Our family wants to wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. I watch my small family each and every year get a little older and a little closer to our kids leaving the home and tackling the adventures that God has for them. Each Christmas is a reminder to me of the blessing God has brought into our families and the gifts he gives us each day with their presence.
As I travel throughout the network it is also a blessing to be reminded of the family we have in Christ spread throughout our region. Men and women who honor Christ by serving Him through the local church. Throughout the year I have had the privelege of working with leaders in the local church who serve as elders, deacons, teachers, nursery workers, small group leaders, etc. Each time I visit with a local church and those who serve I am reminded that we all serve in our various places of ministry to further the Kingdom of Christ.
I am also reminded as we enter in the Christmas season of how Christ came into this world as a child. He humbled himself and became the least in this world. This world is filled with 2.3 billion boys and girls between the ages of 4 - 14. It is during this age range that most people come to Christ. It is the most critical age group in the world. It is also one of the most impressionable age ranges as well. This is the age group that we can bless with our presence as men and women of God. These boys and girls need an authentic Christian who will invest in their lives and give them the hope that is in Christ. In my office I have overseeing my desk a picture of a man and a boy herding sheep as they go down a road. Together they are moving the sheep to their new pasture. When I dream about the possiblity of reaching boys and girls I think about this picture. I think about the sheep, but I also think about the mentoring process we can do with our own children. I often tell those who teach kids to bring their own children with them as they teach. Teach them to be teachers. Teach them to be shepherds. One of the best gifts we can give them is the gift of finding their purpose. I don't know if my kids as they leave our house will follow the same calling as I have, however, I hope that we have done minstry together and that I have mentored them in how to be a man or woman of God. How to care for God's people and how to care for the least of these.
As you gather with your families this Christmas I pray that you cherish the time you have with them. As you gather with those who are part of the family of God I pray that together you realize the blessing God has given each of us to be working together to further His Kingdom.
My wife Deb and I and our kids Mark and Anna are blessed to work with such a wonderful group of men and women. I pray that as we continue to work together that our efforts will grow the Kingdom of God and deepen our commitment to one another.