Happy New Year! This picture was a Christmas present from my sister-in-law who knows an artist who can do stuff like that. She gave me a little more gray than I thought was fair, but got it perfect with Judi and the giant plate of macarons!
In any case, can you believe we're already done with the very first week of the year? Only 51 more to go! Here's what I got for you:
1) We are wasting no time making the most of 2017, and it starts with a new series this weekend called "Viral." It's all about teaching you how to share your testimony - in other words, the story of your redemption. The fact is, stories are powerful. You may have seen a product advertised on TV and thought, there's no way I would get that. But then someone you know tried and loved it, and now you're ready to give it a shot. Learning to share your testimony is one of the most powerful tools you can have as a Christian.
2) While we're excited about this year, if I'm honest the last few weeks have been pretty tough, as we've been walking with our brother, Ken Abrams, in his continuing battle with leukemia. Ken, you may know, is the brother-in-law of our Worship Pastor, Gabe Legaspi, and is known and loved by many in our church. So I'm asking you to pray for Ken, his wife Sheena (Gabe's sister), their children (Taylor, Gabe, and Sadie), and the Legaspi family as well as they are walking through this tremendous trial.
3) Regarding the last two points, it has been amazing to see what God has done even in the midst of Ken's illness. Many people at the hospital, as well as members of Ken's family, have been touched by those who have prayed for him, and the gospel has been shared numerous times, even to strangers, as a result of this. That is part of the "testimony" - in other words, the story of God's grace and redemption lived out a person's life even in the midst of pain. This is real life stuff, folks, and it's important for you to see that the things we talk about upfront really can be transformational in the real world.
4) Finally, I want you to know that your life is very important. On several occasions this week, I had the opportunity to engage with people in our church who are in pretty difficult life situations. I'm not at liberty to share details, but I can say this: God has brought us together, and we're going to make it home together. That's why he tells us in Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
So there you have it. Show up this weekend, pray for Ken, and remember your life matters!!
Together with You,