Dear Family & Friends,
We hope that your Christmas plans find you able to spend precious time with family and friends. This is a special time of the year. We are looking forward to spending the day with our children and grandchildren. Scott & Vicky, Scottie (17), Lacey (11) will be spending the afternoon with us which will be extra special because we didn’t get to see them on Thanksgiving. Donn & Sherry, Ashley (18), Tyler (16), Amber (13), Trent (12) and Trey (10)will also be spending the afternoon with us. We so look forward to this gathering as we are sure you do with your family. It is notable that this past year both Scottie and Tyler got their “learners” permit and are driving looking forward to getting their licenses. All the grandkids play instruments of one kind or another. Scottie plays regularly in local coffee house venues (electric guitar). The Schnarr children along with their dad minister in music in our church and at the Lynchburg Salvation Army where we regularly conduct services as an outreach to our community. Ashley sings in our adult choir and solo music specials for our church. Amber & Lacey love horses both looking for every book and opportunity that has anything to do with them. Scottie has a part time job with CVS. Tyler works part time at music business where the owner gives musical lessons, rent instruments and that sort of thing. Ashley still operates Ashley’s Creative Cakes. She also helps out part time with a local Home School business called The Learning Parent and she works part time at the church. All the grandchildren except Ashley continue in their grade or high school academics. Trent is our funny boy and enjoys participating in the Student Ministry at our church. Trey is still “scholarly” and loves to read and investigate the ‘why” and “how” of things; says he may want to be a doctor one day. He is cute as a button playing his violin. Scott continues with his love since boyhood and that is driving truck (18 wheelers). Vicky has a profitable home “on-line” business. Donn had to travel a lot this year in his role as Human Resource Director of Belvac Corp. We are very proud of all our children and grandchildren. The Lord has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams!
It is hard to believe that this past year Judy joined my ranks and we are now both officially in our 60’s. How did that happen? It has been a blessed year and we rejoice in the goodness of God. For the most part we have experienced good health though we would both admit to having days when we are feeling our age. The Lord has seen fit to have us run with the younger crowd! We shepherd the wonderful people of Timberlake Baptist Church along with three other couples. Bryan is our Senior Pastor and along with his wife Tracey Ferrell they both hit the big “40” this year. Stephen, our Student Ministry Pastor and his wife Shannon just move into the “30’s last year. Nathan, our College Ministry Pastor and his wife Bethany are only in their late 20’s! As you can see, we have a hard time keeping up. Honestly it is a joy to partner with these precious friends and we continue to find full time ministry as the Executive Pastor a daily blessing. The Sunday school class that Larry teachers had their annual Christmas Celebration last Friday night. We have the joy of teaming with Donn and Sherry and two other couples in leading that class. We had a little over 100 people at the celebration as we focused our hearts and minds upon the incarnation and birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the LORD. The Lord has allowed us the privilege of serving in full time vocational ministry at Timberlake Baptist Church and Timberlake Christian Schools now for over 23 years.
We stayed close to home this year. We made three annual pilgrimages to places that have become a refuge and refueling retreats for us. (Williamsburg, VA; Oak Island, NC; and Duck, NC.) Our Nephew (Joel) and his wife (Chrissy) brought their beautiful baby daughter for a visit in the summer. We spent some sweet time together with this precious family. Donn’s parents moved here last summer and his dad is losing a battle against cancer. We invited them and some of Donn’s family to join us for Thanksgiving. Barring a miracle it will be his last here on earth. We are inviting them to join us Christmas evening for some food and fellowship and we are hopeful he will be up to it. Where we can we try to help in ministering to these dear friends that we love. It has been a rich blessing to share grandchildren with this godly couple.
This past year we did the premarital counseling with a young lady (Lyndsie), who we have known since her nursery days, and her fiancé. I conducted the wedding of this couple in early September. It was such a joy for us to be part of that day and their lives. Larry is doing another wedding on January 8th and of course we are hoping that winter weather won’t disrupt those plans. Larry has assured the couple that we are “Yankees” well acquainted with snow and we will make that day regardless whether anyone else does. So it appears the only possible question is; will any guests make it? (We don’t do snow very well down here. The threat of 1-3 inches send us into panic! ) Judy labors as Larry’s partner in ministry. We are busy with people in our home, like the Christmas Luncheon Judy has for several ladies in our church. She still serves on a regular basis in the church nursery and serves in different children’s programs as the needs arise. Taking care of Larry and serving with him in ministry and being nanny to seven grandchildren keep her days full!
As we look to the New Year, Judy has surgery scheduled (1/13), on her foot (bunion). After she heals up then she plans to have the other foot surgically repaired. The “plan” is that by this time next year this will be all behind her. Your prayers are appreciated. We are doing all the needed “fixer upper” things to get our townhouse ready for sale. We are reaching that season of life where we need to consider situating ourselves, if at all possible, on one level and in something smaller (less expensive). We love our home and it has served our family well in these grand parenting years as there has been plenty of room for everyone. So besides the surgery our other focus this coming year is relocating to a different house setting. Your payers are appreciated on this too as we seek to yield to His direction and timing in this matter.
That’s a summary of our year and some of our plans for the days ahead. As we contemplate this time of year it is important that Christmas isn’t so much about a “baby in a manger” as it is “God in flesh.” The setting is Bethlehem with all its tranquility but the purpose is Calvary and the violence of crucifixion. Yes, Christ was born to die, for you and me. God choses a name for His Son and in that name the meaning and reason why He came. We find it in Matthew 1:21 “ You shall call His name Jesus, for he shall save His people from their sins.” He extends an invitation to all to “come” and be “saved.” Have you? Will you?
We hope you have a blessed and Merry Christmas. (Please feel free to pass this communication on to extended family who may be interested in an update on our family.)
Larry & Judy