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Summary: Reviews the blessings of the last year and anticipates the blessings of the new year

“End of Another Adventure”

December 27, 2009

Matthew 28:16 – 20

We are in one of the most serious and sober Sunday’s of the year. Christmas is over and there is a natural let down. We have shopped for presents and prepared Christmas dinners and went to a bunch of Christmas parties. Sometimes we experienced great joy when our presents were opened and sometimes bitter disappointment. Sometimes the parties were great and full of laughter and love. Some weren’t so hot. But all the activity has left us physically exhausted and emotionally depleted. We come to the end of another year – the end of another adventure. We are a little older; a little more experienced; and we have a few more scars on our bodies and souls. But I have good news! There’s a new year just ahead of us! There is a new beginning to the rest of our life. There is a new adventure just ahead. I want to talk about that is just a little bit – but first – let’s reminisce a little bit. Let’s remember the blessings and the pain of the last year.

In the negative column I lost a younger brother and a step dad this last year. Lisa Harris lost her Mom. Bob was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and we were afraid he wasn’t going to make it either. There was death and divorce and destruction and despair this last year. And I don’t know about you – but I couldn’t have made it without my Lord and Savior. And God is so good. He blessed us in so many ways. One of the greatest blessings to me was YOU – each one of you that are a part of my life and a part of this church. You bless me. You make me happy.

But let me just mention a few of the blessings of the last year that come to mind. Last year we came into the year averaging 28 in morning worship. For the last few months we have been averaging over 40. We baptized 8 with 4 or 5 more that are ready for baptism. This year Tim and Lisa got married; Tim preached his first sermon and Bob, although he was at deaths door earlier in the year, has continued to blessing us with his teaching and preaching. Julie was elected as a delegate by our district team to represent the churches of the Sacramento district and went to Orlando, Florida for a week. She also went on a cruise with some family members. We had Church campouts, and work days which so many of you took part in. Gracie Garberson graduated from high school and is away to college. We started a new worship team that Tim and Lisa leads and it blesses me every Sunday. Some of you put together a 4th of July float for the parade and I was asked to preach at the Community Event, Day in the Son. Then my peers, the ministers of Mount Shasta, elected me as their president.

The best blessings though are 1st, my relationship with Jesus Christ. He is my life. He is my joy. He is my friend. The 2nd greatest blessing, is my wife, Julie, who has put up with me since 1972. She is a true friend and a steadfast and committed servant of Almighty God. 3rd greatest blessing is my family. My son and daughter and my 6 grandkids. 4th on the list is you - my beloved Church. I look forward each week to coming here and worshipping and singing and learning with you. The hugs, the fellowship, the teamwork of doing something together that is significant and eternal for the Lord, blesses me.

We have accomplished a lot this last year –and it is good to look back at the blessings and be grateful to our God for what He is doing IN us, THROUGH us, and FOR us. As we close out this year – I am so grateful and thankful for so many things. I am most grateful for my new friends of the last year. I am not going to mention names, because if I did I would surely leave someone out. But you know who you are. Thank you for your support and love. Thank you for loving me and praying for me and supporting me.

But we are on the brink of a brand new year! New challenges! New adventure! New blessings! 2008 was GREAT! 2009 was Fine! 2010 – well – it could be the end! Or maybe the beginning of the end! That’s kind of gloomy – if you aren’t prepared. It’s kind of scary if you aren’t spiritually ready. But in our Scripture Jesus says,

“And surely I am with you always – to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:20b

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