Happy New Year! I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and that you have been able to take some time off from work and spend it with family & friends over the last couple of weeks! I’m not sure I’ll make it to midnight, but at the Rollins home we’re simply chilling out, flipping channels, and listening to neighbhorhood fireworks. I know – pretty wild & crazy!
Like every year, 2014 has seen it’s share of ups & downs, highs & lows. My simple prayer is that at the end of it all, we’re a little bit more like Jesus and the fruit of the Spirit is a little bit more evident. I’m excited about 2015! I believe this is going to be a year of tremendous growth & change.
One of the things I’m most excited about is reading through the Bible with my Coastal family! I hope you’re ready to begin tomorrow – January 1st. Like I said this past Sunday, go ahead and get your resources together ready to meet with God tomorrow! Come with a reverent, expectant, obedient attitude. Someone asked me today if there was an audio version of our One Year Bible reading plan. The answer is yes! From your phone or computer go to: oneyearbibleonline.com/audio. It really couldn’t be any easier – whether you’re reading from the One Year Bible book, listening to the audio, or reading from the One Year Bible app on your phone, the issue isn’t one of availability, it’s one of willingness & obedience. But it’s also one of grace. If you miss a day (or two), don’t give up. Just pick up where you left off and continue. Don’t slip into legalism and miss the relationship. It’s not a race to hurry up and finish, it’s a relationship to pursue and develop.
I also wanted to share some exciting news with you! Isabelle Carpenter, a woman who has been attending Coastal for the past 2 months, gave her life to Jesus on Christmas Eve and is getting baptized this Sunday morning, the first Sunday of the New Year! In her own words, Isabelle “had been a strong agnostic for many years.” Her husband is in the military and several people over the years had reached out to her and witnessed to her. They moved to Charleston and became next door neighbors to Matt & Stacy Curtis (is God amazing or what). Stacy reached out to her, became her friend, prayed for her, and shared her faith. She also invited her to Coastal. Isabelle is getting ready to be out of town for several weeks and Matt & Stacy recently got their orders for the USS Pennsylvania out of Washington State. Isabelle asked if she could get baptized this Sunday, so that if at all possible, Matt & Stacy could be there before they moved. Of course we said yes!
So we will be setting up our baptistry for this weekend! I can’t think of a better way to begin 2015, following Jesus’ example and being Baptized! Baptism is in fact a beautiful symbol of a new beginning, a fresh start, and the forgiveness of our sins. If you would like to join Isabelle and get Baptized this Sunday, simply respond to this email and I’ll follow up with you! To learn more about Baptism you can go to our website.
I was in tears listening to Isabelle share her story with me. She was so thankful for Coastal, our Worship Team, and Stacy. One thing that stood out to her was Stacy’s confidence that if Isabelle would truly seek God, she would find Him. She said she could tell it was a confidence in God and His Word. Well, Isabelle did seek God and she did find Him. Coastal that’s why we exist! That’s why we do what we do! We don’t just go to church, we are the church! We are all, together, on a mission, to share and experience the life and love of Jesus with the world!
I love you Coastal! I love what we get to do!
Happy New Year!
Pastor Chris (friend me on facebook if we’re not already friends)
P.S. You’ve got a little over an hour to give to Coastal in 2014. You can still give online or through TEXTING – 843-277-8337.