Congregational Meeting

February 2nd is our bi-annual congregational meeting.  We will meet at 9:30 for some breakfast snacks and then begin the meeting at 10:00.  I hope you plan to attend as we look to the future.

The great thing about our family of believers is the congregation holds the power to make decisions.  You will have an opportunity to vote on our budget.  We will talk about going to a fiscal year instead of a calendar year.

We will take a little time to talk about parking, elevator and future growth.  We will spend a little time talking about our vision for the future.  It is just so exciting.  God is doing such fun things.

If you have never been to a congregational meeting at First Trinity, it is a positive experience.  We uplift and encourage one another.  It is the way God designed His church to work.  So plan on being there.

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Haiti

Many people have already asked me about Haiti.  They weren’t looking for a play by play of every day.  They didn’t want to hear about the food or the warm weather (which was awesome).  They just wanted to hear something positive about our work there.

We certainly accomplished a great deal.  There was lots of teaching and hundreds of kids in V.B.S.  But the simply greatest highlight for me was not what we did at all.  It was about the work the church on Ille Vache has done.  The single greatest experience of the week was hearing how the church has started three more churches on the island. 

When I was first there ten years ago, it was nothing more than a grass hut.  Because of the work and support of First Trinity, it has grown to a nice building with nice benches.  But the church doesn’t depend on us, they depend on God and are faithful to His calling.  They continue to spread the gospel of Jesus. 

That was my greatest joy this week.

Haiti or Bust

Getting ready to head back to Haiti.  This is my tenth year going.  Some years I went two or three times, so I don’t know how many times I’ve been there, but each trip has been memorable.

I will be going to a new area in Haiti this time, a place called Maniche.  I will be teaching a lot.  It should be fun.

I will be posting my new twitter feed.  This is new to me so I hope it works.

New Year

As the New Year approached, we turned on the television to watch the ball drop.  Imagine, we only were watching for about one minute.  Happy New Year!  Then they went to their street reporter, some woman with very little class, who was somewhat crude.  She grabbed a gay couple and focused on them.  So we changed channels.  It was another disturbing reflection of the depravity of our culture.  All I could think of was this will be a tough year to stand for truth.

Society continues its reject any thoughts of morality.  Satan is attacking from every corner.  This year will be a defining year for many.  The challenge will be to take a stand.  How far do we have to go before you will stand up for Jesus?  I believe many will have to answer that question this year.

I am not saying we have to shine a light on sin and immorality.   But I am saying we must be willing to shine a light on the cross of Christ.  This year, I believe we will be questioned about our faith like never before, and our response must be to boldly confess Jesus is Lord.  Even still, that will cause many to get upset.

I know this may not sound hopeful, but it really is.  While our nation is at a moral crossroad, many are looking for hope.  Many people want to know there is truth, there is love, there is a loving God, and His name is Jesus.  Though we may experience times of persecution, we will also experience times of revival.

So as we approach 2013, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Awesome People

I have been thinking lately about the awesome people of First Trinity.  I had an occasion to meet with member for a wonderful theological discussion.  As we met, I kept thinking what a thrill it is to meet together with him and talk about God and His word.

Every day I get to meet with a great staff.  We have a Master D.C.E. and an Outstanding New D.C.E., and an excellent D.C.E. (I made up that last category because Jason certainly deserves the recognition).  We have phenomenal office staff.  Susan Brese demonstrated the blessing she is this past weekend at Vespers.  (but in my opinion she demonstrates this every weekend.)  As I often say, Tim is worth his weight in gold.  Marsha’s gifts abound.  The preschool staff is amazing, and on and on, down to you.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.”  Philippians 1:3-5

I am so thankful for you.

 

 

Great Weekend

This was a great weekend and so many special moments.  It began, of course, with Thanksgiving worship.  It was just a great time in the presence of the Lord.  It was great to see people who were in town for break.  It was great to gather with family and friends and share a meal and a wonderful time.

Then we were able to send a team to help with rebuilding after Sandy.  It was such a diverse team gathered together for one purpose, to serve the Lord and His people.  I was very proud of the way the family of First Trinity came together on such short notice.  The stories I have been hearing have been so awe inspiring.  What a great God we serve.  Thank You Jesus.

I want to say thank you to those in Bible class Sunday.  I was truly blessed.  I was wondering how I was going to fill an hour on kindness.  But as we got going, and you started sharing, and then we got into the kindness of God and the riches of His kindness, it was then my eyes were truly opened to the work kindness.  You helped move it to a new and deeply spiritual act for me.  Again, I left the class so ready to worship and thank God for His kindness shown to me in Christ.  I love Bible class.

So much to be thankful for

This is the time of year when we reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for.  I am thankful for so many things.  Most of all, I am thankful for the grace and love of God.  Even when I had rejected Him, cursed His name and lived for myself, He still loved me enough to give His only Son, Jesus.  I will be eternally grateful (literally).

I am thankful for my wife and family.  They consistently encourage and stand behind me.  They love me even when I am grumpy (that was just for one day and has never happened again).  They love me warts and all (not that I have any warts, but they would love me if I did).

I am thankful for First Trinity.  I know you know this, but the staff of this place is second to none.  The family of believers who gather to worship and serve the Living God are full of grace and love.  This is just a wonderful place to be and I am so grateful.

And it is always good to win the football pool.  I am grateful I won this week!

Returning to normal

Been back a week now and life is finally returning to normal.  I’m just not sure that is a good thing.  It is really good to be home.  It was great to be back in worship with the family of First Trinity.  This is such a wonderful, worshipful place to be.

I love being back in Bible class here, and not just because I understand the language.  First Trinity is unlike any other church I know.  The desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ is contagious.  The excitement in this place is inspiring.  I am so grateful to be a part of this family.

 

Good to be home

After some travel delays, we finally made it back.  What an awesome trip to China.  God did so many wonderful things, it was a privilege to a part of it.  He is really moving and the church is growing in China.  I saw so many Christians who were excited about their faith, even in the face of persecution.  It was a joy to offer encouragement and pray with them.

Keep an eye out for our sharing event.  There are many great stories from this group.  The story of me breaking a chair is greatly exaggerated, even though I could use another dumpling about now. 

Interestingly, they are electing a new Premier.  The difference is, we get to vote.  The people of China do not.  Only those serving in office already get to vote.

Thank You

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,  so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  Romans 12:4-5

I am so grateful for the generous display of love the family of First Trinity showed to me and my family, and not just this past weekend, but for the ten years I have had the pleasure to serve the people here.  I tried to express my thanks, but began to get too choked up.  My love for this body of believers is great.

The reality is, it is you who make this place work so well.  When you use your gifts and abilities, serve with passion and love unconditionally, God is honored.  There are wonderful people on staff who are passionate about the Lord.  It is just a pleasure to be a small part of it all.

As usual, I am struggling to find the right words to say thank you.  So thank you for loving the Lord and loving me.

 

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