Posted: December 22, 2021
Dear Salmon Arm Church Family,
This has been another good albeit challenging year. Yes, even in the midst of the challenges there is much to praise God for. At the end of this year, there are many reasons I could praise God but the first highlight I thought of relates to people who have accepted Jesus and been baptized. At the beginning of last year, Elvis Lennon (our upcoming assistant head elder) said to me, that we are going to have baptisms and that God would bless us in 2021. When he first said that I didn’t know what God had in store for this year and there was no way to predict what God would do. But God blessed and we had 6 baptisms in Salmon Arm and many of you have been involved in the work that God has been doing in the lives of the individuals who were baptized.
And this is just the beginning. Things are heating up and we are going to see even greater things this next year. Let me be clear it is not about numbers or baptisms. It’s about celebrating the work that God is doing in the lives of people and families in our church and our community. Remember, people are longing and looking for peace and hope—there are many on the verge of the kingdom who need a Saviour and we can lead them to Jesus. What a privilege, what a joy!
Just this week, my wife, Michelle came home from the store and was excited to show me how much she paid for a particular item. She told me how she had been quickly looking for something and didn’t expect to find it at the store she was in BUT not only did she find what she was looking for, but the item was on sale. It was originally marked $14.99 but was now only 88 cents. That’s almost a 100% discount. Amazing!
I share this because this past Sabbath we talked about generosity and we reflected on the importance of giving and faithfully returning our tithes and offerings. We also talked about the concept of the Missionary Box and how at Christmas time when we spend so much on ourselves and others this is an opportunity to generously and sacrificially give a gift to Jesus as well. Michelle has always supported me in giving and being sacrificial, so we decided to make an extra donation above and beyond our regular tithe and offering to the Missionary Box and it was amazing to see how even this week with an 88 cent purchase God was reminding us that He is taking care of us financially and that we cannot out-give Him.
I hope and pray each of you will set some money aside for the Missionary Box at church or at home. Come prepared to make an extra donation this Sabbath. You will see the Missionary Box at the front of the church and all donations will go for outreach projects that SAS, our Church School will do.
We cannot out-give God!
Made in Bethlehem
This Sabbath is our church Christmas program and I know that each of you will be richly blessed by the musical program that has been planned. Unfortunately, Michelle, Jesiah, and I will not be able to participate in the program in person, but I had the privilege of pre-recording a brief devotional titled Made in Bethlehem. One of the things, Christmas reminds us of is that God sent His son at the perfect time to Bethlehem, and Jesus’ timing is still perfect today. Hang on to the hope that God will never leave you or forsake you no matter how dark things may be or whatever you might be facing right now. God always shows up on time.
Note: for those who will not be able to be at church my Christmas message will also be released on Facebook Sabbath afternoon, and later on our church website.
Lastly, I will be away from December 23rd to January 10th. During that time if you need any assistance please contact Philip Hill or one of the elders.