While I wish you a happy New Year, I am wondering what this year will really be like.  This is my 81st New Year.  I was saved in 1956 and began preaching in England.  I have preached mainly at funerals since coming to Danville in 1959.  There have been four funerals that I have done that I could not declare that they were absent from the body and present with the Lord (II Cor 5:8) because these people would have nothing to do with Christ and wouldn’t even allow his name to be mentioned in their presence while living.  I have preached at funerals for the very young (babies) through the very old (104 yrs).  I have been present with families in their homes as well as at the hospital.  Sometimes I’ve received calls in the middle of the night asking me to come be present at their side while they loved one passed into the presence of the Lord.  At other times I’ve been called by the family to pray after their loved ones passing. 

I do not write this to boast about what I did.  It would be foolish to do that.  This is the area of ministry God has given me and I have tried to be faithful to allow God me to use me in whatever ways He chooses.  Anyone of those years could have been my last one here on this earth, but God has allowed me to make it this far, but one never knows when it will be their last day on this earth.  While I want to wish you a happy and prosperous year, I do not know what God has in store for either of us in this New Year.  Will we all have a happy New Year?  Only God knows what lies ahead for each one of us.  I would like to end with this thought:  I would rather “through Jesus Christ and dying for you on the cross, bearing our sins in His own body on the cross (I Peter 2:24) wish you a happy eternity!  Because of Jesus, heaven can be our home.   

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