I come to you today, Lord, just days into a new year. I thank you for the year behind us and the one ahead. So many blessings were poured out on me, this church, and individuals in the church during 2016. You healed physical problems, financial cares, and emotional worries. You emptied the trash from willing vessels and filled them with your love. Through your grace and mercy, many souls were saved. You filled many needs, provided answers, wisdom, and guidance. Your love has been evident in so many ways. For these things and more, I thank you. All glory, honor, and praise surely do belong to you.

I ask you to walk with me through 2017. Help me to understand what your word says and your will for my days. I pray You will guide us on our journey as a church. Give us wisdom and a willingness to serve. Guide us to the streets of the lost with the Gospel, the way of salvation. Go before us, preparing hearts to listen and hear the truth of what your word says. Fill us as individuals, and as a church, with your love and a burden for souls.

I pray for a greater desire to serve you in these, what could be, our last days. Help me to seek direction in what it is you want me to do. Give me strength, courage, and wisdom to follow where you lead. Let me write on the days of this year the story of your love, power, peace, and joy. May I say to all who listen that you truly are, as your word says, the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.

It truly is a blessing to end a year in your love and begin a new with your sustaining grace. Amen. --Published in the Countryside Baptist Church bulletin January 15, 2017.