My precious CSBC Family, – California Southern Baptist Convention

My precious CSBC Family,

Published Dec 22, 2022

It is a joy to be able to serve as your CSBC president for a second term.  I am grateful to God for all the support and prayers I have received, as well as the support extended to those serving on the sexual abuse task force and the executive board.  We had a great meeting in Sacramento, where the family came together. We were equipped, informed, and challenged to work together deeply and meaningfully.  What motivates us to keep pressing on? It comes down to the reason we celebrate this season; Christ and His family.

Christmas is not about the gifts we receive, the hunting for the latest and the greatest, or the superficial beauty offered in this world.  It is about something deeper than that. Christmas unites in celebration of the precious gift of Jesus Christ, who was born for us all.  In the same way that we are waiting for his return, the faithful waited for Him to be born. Sadly, however, many of them missed it, and even more missed the point.  Jesus came to teach us, establish His church, die for our sins, and ultimately rise from the grave, and it’s in all of that where we learn what it means to really be a part of His family.  We may be divided from our blood family, but He unites us in His family.  He calls us to sacrifice ~not just money for gifts, but time, energy, and effort. Sacrificing for His family and His mission is worth it.  He calls us to learn from His life, His teaching, and His example. He calls us to go even farther than He went, so here is my question:

How far will you go for Jesus this Christmas?

How far will you go in giving of yourself?  Will you share the gospel this Christmas?  Will you act like the testimony of Christ’s birth is something that is cliche and played out, or will you celebrate it for the joy it truly brings?  Will you get caught in the nostalgia of Christmas or strike forth in the joy of the reality that God really does love us?  Will you give to help the needy through offerings like the Lottie Moon Christmas offering for International missions or giving to the hungry in your neighborhood?  Will you join together in the bonds of peace with those who don’t look like you, act like you, or think like you to build a relationship where you can learn to agree to disagree so others will have the chance to hear about God’s love clearly?  

I hope that you will because that is truly the reason for the season and a great way to end a season that has been challenging, miserable, and filled with suffering.  2023 is coming. We will enter a world that is over the pandemic and the imposed restrictions that came from it, and we won’t start right if we don’t end 2022 right.  My CSBC family is strong in Jesus Christ.  I have seen it from the Forest of Modoc to the border town of Calexico, from the beaches of Pismo and Santa Barbara to the Valley of Death, so let’s use that strength to unite our family, come together in the joy of the season, and finish the year strong so that we might start 2023 even stronger.  I love you guys. 

May God Bless you.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.