2009 was an exceptionally busy year for our family life, our Church family and for my ministry.
It began with the funeral service of a dear friend and faithful deacon, included a two week mission trip to the Philippines; Upward Basketball and Cheer leading, my 82 year old father's surgery and 2 month hospital confinement due to complications and rehab. We shared "custody" duties for our mother with my brother and his wife during Dad's confinement. The year included regular ministry duties; family responsibilities; the never ending visits to the oncologist, CT & PET scans, monthly blood work and other doctor visits.
There were three trips to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for Trustee meetings; and the better part of a week in Mingo County, WV on a disaster relief project after flooding devastated much of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. June brought the Southern Baptist Convention's Annual Meeting in Louisville; and Mom and Dad's 60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration. Our church hosted eight World Changer teams here in Huntington this summer. Our own youth group attended M-Fuge in Charleston, SC and, in July, we hosted a Mission Team from New Orleans which was based at our church. We also hosted an Upward Soccer Camp this past Summer.
The church campus was a bee hive of activity in late summer and early fall, as many projects were underway, as we prepared for our hosting the Annual Meeting of the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists in November. But first, we had to prepare for Revival Services and for hosting the Annual Meeting of the Greater Huntington Baptist Association in October. As part of our Focus Week, we held a Fall Festival that saw over 500 people in attendance.
Sadly there were way too many funerals this year, and our church ministered to a number of people who were hurting in many different ways. A couple of families left our fellowship, but several others joined our church family through baptism and other additions. There were times of joy and laughter, and seasons of sorrow and grief.
Our very capable church secretary of seven years tendered her resignation, in order to better her personal financial situation with higher pay and retirement benefits, (which we were unable to provide). And finally on the week between Christmas and New Years Day, I took an actual vacation. Four days of basically doing nothing other than resting and enjoying being with our far away grandsons. We drove overnight on the Sunday after Christmas to have a "late Christmas" with our family in New Orleans, and then drove back home, overnight, on New Year's Eve. I took some work with me to do, but can honestly say that I basically didn't do anything. Although I traveled a lot in 2009, it was the only real vacation I could enjoy. And enjoy it, I did!
There were other family and financial issues in 2009. I ended years of "retirement" and actually helped Benji coach a few Little League Baseball games in the spring. We saw several of our grandsons' basketball and football games as well. The months of November and December were so hectic, that I didn't have time to blog like I love to do. Will try to be more available in the coming year.
So, 2010 has arrived.
Resolutions? No. Not really.
However, a familiar tune from back in my "Jesus Freak" days of '70-'71 keeps going through my head today. If I were to make a New Year's Resolution, it would probably revolve around the words of the song.
It's called "Day by Day" and it comes from the 1970 musical, "Godspell", written by Steven Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak. "Godspell" is an ancient English rendering of the word "gospel" and the musical is loosely based on the Gospel of Matthew (with a couple of incidents from Luke's Gospel included). The words go like this:
"Day by day.
Day by day.
Oh, dear Lord,
Three things I pray.
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by day."
Now whether you approve of Christian "Rock Musicals" or not, I think you would have to agree that those words include three really important goals.
I expect that 2010 will bring as much activity, and as many challenges as did the previous year. Doing ministry requires lots and lots of activity. The calendar is filling up already. However busy this coming year may be, I want to make it my personal goal to do what is most important.
See Him more clearly...
Love Him more dearly...
Follow Him more nearly...
Day by day.
Really, in all the rush and activity, our relationship with the Father is what is of utmost importance. I plan on cultivating that relationship, going deeper this year than ever before.
Will you join me?