It’s tough to believe that yet another month has come and gone. Did anyone get the license plate of that year that almost took me out with speed and change?
Nope? Well neither did I. Nonetheless, here’s a quick run-down of my December highlights.
Friday the first arrived with pain and the beginning of several trips to the chiropractor. And Saturday held an all-day family outing to Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was a planned day for family photos.
Sunday morning (12/3) found us in services with the Oxford Congregational Holiness Church in Oxford, Alabama. I presented them with an Excellence Award for Mission USA support. As well, I was blessed to provide the morning sermon. Afterward, we enjoyed a lengthy lunch with Pastor and Mrs. Harvel and a sweet time of fellowship.
Monday and Tuesday (12/4 & 12/5) included office hours and special lunch meetings. And on Wednesday evening we were blessed to attend the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting with Living Waters Church.
The following Sunday (12/10) was questionable due to the amount of snow that fell in some areas to our North and West. However, we proceeded for what turned out to be one of the most beautiful drives ever as we witnessed snow-covered hills, roads, and yards. That Sunday morning found us in worship services with the Leeds Congregational Holiness Church in Leeds, Alabama. I presented them with gratitude for their Mission USA support and mailed their Excellence Award. Again, it was my honor to provide the morning sermon. Our family was blessed to enjoy lunch with Pastor Frances Batson and a large group from the church.
Monday and Tuesday (12/11 & 12/12) were hectic days. Lisa and I worked long and hard at finishing up the Mission USA Bible Literacy promotional packets. We worked on this project off and on for over two weeks. In the end, we mailed out over 500 flats with Bible reading guides and ideas on how to promote Bible literacy. Every ordained minister in our database was sent one. And since these are free, I’d be glad to send you one too at your request.
On Wednesday (12/13), I made another trip to the chiropractor’s office and then rested for the remainder of the evening.
Thursday (12/14) was a full day. After attending the funeral service for a local friend, I spent the remainder of the day on the road. Bishop Hanson, Sister Susan, and I made the trip to Augusta, Georgia for a Christmas Baquet meal with ministers, pastors, and spouses in that area. It was a blessed time of celebration, but it did make for a late night.
After working half a day on Friday (12/15), I was blessed to entertain a few friends for the evening. And Lisa was able to travel with some girl-friends to a Christian Christmas Worship concert. Continuing to feel puny, I took all of Saturday off and laid around.
Monroe, Georgia was where we drove to for Sunday morning worship service (12/17). The Monroe Church is one of our favorite congregations to drop in on and worship with. They had beautiful Christmas themed service and insisted that we stay around for their Christmas fellowship luncheon. It was delicious, and yes, I overindulged.
Monday (12/18) held an opportunity to be a blessing. God allowed my office hours to be interrupted by a chance to help a friend that was visiting from out of town. She had a flat tire on the other side of the city, and her husband was busy with important meetings. Working with your hands is sometimes the best way to create a new spark of creativity. Tuesday (12/19) included a busy day with our Office Christmas Celebration. We ate an excellent lunch together and returned back to Mission Circle for dessert and a gift exchange. I ended the work day with a pastoral care visit to the local hospital. Later that evening, the residents of Mission Circle enjoyed a group visitation to see Christmas lights and enjoy a late meal.
Our offices were closed from Wednesday (12/20) through the remainder of the month. Nonetheless, our ministry efforts continued at a slower and lesser pace. In the ministry, you’re never really off the clock. It’s very lovely though, to enjoy some downtime and quieter days. This respite is just what the doctor ordered for our family.
On Friday (12/22) we made a hospital visit in Macon, Georgia. One of our pastor’s mother-in-law was admitted to ICU after a prolonged recovery from heart surgery. In general, pastors don’t really have a pastor. Yet, they and their families still need pastoral care. That evening, we took our oldest son out for a birthday meal.
On Sunday morning (12/24), we were blessed to worship the Lord in service with all of our children and their spouses. Then our worship continued at the parsonage for a great time of blessing and celebration.
Tuesday (12/26) found us in Macon again for a return hospital visit with the family mentioned above. Then on Thursday (12/28), we returned for the final visit with this patient and family. Their loved one made her final move to the “land of the living” (Psalm 24:13).
Of course, like with many of you, the last half of our month was filled with gatherings of friends and family to celebrate Christmas. God has been so good to us that we cannot thank Him enough.
For the final Sunday of the year (12/31), we were glad when the invitation was extended to worship with the congregation of Empire Pentecostal Holiness Church (Cochran, Georgia). It was quite an honor to preach to this receptive congregation as we looked forward to the year of our Lord, 2018.
For us, the year 2017 had so much going on that trying to make sense of it is futile. So for now, I’ll enjoy the ride and know that God is driving in 2018 as well.