As the smell of turkey and stuffing fill the air of my home, I am reflecting on how fast a year can pass. So many things have happened this year that it all seems like a blur. Before I recap on the various reflections of thanksgiving I have from this year in ministry, I have to open with my thankfulness to the great people I have met and have connected with in fellowship with other ministry works and community programs. I could share my own words but instead, I will leave it to scripture.
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
This year has been bitter-sweet to say the least. We set out at the beginning of the year with lofty goals, but in reflection there were many roadblocks and bumps. Our fundraising efforts did not quite make the goals we were shooting for, but money is not everything. What we gained this year is connection. A connection with others within our communities who share the same vision, and partnership with other great works for Christ’s glory. This in itself is worth much much more than any dollar amount. I heard a quote last week on the local Christian radio station from a pastor in New York, and though I don’t remember it verbatim or his name for that matter, I will fumble my way through it. The quote referenced John 2:7-11 (NLT)
Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.
When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
The pastor said, (as I roughly recall) “Too many churches and ministry leaders work way too hard to make wine. They neglect to remember the most important step is to fill the jars with water first. Only then will it be blessed and become wine.” I was awe struck as I drove down the highway, reeling in thought. I never once considered when we founded this ministry to look at it in this context. I came to realize that I have spent the last year stomping grapes and then worrying about the stains on my heels. The focus needs to be on filling the water jars. We need to remember that when it comes to filling containers with water, you are going to lose a little here and there to evaporation. The same goes with growing a ministry. You can’t allow the little losses to stop you from filling the jars. As I reflect there is no wonder I had some health set backs about a month ago. I was spreading myself too thin stomping grapes, and too little time at the well. I am thankful for this revelation.
Nothing has impacted our ministry more this year than the COVID19 pandemic crisis. This situation caused us to reconfigure and put the brakes on with a lot of the plans we had in mind. Having recovered from my previously referenced health matter, my household ended up facing the COVID19 virus directly when my only Son Kyle was not feeling well and tested positive for the virus. Being Kyle resides with me and serves as my right hand man we put all ministry operations on hold, notified everyone we were in contact with for the previous 72 hours and put our household on a 10 day quarantine lockdown. I am happy to announce that we all got through without serious symptoms or hospitalizations, praise be to the Lord. I am so thankful that we were able to avoid serious illness. If you have been wondering what has been keeping me from continuing our Sunday afternoon message broadcast, I hope now you can understand. If all goes well I will be working on wrapping up the Check Your Beatitudes series this coming Sunday November 28th so that we can get prepared for the advent season.
We wish you and your family a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!
I would like to encourage those who wish to keep up to date with our ministry to register for an account for our connect page at https://dimom.churchtrac.com/sign-in. When you supply your text number, phone number, and email, we will be able to send you information through these resources. The account also allows you to keep track of your tithes/donations and set up other giving options and features. These are only a few of the things available through this new system. If you are a family interested in or are already in our pastoral care program, we strongly encourage you to log in and keep your information updated. If you have any questions please reach out to us at 443-203-8238 or by email at email@example.com