“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

Many of you know that I lost my mom on January 9 of this year. She was able to live a full life of 88 years. She and my dad left me a wonderful legacy. I recall how they practiced life; they were married almost 64 years, very much sought to live as an example of Christ, and had a passion to share Him with others.

Any time we are faced with our own mortality, it causes us to look back at our life as well as to look at what lies ahead. Am I pleasing God? Am I making a difference? Are there things that I need to change or to improve on to have a greater impact?

As I’ve been contemplating these questions a few things come to mind. I thought I’d share them with you.

My first thought is that we all need to continue to grow. We are either improving, treading water, or being pulled back by the current. One of my primary goals in life is to be always learning; how to be and how to do things better. It is a constant prayer to see my life look more like that of Jesus. To do that I need to read, study, be accountable, seek new endeavors, and walk intimately with the Lord.

Another thought is that I need to move out of my comfort zone with confidence and boldness. Whether it is someone I need to share Christ with or to speak up in a difficult situation, Christ is my adequacy. I can rest in the fact that God is for me (Romans 8:31). I can move out in His strength and ability not mine.

Live with a grateful heart. When you look back over your life you’ve got to notice the faithfulness of God. You see the many answers to prayer, how forgiving God has been, also the blessings that God has given you for so many years. The Bible itself is a book of answered prayer: of God fulfilling the covenant promises that He made toward Israel and toward us. When I am conscious of all God has done for me, it should evoke daily thanksgiving.

Live with an expectant heart – that God is going to do greater things. As I trust and obey, as I pray boldly with a holy anticipation, I will be waiting expectantly for God to show up. Be on the lookout for the Master to settle accounts, and for the Bridegroom to return for His bride.

Our first banquet of the year is on February 23. Our speaker will be Kevin Rauckman the former CFO of Garmin. Please pray for attendance and decisions for Christ.

Thank you for keep your continued support and prayers for YBL. New discipleship groups and new studies are continuing to form, plus new mentor matches. We also finished financially in good shape.

I’ll go back to what Paul said to Timothy to close this letter. “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress,” 1 Timothy 4:15. Let’s trust God for great progress in our lives in 2018.