My hope is that more Hopers will choose to miss out on good things so they don’t miss out on the best things.

As 2018 comes to an end and 2019 comes rushing toward us, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. I am grateful to God for His kindness to me. For the first time in my life, I had a doctor tell me that I could soon die. I was hit with pneumonia back in the spring and multiple illnesses all at once. It almost caused my birth certificate to be revoked! Thankfully I fought through it, but it changed me. It gave me a greater appreciation for my Lord, my life, and my calling.

Watching from the sidelines for several weeks was difficult, but valuable. While I was recovering, I was not allowed to preach for a month. I was also not involved in the day to day activities of the church. What I found that I missed was not the tasks of my work, but the people and the stories of life change. Living Hope is a church that sees lives changed on a daily basis. It may be in a worship service, a classroom, a counseling office, or overseas, but every single day lives are changed through this church. I love being a part of a church that gets to do that!

This work happens because God does it. God does it for His glory and also to bless us. Those of us who serve and give financially to God’s work at Living Hope are a part of something bigger than ourselves. We get to partner in something that we could never accomplish on our own. In order to serve and give financially, we have to give up things: time, energy, and money. Not everyone is willing to make those sacrifices and so, sadly, many do not get the joy and blessings that come with making those sacrifices.

As 2019 fast approaches, let me ask you to do something. If you are serving and giving financially to the church, as God commands, continue to do so with great joy knowing that you are a part of something that is making a significant difference in eternity. If you are not serving or tithing (giving the first 10% of your money to the church), then make plans now to do that in 2019. Don’t wait until late December or early January. Plan now. Get out your calendar and your personal budget (if you don’t have a plan for your time and money, start there), and commit the time and money now.

Commit your time so that you do at least 3 things:

  1. Gather with the church for worship every Sunday morning at the same service time, while sitting in the same area so you can build friendships and recognize and welcome guests who come.
  2. Get in Rooted (sign ups begin soon) or in a Connect Group (contact
  3. Find a place to serve on Sunday morning. We need leadership in our children’s areas and welcome areas.

Commit your money so that you can do at least 3 things:

  1. Give 10% to the church
  2. Give a percentage to the Gift for Christ and/or the Pregnancy Center
  3. Give for a special need that may come up with those in your Connect Group or that you serve with.

Those who serve and give must give up things to do it. Those who give their time and money to Living Hope share in God’s work. It honors God, helps others, and blesses your soul. Give what you cannot keep in order to gain what you cannot lose in 2019.