And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come … Haggai 2:7
The faithful Old Testament saints looked for the coming of the Messiah. We see this in the person of Simeon who “was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25-32) and Anna (Luke 2:36-38).
On this side of the First Advent we look for the second Advent of our Savior.
John Flavel in his message, Christ the Desire of Nations, wrote:
If Christ is the desire of all nations, examine whether he is the desire of your souls in particular; otherwise you shall have no benefit by him. Are your desires after Christ true spiritual desires? Reflect, I beseech you, upon the attitudes and tempers of your heart. Can you say of your desires after Christ, as Peter did of his love to Christ? “Lord, you know all things, you know that I desire you.” Examine your desires as to their sincerity …
According to Hebrews 12, God has not completed His shaking of the nations:
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:25-28)
My own prayer for myself is that I would look long for, desire, and live in light of His soon return. I pray that I might “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
In my 60th year on this planet, this year has had its challenges and its blessings. Sadly I lost two brothers-in-law. My sister’s husband died after a brief illness a year ago, and my wife’s brother died suddenly this past June. Both events mandated travel, the first to Dallas for a week, and the second to Oregon for a week. Additionally two close co-workers passed into eternity. One was most certainly a believer in Christ, and we rejoice that he has been reunited with his Savior. Because these men were all about my age, I am reminded of my own mortality and rejoice in the hope of heaven, through faith in Christ.
I rejoice in the ministries where God has enabled me to serve. This past year was my second year as the President of the Metro Women’s Center. Dan Stahl, a SharperIron member, and I redesigned and rebuilt the Metro Women’s Center Web site this year. Additionally we converted the Metro Women’s Center e-mail to Google mail. This was a lot of fun and challenging.
This past year my wife and I have served as youth workers to the Fourth Baptist Church’s young adult ministries. This has been the most joyous ministry of my life. We meet on Wednesday night’s for Bible study and regularly for activities. This past year we have studied Ephesians, Jonah, Nahum, and the Trinity. We utilize a WordPress site, 4BYA.info, to post study notes and items of interest for the young adults. To better manage weekly communications, we began using Constant Contact. (We also began to utilize this service for the Metro Women’s Center ministry.) My dear wife hosted the young adults in our home half a dozen times: a ladies’ brunch, a men’s breakfast, a chili and billiards party, and other after-church events.
In conjunction with the Fourth Baptist young adult ministry, we attended three weddings. Before each Kathee and I agreed to silently renew our own marriage vows. One wedding was in Wisconsin and turned out to be a nice overnight trip. The other was in Minnesota’s Iron Range. For this trip we stayed two nights at a Bed and Breakfast in Hibbing, Minnesota, and visited the largest open pit mine in the world and the Greyhound Bus museum.
In addition to these ministries, I had several preaching opportunities this year: one Sunday was in Rockford, Minnesota, and the other in Boy River, Minnesota.
Our home experienced substantial external damage from a brief but intense hail storm on May 31st. Golf-ball sized stones pelleted our home for only twelve minutes but totaled our roof, siding, gutters; and damaged 11 windows. The repair work still has not been completed.
In October, Kathee and I visited Connecticut for a week with my sister and mother. It was an ancestor search of sorts. Led by my sister, we found a 3rd-generation-to-America Peet grave in Stratford, Connecticut, and a dozen Peet graves in New Milford, Connecticut.
Work has been challenging and stressful this year, but in light of many being out of work, I rejoice in the job that God has provided and enabled me to earn a living. This year the LAN for which I am the release manager reached the milestone of over 90,000 workstations. With merger activity this is expected to double in the next year.
This past year, I was blessed to attend a half-day pastors’ meeting at Central Seminary and the Men for Christ conference at Fourth Baptist Church.
On December 28th, Kathee and I will celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. I rejoice in the dear wife that God has joined to me.
I thank the Lord for the SharperIron community and for the leadership of Aaron Blumer.
Merry Christmas from Kathee and Jim Peet