Praying in the New Year

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Dear Northstar family,

Well, I started this letter last year, and this is what I had *then* –

This will be the last time I write to you as your pastor.. in 2017. 

I sit here before a popping fire on a frigid winter day and think back over this year and wanted to thank you all for the journey of faith we’ve been on together.

I am confident 2018 will be a momentous and challenging year for us as a church. As we close 2017, we have seen God do things AGAIN that we’ve almost begun to take for granted. People have been SAVED this year through your witness and influence. THINK of that! Spiritual rescue, forgiveness experienced, and joy received! 

I grew up in traditional churches where I remember most baptisms were children. Northstar is different. We consistently experience adult baptisms. It takes courage and joyful boldness to profess your faith publicly through this scriptural command. What a privilege it’s been to witness so many!

While we said goodbye to over 100 people on Send-Off Sunday this past May, we’ve actually grown as a church this fall and average more than we did at this time last year! Our D28 ministry has grown, and we hope to see more of you participating this year as we continue our intentional focus on discipling our members.

Now it’s 2018 and the Rose Bowl parade is on the TV. After ringing in the new year with a bubbling glass full of diet cream soda, I can think more clearly… and I am simply and supremely grateful to be a part of Northstar Church.

2018, by God’s grace, will be the year we begin construction on our ministry center! It will be a time of challenge, excitement and significant opportunity for us! It will take ALL of us to realize this vision, and yet, even with all of us, we know that ultimately, we are totally dependent on GOD’S provision. We are praying and trusting God for every dollar in the days ahead! You can keep up with updates on the campaign website.

2018, I pray, will be one of increase for Northstar. I am praying for members to go and share (Matthew 9.38). I am praying for members to give joyfully and generously (2 Corinthians 9.7). I am asking God for life transformation. (Romans 12.1-2) I am asking Him for us to be models of grace and truth to our community and culture. (John 1.17) I am praying for increased faith. (Luke 17.5)

A prayer project:
Darrell Cook preached yesterday and invited us to pray for two weeks, centering our prayers around four words:

  1. Unity
  2. Word
  3. World
  4. Sent

You can listen to his message here.

Now, I’d like to ask that you submit a one sentence prayer for Northstar – either centered around one of those four words or a prayer of your own. I will be posting them for the encouragement of the church. Also, this Sunday, January 7, we will have a prayer time in our service, and we’ll have an opportunity to pray together – for us to deeply and graciously BE HIS CHURCH in 2018.

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your pastor.

In His hands,

Jeff

P.S. Send me your one sentence prayer at jeff [at] northstarfamily [dot] org with subject of “Prayer.”

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