By Debra Whittington: Notes from the Church Lady
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalms 16:11
As 2003 draws to a close, I paused to think back on the previous year. Oh, what a year it was with so many dramatic changes that I am ready for it to be over with. During the year, I lost many loved ones including my 97-year-old Grandma and several dear friends.
Mark’s dad went through drastic changes and is now living in an assisted living home. He went from living an independent life alone to depending on others in a few short months.
When the New Year began, I thought I would grow old in the motel where we live and work. We had plans to update the rooms and do some remodeling. All that changed this fall. After almost 28 years, we are leaving the motel the end of the year. We are planning to stay in Tucumcari because this is our home. We are unsure of our future plans, but are placing ourselves in the Lord’s care. We aren’t alone when it comes to change. Lately, as I visit with various people, they tell me how much their world changed in 2003. For some it was a year of positive change with new homes and new jobs. For others, it was a year of loss that left them despondent and unsure of the future.
Change is inevitable, but how we face it makes all the difference in the world. It ís like the old saying that reminds us to make lemonade out of lemons.
We can let change get the best of us or we can turn it all over to the Lord and rely on Him.
On Jan. 4, First Baptist Church in Tucumcari celebrates their 100th birthday. A century ago, thirteen charter members gathered together to organize a church for the purpose of “the furtherance of the gospel at home and abroad”. At the time, Tucumcari was still in its infancy and the people who gathered together on that day were unsure of what would happen in the years to come.
Over the years, the church fulfilled its purpose as people accepted the Lord and were baptized. Members of the church helped establish new Baptist missions and churches in the area and gave to missions. Many of the members of the church went on to become missionaries and pastors.
First Baptist looks ahead to another century as they celebrate their birthday with the motto, “A century of service to God”. Through ups and downs, and through so many changes, the church continues with their original purpose. Mark and I too look ahead to a new life ahead for us and all that the Lord has in store for us.