Sunday, December 30, 2007

Celebrating This Year And Anticipating The Next!!

So………are you ready for the new year? I am!! I LOVE celebrating the new year!! I love the optimism and the newness of it all. I love how everything seems fresh and new!!

I sure have a lot to look forward this upcoming year. Let’s see,….tomorrow is new year’s eve, followed by the next call for life on Friday (and sanctity of life week later on this month!) Then, in a couple weeks, the new Veggie Tales movie comes out. Also, Horton Hears a Who will be coming out and so will the next Chronicle of Narnia Movie - Prince Caspian!! But, aside from all the positive and enlightening entertainment, this is also an election year. Yeah, some people view politics as a headache, but I see great opportunity. I especially see that in Mike Huckabee - and his chances of winning the republican nomination (and the presidency) look very good to me!! I’m praying for him and advocating him the best I can and I can only hope other true Christians will do the same.

In addition to all of those things, I have another very important thing to look forward to…..Steve, Susan, and their family are going to be moving up here in a few weeks!!! OH YEAH!! SO EXCITED!!! God blessed them with a house in a town close to us and they will be moving into it very soon!! I am beyond grateful that God would bring our family and their family together and that He would bless us so intensely with their friendship!! He knew that we all needed each other!! I look forward to all the great times that we will have together, and also to all the things that Another Chance Ministries will accomplish once the ministry gets started here in Indiana. We love you guys and we are praying for you!! We hope that God brings you here safely and that He will provide for all your needs as you prepare to make your journey. We pray that God will give you the strength and endurance that you’ll need to make it through it all!! May you be abundantly blessed!! We can’t wait to welcome you HOME!!!!!!!! OXOXOXO

Thinking about those who are so much a part of our family (and ARE family to us!) makes me think about what Chad talked about at church today. There wasn’t a long sermon today. It was just simply a day of remembrance, reflection, and thanks for all the people who serve and help out in the church.

Every servant of Christ does their part to be make up the body of Christ. It’s all about people reaching people; meeting them where they are and making disciples - not simply “converts.” People encounter Christ through those of us that exemplify His love and goodness. We need to be good ambassadors for Christ so others can be brought to Him. And, that doesn’t just mean “going to church” and going through the motions either. Chad reiterated that point by saying, “we don’t ‘go to church’ we ARE the church!” Yeah…..THAT’S RIGHT!!

So, with that in mind, our church’s personal mission is to make disciples who Reach Up to experience a life of faith; Reach Out to share the hope of Jesus; and Reach Around people with the love of Jesus. We certainly have a LOT of people at Life Church who do that!! They had people from various ministries within the church say a few words, and they posted names of those who serve on those teams on the screen. WOW!! There are a lot of great servants!! My kudos and thanks to everyone that shares their heart, time, and talents in order to help other people take their next step towards God!! Thanks to all the obedient people who serve really do have the “Love God; love others” mentality at heart!

I try to do that very thing as well - and not just solely through involvement with other brothers and sisters in Christ at church, but on a daily basis!! Of course, anyone that reads these blogs knows that. And so, I want to thank all of you who continue to read these entries. I pray that you are blessed and that your heart it touched by God. It’s why I do what I do. It’s all about building His Kingdom, being a part of it, and getting others to know the joy of it as well! I always feel like if my experiences and what I learn from them can help someone, then it is so worth it! It’s like what Karen (the counselor at Life Church) said today when it was her turn to share….she said that we’re always the leader of someone, as well as the leader of ourselves. So, we ought to be a good leader and be led by Christ so we can lead others to Him as well!

Another thing that she said (which I just loved!) was that when you’re broken, you’re teachable. No doubt about it!! More often than not, a person learns the most when they are vulnerable and in their darkest of moments because we are more receptive.

Another couple sayings that I like are ones that Kent always says: “Life isn’t fair. People are weird. Love’s the bottom line” as well as “Feel the heat. Face the fire. Find the gold!” All of that adds up to persevering through the tough stuff to find the silver lining to it all. Go through the test to get to the testimony so you can share your story with others!!

Well, happy new year everyone! Just remember, when that “ball drops” pick it up and run with it!! It’s just like Chad talked about last year…..don’t start off the year by dropping the ball. Take that ball and run with it! Make the most of your opportunities and make a difference this coming year and always!! May God bless you all and keep you safe!! See you next year!!

1 comment:

Susan Stafford said...

Thank you Melissa!! We are looking forward to seeing all of you as well and seeing what the new year brings!! Much love and hugs!! XOXO!!
Susan