where love is alive 

My immediate family members are BIG advocates of Christmas Wish Lists. In fact, we have a system: Everyone emails a list to everyone else containing suggested gift items we hope to unwrap on Christmas Day. Taking no chances, our email list often includes links to websites that show exactly what we desire! Then, as individuals purchase gift items off of each other’s wish list, we inform the other family members so they know items are “taken.” In this way no one ends up with three waffle irons or four brown belts! Thank goodness we live in the age where texting and email services enable us to communicate quickly and freely.

Occasionally I pause to ponder items I might place on a Wish List for North Cleveland Baptist Church. Here are a few things off that list.

  • I wish more people in our community experienced what a wonderful place this is. Of course, the key is NOT really the place. Rather it is the people who make NCBC so special. Our congregation is doing more intentional promotion than ever before. Still, the most effective method for unchurched folks to get to know us and the Lord is for our own church members to share, encourage, and invite people with whom we are already in relationship. I am praying that God grants us many more opportunities to do this and that the year ahead will be one of significant growth in our church.
  • I wish for our congregation to exceed our $22,500.00 goal for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. While our support for International Missions through this offering is always exceptional, it has been several years since we actually surpassed this Christmas Offering Goal. I hope this year we can know again this sense of accomplishment.
  • I wish for the numbers of ministries and people directly engaged in ministry to grow exponentially in the coming year. The true measure of a church is not in its seating capacity but it’s sending capacity. I pray that every person in the NCBC family would be invested actively in at least one ministry.
  • And I usually have at least one “big ticket” item. Right now I am wishing that relatively soon our church will secure a new passenger van or even a mini-bus. While the current vehicle is running fine, it honestly has more miles behind it than ahead. And it is not too soon to be thinking of a time in the future when it will need to retire.

So, what is on your wish list this year? Can you buy it in a store? Is it merry and bright? Or is it something more? But hear this word of caution: Let us not allow our thoughts about what we do NOT have, deny the joy for everything the Lord already gives. And I am extraordinarily grateful for each of our church family and the way God blesses through you. Jay



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