Whew! We made it through the Christmas Season and are heading into the New Year with full force! Not the “Force” but the real of meaning of Christmas in our minds as we serve and celebrate the glory of Jesus Christ. A New Year, new beginnings, resolutions and all that go with the only holiday that is celebrated in the entire world (as we wish Christianity was) – the New Year? But what does it matter? Did you know that only 12 percent of us ever keep the New Year’s resolutions that we make? We celebrate the ball drop in New York City – a tradition that has happened since 1904 – say nice things we are going to do and then work on it for a few weeks. Sadly enough, many do not make any resolutions, and then there are no expectations for us to meet. After all, God loves us just the way we are –TRUE, but we could all still use a little improvement in one area or another. Why is it so hard for us to change, even when we want to? There’s a saying that “God loves me too much to leave me the way I am.” What do you think God would want you to work on this year?

Good question! Colossians 1:10 says “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” So, I am going to challenge our youth and you too to a few possible spiritual resolutions this year. Here they are:

  • Improve your prayer life – make it better, make it active, make it more real, make it more…
  • Read your Bible – do it more often, be more consistent and regular, study it, reflect on it, live it…
  • Help other people – take the time to be kind, reach out to those who have needs, think of other people first, love people…
  • Get involved in church – show up, offer to fill needs in the congregation, volunteer, make the church active daily in you life, live…
  • Become a better steward – tithe regularly with your finances and time, give to others when needed, be generous…
  • Use a devotional – read the Bible first, then learn and study what other Christians feel and think, we are all in this together as a family, bank in on wisdom of others, think…
  • Plant some seeds of faith – share your faith in normal conversation, plant seeds of your beliefs, live you beliefs so other see, express your faith…
  • Get to know Mom and Dad better – acknowledge and learn from their walk in faith or if needed, share yours. We are who we live with…make it a shared belief.
  • Go on a mission – everyone should at some time in their life go on a mission, if only to see how you are blessed, reach your hand out to others in sacrifice, even be a missionary where you are.
  • And finally, bring someone to church – that may be you yourself. Are you a person making the church someplace another person would want to come? – Be the church!

Tackle one of these thoughts, tackle two, tackle several, work on whole list. The important thing is to improve in your relationship with Jesus Christ – because he wants YOU to change and bring glory to His Kingdom. With that, we have a youth ministry to grow.

We are still studying the “Commandments of Jesus” in our weekly gatherings of both youth & GRADS. We begin our regular meetings on January 3rd, take a weekend for Winter Retreat, and then meet every week until summer. There are 14 people attending Winter Retreat (including the Meridian and Mt. Haley group together) on the weekend of January 8-10, 2016. Leo Robinson will be our speaker and the group, 2nd Mile, will be our worship band. Pray for snow! Hopefully Cranhill will be fresh with plenty of white snow and even better as we celebrate the glory of God. GRADS will meet on the night of January 10th as we return to church, however the youth will not.

Once we return from Winter Retreat, we will resume some fundraising projects to prepare for State Youth Convention and the International Youth Convention. I received the information for SYC yesterday and we have 4 people + Connie & I signed up for the summer adventure in San Antonio, Texas. Our Christmas party was a huge success as got drinks at Macs in the church van, saw the beautiful light display in Freeland, went to Pizza Sam’s, had a “White Elephant” gift exchange, watched The Minions in blue, drank milkshakes, and had a great time in the hot tub. Ironically, since the weekend the minions have returned to yellow and the hot tub doesn’t work. Another one of the joys of Christmas and being a homeowner. Life is short, but JESUS is Lord, therefore, we can REJOICE!

URGENT! Prayers are needed! The Guatemala Mission is in full force and looking for cheap airline tickets. I haven’t found the deal for tickets yet! PRAY!! This year we will be building two bedrooms and a bathroom for Sonja, the school’s English teacher. Her house was built a couple years ago and it was never actually completed, as it needed to be. The money we send every year is not actually enough to build an entire home for a family, however, it completes a major share of the blockhouses we work on. The 3rd team meeting will be on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM in the Mt. Haley Church of God Fellowship Hall for the spiritual preparation of the trip, which will happen March 5-12, 2016 this year. We have 17 team members attending this year and many preparations ahead. Thank you for your prayers.

Parents and church, your prayers, support and encouragement are greatly appreciated and we look forward every week to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our people through interaction, study, fellowship and relationship. Thank you for sharing your son or daughter and our congregation for holding the youth up in PRAYER.

Love God, Love People, Live It!

Blessings, Pastor Jerry

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.