After much exhortation by several I return to my blog after a lengthy absence. I did not plan on this. It just happened as other events and priorities took over during the holidays and beyond. I truly hope that your New Year has started off well.
Christmas at our house was great with a house full of family. Terri and I had a rare “just us” trip to Gatlinburg, TN that was in all ways great. We saw the New Year in rather quietly and then got busier than ever.
At Gateway our 2007 theme is Resolve to be Involved and have I ever. First up, after much prayer and preparation by leadership, we had a terrific family meeting on a Sunday night and presented goals, plans, hopes and dreams to the congregation and asked for their input, prayers and support. The meeting went better than expected and so far the involvement spirit has been contagious.
Much of my time during the first two weeks of the New Year was taken up with planning Gateway’s first ever Celebration of Christian Education Weekend. This just-concluded event was successful beyond expectations. God blessed us with representatives of Lipscomb University, Rochester College, Magnolia Bible College (it was good to see my old pal, Allen Coker), Western Christian College (also great to see friend John McMillen) , Freed-Hardiman University, Faulkner University, Pepperdine University, Harding University, Heritage Christian University, Regions University (nice to get reacquainted with old school mate, Robert Holland) , and Global Christian University. We also enjoyed the musical talents of Harding’s Belles & Beaux and the preaching talent of Rochester’s Dr. David Fleer. As a part of this weekend we also began the Gateway Christian Scholarship Fund to be eventually used by Gateway families to assist in sending their children to a Christian college or university. God blessed us with over $11.000 given to begin this fund.
Last night, John and Margaret Dobbs were our guests. John shared in a fine way with Gateway their ongoing hurricane relief work. It was great to spend a little time with them even if we were all a little worn out. The work they do is an incredible example of the church in action as it should be.
Now I am packing to leave tomorrow, God willing, on a week-long trip to Vilnius, Lithuania. My time there will be spent with Ilia Amosov and Jouzas Pudoukaitis who are the evangelists for the Church of Christ in this Baltic city. Gateway oversees their support and work and I will be assisting them in their 2007 plans and leading them in a ministry ethics course. I solicit your prayers on my behalf as I travel.
Of course, I will miss my girls and look forward to returning to a somewhat slower pace as the winter winds down in the Florida panhandle.
Thanks for checking in!