Happy New Year! It’s been a while, but The Stray Shepherd is alive and well! The Fall of 2019 was a very busy time in my life where some things had to be moved aside to make room for a bunch of other things God put on my plate. This blog was one of them. But, a fresh, new year calls for a fresh, new start! So, let’s begin with an update of what’s been going on.
The Fall began, as many of you know, with my wife having surgery on her foot. She was completely off her feet for the first month, which left me with a lot of extra responsibilities. But God is good and gave me a lot of extra energy and patience for the task. There is nothing that will stand in the way of me taking care of the woman I love! At the same time, I began taking seminary classes online. This was my first time taking online classes, and I found that it takes a tremendous amount of time discipline to stay on task. The massive amounts of reading, writing, watching video lectures, etc. all had to fit into my schedule as a full-time pastor and full-time home health care provider. Throw into the mix the temptation of football, basketball, and hockey seasons being in full swing and calling for my attention daily. Sleep slipped a few notches on my priority list. That’s never good.
My health was one of the brightest spots of the Fall season. My blood sugar levels have finally gotten back under control with my Hemoglobin A1C down to 6.5 from 11. 6 in April! My goal is to be under 7.0 and stay there without medication. I still take a small dose of insulin daily, but with continued weight loss, I should be able to say, “Goodbye!” to insulin in the future. Speaking of weight loss, I was down 25 pounds at one point. Then Christmas came, and with it a few of those pounds returned. However, I’m still motivated and ready to get back on track toward a healthier, more energetic me!
The other bright spot of the Fall was the work that God did in me and the people of CrossPointe Church. We embarked on a journey of “Daring Faith,” a spiritual growth campaign. God used this time through His word and the struggles I had in keeping up with life to show me the meaning of faith, challenge me to trust in Him, and evaluate what is most important in life. (I’ll share more about this throughout the year.) The spiritual growth in my congregation at CrossPointe was evident as well. Lives have been changed. People are trusting God and taking steps of daring faith. One major piece of evidence is the offering commitment of nearly $400,000 to our New Building Fund! This far exceeded what “experts” said a church of our size should be able to raise, but nothing is impossible for our God! Building plans are now in motion, and CrossPointe will be relocating its headquarters in two years!
All of this has set the stage for some exciting things to come in 2020! I’m looking forward to sharing them with you along the way! I pray the New Year finds you filled with hope, joy, and peace!