“Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be, in working or in waiting, another year with Thee; another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast; another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
“Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace; another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face; another year of progress, another year of praise; another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
“Another year of service, of witness for Thy love; another year of training for holier work above. Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be on earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.” (Frances R. Havergal, 19th century)
Well, we said good-bye to 2020 and now we’re in 2021. Most if not all of us hope it will be a better year. We can be assured that it will (a) be better, (b) be worse, (c) be the same! Much of that will be what we make of it; even though we may not be able to alter many coming circumstances, we can always determine our reaction to those circumstances!
As a new year comes into view, many people make “resolutions”, things they hope to improve in the next 365 days; and many of those resolutions are broken in the first week! Today I’d like to list some resolutions I hope will be made and kept, resolutions for our nation, our churches and ourselves.
As America, we resolve to accept the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel (O America): the Lord our God is one Lord; and we will love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might.”
As America, we resolve to return to truly being “one nation under God”.
As America, we resolve to let God out of the closet and out of the church and into the public arena where He belongs.
As America, we resolve to honor God as “supreme leader and Lord” and His Word as truth and our highest law.
As America, we resolve to honor the sanctity of all life from conception to natural death.
As America, we resolve to return to the Constitution and follow it as written.
As America, we resolve to truly be a “shining city on a hill” and a light to the world, a light for goodness, morality, and Godliness.
As God’s church, we resolve to be the light of the world as Jesus Christ commanded us to be.
As God’s church, we resolve to follow and preach God’s Word, without exception or compromise.
As God’s church, we resolve to be loving and kind everywhere and to everyone.
As God’s church, we resolve to follow the Great Commission, to take the Gospel to every corner of the world.
As God’s church, we resolve to daily “fight the good fight” for truth, righteousness and Godliness.
As God’s church, we resolve to be “Christ” to the world and His hands and feet always, loving and helping the poor and needy.
I resolve that I will “love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind and I will love my neighbor as myself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
I resolve that I will treat others as I want them to treat me. (Matthew 7:12)
I resolve that I will follow the Word of God, without compromise and will be a person of constant prayer.
I resolve that I will firmly believe that “all lives matter” and that all human life is sacred and priceless from conception to natural death.
I resolve that I will be loving, kind and generous to all those I come into contact with.
I resolve that I will share the hope of Jesus Christ and the Gospel with my life and my lips wherever I go.
I resolve that, as much as it is in me, I will live peaceably with all people. (Romans 12:18)
I resolve that I will be a good citizen of America, respecting our leaders and praying for them, and respecting and obeying our laws, as long as they are not in conflict with the Law of God.
I resolve that I will be faithful to and active in my church.
I resolve that I will be loving and kind in my family and in my extended family.
As the nation of America, as God’s church in this world, and as a child of God…these things I resolve and with His help I will continue them throughout 2021!
“…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Continue to Pray Without Ceasing
The Bible encourages God’s people to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), “pray always with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:17), and the exhortation from Paul to Timothy (I Timothy 2:8) that “men (and women and children too) pray everywhere.”
I’m sure your church, like mine, has a long prayer list and I’m sure you have your own personal prayer list, too. Here are some things that we, as God’s church, can and should be praying about daily:
■ Pray for our leaders, at all levels and right now, our elected incumbents and newly-elected leaders, that they will lead wisely and seek God’s wisdom and will in their new positions of authority.
■ Pray for the church in America and the church around the world (especially the persecuted church). In the increasing darkness of sin, the church is the light and if we’re willing to be the light, then darkness cannot extinguish God’s truth!
■ Pray for our nation that we will return to a time of mutual respect for each other, of love, real toleration, and as the Bible tells us “accepting and bearing with” one another. Pray that the hate, the violence, the malice will end.
■ Pray that we’ll all respect life as a gift from God who alone has the right and power to begin and end it. Pray that we’ll realize that all life matters from conception until natural death.
■ Pray for our homes and families that love between parents and parents and children will be the “rule of the day” and that families will follow God’s pattern to be the solid basic building block of society.
