In the absence of anything else to post these days, I decided to include my latest article for our senior adult monthly newsletter, Joyful Tidings.
With snow on the ground and temperatures hovering around 1 degree in these final days of 2008, some are probably eagerly anticipating a break in the cold weather. Unfortunately, unless your travel plans call for a trip to the southern hemisphere or the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, you will probably have to face a couple of more months at least of frigid weather here in Missouri. I realize the extreme cold temperatures force many of our senior adults to stay inside and curtail some of their regular activities, but I trust that you won’t let the cold rob you of the warmth of fellowshipping with fellow believers as opportunities present themselves to do so.
January signals the start of a new year and fresh possibilities of serving the Lord in creative ways. With each new year, we also face the prospects of unexpected changes in our lives. We never know when a sudden shift in circumstances will affect our own life or that of our family. For that reason it’s always wise to welcome each new day with a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of life itself and the strength to wake up and face the day’s challenges. With faith in the goodness and mercy of God and by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit, we can confront whatever situations we meet with the confidence that our God loves us and will walk with us through it all.
The year 2009 also marks the 400th anniversary of Baptists as a Christian movement. While there are literally dozens of different Baptist denominations today, most church historians trace the beginnings of Baptists back to a small congregation of English exiles who had fled to Amsterdam in search of religious liberty and there founded the first Baptist church in 1609. Undoubtedly there will be opportunities in this coming year to reflect on our history as Baptists and most certainly to pray that God will continue to bless and use us for His glory and the extension of His kingdom. My prayer is that each of you will experience God’s blessings and nearness in this coming year.