It’s here, and I, like many of you are wondering “where did the time go?”
Our Executive Secretary, Carol, took down the 2013 calendar from the wall. It was 12 different sheets representing the different months, and 11 of them had a big black “X” on them. The 12th one is down for the count!
I want to wish all of my family and friends the best beginning to 2014 and to join me in praying for us to be sensitive to the Lord’s leadership in our homes and church. It’s important to enjoy these final few days of break before work and school resumes, and when that happens I hope to be energized for another year of life and service.
I do keep a journal, but haven’t gone back to reread the experiences I have had this past year. I can tell you that these last 12 months have been very challenging yet rewarding in terms of spiritual formation. The verse out of James: “Count it all joy when you experience trials of every kind, because you know the testing of your faith produces endurance” has meant a lot to me. I am grateful for the patience and prayers of our church family and their interest in my own family.
There were several developments this past year that I found interesting and I’ll close my last blog entry of 2013 with a mention of only a few.
Well, we paid off our debt! When I came to University Heights Baptist Church over six years ago, it had a $1.1 million debt remaining from significant building improvements and renovations. Our church leadership came together and with the faithful giving of our people, we managed to finish the five year capital campaign and burn the note around Thanksgiving. This was such an incredible accomplishment and I am eager to begin another year without the stress of promoting a debt payoff.
The Auburn Tigers football team’s remarkable turnaround has been exciting for us to watch. This development was called the story of the year by numerous sports magazines, and it’s easy to see why. Last year AU didn’t win a single SEC game, and now they are heading to Pasadena to play Florida State for the national championship. Unbelievable finishes against Georgia and Alabama in the Iron Bowl are seared into our memory. My family and I look forward to seeing how this “team of destiny” finishes it’s football season. We’ll see, but regardless we’ve been given quite an exciting ride this year.
It’s been rewarding to see Cally, Lucy, and Matt grow this year. In addition to the physical changes, they continue to grow in their relationships through the school and church. A highlight has to be the baptism of Matt, and with that I can say that each of our children have been baptized and made their professions of faith in Christ. No matter what else happens in my life or career, I am eternally thankful to know that they are on the road of spiritual formation in a deepening walk with Christ. I am also thankful that they are influenced by wonderful men and men through our community of faith and have caring teachers too. This realization doesn’t resolve all the problems out there, but it does put them in greater perspective.
I’ll stop with this and get back to the ball game. For now, let me say “Happy New Year!” to all of you. I look forward to what’s next this upcoming year.