What is the greatest gift Jesus brought to humanity? Many would say the gift of salvation. I would too but I believe there is a bigger picture to consider. With many hard issues in life, despair is a natural result. Mankind needs to look forward to a better day. Jesus brought hope for good. He brings help to the helpless. He can make good come out of bad. He saves us from our sins. He promises a home for eternity where there is no more sin and pain. In that place, righteousness dwells. We look forward to a better place and life in Christ.
Hope. We have hope for a better day. Jesus brought hope to mankind. Even as we live this life on earth, we continue to hope for better days. We work through the hard issues of life and even with death, knowing good things can still come to us. We hope so. We are thankful for the Blessed Hope, Jesus Christ.
Since writing the Christmas letter, many things have happened in our lives. We did not go to Arizona this month. Jeneen’s mom went into the hospital on December 3rd. While there, she made the decision to go into assisted living. Since she left the hospital, she has been living with us. Jeneen is a good caregiver, having the gift of mercy. We are now working through the process of moving Jeneen’s mom and getting her home ready to sell. Needless to say, we are really busy sorting and putting things in storage and moving the rest to the new apartment.
We have not been able to send out cards this year like we want. We have been slow to response to everyone’s letters and cards. We hope for better days ahead. We know God will work out the details as we follow Him. Thank you all for your love and support.
Here is our Christmas letter.
Merry Christmas 2014
Dear Friends and Family,
Jeneen and I are so thankful for the family and friends God has put into our lives. We do not take our family for granted. God gave each of the boys a wonderful wife. We like watching how each wife fits her husband. We praise the Lord for their marriages. We are also thankful for our nine grandchildren. Of course, we can never see them enough but are happy when we do. They are growing both physically and spiritually.
We also appreciate the friends God has given to us. Even though we do not see everyone each year, when we do get together, we pick up again where we left off. It is always a joy when we see you again. It would be great to see many of you this next year. We think of you all and pray for you often.
This year, Jeneen’s health has not been good. It prevented her from going on several ministry trips. We are thankful she has some answers and has been doing much better in the last two months. I found out that I have an allergy to dairy products. It is inflammatory rather than anaphylactic reaction. Overall though, we are doing well. Jeneen’s mom has been struggling with heart, lung, and digestive issues. Jeneen has been able to care for her while she was home. My mom is doing well. We are thankful we both still have our moms.
Ministry is going well. If we are not busy in our travels, we are busy in our home church. I really enjoy ministering in the churches wherever God would have us go. God has been so good to us but then, He is always good. When we are home, we have the privilege of working with the college career group. Our home church is proceeding in putting up a building on the 19 acres we bought a few years ago. I am quite involved in that project too. So, either at home or on the road, we are busy.
Another project has come to fruition. My book, Steadfast and Stable was published by Journeyforth Publications this year. It was released November 18th. I will be teaching through it and about it on Sunday nights when we are home in December and January. We hope to be able to go to Arizona over Christmas and New Years to be with family there. While there I hope to be able to show the book to several pastors for use in their ministries.
Jeneen has been able to do some oil painting lately. She really enjoys her art. I have been doing more writing. I am working on a couple of Bible studies and a fiction work. Writing is a lot more work than putting words on a page. That is just the first step. There are rewrites, self-editing, editors, submit to a publisher for approval, if approved, signing a contract, more edits, final edits, printing, binding and then release. It is really quite a process. Peter is hoping to have two or three new books released this next year. He is in the process anyway.
In closing, Jeneen and I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to each day He has for us. I can’t wait to see what He has ahead.