Before I forget, let me make sure to tell each and every one of you Happy New Year! (that’s important, because I forgot to say that one year and I heard about it later...)
We had a lot of fun at our annual New Year’s Eve FCC Family Game Night, with a full house of people and a ton of new games that people brought with them. Spyfall went over well, and so did Burgle Bros., and I’m sure that there were other new ones that people enjoyed as well (personally, I was reminded of why I both love and hate Tri-Bond...). Megan and I even got to minister afterwards to a young family who were walking down Knoxville in the cold and needed a ride to their hotel. Please be praying for them -- God knows who they are -- and remember to take advantage of every opportunity that you have in life to minister to those around you.
Please also keep the McClures in your prayers. Harry had a stroke this week, and it was obviously a huge surprise for both of them. As Janet said, “Life changes in a moment,” and she’s absolutely right -- you can make all the plans that you want, but we really have no idea what’s going to happen to us ten minutes from now that could make all of those plans pointless. But God is still looking out for Harry -- his doctor said that although he can’t move the left side of his body at all right now, the damage in the brain itself appeared to be localized, and he should improve with physical therapy. So even in the midst of a scary day, we can still praise God for being good.
That seemed to be the theme of this week’s Testimony Sunday time. People shared about grieving the loss of their spouse but then finding themselves closer to God and to the church family than they’ve ever been in their lives, or about struggling with depression but discovering that God doesn’t look at their hearts the way that they do, or about feeling strangled by their introverted personalities but then being encouraged by the times that God has helped them step out of their comfort zones and grow as human beings, etc.
Over and over again, we heard not only about God doing good things in people’s lives, but specifically helping people work through their hardest times and come out the other side stronger and closer to Him. And when you think about it, those are really the best testimonies to hear and be ministered to by. Oh, it’s great to hear about really nice things happening to really nice people whom you love, but that usually doesn’t do much more than to make you feel warm and fuzzy and happy inside. But when you hear someone share that they’ve been going through the same things that you’ve been struggling with, but that God has been faithful to them -- well, that’s going to truly help you. It was great to hear several people share that the reason that they were sharing was because of what someone else just shared.
And that’s why we do Testimony Sundays -- to encourage one another to grow just a little bit closer to God and one another...