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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

“For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account.”

-the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 3:9

Thank you.

Three-and-a-half years ago, we set out on a journey away from the familiar and into the unknown. We were able to do so because of God’s provision through many of you. We have not missed a meal, nor have we lacked a warm place to lay our head. This past week, we came onto a payroll for the first time in a number of years. We have been overwhelmed several times over this past week as we’ve reflected on God’s goodness to us whose faith still feels so small. Your generosity has allowed us to experience the trustworthiness of God, who has promised to give us “all things” as we “seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt 6:33). Because of you, our trust has grown. We render thanks to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account” (1 Thess 3:9).

All glory be to Christ our king!

All glory be to Christ!

His rule and reign we’ll ever sing,

All glory be to Christ!


Resources for the new year. As we begin a new year tomorrow, we want to share some resources to help you pursue “His Kingdom and his righteousness.” They can be found here: Resources | DeclaringthePraises in editable Word files.

  1. Prayer journal. The first resource is a prayer journal with a different topic for each day. There are also hymns to lead you into worship as you approach the throne of grace and a place for you to record your specific prayer requests.

  2. Family worship guide. The second resource is a guide for leading your family in family worship. A brother once shared that the greatest inheritance that his father had ever given him was in leading his family into worship every day. Scripture is clear that parents are to disciple their children, and that God desires to be worshipped. In the words of Jonathan Edwards, “Every Christian family ought to be, as it were, a little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules.”

  3. Family retreat template. The third resource is a template for a family retreat, originally provided by one of our mentors, Will Ferguson (we have adapted it over time.) In the words of another mentor, Bob Hosford, “If you're going to plan your vacations, why don't you plan your life?” This document is aimed at providing a framework for you and your spouse to (1) reflect on the past year, (2) cast a vision for the year to come, (3) establish expectations, and (4) pray over these things as you worship. This tool has been immensely valuable for us over the last eight or nine years.

  4. Sanctification project. This last document is aimed at helping you put to death a besetting sin. The aim of this exercise is to bring an area of struggle before the Lord, identify its root, and put it to death by holding it to the light of Scripture.

Future Plans. One of our children regularly asks if we’re “getting on the plane today.” Here is a stop motion video that we put together with our kids of our future plans (Lord willing).

Prayer requests. (1) Please continue to pray that we would be efficient and effective in taking care of the necessary tasks before moving to Richmond, Virginia on January 23. (2) Please pray that we would have quiet hearts ... and that we would seize opportunities to share the good news about Christ during this season of transition. (3) Please pray that God would give us wisdom and patience to capitalize on the unique learning opportunities that we'll have with our children over the next few months—and that our children would better understand the goodness of the good news of the gospel ... and how deeply God our Father loves each of them.

Again, we are so grateful to the Lord for each of you. We pray also for you, that God would strengthen your hearts through the magnificent promises of his word, and that he would give you his power and love to face each new day and each new year in the light of his glory and grace. He is worthy.

Pressing on,

Recommended Resources

A New Year's Hymn: "All Glory Be to Christ" "When on the day the great I Am, The faithful and the true, The Lamb who was for sinners slain, Is making all things new. Behold our God shall live with us, And be our steadfast light, And we shall ere his people be, All glory be to Christ!"

Book: Embodied: Living as Whole People in a Fractured World by Gregg Allison. “We have somehow internalized the unbiblical idea that the immaterial aspect of our being (our soul or spirit) is inherently good while the material aspect (our body) is at worst inherently evil and at best neutral--just a vehicle for our souls to get around. With Scripture as his guide, theologian Gregg Allison presents a holistic theology of the human body from conception through eternity to equip us to address pressing contemporary issues related to our bodies …”

Children’s Book Series: The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set

Our Recommended Resources Page: Recommended Resources | DeclaringthePraises

Photos and Previous Newsletter


"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

1 Peter 2:9

1 Comment

Jan 09, 2023

So grateful for your family. Praying the Lord's blessings over all your plans and family. See y'all in Africa D.V!

From the Harris family.

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