>Happy New Year

>Happy New Year

>I was surprised to learn from Al Feria (our missionary in Paris) that in the French culture the beginning of the new school year is considered THE new year. The end of summer marks the end of the year, and the start of school marks a new year. I thought I was the only one who felt that way. Guess I’d feel right at home in France, apart from that language barrier problem.

So, Happy New Year! Isn’t autumn a great way to start the new year? Think of the colors, trips to the cider mill, apples, donuts.

At the Schmidt house we are settling in to our new schedules and routines. It can be a bit of a challenge to maintain balance between activity and rest, but we’re getting there.

This year we have added a new element. Larry and I will be hosting a small group for Just Walk Across the Room. We’re pretty excited about this, in large part because of the great training we received from Roy and Deb Yanke in September on how to lead a small group.

But we’re also excited about the material we will be going through this month. Larry and I are already gaining a new perspective on that scary word “evangelism“.

Doug’s sermon Sunday was another fresh perspective. In the past when I have heard or even thought about the Great Commission, “Go ye therefore…” (Why do I always think in King James?) Well I have always pictured traveling. Go. Gotta get up and go. Move. Do something else.

What a different picture I have now when I think of the Great Commission as beginning: having already gone. I’ve already gone. I’m there. Having already joined a hockey team, having already joined the swim team, having already moved in to our house, having already taken this job, now look around, Who can I serve? Who can I listen to? Who can I love? If my life shines with the light of Jesus, who is that light falling on?

How do we share the love and life that Jesus offers us all? Just walk across the room, just skate across the ice, just swim across the pool. Having already gotten involved in these things look around – this is the harvest field. In Michigan terms – the apples are ready for picking. The trees are burdened with ripe fruit. Having already climbed in the wagon to go out to the orchard how shall I love my neighbor as myself?

That is what we hope to begin to understand as we study together this month. Are you signed up? Have you begun reading the book? Sunday marks the first sermon and then the small groups begin. We’re not going far, just across the room, come with us.

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