News & Notes from Pastor Josh
2021, What a year it's been! Like most years, 2021 was filled with highs and lows, ups and downs, hills and valleys. For Christians, 2021 was a sweet year of following Jesus, not because everything was easy and favorable, but because God was faithful to His promises and generous in distributing His grace. On that note, here are a few items from me:
1 - Romans 8 is Unbelievable
I finished my Bible reading program early this year, which afforded me the opportunity to read and meditate on some of the Bible's greatest chapters. I've been diving into such chapters as Exodus 34, Psalm 16, Isaiah 40, and Colossians 3. As wonderful as these chapters have been to me, they have not been as sweet as Romans 8.
Romans 8 carries the weight of the Gospel unlike any other chapter in the New Testament. The density of Gospel truth is incredible! I've been meditating on v18-39 and the truths of suffering, future glory, God's committed love for the believer, and the reality that nothing will be able to separate the genuine believer from the love of Jesus.
Paul says, "And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God and for those who are called according to his purpose" (v28) and later, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (v31). Paul's message resonates...for Christians who are in Jesus, God is working all things for their good and His glory (All means ALL). This is an eternal promise, built on the bedrock of God's sovereign ability to predestine, call, justify and glorify the sinner. In other words, God is not messing around in His commitment to believers! God is eternally committed to keeping His promises. Will believers suffer? Yes! Will believers be uncomfortable in this current society? Yes! But even the suffering and discomfort are working in concert with God's incredible promises of conforming the believer into Jesus' image and glorifying God. I could go on and on, but let me encourage every believer by saying God is eternally for you in Jesus, no matter what you are walking through currently. Keep hoping in God...He will not let you fall.
2 - The 4th Quarter Members Meeting is in the Books
We had an outstanding 4th Quarter members meeting last Sunday. We rejoiced in God for all He did at Living Waters in 2021. There's even a video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7kJ9xji5ns&t=22s
We added a new deacon, renewed two others, and added three new members to the church family. We approved a new budget for 2022 which I'm really excited about and each staff member got to take some time in the meeting to verbally summarize their ministries for the year. It was a joyful time and I'm so thankful for how God is moving in our membership at church.
After the meeting, a new member family told me how blessed they were in their hearts to see God moving in our church and how the church body flows and moves together in unity and love. All I can say is Glory to God for what He's doing at Living Waters and how He's doing it. God has brought us through a lot of ministry seasons over the years and to see the fruits of harvest is an amazing blessing.
3- 2022 is going to be a big year at Living Waters
As we finish 2021 with gratitude, we will soak up all of God's blessings and give Him the glory. We will also be looking ahead to 2022 with faith and anticipation! On the ministry side of things, 2022 will bring our annual Counseling Conference, baptism services, youth activities, summer camps, men's/women's events, and community outreaches of various sizes. Our Pastors and staff are excited about all that God might allow us to do for His glory as we minister with the love of Jesus.
Another reason 2022 is going to be a big year is that our church's renovation process will be reaching new heights! We're hopeful that our bathrooms and children’s' wing can reach 100% completion in the next twelve months. As many of you know, we are completing our renovation with a "debt-free" philosophy which means we only do the work when the money is there to do it! This philosophy forces us to trust God to provide the monies needed at the right time for His glory. Our financial philosophy also forces us as a church to be sacrificial givers ourselves, trusting God to multiply our gifts for His glory.
As of now, we will run out of money in early 2022 to finish the bathrooms project. This reality is nothing to sniff at considering we have $210,000 in our bank account currently. We are trusting God for hundreds of thousands of additional dollars in the next year, and though that might be intimidating to some, we as a church know that our God will provide the funds at the exact right time for His glory. Each section of the renovation will move us to greater faith in Jesus and we anticipate Him doing great things in 2022.
OK, that's it for News & Notes for now.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you from me, Danielle, and our family. It's been a privilege to write articles this Fall and I look forward to writing again soon and into 2022.