Pastor’s New Year Letters
2011 has been a tremendous year for our church. We have seen several people added to our number, we have seen others move on. Through both trial and heartache I believe we have grown. There is something about the lessons of time and experience in life that cannot be produced or manufactured. Only through God’s refining process of sanctifying us as a church both as individuals and as a congregation have we come to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Looking back at the year in review we have remained faithful to the exposition of God’s word, we have not veered off the narrow way, God has kept us. As elders we have seen incredible growth in the life of the church as it pertains to the unity of our church and personal growth in marriages, families, and ministries. God has also taken us abroad this year with trips to Joplin, Mexico, and Romania. We continue supporting missions in Chile, some of us prayerfully support David Johnson in China, and Jon Speed in Syracuse. Our evangelism remains steady, our prayer meeting has been maintained by a faithful few who come together every Sunday morning to lift up the people, preaching, and purity of SJCC.
God has been the ever-constant Provider for our church’s needs so that we have never gone without. The Lord has placed us in Haltom City for His own good and sovereign pleasure. God has also blessed us with closing out our study through Systematic Theology in Sunday Seminary. The women of our church continue to gather and encourage, pray, and challenge one another for the good of our church and the glory of God. We have had several baptisms which had coincided with membership.
The reality of a new year presents many wonderful opportunities to avoid the sins and mistakes of the last year. It also presents many obstacles, hindrances, and weights which can keep us from running the race with endurance. The vision for a new year as a church should involved great zeal to illustrate God’s glory through evangelism, one another ministry, preaching, teaching, and making disciples. Fathers have a great opportunity this year to develop new and fresh vision for their children. Mothers have a great opportunity to go deep with Christ in the home as they love their children, serve their husbands, and build up their households. Singles have the great challenges of purity, perseverance, and passion for their vocations. Every member of SJCC can do more for the glory of Chris than they did last year, take time, review the year, ask yourself the hard questions of how you can be more effective for Christ, serve his people more selflessly, and glorify God in this dark world. Our prayer for SJCC is for faithfulness in God’s work, peace in God’s church, and love for God’s people. Happy New Year,
Soli Deo Gloria,
Pastor Emilio Ramos
I wanted to start by thanking everybody for their sacrificial giving without which we could not continue this work. I know that times are tough but we do appreciate your sacrifice in giving. God says your labor in the Lord is not in vain and God will honor those who honor him (1 Sam 2:30). For those who gave to this work with their time, spiritual gifts and contributed financially, I am particularly grateful and I want to sincerely thank you. Without God using you in this way, we would not have a church nor any kind of ministry because of the simple reason that you all are the church of God.
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” - 1 Corinthians 3:9 (NKJV)
One of the things about being a pastor is that we are dependent on the giving of God’s people. This is a blessing for the church to be able to support their pastors, but it can also be tremendously humbling at times and I do want to thank you for supporting both my family and Emilio’s family.
I also want to thank you all for attending the church and committing with us in church membership. I know that there are a host of other churches that you could choose from and we live in the age of the consumer. So often churches will give people what they want rather then what they need. But we desire to be faithful to the Word of God. I know that some of the things that we do here and preach here would not be popular in the popular evangelical movement but we want to obey scripture and not people’s fancies. So thank you for supporting a work that is biblical and seeks to obey all of the Bible (Acts 20:27).
I want to thank you for standing with our church in the hard times and in the good times. As one writer said, “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.” So thank you for you for supporting your elders through the tough times as well as the good times. I look forward to what the Lord will do in this coming year.
Lastly, we have a slogan at our church that says, “Reformed and always reforming.” We must press on to see what the Lord has for us and we must always become more and more willing to conform to his Word as he teaches and leads our church. We do not want to become too comfortable in our Christianity but always seek a relentless persuit of our Triune God and the truth of His Word.
God bless you for laboring with us in the faith that was once and for all given to the saints. “Be steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor 15:58).
Pastor Jay Jesuroga