December 30, 2010


KK and “Josie” Menser (born 12.29.10)

I trust you understand what I mean when I say, “I am a wealthy man!” 

God has blessed me with:

(not sure if you’re counting, but a simple family gathering is 20 people)

I could go on and list:

  • a wonderful Faith Family at Calvary
  • the many friends God has brought across my path on this journey

So, you see — I am a very wealthy man! 

The Lord is my Shepherd…and my cup overflows!


Beautiful Snow and….

December 28, 2010

We all enjoyed the beauty of  God’s handiwork over the weekend!  I was reminded of  the guy who once told me:  “God is the only one Who can make a junkyard a place of beauty and elegance…when He covers it with snow!”

Many of the Calvary Family were not able to join us for worship Sunday…and I totally understand.  We did not want to encourage anyone to travel in the snow.  However, a few hundred of our close neighbors (and some families) chose to venture out to Central and West.  And, hundreds more joined us online.  I am thankful for the crews and volunteers who prepared the sidewalks and the tech teams who made streaming possible.

Now, there’s one more thing:  Year-end giving.  As you can imagine the offering Sunday was greatly impacted by the limited attendance.  If you were not able to give your tithes and offerings during December, you can drop them in the mail before Dec 31st.

As of today, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (for International Missions) was 432,040.76   We are still praying that we will be able to reach our goal of $500,000.00.

As of yesterday, the December Budget is about $275,000.00  behind projection as well.

I still totally believe and put my trust in the God of  Eph. 3:20-21  and Phil 4:19-20

Have you read these verses lately?

Christmas Day at Our House

December 25, 2010

Lots happening at our houses—waiting for the children to arrive! At this point it’s mainly the smell of food and the sound of Christmas music setting the tone for the day.

Soon the house will filled with the sounds of children, laughter and… know the stuff that happens when 8 grandkids share the same space.   

As I sit before the Lord and think of how He has blessed me, I think:

  • God loved the world so much that He gave…
  • Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
  • Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker !
  • Ascribe unto the Lord the glory due His name!
  • Let us exalt His name together!

I am grateful for the years of ministry and the opportunity to serve His People.  For all the paths we’ve crossed—and all the miles we’ve shared on the journey—I truly give Him thanks! I pray that you have a great Christmas. 

If things get slow around your house later this afternoon—come on over to our house (seriously!).  Our kids remember having an open house for games and sharing Christmas with the church family. …we haven’t done it for a while but this would be a good year to start it back!  We’d love to have you stop by …but you might want to bring some food with you to make sure we don’t run out!

Merry Christmas to all!

It’s Not Exactly GREED ?!?

December 23, 2010

The dictionary definition of   greed    is : 

 “excessive desire for more of something than is needed…”

 Some would say we should be satisfied with the amount of money the Calvary Family has given during the last three months.  Think about it. 

The latest figure for Calvary: Southside  is $759,382.81 and the latest figure for Lottie Moon Christmas Offering  (for International Missions) is $392,000.00.  Put those two together and the Calvary Family of Faith has given OVER A MILLION DOLLARS for Local and International  Missions ($1,151,382.81 to be exact)… 3 months!

But, look at the definition again.   “desire for….more than is needed!”

I don’t know about you but I don’t NEED anything for Christmas.  But there are missionaries waiting to go to the Mission field and they NEED us to give!  So, I really don’t think this longing I have is greed.  I am just longing for us to reach a little deeper, make a few slight adjustments, and reach our goal of $500,000.00  (it’s just over $100,000 more).  We can do this!

If you’ve not given, you still can (Sunday or postmark it by Dec. 31st).  If you have given, would you join us in considering that you could give a little more? 

KK and I are going back to our knees; I know we will write another check. I have an excessive desire for more!  Not to get more but to give more.  What do you think?  It might seem excessive but it’s not exactly greed!

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions

December 22, 2010

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) has been a big deal in the Gilbert home…and at Calvary…for a long time!

This year it is more important than ever. For the first time in decades, the number of Missionaries is being reduced. Why? Simply because of money. “Lostness” is not reduced! The number of missionaries willing to go, or willing to stay on the field has not reduced–they are standing in line wanting to go–if we are willing to send them!

So, what about it? Have you made it a big deal this year? Have you given your best? I can’t answer for you but I must answer for the Gilbert household. Until we reach our goal, I cannot rest. I will pray and post updates for you here…..

As of yesterday, December 21st, our Calvary family has given $392,000 given toward our goal of $500,000.

Update on KK (and her parents)

December 17, 2010

First, KK asked me to thank you for all the prayers and notes of encouragement.

Next, let me apologize for being so slow getting this updated. 

KK came home late Wednesday night.  She has her mother moved to another facility for her rehab and her ongoing care (Alzheimer’s make this difficult).  Her dad is improving since he is now on oxygen and inhalers…but he is showing signs of aging (87 yrs old) and KK is working on the best ways to provide him ongoing care as well.

We have a  “10 day plan” that is meeting their needs in GA while we wait on the delivery of Carmen’s baby (any day now!).   We will probably both go to GA during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

So, for now…we are enjoying having KK back in NC after 3+ weeks in GA. 

We’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and pray you have a special time with family as you celebrate the birth of Christ!