Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thoughts on a New Year

It's only January 13th, less than two weeks into the new year, so it's not too late to write about a new year, is it? Having my birthday in January allows for me to be able to begin a new year in more ways than one. Isn't God great to give us new beginnings? He gives us one every morning, but there's something special about turning the calendar to January to begin another year.

I want to share two thoughts that I've learned recently. The first comes from Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning, God..." God is there for every beginning. He was there at the dawn of creation, and he's there at the beginning of every new ministry, new marriage, new job, new location, new child. There has never been a beginning that occurred before he could get there. 2007 brought us the beginning of life as parents. 2008 is going to bring us a new beginning in ministry in Brazil as well as many other beginnings. How encouraging and comforting to know that God will be there for that!

The second thought ties in with the first one. It's from Joshua 3:4 where God tells the Israelites as they enter the Promised Land, "you have not passed this way before." 2008 will bring situations to all of us that we have never encountered. But guess what?! Just because we haven't is no reason to be afraid! God can say, "you have not passed this way before, but I have and I will be there as you begin your journey on this path."

So as I look ahead to what 2008 will bring and as I set goals to accomplish this year, I'm encouraged to know that God will be there for every beginning and will see me through until the end.

(Just a recent picture of Gabriel -- our latest big "beginning")

Friday, January 4, 2008

Genesis 14:22-23

But Abram said to the king of Sodom, " I have lifted my hand (promised) to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor (Creator) of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich'."

The thought stuck me this morning. Abram made a promise, or lifted up the name of the Lord for divine purposes and glory. Maybe you have made a list of goals and resolutions for this new year. Have you stopped to write down beside them the why I have made these goals? What is the bottom line reason for them? Do they make you feel better about yourself? Do they make God the object of full glory?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

December 21st - 31st

In the past 10 days the Lord allowed us to see family we haven't seen in years! I must admit that pre December 21st I was a bit anxious. When you haven't seen family in while - many things change - and the uncertainty can produce questions like: What will we talk about? How will they perceive me? Will we have anything in common? These questions were gone quickly the minute we arrived and the fellowship was priceless!
Let's go one by one in no particular order:
Papaw and Mamaw Grimes

Thank you for your love for the Lord, your love for God's Word and your love for ministry. How great to be able sit with you a couple times a day in our short visit and read God's Word and talk about it. Thank you for making Christ first and foremost in your lives - it shows!

Sis Rachel Your determination and enthusiasm are unmatched! Your example of humility is evident in your willingness to encourage the kids while the rest of the adults are yaking it up! Thank you for your evident love for the Lord and obedience to Him. I'm glad for the godly aunt my children will have!

Aunt Lorene and Myka
Aunt Lorene - Thank you for living life on purpose. Thanks to you - we actually did some things while we were there! Your organization is fueled by your kindness. The meals, the trips, the hospitality are all to be commended as definite evidences of God's grace in your life. Thank You!

Myka - You seem to be content with the most simple things and are always willing to serve others. Thank you for your excellent attitude, even if your hands are freezing to death!
May God use you in wonderful ways!

Jason and Jodie and Taylor
(sorry Jason - only good picture I have of you three!)
God has gifted you Jason with a contagious energy and charisma. God has equally blessed you Jodie with intelligence and a willing spirit. May God's evidences of grace continue to grow in your family as you seek to love God and his beauty. Taylor is just a bundle of joy - a great mix between mom and dad. Thank you for coming and we certainly look forward to keeping in touch with you. Don't forget about us please!

Sam (Bottom left)

You have such a sweet spirit. You probably couldn't kill a fly! Not to mention your contagious smile! May God use you in wonderful ways!

Greg, Christy, Nathan, Andrew

It is wonderful to get to know you better. It's encouraging to be able to agree on some important theological issues Greg. Christy - your hospitality and kindness never seem to end! Nathan - you're a cool guy that actually laughs at my jokes - thank you! Andrew - thanks for letting me drag you around on the snow - you made my day! Hope you're healing o.k.

Grandma Taylor

Grandma thank you for your commitment to Christ and all the sacrifices that came with it. You and Grandpa are my heroes for investing you lives in God's service. There is no greater task on this earth than the one you gave yourselves to. I am proud to be your grandson and I thank God for your faithful example. May God continue to use you in wonderful ways! Thanks for the Christmas gifts as well!

Josh and Gretchen
Thank you for your close friendship with us. Our time together is always invaluable! The evidences of grace in your life scream at us every time we see you. May this never fade! We look forward to the next time we see you.

Dan and Jonna - Blake and BeebsTravis and Leah - Natalie

Thank you for all the times together this year. Your friendship has been an encouragement this year. The future will certainly not be the same - but we will always have the good times and memories of 2007 - which we have not taken for granted! May we all continue to be passionate about the Lord and gospel as we go our separate ways. What great fellowship!


Ba ga do ga nu gu du la ga da bu ka ma!

Translated - Son, you are the greatest gift to me this Christmas!

Last but oh so not least! Thank you for traveling 2400 miles with me this Christmas. You treat my family like they are yours and you are very patient with me! I Love You more than you'll ever know! Even if we take the wrong interstate again.