■ Pray for our schools (all levels), students, teachers, administrators and service personnel. These are incredibly difficult days in education.
■ Pray for the sick, the infirm, the elderly, the needy and be willing to be God’s hands and feet to meet needs as you can.
■ Pray for each other. Each week as I share prayer requests at church, I ask our folks to look around and tell them everyone they see needs prayer. But we have a great God who can hear every prayer.
Your Help is Making a Difference!
The ongoing COVID-19 “pandemic”. The upcoming “flu season”. Financial upheaval caused by the current situation. Storm devastation. Wildfire destruction. The list of difficulties and problems seems never-ending.
And all of these seem worse during the “holidays”. Inventory what you have. Do you have more than enough? (Be honest, God has given to most of us abundantly!) If you do, someone has said that God gives so you can share with others.
Share your resources (food, clothing), your time and your monetary resources with others. And you don’t have to look far to find the needy or good faithful organizations that are ministering to them. Don’t be a Grinch or a Scrooge. Open your hands and your heart to others! You’ll be blessed as you bless.
January Life March and Rally
Grand Strand Citizens for Life will again provide buses to the State March and Rally for Life in Columbia on Jan. 9. Pickup times and locations are: 6:30 a.m., St. Michael’s Church parking lot, 542 Cyprus Drive, Garden City; 6:45 a.m., St. Andrews Community Life Center, 37th Ave. North near Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach; 7:15 a.m., Belk’s Mall on U.S. 501 in Conway.
The cost to ride the bus is only $10 per person and reservations are required. (But please do not let the cost deter you from attending; if you need assistance, let the group know.)
Make reservations by calling Andrew Woitko at (843) 734-0137 (H) or (302) 981-1528 (M). Your seat will be reserved when payment is received. Make checks payable to GSCL and mail them to 154 Woodlyn Ave., Little River, SC 29566. You may also pay online at https://www.makethelifechoice.org/bus.html.
What’s Happening in Your House of Worship?
2020 was difficult for churches with many closures, reopenings, virtual services, canceled “special events” and so on. As we enter 2021, we pray for more normalcy and plan for whatever comes our way.
You can let your congregation and the community know all the good things going on in your house of worship. Send you announcements, as early as possible, to Church Talk and we’ll get the word out for you. Email announcements to email@example.com.
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will distribute food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.
■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.
■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Please help as you are able. For information call (843) 347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ Together in Christ announces the following events: Fatherheart Conference, Jan. 8-9, at Catch the Fire Church; Candlelight Vigil (to pay respects for the homeless who died in Myrtle Beach in 2020), Jan. 15, 4:30 p.m. in Victory Baptist Church; Open Heaven Ministries (formerly Knitting Hearts) with Peter Wyns on Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. in Ignite Church.
■ The next New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held Jan. 16 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Cars can begin lining up at 7 a.m. Phone (843) 215-4500.
■ Help 4 Kids and Backpack Buddies continue to provide food for 400-500 families per week and need your help. Suggested food donations include: peanut butter, jelly, pasta and sauce, rice, beans, cereal, macaroni & cheese, canisters of Kool-Aid, canned meats, snacks and chips.
You may also donate grocery gift cards used for produce, meats, dairy and bread and monetary donations are always appreciated.
And let’s not forget the need for new clothing, sizes 4 and up (especially teens); shoes and sneakers (any size), socks and underwear. And send gift cards that Help4Kids can use to purchase necessary goods.
The office is located at 2523 Forestbrook Road, Myrtle Beach SC 29588 (gifts may be mailed to that address also). Go online to www.help4kidssc.org.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea; 406-65th Ave. North: Services (Virtual and Temple) Friday 6 p.m., Shabbat 10 a.m.
All education classes are canceled for a two-week winter break. Phone (843) 449-5552; website www.mbsynagogue.org.
■ Together in Christ has a Wednesday ZOOM Prayer Meeting from noon-12:30 p.m. each week. Prayer changes everything and you are invited to pray with the mid-week group. Email hgprayer @sccoast.net.
■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet, has a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 17 Business near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or email Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.