I have been describing the meetings and revival services from this fall as, perhaps, the most fruitful which we have experienced yet. Once again we were in churches from coast to coast and several in between, including: Fallon, NV; Warner Robins, GA; Milo, ME; Lower Sackville, Truro, and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada; Chandler, OK; Lafayette, IN; Mattoon, IL; and close to home at Smyrna, TN. It was my privilege to have my son, Carey, travel with me to most of those locations. It was an extra blessing to get to have Trina and Chaili with us in Georgia and Tennessee. We made some close new friends and saw the powerful moving of God in new locations like Lafayette and Smyrna.
For a few examples, there is no way to describe to you the weekly food pantry and thrift store ministry of the Church of the Nazarene in Fallon, NV (go for a work and witness trip and see for yourself!) or to see the growth and the breaking into darkness happening through United Baptist Church in Milo, ME. You would have to see for yourself a small house church, called Upper Room Fellowship, which is now meeting in a renovated garage in Truro, NS and how they need to now knock out a wall to make room for more people. All of this and more has been the joy, excitement, and encouragement of these last few months. I praise the Lord for the fruit that He is producing, both that which is seen and that which is not yet seen.
I cannot describe the moving of God that has taken place in these classes this fall. Not only have we learned a great deal about the Bible and about studying the Bible together, but the Holy Spirit has moved in a remarkable way in every class session and is working in amazing ways in the lives of students. The personal growth and discipleship taking place through these classes is exciting. I have discovered that teaching these classes is as much about walking with students and families outside of class as it is about teaching and sharing truth in class. All of this has been a joy and encouragement to me that is more than I can share here, and for which I thank the Lord every day.
As I write, I am tremendously blessed by the fact of our family being all together at home for these weeks. Chaili came home from college after finishing her third semester of what is a wonderful educational experience for her. She continues to thrive at college and we are overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord for how He has provided for this opportunity. Next semester she will dive into clinical experience in nursing as she continues to have a love for work in medical field. An additional blessing this year has been her opportunity to take advanced piano lessons at college as she continues to develop in her love for music as well.
The next days and weeks offer a time for us to give thanks for all that the Lord has done for us, all He is to us, where He has placed us, what He is doing in our lives, all that He will do, and for the promise and hope of all He has and is for the future. It has occurred to me in a new way that the “merry” of “Merry Christmas” comes from the thankfulness that we have in our hearts. How can I not be glad if I truly seek Him, see who He is, and thank Him for all of it? I truly pray that, in these weeks, the Father will give to you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and that the eyes of your understanding will be enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-18). May your Christmas and New Year be merry, glad, and full of thanks as we see Jesus for who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.