Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Looking Back and Then Pressing On Toward The Goal

I've had a good break over the Christmas and New Year period, enabling me to spend some quality time with family and friends.

2010 all in all was a great year. So much has happened this past year and, reflecting on the previous 12 months, there is much to be thankful for. The first part of the year was tough because I was suffering with bad headaches on a daily basis whilst trying to write essays and travelling up and down the country looking for a new ministry. Found out in the end that the headaches were from the boiler being faulty, so once that we remedied it was much easier to focus on the year ahead.

Highlight of the year is of course my second daughter Lizzie being born. She is a true Devonian and breaks the Essex mould! She is a little beauty and I'm very blessed with my two girls and my amazing wife.

Being called to work in Devon and church plant has been another great joy this year. Settling in to a new county, new house, new job and having a new baby has been tough, but well worth it. Sarah and I are learning ever more what it means to put God first and depend on Him.

Finishing my degree in theology and getting a 2:1 was another highlight. I left school and went straight to work when I was 16, so writing essay's and studying was a real challenge. My time at college was amazing and I value all that I gained from my time there.

Speaking of theology, I have found myself being challenged and mentally stretched constantly throughout the year, which is a really good thing. College obviously provided that, and now this church plant and my blog are throwing up loads of questions that keep me thinking and wrestling theologically.

I'm looking forward to the year ahead with all the challenges and encouragement's that await. There is so much to be thankful for and it is going to be interesting to see how things evolve with this church plant.

What I am sure of, beyond everything else, is that God is good, that He loves us and will always be with us. With every step, in every conversation, in every trial and tear, with every smile and laugh, God is with us. He will lovingly correct us in our mistakes and redeem us for greater things. He will go before us in our adventures and take the small thing we do for Him and make them into something outstanding and beautiful.

Whatever this year holds, I know that God loves me, and I pray that will learn to be content in that.

'I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 3:10-14

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