It's New Year's Eve. Time for a little reflection on 2005. No doubt, this has been one of the strangest years of my life. It began in about the worst way a year could begin. My previous employers decided to give the Rosses a joyful holiday season last year by terminating me. So, my 1st sermon of the new year was a farewell. There is so much I would love to bring to light about the way things were conducted, but that is water under the bridge. The Lord has a way of taking care of things, and so it is better left with Him.
After the experience I had there, I began 2005 with serious doubts about myself, my preaching and whether I should even remain in ministry. I began considering other possibilities. Ironically, Jeff Jones (a deacon and incredible man from the Decatur Church of Christ) had asked me to come preach on the following week. So, my 1st week as an unemployed preacher found me preaching in Decatur.
I began putting out resumes and contemplating my future. There was a lot of time for that. I talked to churches in Tennessee and Colorado and all over Texas. At the time, I just did not want to consider Decatur. I was so gunshy from what had just happened to me that I wanted to make sure that the next place I served was one of integrity and love.
Finally, after several weeks of discussions and ups and downs, Beverly and I agreed to come to Decatur. As we now come to the end of this year, I am so incredibly happy for the decision we made. My reluctance has been turned to sheer excitement. We have never been a part of a more affirming, more truly loving group of Christians as make up this community of believers. And having been there for 8 months, it is safe to say that my observations are not those of someone still stoked because they are in the "honeymoon" period.
So, we look forward with great anticipation to what the Lord has in store for 2006. I had many moments in 2005 in which I wondered where He was and what He was doing. We went months being anxious about selling our house -- wondering why it was taking so long. All the while, He was putting the pieces together for things to work out in ways that we couldn't have written a better script for.
I learned a lot in 2005. About myself. About the faithfulness of my wife. About the Lord. I want to continue to learn and grow in 2006, but I sure hope the Lord choses something easier this year:).
Blessings to you all! And Happy New Year!