We have all been blessed this year.
As the calendar wraps up, I am both thankful and tired. This past year has been both good and busy. I am sure that a lot of you feel the same about 2005.
I have been very fortunate to see many of you along the way in doing 101 concerts in 25 states. Each concert is an invaluable experience. I never cease to be amazed at how the Lord works.
It is my prayer that I never become calloused and insensitive to the movement of the Spirit. Rather, I want to grow in my perceptiveness of the Lord's activity in my life...in the big, in the little, in the rough, in the smooth.
A huge evidence of God's intervention in my life was the birth of our daughter, Brooklyn Channing, on November 10. My wife, Paula, and I are very thankful and looking forward to the "becoming" of little Brooklyn.
Brooklyn was average size at birth...7 pounds, 8 ounces, 20 inches...yet she is anything but average. She was born with a full head of hair. And she was born with a full measure of sweetness. Both mother and daughter are doing really well.
I am just trying to drink in the whole experience. I am hoping that this will cause me to approach all of life with more of a wide-eyed-ness.
In Romans, the apostle Paul says one of my favorite things, "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"
The Lord will give all things...everything. We can choose to receive what comes our way and let it push us and pull us to the Lord. Or, let it do otherwise. But the Lord will use everything in this life to conform us to his image. Our lives, whether we know it or not, are shot through with the Spirit's activity.
This year I have also spent a good amount of time finishing up my newest recording project. It has been a long time coming, but it is inching closer and closer to completion. I have no problem with waiting for it. I think it will be well worth the wait.
A majority of the songs are being produced by Nathan Nockels, who is known for his production of the Passion worship records, along with many artists. Margaret Becker is producing the other songs. Her name is not a new one to many CCM fans.
I really believe in the songs I am recording, and in the people who are involved. I am excited for the CD to come out sometime this coming year. But as always, I make plans, and who knows how the Lord will direct them?
As this year winds down, I pray that you, too, would sense God's activity in your life. It is my prayer that you would run head first into the gracious world we have been blessed with.
Sure, we can focus on what is not right about all that is around us. We can choose to look at what is bad and wrong with this life. Or, we can look for the good, find the good, and let the good direct our attention towards the Giver.
After all, isn't that what we are called to do, especially at Christmas?.. A time when we are moved to celebrate the fact that Jesus has infused this world with himself.
We have all been truly blessed this year. Even among hardships and difficulties, the Lord is holding us and molding us, even when we may not be able to sense it.
We have all been blessed this year. Amidst great joy, overwhelming surprises, and monumental experiences the Lord is there orchestrating things, building us, and investing in us, even if we forget.
We have all been blessed this year. In the middle of our darkness and our brokenness, the Lord is mending us and cleaning up the place, even when we look the other way.
Regardless of how we perceive things, we have been blessed this year, often, in spite of ourselves. Blessings abound this year, not because of us, but because of the Giver.
Yes, we have all been blessed this year.
Peace of Christ,