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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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January 1997

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 Another year has passed. For me, the beginning of a new year is a time for reflection and introspection. What have I done with the past 365 days that God has allowed me to have? Can I honestly say that my relationship and fellowship with Him has deepened? Do I love Him more? Has my faith increased? Has my fervency for service grown?

 What about my family? This is a time for me to consider whether or not I have truly exemplified what a Christian husband and father ought to be. Have I shown them Biblical, self-sacrificial love? Have I dwelt with my wife according to knowledge, and honored her a I should? Have I remembered that my children were entrusted to me by God, and that I must raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Does my home enhance my opportunity to minister, or does it hinder my ability to preach and teach the Word of God?

 Another area of consideration is our ministry at Court Street. Statistics will be compared with previous years, but they only tell part of the story. Did I love my people? Did I stand firm on the doctrines and principles of the Bible? Did I work hard, or did I waste the precious time that I was given? Did I take the time to adequately study and prepare? Did I take the opportunity to witness when it was presented? Did I train others? Are my people closer to God, and exhibiting a more Christ-like spirit and lifestyle than they did last year? All these, and many more, have been pondered already, and will be considered further in the days to come.

 At the end of my questioning, I am faced with decisions. I can either ask God's forgiveness and change that which is lacking, or I can blame-shift and make excuses, and stay just as I am. I pray that God will give me the wisdom to see my failings, the humility to confess, and the backbone to do whatever is necessary to be conformed to the image of Christ.

 How about you?

Your Pastor,
Mark J. Montgomery

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