Happy New Year to everyone! It is hard to believe that 2011 has already passed. It seems like yesterday when we were ready to usher in a new millenium, and fears abounded that everything was going to crash when 1999 rolled over to 2000! That fear never did materialize, as most of our fears don’t. But the truth of the matter is that eleven years have passed already since that time. I remember years ago hearing my pastor preach a message from James 4:14. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” We are here on this earth but for a short time. I have been asking myself how I have been spending my years. As a pastor, am I doing everything I can to serve the Lord the way He wants me to serve Him? Am I being the husband and father I ought to be? I don’t want to be satisfied with just trying…I want to be successful. I want results.
Before us lies a brand new year with no mistakes. I have determined to break away from insanity. You have heard that great definition of insanity, haven’t you? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results! I have resolved this year not to be insane! I preached a message to the church from Psalm 90:12. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” We must number our days. In light of 11 years going by in what seems to be “over night,” I want to grasp that my time on this earth is getting shorter with each passing day, and soon I will give an account to God of my life. I want each day to count. I don’t want a whole day to go by where I must say when I lay my head on the pillow that I got nothing accomplished for the Lord. The only way for that to happen is to set goals for what God wants us to do, and then come up with tasks each day that will work us toward achieving those goals. Perhaps a goal for your life this year is to be a better father. What will you do TODAY to further that goal? Maybe you could listen to a preaching message on fatherhood, or maybe take your child out to lunch. Maybe it will be to begin family devotions. Will you start tonight, or will another day go by where you wish you had done something? We have to set goals, then do things each day to make that goal a reality.
This is what the Lord put on my heart for 2012. I want to stop wishing I had done more, and actually start working to do more. May He give us the victory!!!
December has been a great month for us here at Cornerstone. We have seen several people saved on visitation and attendance has been growing. All the college kids returned home from school. They are such a blessing! Once again, our Toys for Kids program was a success, as we were able to distribute toys for several hundred children of families in need around the Manchester area. One of the young ladies of our church, Danielle, was married on December 23rd in a lovely wedding up in Conway, New Hampshire. We will miss her as she moves to Texas with her husband, Fernando.
The story of Christmas never ceases to be a wonder and awe to me. It is humbling to think that the God of Heaven that created the universe would love us so much, even as the sinners we are, and come to this earth, born of a virgin, to bleed and die for us that we might be saved. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). There is no greater name and there is no other Savior than Jesus!
Thanksgiving is upon us once again. What a special holiday it is. I am reminded this year how especially good God has been to me, my family and Cornerstone Baptist Church this year. We are so blessed to live in America and have the prosperity and freedom we so often take for granted. If we would just be willing to let God be God and turn to Him with our troubles, we could enjoy a special peace that only a Christian can know. I am reminded of Phillipians 4:6-7 that says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” God has a purpose for all the things He allows to come into our lives. Our greatest problem is trusting Him as He fulfills His grand purpose for our lives. May we be more thankful this year as we bring our needs to Him and find His peace.
This year we purposefully scheduled our missions conference to coincide with the Goffstown Pumpkin Festival. By doing so it brought a reality to missions for each of our church folks. We had the opportunity on the Saturday of conference to set up a booth in the center of town. We chose to set up some games for the kids, complete with prizes that they could win. We also had a coloring table set up where kids could color little books we made that had a pumpkin/fall theme and the Gospel on the back that they could take home with them. It turns out that we were one of the only booths that was giving things away instead of trying to raise money for an organization! Hundreds of people came by and we were able to invite many to church and give out tracts. Later in the afternoon there was a parade through the center of town. We were able to decorate our church van and march along side it in the parade. We gave out candy with our church name and address on it, as well as tracts, to as many of the parade watchers as we could. We had a great time and there was a welcome response from the community. When all was said and done, we went back to the church for an International Hot Dog Supper. It was awesome! We had hot dogs fixed all kinds of ways to represent countries around the world. Ron Cole of HELP Ministries brought a great Bible devotion to encourage us. We all went home tired but happy in the Lord to have served Him with our day.