New year brings new means to serve

By Debra Whittington: QCS columnist

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
— Philippians 1:3-6.

It’s a new year and as always I wonder how the past year went by so quickly. It’s amazing how much things change even though many wish they could remain the same. Even Dick Clark, the seemingly forever teenager is aging quickly before our eyes.

Though he may not appear as a teenager anymore, one can’t help but admire his fortitude to continue on especially in public after suffering a stroke a year ago.

Dick Clark is recognized with New Year’s Eve, as Guy Lombardo was many, many years ago. Growing up, I thought Guy Lombardo was an institution that would never end because he was around as long as I could remember. What was New Year’s Eve without the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” played by his orchestra? Still, once he was gone, another began a new tradition.

On New Year’s Day, I was under the weather so I curled up and watched hour after hour of Bob Hope Christmas specials dating back to 1957. His annual Christmas show was watched faithfully in our home every year. Even as a child, I always marveled at how he could give up being with his family at Christmas.

Now, I realize that not only did he miss Christmas with his family, but was often in physical danger. Still he had a mission to bring a little cheer to the troops that were overseas and giving all they had for their country. His legacy of entertaining the troops continues through other entertainers today who work with the United Service Organizations to bring a little cheer to those brave men and women who are serving their country and deserve all of our support.

Over the years, there were so many performers that brought us joy and yet at the end of each year we remember many who are no longer with us. While another may not take their place, we have someone new to make us laugh or cry.

How good it is to reminisce about the things of this world that remind us of days gone by, but they are only things of this earth. It is so much more wonderful to look at the spiritual things that are eternal and will be with us long after this earth is gone.

Now is a good time to look back at the spiritual “giants” that went before us. Men like Paul and Timothy who wrote the book of Philippians were telling the church how pleased they were with the good work they were doing for the kingdom of God. After they were gone, the church didn’t end because other men of the faith (and women, too) shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.

Despite persecution, the church thrived because people were faithful to share with others and worked the tasks the Lord put before them. Through the centuries, the Gospel endured and many great men of the faith appeared on the scene. One of those great men of today is Billy Graham. Over the years, he preached to millions and now that he is in declining health, he has turned most of the ministry over to his son Franklin who continues sharing the Gospel with the world.

Every believer is given a task to do for the kingdom of God.

Not all are called to be preachers like Billy Graham. Some are called to things that others might think as menial but are essential. It is like the Apostle Paul said in Romans 12:4,5: “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, so we, being many, are one in body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” It takes all members to make the body function properly.

Each Christian is called to a certain task to build up the body of Christ. What has the Lord called you to do in 2006? If you don’t know what your spiritual gift is, ask others, they can usually tell you. Read Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and other passages and pray. Just as others went on before us and did their part for the body of Christ, we too are called to do our part. I guarantee that if you truly seek the Lord’s will, you will find out what the Lord wants you to do in 2006.