Rejoice! Emmanuel has Come!

jriddleDecember, 2013, – Rev. Julian Riddle /  How encouraging it has been to hear Luke Lively, Eric Weber and Ed McDowell give their testimony as our Elder candidates. Mike Courie, who we are excited to have rejoining Session after several years off, will be giving his testimony on Sunday, the 1st. Norm Johnston, who has served for a number of years on the Missions Committee, is an excellent candidate for Deacon. Many of you were personally present at our latest town hall meeting where we unfolded the plan for a new sanctuary that would seat 600. Since then, the Session has asked for your thoughts through a “straw poll” which you received in the mail. We would love to hear your true insights for we must be united in such a great venture. Let’s never forget that this is about the ministry and spread of the gospel; nothing else! Our desire is to find the best tools to do that for now and the future. All avenues of ministry will be enabled to grow. The present thought is to have middle school and high school move to the sanctuary, Adult ABF’s expand up into the present youth department. Children’s ministry could possibly expand to the balcony. Nursery would grow down the hall into our present office area. These are exciting days for us. I hope you sense it…and keep on praying for wisdom throughout the days ahead. Please mark your calendar for our Sunday, December 8th church-wide congregational meeting at 12:10 pm. We will present the budget, confirm officers for next year, and vote on receiving Pastor Melton as an Associate Pastor. Tim has been here for twelve years, is very capable and has earned great credibility for his preaching, singing, and pastoral care. More than that, he has been a faithful servant of Christ and Surfside. I urge you to confirm this honor and position on him as it will strengthen our leadership team. This is not confirming him as the next Senior Pastor, although he or Justin would be great choices. But as for now, you are stuck with me. Thanksgiving is now past and Christmas is right around the corner. Many of us have sustained loses this year that will be felt especially during this time. I never dreamed that losing my Mom in June would impact me so much. Oh what I would give for one more time to be together at Thanksgiving and Christmas. MOM, I MISS YOU GREATLY! My point is for all your family and close friends to be told this holiday season whatever needs to be said. For some it will be “I love you and thank you for being there.” Or maybe it’s “I’m sorry”. Think ahead and say or do whatever needs to be said or done. The Scripture reminds us “to number our days” or be aware that our days are numbered. Maybe there should be a special time to confirm that those you love know Christ. Pray for opportunities to let them know what God is doing in you and see if other conversations develop. Finally, this holiday period, be thankful and rejoice that God desires to be with you. You know how I know? He said His Son would be called EMMANUEL or “God with us.” Amazing, isn’t it, that since the beginning of time He has desired to be with you. To make that happen, he would leave heaven to come and fix our mess so we could be with Him. He loves you greatly…yes even when He asks you to walk through times in which it may seem hard to be thankful. In either case, Paul writes: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” What is that secret? I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Rejoice! EMMANUEL has come! Julian

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