Happy New Year! We trust you had a blessed time at Christmas with friends, family and loved ones. In 2018, our word of the year was ASSURANCE. 2018 brought many opportunities to cling to the ASSURANCE that God loves us and is in control.
October was an unforgettable month as it brought many painful losses and changes, and quite honestly we are still in the healing process. It was especially difficult for me to loose my father. I am so grateful I will see him again; however, the loss is still felt. We have chosen the word CALM for 2019. It is an acronym for the following:
C—Choose to praise God for who He is regardless of what is going Con around us
A—Ask God to help
L—Leave our burdens at the feet of Jesus, with thanksgiving
M—Meditate, think about good and praise worthy things.
The verses we are using are Philippians 4:4-8 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”
November and December
For the first time in many years, I did not cook Thanksgiving dinner. Kelsey hosted us and it was delicious. We had a wonderful day giving thanks for the Lord’s many blessings to the Mahers. My sister, Beth, and husband, Bob, came December 16-23 for a visit. It was such a blessing because we rarely get visits here in Florida from extended family. We had so much fun! We went to the beach, the Space Center, ICE (each year one of the resort hotels ships in tons of ice and makes sculptures) and visited Disney Springs (a shopping area). The rest of our time was spent talking and laughing with the kids. Beth enjoyed meeting Daniel’s wife and the children and getting to see Kalah’s new house. We celebrated Christmas with Daniel’s family on Christmas Eve and had fun watching Link and Aurora with their gifts. We video chatted with Tom’s family to watch Elise and Jude open gifts as well. Christmas Day, Kalah and Zach spent the day together with us. We had a corn hole tournament—parents versus kids (the old folks won) and then it was the girls versus the guys (guys won). So, the corn hole shark of the family is Tom. Papa is such a good player.
On the 27th of December, Kalah and I headed to Daniel’s house to watch Link and Aurora while Kelsey went to the hospital to deliver. We welcomed Daisy Brooke at 3:30 PM that day and she is beautiful! After Kelsey and Daisy came home two days later, we took Link to our house for one more night with Nana and Papa (his first overnight at our house!). Oh how we treasure the time with our grandchildren. We have so much fun together. They are truly one of our greatest blessings in life.
Tom and Deena continue to thrive in their jobs and in family life in Michigan. Elsie is enjoying her time in kindergarten and just loves to be involved with art projects. Jude is simply loving life as a three year old boy with a passion for trains.
Kalah purchased and moved into her first house in October. It is a perfect home for her, in a safe neighborhood, and she is loving the opportunity to host others. She is having a good year as a first grade teacher. She enjoys her teaching team and just loves the children. We are so proud of the wonderful woman she has become.
Zachary continues pressing on in completing seminary and is still working in the meat department at an area grocery store. At his doctor visit in December, he got the report that his A1C (blood work for diabetics) was the lowest it has been since he was diagnosed. The new insulin pump and inserted arm monitor is really making a difference.
Daniel and Kelsey have their hands full with three little ones. Daniel is so faithful in working hard to provide for his family. Link loves dinosaurs and cars while Aurora loves her baby doll and play tea set. Daisy is a welcome addition and both siblings love her.
Tom continues with both graphics and computer programming. His days are quite full and never dull. He has a wonderful young man named Caleb, who he is training in graphics and he has proven to be a big help and joy to work with. As a ministry, one of the major changes has been the transition of new leadership. We now serve under a new Director for the first time in 40 years. I have moved into a different role here on staff. I now serve in the Personnel office and am coordinating all our volunteers. We have several couples here this winter who are a big help and joy to have here! I am still the In-House Editor for the ministry and remain a teacher in the Bible school. I have moved offices and am adjusting to doing new things. I am daily seeing the evidence of God’s grace and am thankful.
Thank You, We are Blessed
Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us. We are also so humbled by those who faithfully support us. Thank you for being a blessing!
Because He Lives,
Tom and Linda Maher
Phil. 4:13, Phil. 3: 8-10