A New Period…
The month of January seems to have gone as quickly as it came. Per the heading of this report the month of January and this new year has marked a new period for the work here in Moab.
The month of January marked a new period first because I have begun working on meeting the goals I mentioned in my December report. Namely, I am making preparations to begin the young adult home Bible study I mentioned previously. If the Lord wills, I plan to have that started by the beginning of March. For the study, I am considering beginning with a study through Ecclesiastes with a focus on the purpose of life which according to Ecclesiastes 12:13 is to “fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” I am leaning toward this study because many of the people I have met here in Moab seem to desire to have some purpose to their lives and what better purpose then to serve our Lord since Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes that all else is vanity.
Of course I am also working on meeting the goal of emphasizing the Lordship of Christ. In doing so, I have begun preaching through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 through 7. At the writing of this report, I am working through the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. Given the length of the Sermon on the Mount, it will be some time before I complete this series of sermons. In our Bible classes, we are nearing the completion of a study through James on Sunday mornings. After completing James, I plan to teach a class on “How to study the Bible.” On Wednesdays, we have just completed studying 1 Thessalonians and at the writing of this article have had our introductory class in 2 Thessalonians. Furthermore, in January the Moab congregation participated in a food drive put on by Moab’s local multicultural center. I thought this was a good way for the church here to provide a service and will lend toward the church establishing a good name and more of a presence in the community of Moab which will further aid us in reaching the lost and wandering in the community. Ever since my arrival, I have been doing off and on volunteer work with the multicultural center and have established a good relationship with them. I constantly pray that my relationship with them will cause there to be an increase for the Lord.
In addition to this though, January also marks a new period for the existing congregation. We have established a theme for the year and that theme is “press on” based on what Paul tells us in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The work in Moab is a difficult one. Therefore, the theme of pressing on is an encouraging one to keep us motivated in the face of the unique challenges and difficulties that the church faces here.
This new year has marked a new period for me personally. On that note, I am excited to announce that as of January 1st, I have gotten engaged. Pictured below is my fiancé and I. Her name is Desirée Moore. She is the daughter of Jim and Pam Moore who worship with the Emery-Carbon church of Christ in Price, Utah, just two hours northwest of Moab. Desirée and I met at the end of last June when I preached for the Emery-Carbon congregation. We quickly became friends and soon after on July 11th, we became a couple. The more she and I got to know each other in the following months, the more certain we became that we wanted to be married. Desirée is a faithful and Godly woman primarily because she has a strong love not only for me but more importantly for our God and His Word. She is well established in her faith. As a result, I am very excited to see what the Lord accomplishes through us as husband and wife here in Moab. More to the point, I am even more excited to see how she grows in her faith as a result of being my companion and help meet in the ministry. As far as wedding plans are concerned, she and I plan to be married on July 11th of this year, our one year anniversary as a couple, at a location near where her family lives and worships. At present, Desirée lives in Kingman, Kansas and works in Goddard, Kansas as a high school librarian. She worships with the Kingman church of Christ when she is not visiting here in Utah as she was last summer when we met. Upon finishing the school year in May, she will move back to Utah and will most likely live with her parents until we are married in July. With these things being said, I feel I must inform you that there is a possibility Desirée and I will be in need of additional support after we are married. Among other things, she is currently paying off student loans and her payments month to month are approximately $300 from month to month. However, we would not be in need of this support until around August as she will still be receiving pay from her current employer until then. At present, she is currently seeking employment here in the Moab ideally with one of our local schools since that is her field of work. I wanted to inform you of this need to see if you, another congregation, or individual you are aware of would be willing to assist us in this way beginning in August. She and I appreciate any assistance you would be willing to provide.
Finally though, the new year has marked a new period for me as a minister and a preacher of God’s Word. An additional goal I have set for myself as a minister is to find ways to better make application of God’s Word in the lives of both the existing church as well as those outside the church. Recently I have realized that while I am able to effectively present what is taught in His Word, I am weak in my ability to apply it to the hearers. Therefore, after having understood what a particular text is teaching, I am spending more time figuring out how to make practical application of said teaching to the ones I am teaching and preaching to.
In closing, as always, I am thankful for the generous financial support that you all have provided me with in order to do the Lord’s work here in Moab. Without you, doing the Lord’s work here in Moab and in the greater state of Utah would be much more challenging than it already is. I am so thankful for the financial support you have provided because it allows me to focus entirely on the Lord’s work without having to distract myself with secular work in order to meet my monthly expenses. Because of your generous support, you are aiding the Lord’s work here in Moab and in turn the state of Utah as a whole. As always, when I think of you I think of what Paul said to the Philippians in Philippians 1:3-5 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” Thank you for your “participation in the gospel from the first day until now” through your generous financial support. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed, especially by the Lord who I know from experience will repay you for your generosity.
In His service and on behalf of the Moab church of Christ,