We are quickly approaching the end of another year. Yes, you heard that right. A new year is just around the corner. It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone but within a few days, we will face 2019. I can remember struggling to write 1979 on my school assignments. I could have never imagined that someday I would be ready to write 2019 down. But such is life. It moves quickly and the older you get the faster it seems to go by.

As Paul said in Ephesians 5:15-16, be careful and pay attention to your life and your walk with Jesus because the days are evil and will pass away quickly. Life moves quickly and if you’re not careful you’ll miss out on it. Take the time to enjoy your life and the lives of those you love. You will never get back the time once it is gone. Let me encourage you to embrace those you love, as often and as deeply as possible. You never know if you will have tomorrow. Listen to the wisdom of James.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

(James 4:13-14, ESV)

Life is indeed short, and we should never put off till tomorrow what could be done today. Lord willing, we will have many more “tomorrows” and Lord willing we will make the best of them. All we can do is live each day to the best of our ability, trust in the grace of our loving God, and love deeply those we have been blessed to call friends and family.

With that in mind, let me say how much I appreciate and love each one of you. My life and the lives of my family will never be the same for having known you and being blessed to be a part of this church. This has been a hard year for me personally. After many years of refusing to listen to the words of my family and doctor’s advice, I was finally ready for back surgery. I would have never dreamed that having major back surgery could cause so much pain and take so long to recover from, yet by the grace of God, I have prevailed. I am extremely thankful for my family and my church family. This was a daunting year, to say the least, but together we are stronger and better prepared for whatever the future holds. I am confident that together there is nothing we cannot conquer in the name of our Lord.

This has been a hard year for the church as well. We have lost a few members, people we considered close family members, some have moved away, and we’ve struggled with many health problems in the church. Like the great apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We have been afflicted, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” Paul understood hardship and struggle but he came through it and so will we. In the words of Morpheus, from the movie Matrix Reloaded, “WE ARE STILL HERE!” and that is all that matters! (Wachowshi, 2003)

Love each other, stay faithful, trust in the Lord, and look forward to tomorrow with hope and expectation. I am excited about what the future holds for us and I hope you are as well.

Works Cited

Wachowski, L. &. (Director). (2003). Matrix Reloaded [Motion Picture].