I want to begin by saying Merry Christmas to you all! I trust you are enjoying all the festivities that come with the season. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly we fly through Christmas. Let’s remember that it’s all about Jesus! Our Savior left the glories of heaven to dwell in our midst (John 1:14) and to save and redeem (Galatians 4:4-5).
Church family, thank you for all the Christmas cards and gifts that were given to me and to our family! We so appreciate your words of love and encouragement and your generosity.
Last Sunday evening (December 18th), we had our Christmas program called “An Heirloom Christmas.” Many of you were there, and it turned out to be a wonderful evening. Special thanks to Lois Walters (for writing the script and directing), Natalie Steffen (leading the ladies ensemble) and the many other volunteers who made it possible.
As you know, there are many in our congregation who are sick or on the mend, and we want to keep them in our prayers. It was only a few months ago that Delores Deimer entered the hospital in critical condition, but God spared her life. For Delores, it was one miracle after another, but we praise God that she is doing much better, and has been in our worship services the past few weeks. Buck Carolus also went through a health crisis in November, but is back home and doing much better, praise God!
Continue to pray for Jerry Koontz. I had the chance to visit him in his home on Monday. He is stable, but let’s continue to pray for our brother. Let’s also pray for Andrea Kauffman. It’s been a tough year for Andrea and Theil as she continues to battle cancer. Just like Delores, Buck, and Jerry, Andrea has experienced God’s grace in profound and powerful ways, but it’s still hard. Andrea needs our prayers more than ever. I also want to make mention of Cari Haubrick and Jeannie McCartle who are also battling cancer. Let’s pray God’s strength and healing in their bodies as they continue to journey down this difficult path.
You have probably heard by now that our sister Connie Snook passed away on Saturday, and her funeral is on Wednesday (December 21st). Please pray for Connie’s family as they mourn her death, and that our great God would be at work in their hearts, giving them comfort and peace.
I would be remiss not to mention Ross and Elaine Moore. Early in the new year they will be heading back to Mali, and from there they will be transitioning to a new assignment in another west African nation, Guinea. Please pray for God’s amazing grace to undergird all that they do, and that there would be much gospel fruit that emerges from their new work in Guinea.
As 2022 comes to an end, and as we look forward to the new year, my word for you is simple – cling to Jesus! Cling to this wonderful Person who never changes and will never let you down. When we watch the news and follow what is going on in our world, often that serves to foster fear and anxiety in our lives. Rather than looking to the fast-changing, corrupt, and fallen world that we live in, look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Treasure Him, trust Him, love Him, and serve Him!
What a joy it is to be a part of the family of God. There is nothing that compares to knowing God (John 17:3) and following Jesus (Mark 1:17) on this journey we call the Christian life.
Over the next several days, enjoy the Christmas season in all the traditional ways, but don’t forget to set aside much time to abide in Jesus and meditate on His Word (John 15:1-11). God has been so amazingly faithful over the past year, and we want to give Him praise and glory.
Pine Glen Church Family, know that you are very dear to my heart. I wish you all the best during this Christmas season, and I look forward to seeing you soon, whether that is on Sunday or at another time.
In Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.