 5, “and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.” That’s the way it works. You give yourself first to the Lord and then generosity wells up because of your passion for your Savior and your love for His children and His mission in the world. See you in church on Sunday!

 

Posted by Steve Charles with

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