Christmas week has finally arrived. Are you ready?
Our Colors of Christmas series has been most exciting. Last Sunday we were dreaming of a white Christmas, and we camped a lot in the book of Revelation. Thanks for all the kind words as I covered a lot of this mysterious and majestic book. Professor Matt Proctor, who I leaned on for some great insight, shared a fantastic story about evangelist Billy Graham. It totally captured the urgency I spoke about last Sunday regarding the imminent return of our conquering hero – King Jesus.
In his autobiography Just As I Am, Billy Graham told of a golf outing with President Kennedy, a less-than-faithful Catholic. Kennedy asked Mr. Graham if he believed in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. When Billy said he most certainly did, Kennedy asked, “Well, does my church believe it?” Mr. Graham said it was in the Catholic Church’s creeds, to which President Kennedy replied, “They don’t preach it. They don’t tell us much about it. I’d like to know what you think.” After Billy explained what the Bible said about Christ’s return, Kennedy replied, “Very interesting. You’ve given me a lot to think about. We’ll have to talk more about that someday.” Here is Billy’s conclusion to the story:
The last time I was with Kennedy was at the 1963 National Prayer Breakfast. I had the flu. After we both gave our talks, we walked out of the hotel to his car together. At the curb, he turned to me. “Billy, could you ride back to the White House with me? I’d like to talk with you for a minute.”
“Mr. President, I’ve got a fever,” I protested. “I don’t want to give you this thing. Couldn’t we wait and talk some other time?” It was a cold, snowy day, and I was freezing as I stood there without my overcoat. “Of course,” he said graciously.
Then came November 22, 1963, and Billy Graham never saw President Kennedy alive again. Reflecting back, he writes, “His hesitation at the car door, and his request, haunt me still. What was on his mind? Should I have gone with him? It was an irrecoverable moment.”
Friends – you don’t know when that last day will come for someone you know and love. Why not reach out to them today with an invite to one of our Christmas Eve services? You never know what might happen! Come early or stay after one of the morning services to take advantage of our special Christmas Eve building tours. (Tours start at the Connections Room.) Remember – there is no Harbortown KIDS or Students programming on Christmas Eve so you can worship as a family (and our wonderful volunteers can also worship with theirs).
Pick up one of the hot-off-the-press Viewbooks this Sunday or read online so you can start planning your 2018 spiritual growth.
We saw a wonderful example of love rippling out last Sunday between services as Angela was blessed with a car from our awesome Wheels ministry partner.
This vehicle was awarded by Wheels to this single Mom who recently turned her life over to Jesus, found a full-time job to support her family, and faithfully serves almost EVERY Sunday at Whitewater! What’s really cool though is that as ministry leader Al Duebber was waiting for Angela to arrive, he parked the vehicle near the entrance to Worship Door #3. While standing there he was greeted by Lu Sellet, who was on her way into the second service. The amazing thing is that Lu was the VERY FIRST recipient of a Wheels vehicle way back in 2002 and she was so excited to learn that Wheels was there to present the 874th vehicle to a new owner almost 15 years from the date she received hers! You can’t make this stuff up!
Giving is so much fun!! Year-end is the perfect time to review your level of giving based on how God has blessed. As we still have sufficient funds in our Benevolence Resource Fund (and we have funded quite a few other projects lately), we will not be doing a special Christmas Eve benevolent offering this year. All our regular offerings will go toward our General Fund so we can finish the year strong. Like those wise men, plan to bring your best gift to Jesus at Christmas, whether it’s your regular offering, your Ripple or Promise contribution, or just a special gift because giving is fun. You can download the Whitewater app and even sign up for recurring giving. Join us in automating the important by being among our ever-growing family of E-givers.
If you’re in the stock market, you probably have a lot to be grateful for as you were likely blessed in 2017! Speaking of that – there is still time to give stock, mutual funds, or other investments to Whitewater by year end. As the House and Senate passed the sweeping tax bill yesterday, there may be significant advantages to making your gift by December 31st. Please consult your CPA or tax expert to confirm. Email Chris (email@example.com) and he will connect you with the right person to assist you.
Speaking of financial info – we are pleased to announce that Beth Maxey (who has served on staff in both Harbortown and as a Financial Associate) is transitioning to the Financial Secretary role as of January 1. Beth graduated from Kentucky Christian University with a business degree in 2001 and has spent the last sixteen years working in various ministry roles both professionally and on a volunteer basis. Welcome Beth! Katie Dooley, who has served for a number of years as our Financial Secretary, will transition to a special project role, helping us to improve our internal processes and get ready for future needs.
If you’re in town, plan to be here on Sunday, December 31 (we’ll have our two regular morning services that day) as we celebrate what God did among us in 2017 and share what’s in store for 2018. Can’t wait to share some stories with you!
Merry Christmas, friend.