I begin with an apology to any readers who were looking for an issue of Whittlings during the month of December. I had lots to say, but no time to say it. And I have to trust that you found other sources of spiritual inspiration during the Advent and Christmas seasons.
In late November my schedule was twisted and compressed by two weeks of fighting an infection that required hospitalization, as it turned out to be MRSA. I have referred to this experience as a brush with mortlity; which is a bit of an exaggeration. None-the-less, it caused a lot of reflection on priorities. I postponed many tasks, but tried to keep the people in my life, especially the grandchildren, at the top of the list.
Near the top of that seasonal list was also my new congregation at the Carbon Hill Christian Church where I now preach each Sunday morning. I love this return to the preacher/pastor role, love the people and love the preparing and the delivering. One Sunday, two of my grandchildren, Makenna and Kaleigh, helped me to deliver the Christmas story. They were a Christmas hit!
Also, heading into the New Year, I began feeling the strong leading of the Spirit to grow more of my ministry close to home. No doubt, job 1 is the family, especially all the amazing grandchildren. I also feel the call to be continually putting down deeper physical, emotional, and spriitual roots in our neighborhood of Hideaway Hills. In the next few months, I will tell you more about this—as a way of encouraging you also to act locally in carrying out your vocation of service in Christ’s name.
A prayer request. Next week I will be in Atlanta to record an interview and sermon for the weekly national radio broadcast, Day One. My episode will be broadcast on March 20, 2022. I have finally completed an extremely challenging season of preparation for this event. The message focuses on Isaiah 55:1-9, especially verse 1:
Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
The sermon asks the question—a life and death critical question for our lives today—what is the Source of our hope?
Your love and prayers are deeply appreciated.
In Christ’s love,