Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas '04

As we approach Christmas, the Lord reminded us of his faithfulness. Christmas, itself, is a proclamation of our Savior's unswerving faithfulness to mankind. Throughout the Old Testament His coming was foretold in many ways. Then at last when all seemed lost (the Jews were scattered all over the world, Israel's land lay largely desolate, and -- worst of all -- God had stopped speaking through prophecy for 400 years) Jesus came just as, when, and where He said He would. Wow! What faithfulness! And that was only the beginning of His earthly ministry. His earthly lifetime, His death, and His resurrection also all speak of His faithfulness to us. Not to mention His ministry now as our Advocate and His second coming.

On a more personal note, we have seen the Lord's faithfulness at Grace Bible Church throughout this year. He has blessed our congregation with a ministry called Release Time. It allows our church to weekly bus 6th, 7th, & 8th graders to our church for an hour of religious instruction. Amazingly, there are no strings attached other than the participants being willing and having their parents' permission. We thank the Lord how He has blessed this ministry. All of the children have heard faithful scriptural teachings, several have been saved, and we have had opportunity to reach out to new families in our community. Also, the Lord has blessed by supplying the laborers we need. Pastor has organized the program and driven the bus, which was supplied most graciously by another church after we had more children attending than our van could hold. Myron, despite struggling with his own health, faithfully taught the children scriptural lessons utilizing everything from traditional bible lessons to science videos revealing our Creator's love and care for us. And, of course, many others were involved in preparing or serving snacks, cleaning up afterwards, or praying for the ministry.

Lastly, the Lord has been most faithful to our family throughout this past year. After 7 years of marriage, He blessed us with our first child, who is due to be born in late March of 2005. Some of our friends were so excited about this news that they blessed us with enough gifts to make our eventual baby shower registration a difficulty. Also, the Lord blessed me during the beginning of this month with an opportunity to interview for a probation officer position in Connecticut. Melinda and I have been wanting to return to New England for several years, but our fleece to know if it is the Lord's will has been God supplying me employment there. We are excited about this interview because even before we knew about it we thought that Connecticut would make an ideal state for us to settle in due to its proximity to her family in New Jersey and mine in northern New England. The interview seemed to go well, but we will have to patient until 2005 before we will hear anything.

We hope that you enjoy a Merry Christmas and are able to rejoice in our Lord's faithfulness. You are in our prayers as you serve the Lord either at home or a far.