Dear Family & Friends
Can you believe another year has passed? Of course this also means that it is time for another McDuffie Christmas letter. This year has again been jammed packed with happenings, not to be mistaken with one of the worst movies of the year, “The Happening”.
Anyway, let’s dive right in. When we left off last year the church plant was not taking root into the community very well and we were unsure of what direction God was taking us. In April of this year we celebrated one year as a church. It came with little fanfare, but it was a special moment for those who had persevered. In September, we put on a series called PureSex. It gained more media attention than we ever could have imagined and many people were upset that we were allowed to meet in a school because we were a church, but little more came of it than that. (You can Google it if you want.) What we thought was the beginning of a new start for the church, was really the beginning of the end. It wasn’t long before I went through the seven stages of grief, I could not believe this was the end. It felt like two and half years down the drain. In October, God led us to do three things. First, I taught through a great book called Wild Goose Chase, second, we started a small group studying what I consider to be the best Bible study of our generation called “Experiencing God”, and last but not least, God also began to speak to me that the church plant was coming to an end. I fought with God for awhile, but decided He has always known best before so I finally gave in. November 30th was our last service as a church, and on December 7th we merged with our parent church who is struggling itself, But, we had no doubt that God was leading us. I am currently the associate pastor with Central Baptist, with co-preaching duties. It has been an eventful few months to say the least.
To be honest, I have no idea what is next, but I know God is in control. A perfect example of this came along in the past few weeks. With the close of the church plant, we took a pretty big pay cut to stay on with Central, as my salary came from different sources. After working through the budget, we realized we were going to have to move which was heart breaking to us, and we were not sure if we were going to be able to stay the course as we had already been forced to move for the third time in the past few years in April of 08. It’s a long story, too long for this letter, but our landlord wanted to live there instead. Anyway, as soon as we resolved that we would be faithful no matter what, God provided. Our landlord called and lowered the rent by $200 a month the next day. WOW, what a God we serve!
During the summer, we took some friends from the south up the mountains to the North of the city to grill some burgers and enjoy the cool mountain air. As we were just about to eat, a bug landed on our daughter’s arm, which she is terrified of by the way, and she starts running around in mindless circles and then BAM, right into a concrete table. She fell backwards with thud. It was one of those moments where you wanted to laugh, but she got up screaming so you had to be sure she was ok first. She keeps our hands full for sure.
In other news I still work for Starbucks as a shift-supervisor; Stacy took on a new venture and has been leading the PowerPoint and sound ministry for both churches this year, Aurora turned four in June of this year and of course, is again thrilled about the coming of Christmas. All in all it has been a very eventful year. A year that has dealt us some tough cards, but as we went through the valley, we found out how faithful our God truly is.
As I come to a close, I can’t help but think that I can’t wait to see what news next year’s Christmas letter will bring. If you want to stay up to date feel free to follow my blog at www.jeremiahmcduffie.com.
May the celebration of Christ’s birth be a blessed time of year for both you and your family!
Jeremiah, Stacy, & Aurora Rose McDuffie