June 24, 2007
by Michael Gilbert
“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). Concerning the brevity of life, truer words could ne’er be spoken. Can anyone believe that we (the Gilbert’s) have been in DeKalb for one year? It is hard to imagine…where does time go?
It has been a good year. Many good things have happened…as well as a few painful things (i.e., the many funerals we have attended in the past year). The Gilbert’s can certainly say, “The Lord has been mindful of us”.
Baptisms and Restorations
Over the past year, the baptismal waters have been stirred several times, mostly by teenagers desiring to be saved from their sins (Acts 2:38). We even had a couple of people who questioned their first baptism , and so they submitted to the Lord’s command for a second time for the right reason (i.e., for the remission of sins, 1 Pt. 3:21).
New Programs Started
On Mother’s Day 2006, many of us discussed various ideas that we could implement to help the Lord’s cause in DeKalb, and some of them have been implemented with great benefit. People are reading the article in the DeKalb News. I know this because several people in the community have passed along positive comments to us about it.
The evangelistic tool, House to House/Heart to Heart, has received a warm welcome in the community. Even though we haven’t received any visitors from community because of the paper, we know that some are reading it because many of you have spoken with those who enjoy the paper. Sometimes it takes a couple of years to see visible results such as visitors, callers, Bible studies, etc., so please continue to pray for this effort.
Several of you donated books to the New Boston Public Library, knowing that there will never be a way to accurately judge the effectiveness of this in promoting Christ. Even so, you gave and the Lord has blessed you for it.
Our family spent June 3-8 at Camp Ida this summer, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We got to meet faithful brethren from various places, which was a tremendous faith-builder! Also, the lessons presented during this week concerned “Courtship & Marriage”, and the campers seemed to appreciate Bible instruction in this area. Nine precious souls were saved by grace this week as they put on Christ in baptism (Mk. 16:16). A couple of truths were reaffirmed to us during this week, namely, that the summer heat didn’t matter to those young Christians whose hearts’ burned for the Lord, and that you don’t have to “out-gimmick” Satan’s disciples to keep kids’ attention…you simply have to teach the truth.
SYBSNET 2007 & Young Men’s Retreat
The Summer Youth Series has been great so far, and several have told me they appreciate DeKalb for hosting it on June 11. Our young people have really enjoyed themselves, and we look forward to the SYBSNET every Monday through the 2nd week of August. We encourage some of the older members to travel with the youth a time or two this year…you would really enjoy yourself!
Some of our young boys also attended the 1st Annual Young Men’s Retreat at Broken Bow, OK on June 1-2 and heard some great practical messages on issues they face on a regular basis.
Blessings to Our Family
You have blessed us tremendously over the past year. If we tried to “name them one by one”, we could never get it done. You have showered my family with love, kindness, and courtesy to the point that we might be spoiled already! To say “thank you” is not enough.
We pledge to do our very best to show our gratitude to you in the upcoming year by honoring Christ, representing this congregation well in the community, and working to expand the borders of the Kingdom of Christ.
So, in the coming year, may “The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace” (Num. 6:24-26).