Welcoming 2016!

As the sun gradually sets on year 2015, there is so much that I look back on with a heart FULL of gratefulness and joy, but if I’m being transparent, there are also things that I am glad are behind me- the hard, not-so-fun, difficult things…loss being one of them.    

Something about the closing of one year and moving into the next causes us all to stop and pause for a moment.  My prayer is that your pausing will lead you to a heart that REJOICES in the hope that we have in Christ.  1 Peter 1:3-5  

Rejoicing results when our focus is on Jesus and all that we have in Him!
One of the things that my pausing has led me to has been the loss of a godly woman, a friend, a sister- a spiritual momma, Jan Galla-Rini.   If anyone embodied the heart of Sisterhood, our women’s ministry at Lakeshore, it was Jan.  She understood what it meant to be a woman of God- her life was not her own and her heart’s purpose and passion was to serve.  And serve she did!  

Interestingly, Jan was not what you would “naturally” characterize as a mover and shaker for God’s kingdom.  She was wheelchair bound, much older in age, and had constant health challenges.  But here is what she left with me to remember, a younger woman in the faith, who so desires to live for Christ:  let nothing aside from death itself keep you from serving God and His bride, the church.  Nothing.  

Luke 1:38  “Behold, I AM the Lord’s servant,“
Jan modeled this to me.  She modeled this to our whole church body.  To the very last moment I spoke with Jan to the last time she left a voice message on my phone- Jan was about other people.  She was requesting prayer for others and bringing their needs to someone who could help make a difference.  Jan was surrendered to living for Jesus.  It was never about her. 

John 3:30   “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Jan was a wise, older Titus 2 woman.  And if you had the privilege of spending time with her, you were blessed.  God’s design for the women in the local church, is that they do life with both older and younger women.  Titus 2:3-5 Don’t miss out on that. There are spiritual riches to uncover!  Jan served her younger sisters well.   

So, here we are closing 2015.  A whole new year ahead of us- 365 unmarked days and if you’re reading this- I hope it’s caused you to pause right now and ask yourself the question I’m asking myself: 

What will be different about this next year?  

May it be that we REJOICE in the hope we have in Christ, and let us live for Him (not ourselves) as we head into 2016. 

All for His glory,