It’s 2022, Let’s Celebrate!
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
We did it!! Another year in the history books! So much has happened for my family personally, and the world globally, in the last two years. I don't think I could tell you where 2020 started and 2021 ended. It’s been a little bit of a blur. Can I get an Amen? There is a sense we should tip-toe quietly into 2022. Keep our seat-belts on and try not to break anything as we navigate this new year. I totally get that. I’m worn out from virus variants and political drama as much as anyone. Though I, also at the same time, feel a prompting from the Holy Spirit to celebrate all God has done this last year, in order to be prepared for what God is doing this new year. If we can't recognize and celebrate all God has done, how can we perceive and partner with Him in what He is doing? So in light of all the chaos, pain and drama of the last two years I am making it a point to celebrate and give thanks for all the wonderful things Jesus has done in our midst. Let's recount. Shall we?
We had a very successful Kaleo Fire School and Kaleo Leadership School right here in Livingston TN.
We also helped to staff a Kaleo Missions and Leadership School in Reynosa MX.
We received a missionary family from Alaska who felt called to plant Life Groups in Appalachia.
We accomplished over 100k in construction work on our building, all paid in cash, without missing a single bill or making any cuts to our regular ministry activities.
We also sent over 70k to various local ministry partners and global mission partners.
We made new ministry partnerships with Deeper Still and Invitation Ministries, while deepening our existing partnerships with ministries like Teen Challenge and New Day Ministries.
We sent out our beloved Michael and Amanda Graff & Family to Pastor a New Day Church in Michigan.
We raised up wonderful, anointed, in-house Children, Youth Pastors and leaders.
We did various outreaches to our local communities and saw many people receive Jesus as their Savior, as well as miracles and deliverance.
We have grown as a Church Body to be expectant of God’s Presence whenever we meet, not just when we have special events.
Kaleo, our Church accountability and mission movement organization, made incredible progress planting and reaching the un-reached, Muslim, and refugee communities with the Gospel!
There are probably a hundred other things I could mention that we should celebrate. The point is this, despite all the calamity and chaos we endured. God used it all for His glory and our benefit. He proved once again, that when we say, “YES”, He does more than we can ask for. So, I am choosing to walk into 2022 celebrating His goodness in 2021, while expectantly looking forward to all He will accomplish through us. I challenge you to look back on the previous year and recount all the miracles God did through you and your family, despite all the trials. If there are any testimonies you would like to share, send them to email@example.com so we can celebrate with you. I’m sure 2022 will have it’s highs and its lows, but I truly believe that the best is yet to come and we have only begun to see all God wants to do in our lives!
Here is an unorthodox word I believe God is giving us to carry into 2022. To close out the year, my family and I were able to sneak away for a few nights in Nashville to watch the Titans play in the freezing rain. It was a blast! We made memories we will never forget! I am so thankful that we were able to do it. The hotel we stayed in put us in Room 316 which I didn't think much about, until we decided to order pizza. I thought it would be fun to tell the delivery driver to deliver the pizza at the Hilton to John 316. As silly as it sounds, it was then, Holy Spirit spoke to me; this was a prophetic sign for our ministry. He would reveal John 3:16 through us, First Church, in a powerful and new way. Jesus will display His love and saving power through our body in an unpredictable, unique way we have never seen before. I believe God is going to cause the most unlikely, unbelieving people to stop in their tracks and say, “Wow! God is real and He loves me!” Because of First Church ministry, I think Holy Spirit is marking us as a church body, like many other local church bodies, a people who will reveal the Presence of God to an unbelieving world so they may see Him and be saved by Him. First Church is and will continue, even more so, to reveal Jesus to the world, by receiving Jesus in our meetings. Am I claiming all of this because my name is John and I stayed in room 316 last weekend? Absolutely I am. Is this a stretch of my imagination? Could be, but I am claiming it in faith and like Mary in Luke 2, I am choosing to treasure this word in my heart. Do I know exactly what that means and what the cost will be? Of course not. But if it’s God, it will be good and worth sacrificing for.