I can hardly believe it has been almost one year since I pulled up stakes and moved east. But it has, and it has been quite eventful I must say. Allow me to recap some of the events and highlights of 2006:
I started the year with a baby (almost, she was born hours before 2006, thank you Tori for the tax deduction) and a move. I came out before Missy and the kids. I used that time to meet with many of you and get the “pulse” of the church. It was enjoyable for me, I hope for you too.
Finally, in February, Missy and the kids made their way to Texas and we found a house and settled into our new surroundings. The kids were taught by the best teacher in the whole world, my wife. They enjoyed it even if Missy was less thrilled about it than were they.
Soon after the family arrived, I plunged into my youth responsibilities. Below are a few of the highlights 0f 2006:
Captive Free Concert
Led High School Small Group
Held a Last Supper Reenactment
Had numerous Supper-for-Six’s
Led Service on Mother’s Day
Held several Movie Nights
Holy Spirit Retreat
Held Lock in
Attended Hallowed House
Attended Rock the Desert (almost didn’t make it back alive)
Thanksgiving Servant Event
Numerous gatherings and parties
Knocked down wall in youth room
Taught Sunday School
Redesigned Crosseyed on Sunday Nights
Watched Janet Rutledge grow Lunch Bunch into over 130 kids on a regular basis – way to go Janet!!!!
Grew about 15 percent, and,
Got to know the kids and loved it!
In addition to all of that stuff I managed to make several conferences, visit most of you, preach several times and did a little personal study.
Why tell you all of this? You do not know where you are, until you know where you have been. So I am looking backwards with an eye toward the future. I am eager to see what and who 2007 will bring.
The beginning of the year is a perfect time to look at things afresh, anew and make several “resolutions.” The problem is we seldom keep these resolutions, you know what I am talking about, good intentions followed by reality, little or no change.
So I encourage you to set goals as you venture into 2007, goals are specific, measurable and time oriented. Break down what you want to do this year into several “doable” steps that allow you to win. Here are some of my suggestions:
Read more books this year, attend church more this year, help your neighbor more this year, volunteer in an area you are not comfortable with this year, spend more time with your loved ones this year, forgive someone who did you wrong this year, develop a hobby you always wanted to try this year, love like you never have before this year and pray like your life depends on it, because it does!
I have several goals this year, both personal and professional, set your own. As I look at what I want to accomplish this year I am grateful I serve a loving and forgiving God. My failures and sins are not tied around my neck to remind me of my unworthiness. No, my sins are cast as far as the East is from West. I can start anew, I am a new creation in Christ.
This year I want to grow our church (actually God grows it, but I want to do my part), both numerically and in Christ. I want our youth to grow into a faith that is their own and does not depend on myself or their parents or anyone else, other than Jesus.
I want to grow myself, be a better husband, a better dad, a better son, a better brother, a better friend and someone who stands for the truth of the Bible. It will not be easy, growth never is, but it will be worth it!
Join me this year and do not resolve to do something, just do it!!! We serve a mighty God who gives us more than we deserve, serve him with gladness and sacrifice this year. Try it and see if he will not pour out more blessings than you can contain.
As we begin a new year, I want you to know I am honored to serve God at OSLC, it is a privilege to be called your pastor. Be Blessed. See you on the web: www.toddbfreese.com.