January 12, 2014
Many of us make New Years resolutions, fully expecting to keep them. As I begin writing this column, there is just one hour left in 2013. I will finish it some time after January 1, 2014. I have finally reached the age when years seem to come and go at a faster rate of speed.
We may recall that a year once seemed to be very long. I can remember those days, but they are now an important part of my past. I remember well the first day I arrived in Decatur, Illinois to set up residence in that great and enjoyable city. I had no idea how long I would be there.
One of my predecessors, the Rev. Kenneth C. Tabor, great preacher of television fame, was there for eight years. The next two, the brilliant Dr. Kenneth Jones, who wrote books and hundreds of articles, became a college dean. The Rev. Elmer Case, who was known for his administrative ability and served one of the church’s national boards, followed Tabor. They each stayed about two years.
How long would I be at Peoples Church of God? My three immediate predecessors had served for relatively brief pastoral terms. I served as pastor of a great church known as Peoples Church of God for 25 years and four months. I was always pleased to tell people about the tremendous pastors whose steps I was following.
I think I made “New Year’s Resolutions” for every year I was there and have every year since. I expect all who read this column do the same thing. I may never know about your resolutions. Here are a few of mine for 2014.
1. Read the Bible more than ever.
2. Spend additional time in prayer that is in conversation with God.
3. Tell more people how wonderful Jesus really is.
4. Invite everybody I talk with to attend the church I do and hear one of the best preachers in the nation. Dr. Melissa Pratt is on target with the sermon each Sunday.
5. To give more money to the church and for missions.
6. Encourage young people to attend a Christian college. When I was in Decatur, we usually had 10-15 or more in college each year, most of them at Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana.
7. Become better acquainted with more people in our church – the very young and the oldest and all in-between. We need all those friends.
The congregation I attend and first attended in June, 1947 and from which I was absent while I lived in Illinois, Indiana and spent traveling from coast to coast and border to border.
Kitty and I have been in West Virginia since we moved from Illinois, arriving in snow in beautiful Teays Valley at Scott Depot on December 28 1989.
Everyday is an enjoyable learning experience for me. Kitty and I both enjoy hearing from numerous readers of this column. Our wish is that you have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year and that 2014 will be remembered as one of your best.
© 2014 Wm. C. Ellis
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