It feels good to finally be back at ABC! I’ve missed you these past couple weeks, and I appreciate your patience in my delayed return. We did enjoy our time away on vacation, but as you know we unfortunately had to deal with Covid upon our arrival back to Austin. But the good news is the symptoms were mild and we are now fully recovered and back to school and work. Thank you for your prayers, and I’d especially like to thank Dr. Matt Gillum for stepping up to fill in during my absence.
It is indeed a new year, but I know for some it may feel like the same old story. We are still dealing with the virus, many are stuck in fear regarding the future, and our country is seemingly as polarized as ever before. Nonetheless, it is important for us to remember that 2022 does not have to look the same as 2021. While we cannot control the external challenges in our world, we can control our internal responses to them. My prayer is that each of us will choose to be steadfast in our commitment to Jesus Christ. This year, each of us can indeed grow to be more holy, we can grow to know Him more deeply, and we can experience Jesus more fully through the fellowship of His people. 2022 absolutely can be a better year if we choose to pursue our Savior in a better way.
Jesus is better than anything, on anyone, this world has to offer. He is bigger than any problem you or I face, and His grace is more sufficient than any solution we could create. Hebrews 6:19 reminds us that “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.” Jesus Christ is our anchor and He is committed to give you the strength you need to weather any storm. My prayer is that you and I will cling to our anchor more tightly this year than we did last year. I pray that you will read more of His word, spend more time in prayer, find more opportunities to serve and give, and get more connected in Christian community through His local church. I’m excited about our new study in the book of Hebrews because we’re going to see that Jesus is indeed better, but we will also discover that following Him more closely will lead us to a better life in 2022.
In a couple weeks, you and I will have an opportunity to get better in a practical way. I’m looking forward to welcoming bestselling author and international speaker, Gary Thomas, to ABC for the Sacred Marriage Conference on January 28-29th. The conference will be based on his bestselling book, and Gary will offer practical wisdom and encouragement that will make any marriage better, whether you are newlyweds or have been married for 50+ years. I encourage you to not miss out on this special opportunity.
The conference will feature 4 dynamic sessions filled with great teaching, fun giveaways, delicious food, and lots of laughter. Participants will be seated at round tables, and you’ll have an opportunity to fellowship with other couples at ABC. This conference will also offer the unique opportunity for multi-generational ministry, as couples of all ages will get to know one another and enjoy each other’s company at the event. For our younger couples, we are offering free childcare at the church if needed. If you haven’t done so already, please take the time to register today and join us for what will surely be a life-giving weekend at ABC. Register here: https://www.shelbygiving.com/App/Form/08a2dc7e-5405-4303-868a-73367db3cffb
Make plans to join us this Sunday. We are going to be welcoming our new Minister of Senior Adults and Pastoral Care, Bill McGinnis, along with his wife, Anita. They will be introduced in both services, and you’ll have an opportunity to officially welcome them to Austin. I’ll also be leading us in the Lord’s Supper, and we’ll be offering our new members class, Starting Point, after each service for those who are exploring membership at ABC. Invite a friend and make plans to be there this Sunday. If you need a new start to this new year, you can begin afresh this weekend at ABC. I look forward to seeing you at 9am or 11:11am.