“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given!!”Isaiah 9:6
I don’t know about you, but I am in mild shock that we are already heading into Christmas.
Too often, the “busyness” of this season can rob us of joy. But the words of Isaiah give us
reason to rejoice. The promised Son has been given! We must remember to keep our focus
on the One Who gives true joy, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every day is a gift from God. As we reflect back over this year, we are amazed at how full
our days have been.. full of blessings, challenges, sadness and experiences that have
“stretched “ us in our walks with Christ.
Sadness – You may recall that Bev’s sister, Vivian passed away in February, and her sister,
Mary in May. But many of you who received our semi-annual letter in July may not know
that we also lost her brother, Barney, the last of July. Through this time of sadness, God has faithfully met needs. Knowing they are with Him and that we will be with them again one
day has brought great comfort.
Challenge – In October, Gary was hospitalized with a heart problem. After undergoing
cardiac cauterization, he is doing well. God, of course, knew that Gary was headed for
a trial of faith as He allowed sickness. God’s timing is always perfect, though I’ll admit that
we don’t always understand at the time. I’m so glad that God knows and sees what is best
for us! Gary’s last check-up was very good. He can now go back to his normal routine as
his strength allows. Truly, an answer to many prayers!
Blessings – Blessings have come in many forms:
*We are always thrilled to see a child come to Christ, but for an adult, they often have
“baggage” they must lay aside. We were reminded of this recently. One Sunday in Nov.,
ten-year-old Zach stayed after class and wanted to talk with Mrs. Bev. He shared that he
was worried, had been struggling with fears, and that he knew he needed to be saved. After
hearing the gospel, Zach prayed and trusted Christ as his Savior. He pointed to his heart and
said, “I feel better here.” At the same time, Gary was in the auditorium talking with Anita, an
older lady who had visited that Sunday for the first time. She stated that she had needs in her
life. As Gary shared the gospel with her, she said she wasn’t ready to be saved, because she
had bitterness against another person and wasn’t willing to give it up. Please pray for Zach’s
spiritual growth, and that Anita will give this over to God and allow Him to meet her needs.
*Another blessing has been the many folk who have given of their time and energy to help on
the church remodeling throughout this year. Because of Gary’s illness, it has had to be laid
aside temporarily. You have been a blessing in this process, as well. While you may not have pounded nails, hung drywall or dug ditches with us this year, you have given us a hand
nonetheless, some financially, some through your prayers.
*And yet another blessing came when the business that did our heating/cooling at church, gave
us a slightly-used gas furnace for the modular. This will be a tremendous help in lowering our electric bill.
Our Family –
Kirt and Elida, with their sons, Joseph (4) and Micah (3), still reside in Glendale, AZ. Kirt
continues his forensic work with the Phx. Police Department. Elida is a wonderful Mommy
to their lively little guys. We are able to get together frequently, and those are always fun
times Grandpa & Grandma look forward to!
Our “Kansas Kids” are now “Arkansas Kids!” Recently, a pastor friend in Conway, AR.
passed away unexpectedly. The church asked JD to become their new pastor. After much
prayer, they felt this was God’s will. It was with mixed feelings they left the folk at Lakin,
where they had ministered for eight years, and began serving at Grace Baptist on December 1.
Their new flock have made them feel most welcome. The difficult part is that we only see
them once or twice a year, and we’re now 1,220 miles apart instead of 815 miles, but knowing
this is where God wants them, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Their children are growing
so quickly! It is hard to believe that Jake is now 17, Zachary is 15, Hunter is 12, and MaKayla
is 7. Jenny keeps very busy as pastor’s wife, Mom, and teacher to her four. We miss them so
much and cherish the times we have together. The Lord willing, all our family will be
gathering at our home to celebrate Christmas the early part of January.
Bev is busy preparing for the ladies Christmas party at our home, and also the children’s Christmas play which will be on the 22nd.
We would appreciate your prayers concerning the church remodeling. Projects that need to be completed as funds become available:
*Stucco outside of remodeled building – estimate $5,000.00
*Painting of both buildings
*Carpeting and flooring – estimate $6,000.00
Wishing you a joyous Christmas with your loved ones, and a blessed 2014.
Love in Christ,
Gary & Bev Messick