WOW is really how I feel! I praise the Lord for the great things He is doing and the great people He is doing them through! I have several reasons to say WOW!
WOW #1 - We had wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services this past weekend. We had several visitors during both services, but most importantly, the Lord was very present! I'm thankful for Mark Self coming forward for baptism, which we will be doing this coming Sunday on January 1, 2012.
WOW #2 - Thanks to the prayers of our family of faith, my daughter Lydia is back to her old self. We spent much of Christmas day in the ER at Children's Hospital with her. The initial thought was that she had a kidney stone, but the doctor diagnosed it has a nasty virus. Whatever it was, we give the glory to God and credit the prayers of God's people because by Monday evening she was feeling much better.
WOW #3 - My mom is continuing to recover from congestive heart failure. Though I'm writing this blog from the ICU of JMH, she has improved much over the last 24 hours. I'm "wowed" over the outpouring of love and support from our faith family - thank you for the numerous calls, texts, emails, visits and most importantly the prayers. We've been at great peace throughout this ordeal and I know it is because if the prayers of God's people. We are blessed to be a part of such a wonderful church family.
WOW #4 - Last night (Wednesday) our church approved a faith budget of $226,200.00. That is about a 7% increase over the previous year's budget. I'm thankful for the leadership of our Stewardship Team during the budgeting process, and the faith of our family to accept their hard work.
WOW #5 - (AND THIS IS THE BIGGIE!!!) After I left the hospital last night I stopped by the office to check messages, and on my desk was a note that read: "Lottie Moon Offering total - $10,264.33 (P.S. - total is after the "seed" money was put back in missions)". WOW! Our highest ever Lottie Moon Offering Goal has been reached, and in the first week of receiving it! Praise the Lord for answering our prayers and providing through His people! We'll continue to receive the L.M. Offering through January, so if you haven't had an opportunity to give, it is not too late. All of the monies received goes to directly support the 5,000 SBC missionaries serving the Lord outside of the United States.
We began the year saying that we wanted to be a church that gave away more than we kept. I don't know if we've reached that goal or not, but I know Magna View has given sacrificially this year, both to our budget and beyond. We have been a conduit of God's financial blessings this year, and it has all been to the glory of God. Thank you Magna View, for being open to God to do what He wants to do through you.
Final note: for the first time I can ever remember, I missed being at the last service of the year. I was in the hospital with my mom, and was unable to attend the Wednesday night service last night (Thanks to our deacons for taking care of the service). The last service of the year, whether it is on a Sunday or a Wednesday, is always one of my favorites. I usually share my goals and hopes for the coming year. I will do that at some point, but let me say for now that I'm praying that 2012 will be the greatest year of ministry that Magna View has ever experienced. I'm praying that we reach and disciple more people in more places than we ever have before. My theme verse for Magna view this year is Ephesians 3:20-21, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." I believe that what God has done in the past year is barely scratching the surface of what God is going to do in the year to come. WOW! Glory to God!