I AM NOT THROWING THE YEAR 2020 UNDER THE BUS AND HERE IS THE REASON WHY
Have you ever heard the ancient saying, “When it is dark enough, you will be able to see the stars”?
Every 4th of July, we have had the same neighbor complain for several years concerning our fire-works display at the end of our loving Freedom and America celebration. This year she showed her true colors. Her complaint was why didn’t we take the money and help the poor? It reminded me of the old maid who was invited by her church to go to the summer picnic. She was a two-legged negative, and when someone thought it would be good to offer their car as transportation, the lady proved her negativity when she said,” I am not going I have already prayed that it would rain on your picnic.”
Now, 2020 has not been all that easy when you think about it. Some, who were at high risk, lost their lives, and many have lived in fear of losing their jobs. Others have had their work hours cut. Then, of course, there are also those who have found themselves quarantined for several weeks as the virus ran its course through their workplaces and families. I have had friends whose entire church staff has had the virus at the same time, and still others, who are friends of Heritage, that have had to close down their services for weeks as the virus made its way through their leadership teams. I have worn a mask more often than a bank robber in a western movie and must admit that it is not something I would want to make a habit of. My hands have never been this clean, as I have made a wash stop at every hand sanitizer station in my path. If we were as conscious of the matter of clean hands that God requires, a lot more people would be able to approach God’s Holy Mountain. It is only those who have clean hands and a pure heart that can enter there.
In the last few months have you felt the sting of what is taking place worldwide? Have you ever heard this adage “ The bee fertilizes the flower it robs”? The virus is like a bee, in that some people have been highly vulnerable to all of the symptoms, and still others have said, “ it was not all that bad”. Could it be that the virus, like a bee, is fertilizing the church in unexpected ways, and the pray-er and shameless persistence of believers will serve as fertilizer for what God has in mind for the church universal?
Of late, my heart is being stirred with hope, and this is what paves the way with expectations for the future.
GayNell and I came to Heritage in November 1981, and are beginning our 40th year at Heritage Fellowship. Sometime before our arrival, someone printed a poem; and I found copies of it throughout the building. There were dozens of them in the closets, in the classrooms, and in the offices. They showed up everywhere. It could be that you need a dose of this as we approach the Year of Our Lord 2021:
John Greenleaf Whittier
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit—
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Our theme for 2021 carries with it a simple lesson and a dynamic result. DON’T QUIT!!!
I BELIEVE IN YOU MORE THAN I COULD EVER EXPRESS. GAYNELL AND I APPRECIATE THE MANY YEARS THAT YOU HAVE PROVEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT HERITAGE IS NOT JUST A NAME ON A BUILDING. IT IS THE WONDERFUL BODY OF BELIEVERS, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS THAT CONTINUE TO HELP US BUILD A HERITAGE FOR THE COMING GENERATIONS.
Warm regards for the New Year. Join us Friday Night January 1st, 2021, as we put 2020 in our rearview mirror and speed into ALL THAT GOD HAS IN STORE FOR US.
Your Loving Pastor’s
Cleddie and GayNell Keith