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Doug Creamer Column: Words for the year

I think I am a pretty lucky guy. I have close relationships with several pastors. I guess I have always had good relationships with my pastors. I have enjoyed meals with them and have even helped some move.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column twice a month for the SNAP.

I realize that pastors are real people like you and me. They get dust bunnies under their beds. They can get frustrated with the crazy things of everyday life. Some have strong political views. All of them enjoy good food and laughter. I have a lively sense of humor and several of my more recent pastors have indulged and appreciated it.

I pray for my pastors and their families often. I have had the distinct pleasure and honor of sending them encouraging words at key moments in their lives. Pastors need to be encouraged just like you and I. I know that pastors have a difficult job as they attend to people’s needs. I have sought comfort, wisdom and direction from my pastors. They have listened, shared their wisdom, encouraged and challenged me to walk in the right direction. I don’t know about you, but I deeply appreciate the pastors (and their assistants) that I have known over the years.

One of my recent pastors always receives a rhyme or poem for the year. This year his message told those who would listen that we need to dig into God’s word like a miner digging for riches. When we discover the nuggets of God’s truth we need to treasure them. Before I saw his message, I was digging in Philippians. Since then I have stayed in Philippians for about three weeks and plan to stay longer. Every day I am seeing specific words that have been lighting up inside of me. I printed out a couple of verses and put them on the bathroom mirror.

My current pastor shares a word or thought for the year and spends several Sundays unpacking the power of that word for our congregation. His first year as pastor the word was to expect “even greater.” I really liked that. I should expect an even greater relationship with God this year than I had last year. I should expect greater insight into the word of God. I should expect growth and maturity in my life. I should expect God to interact in a greater way with me. I should expect to see God do even greater things through my life.

Here I am two years later still chewing on that word for the year. For the last three Sundays of 2018 our pastor was teasing us with what was coming in 2019. I talked to his children to see if he had let it slip at home but it was just as big of mystery to them. I was going crazy trying to figure out what our new word for the year was going to be.

He told us to expect an “uncommon” year with the Lord in 2019 and I love it. He started to unpack the word on Sunday, but I am already excited about what God wants to do this year. I am going to have to walk and live differently if I am going to expect an uncommon year with the Lord. The word implies that God is going to grow and stretch me in new ways. That means that if I dig deeper into the word instead of doing my normal reading, I might get some uncommon results. If I pray and worship more, I might have deeper experiences.

I was already expecting an uncommon year, especially if I retire. Knowing that God is planning an exciting adventure has me excited about the future. I believe it is going to be an uncommon year. I believe I am going to grow closer to the Lord. I believe I am going to meet and overcome new challenges in my life. I believe I am going to see God move and work in new ways in my life. I believe I am going to gain new insight into God’s word, especially as I dig deeper. I believe it’s going to be a truly uncommon year.

I want to encourage you to expect an uncommon and even greater year with the Lord this year. He wants to draw closer and give us uncommon experiences with Him. He wants to give us uncommon insight into His word. He wants us to reap uncommon rewards. I am excited about the upcoming year. Stir your faith and expect God in new and greater ways. I am hoping this year will be anything but normal.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.