Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Change: 2016

With a New Year upon us once again, our minds naturally move to considering change – most often demonstrated by making New Year’s Resolutions.  The New Year seems to be a time to consider all the things we wish would be changed in our lives. Somewhere along the line, most of us have made New Year’s resolutions regarding weight loss, time management, family time, launching a new career, or being more regular about going to the gym! We pull out all the self-help books we received for Christmas and gather the low fat cookbooks. Within a few days, we’ve half-heartedly embraced all manner of strategies hoping to change ourselves.

Change in our lives is inevitable, and most often it is thrust upon us whether we’re prepared for it or not. As we look at the world around us and consider the coming year, we see change in every direction. Our culture is in warp-speed change, absorbing ideas and lifestyles as the new norm that would have been scandalous 50 years ago; careers exist that were unheard of 20 years ago; smart phones have been around less than 10 years, and technology has changed so rapidly that we now call people rather than places. Communication is instantaneous; photos are available instantly online; new words have entered our vocabulary and are now commonplace – facebook, hashtag, instagram, internet, texting – and email is fast becoming the slow way to communicate.  Many have experienced huge changes in jobs, housing, finances, and life circumstances as the culture and economy have been thrown into seeming chaos.

Change – a time of transition inherently defined by pain, confusion, and uncertainty, often expressed as fearfulness and insecurity. During times such as these, it’s important to remember that God has much to say about change. While Ecclesiastes 1:1-8 speaks of a time for everything under the sun,  Genesis 8:22 reminds us of the promise God has made to all of mankind that “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Some things will never change!  Malachi 3:6 assures us “For I, the Lord, do not change;”  and Hebrews 13:6 reminds us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, yes and forever.” Keeping our eyes and heart focused on the Truth of God’s Word provides us an anchor in the midst of social upheaval. We can walk according to Hebrews 13:5 knowing that “He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you (Amp. “I will never relax My grip on you!”) Here is our stability in times of unparalleled social change.

During 2015, our family has experienced change – some fun and some not so fun! Our first grandchild graduated from High School and headed off to college. Two more grandkids got drivers licenses and cars. Several of our adult kids made job changes. Dave and I walked through his open heart surgery and recovery, which was totally unexpected. Sheryl’s ministry responsibilities have changed several times this past year.  We’ve even torn out a wall in our house!

As we look ahead to 2016, we see some challenges.
Sheryl will no longer be working with Urban Plunge, but will be shifting ministry focus to doing more personal mentoring times, writing a discipleship course, and helping to set up a new ministry internship program for college students. She will also be starting a small group to study the names and character attributes of God in depth. This, in addition to continuing to create prayer shawls – well over 400 so far.

Dave will continue to work in urban ministry in the area of violence intervention and prevention strategies, focusing on stirring the church to cultural awareness and city prayer strategies. The prayerwalks have provided much opportunity for personal care of people who normally wouldn’t come to a church – literally becoming the church in the streets. Like Sheryl, Dave is also committed to mentoring and resourcing the next generation of Godly leaders.

We deeply appreciate each of you who have been a part of our financial support team – some of you for many years now. Our work with Christ For the City International is sustained by our personal donors, so our paycheck each month is dependent upon those who are invested in our ministry and share both the challenges and rewards with us. As we age, many of our donors are also growing older or experiencing their own economic change….which impacts our ability to continue in full-time ministry.

If you have never been a part of our ministry, would you prayerfully consider becoming a part of our team? We know you get many year-end giving appeals, so are asking only that you observe the fruit of our ministry over the past years and give as the Lord leads you. 

Contact and Donation info is in the column to the right and more details in the "Partner With Us" Tab above.

May He multiply your seed for sowing many times over!

Dave and Sheryl

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