Message from Pastor Leland
Dear Friends in Christ,
2017 is almost gone and we say hello to a new year. Our Uganda Mission team would like to share with you our trip on Sunday, January 14, at 2pm at the Laguna Woods campus. We have so much to share with you about this life-changing and humbling experience. I don’t want you to miss hearing about all the stories and seeing our many pictures. We will even show you some pictures of some of the animals we saw in the wild as well as where the Nile River begins. I hope you will be touched through our journey.
Speaking of a journey, as we begin this new year of 2018, I hope this past year was a wonderful year, and you saw God at work with answered prayers, miracles, and blessings. Or was it a tough year and you felt like God had forsaken you as prayers went unanswered and problems came one after another. Perhaps you had set yourself a list of goals to achieve in 2017, but like myself, failed to finish the list.
Thankfully God allows us “do-overs” every day! One of my favorite hymns is “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. God’s mercies are new every day (Lamentations 3:23), and every day is a new day with God. As we begin a New Year, filled with dreams and hopes, I encourage you to come before Him as you are, and let Him wash away your hurts, disappointments, and sins. Don’t let your past mistakes, trials, and failures hold you back. Just like the wise men did as they went searching for Jesus, let us resolve to seek God first in everything we do; He will bless us with everything we need (Matthew 6:33).
During Epiphany (January through February) I invite you to Join us for our Sermon Series called – “Discovering Jesus”. Just like the wise men searched and discovered Jesus, let us also help and tell those who are searching for meaning in life discover Jesus is the Savior of the world.
Happy New Year in Christ,
Here are some “new beginnings” I want to encourage us as a congregation to make this year…
- Have daily devotions with your family - this is quality time that will bless you and your family for years. As you’ve heard me say, this was a huge part of my foundation in the faith.
- Pray on a regular basis – May this be a year of prayer within our church, small groups, families and our daily lives.
- Attend church and Sunday school every week – If you are physically able, it is a blessing to be together as often as possible to encourage one another.
- Read through the Bible this year – By the end of his life, Martin Luther wrote 60,000 pages, yet he hoped that “all my books would disappear and the Holy Scriptures alone be read.”
- Share Christ with someone who is an unbeliever – You can do this by first making a friend, being a friend and then bring a friend to Christ. You don’t have to preach to them, just show them who Christ is through your life.
- Visit a homebound person on a monthly basis – This will bless you and the person you visit.
- Consider becoming a Stephen Minister – This is a wonderful opportunity for you to bless others by being a friend to walk with another person through times of loss.
- Spend more time with family and friends - Time is so precious… we have all been given the same amount - 86,400 seconds each day. Make each second count by spending quality time with your family and friends.
- Remember your baptism every day - Remember that your life has been claimed through the waters of baptism in Christ and because of what He did for you, you are a new creation every day in Christ. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
These are just a few great habits we can put into place in our lives.