In the Last Days, Perilous Times will Come.
If we can learn anything from the past few years, it is that the unexpected can leap upon us without warning. I think back to when I was writing my newsletter in December of 2019–could I have ever imagined what the world would be like in 2020, that we’d all be locked away in our homes, wearing masks in the grocery store, and losing loved ones to a worldwide plague? None of us could have imagined. But out of curiosity, I went back to my newsletter from that year to see what I might have written as 2020 approached. I found something very interesting:
And now for 2020… 2020 is mysterious to me. I’ve always looked at the year 2020 as the far-off future, full of wonder. But now it is here. What should we think of it? Have we progressed in knowledge and technology as to solve the world’s problems? Has mankind become wise and overcome the hurdles of the past? Have we moved past barbarism to a civilized life free of crime and danger?December Newsletter 2019
Of course, the answer to those questions was ‘no.’ And ‘no’ is still the answer to those questions. And I knew that the answer was no, not because I’m a prophet, but because the scripture tells us that things will get worse, and not better. And I also know that disaster doesn’t often send a note to warn us of when it is coming. 2020 hit us unexpectedly. It was a fulfillment of the prophecy that ‘perilous times’ would come in the last days. And I’m sure that 2020 is mild compared to what else will come upon us shortly if we do not repent as a nation and as a people.
I write this not only for your sake, the reader, but for my sake, as well. As a pastor of a local church, it is easy to get caught up with the local politics of my church and fail to see the bigger picture. The coming of Christ is close, and we must view ourselves and the world around us from a higher vantage point. We must not pray for those close around us only, but for the Church at large, for our nation, and for the nations. We must live with the mindset that we are close, very close. I don’t think we realize how little time we have. We need to take advantage of every bit of it. Let’s make 2023 a year that we ‘redeem the time,’ rather than piddle it away. We must, like Jesus, ‘be about our Father’s business.’
As I close out the year as a new pastor, having pastored now for about six months, I have to say that there is more to this occupation than it looks. There is a lot more that happens behind the scenes than I would have imagined. And sometimes, great conflict and difficulty can be happening behind the scenes with many unaware. I’m sure that all churches experience this from time to time, and perhaps some more than others. Connect Church has had its fair share already, and I wish I could say that it has come and gone, but that would not be a true statement. I covet your prayers as I seek to attain the wisdom of God for some difficult situations that currently linger in our assembly. May God give me the wisdom to solve problems here while keeping my mind on seeking the kingdom of God at large.
Yet, despite the difficulties, ministry has continued. Just two weeks ago, three souls lifted their hands after service to indicate that they wanted Christ in their lives. One was a young man visiting for the very first time. Please pray for him, that God will continue the work in his heart, and for us, the church, as we follow up with him.
Please pray that we have many more such encounters in the future. I have determined in my heart to begin street evangelism in my city as soon as possible in 2023. Pray that this will be an avenue for souls saved and for church growth. Pray also that God would send strong families to help us to be established. We need help to gain our footing.
We finally have our new roof! Our roof was leaking and on the verge of disaster. Each rain and storm had me on edge. But now I have confidence because our new, heavy gauge tin roof has been wonderfully installed. A super special thanks to the Peninsular district of the Assemblies of God for helping us to make this happen. Also, a special thanks to DJ Whitcomb, our roofer, who gave us a wonderful price.
Have a blessed New Year!
Katrina and I, and our whole family offer our hearty thanks for all that our friends and partners have done for us. It is because of your belief in us that we have been able to come this far. We pray that you have a blessed New Year!