“How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again.  I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me.  Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:10-13

As I reflect over the past 9 years and all that you have done for Denise and me, I am truly content.  Not so content that I don’t think anything more can happen, but content in knowing as Paul did, that I have everything I need in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Paul was so thankful that these people had shown an interest in his life, not that he really needed anything, but that they just cared, and that "caring" was an expression of God’s love for him.  Our caring for one another is a sign of God’s love for all of us.  They knew then and we know now that caring for one another is an expression of God’s love.  We don’t do it out of obligation or for recognition, but our generosity toward others is done out of gratitude and humility.

Recently you showed your appreciation to Denise and me through your cards, gifts, and words of encouragement during pastor appreciation.  Now I would just like to take this opportunity to say how appreciative we are for this body of believers here at First Presbyterian!  There are many days that I look around and reflect on just how blessed I am to be right where I am.  Now I know that someday God may move me again, but I am content that wherever He moves Denise and me, this congregation will always hold a special place in my heart.  You have mentored me with your knowledge and life experiences.  You have encouraged me with your smiles and your patience.  You have inspired me with your tireless expressions of being the hands and feet of Christ.  And you have accepted me to be who God made me to be, not expecting me to fit some mold that someone else has made.  For all this and more, I am so grateful!

So with deep appreciation and with full but humble hearts we say “THANK YOU” and “WE LOVE YOU”!  And don’t ever forget what Paul goes on to say in verse 19 of this same chapter, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”  May you truly be overwhelmed by these glorious riches in your families and may the God of peace bless you abundantly!  God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!

In Christ’s Love,
Romans 12