by Buzz Dahlen
As I was thinking about what to share with you this week in relationship to what is going on in my life, as I typically do, a scripture text came to mind. I’d like to share it with you with the hope that you will be encouraged by it as I have been encouraged by it. It is the opening of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 1 verses 2-21
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God. Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel… And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
I know that it may be hard to believe for most of you that it has been 13 years since I moved to Cottonwood… and harder for some to believe that it has been only 13 years. My how times flies when you are having fun. A lot has happened over these past 13 years. There have been many laughs and many tears, some tears of joy and some tears of sorrow. There have been some wonderful relationships made and some lost. We’ve seen so many babies born, so many children grow up and too many die, too early. I’ve participated in baptisms, weddings and funerals. I have been blessed to serve the body of believers here in Cottonwood, and not just the believers who are a part of the Cottonwood Community Church. I cherish the memories of the times I have fellowshipped with my brothers and sisters from every church and denomination. Most blessed to be a part of the believers coming together in this community. I will always cherish the memories of my relationship with Father Joe and Father Andy. Good men both of them, with a heart for unity in the faith. I have been blessed to participate in the leading of worship at St. Mary’s and will never forget the historical event, when Father Andy came to the Community church to speak to our congregation.
It’s hard to believe that so much has gone by in such a short time and I know that our lives have been changed forever.
I agree with the Apostle Paul; In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart;
God bless you all for allowing me to minister to you over these past 13 year… I have you in my heart.