Every year I am “surprised” by the details involved to get our once-a-year postal mailer ready to go… Finalizing financial details to generate tax receipts… Creating a prayer magnet, including picture idea, verse selection, design of magnet (thanks, Linda), then ordering and waiting on them to arrive… Obtaining supplies (stamps and envelopes)… Organizing our schedules for the family “event” of assembling it…Actually writing this narrative to share our status and hopefully speak into your lives.. And of course, the pizza celebration once it’s on its way from our home to yours. Whew!
This year had an added twist of a relatively last minute address change and the need for a new volunteer (after 12+ years, thank you, Shannon!) to help process our deposits and other administrative paperwork. Briefly on that front, please take note that our new mailing address will be:
Set Free, 170 State Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
And if any of you have a heart to serve and would like to do it in an administrative way with us, just let me know. It’s probably a handful of hours a week and is very flexible (with me as your backup).
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? (Isaiah 43:19a NLT)
A New Thing
Now all of that backstory to say, I really do appreciate the whole process. As time-consuming as it can be, it does provide a focus of asking where we are, where you are, what’s the Lord doing in all of our lives and communities, and what’s next. That’s probably a run-on sentence, but I’ll leave it to model that there’s a lot that goes into the creation of what you now hold in your hand. And I want to emphasize that it’s not without great thought nor prayer. In early December we begin to prayerfully consider the components for our Annual Update. This year on January 4, we finally knew the verse to be included – Isaiah 43:19a – you’ve seen it twice already and it will show up a few more times.
I had been wrestling with finding the “right” verse when Isaiah 43:19 surfaced. It felt spot on and was confirmed by Barb. We believe it represents a new thing for us, for our sons, and for at least one (probably more of you). It resonated almost instantly when it surfaced as a possibility. I’ve included several versions in the update for two reasons. The first reason is that the tense is slightly different across translations – from the Lord IS doing a new thing to the Lord is about TO DO a new thing. I’m not sure it matters a whole lot which is more right. What I do think is critical is that when the Lord does something new; we should want to be on board with Him.
“Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing,
Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? (Isaiah 43:19a AMP)
PA and MD Regional Pastors
The group of Pastors with whom I meet from around the region are focused there. Let me paraphrase some of what I sense our discussions have been (don’t take it as gospel for the group). Church as a club isn’t the ticket for sure. We’ve done the uniting thing and that’s important, but it still has some shortcomings (I’ll avoid editorializing there). There’s still more. The Lord is ready to do something more. It’s bigger than where we are and where we’ve been. We just need to grab on and embrace the ride… what could become the best ride of our lives.
Even as I wrote that last sentence, I remembered a moment this morning as I was praying about the specifics for this update. I was worshipping with music and at the time was rocked back in my office chair, eyes closed, and the thought startled me that I hadn’t buckled up yet (thinking I was in my car). I abruptly sat up to pull the seat belt over me and realized I was nowhere near a car. But now it makes sense. So I share that story with you as a caution and a celebration – buckle up for the ride!!
Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? (Isaiah 43:19a NKJV)
Malinich New Things
On a personal note, I think all 5 of the Malinich crew are either in or embarking upon a new thing. For me it’s a resurgence of my youth (I grew up quickly) and I connect with more teens and young adults today than I did when I was one. Not sure where it’s headed, but it’s interesting so far. For Barb her influence with women and speaking into their lives continues to increase both in the church and outside of church. She is gathering a group of women in March to seek what the Lord has next for her/them on that front.
After moving from the varsity soccer team to the club team this semester, Andrew was named regional MVP for the Southeast US and their team went on to become National Quarterfinalists. He graduated in December and his academics helped land him a Mechanical Engineering job in Greensboro, NC. Josiah is in the middle of his Freshman year, but already has been able to use his giftings in both volunteer and paid opportunities. Also His leadership skills are evident as he works with youth and plays on his collegiate soccer team. Daniel returned to public school this year and loves his many new opportunities. He began taking voice lessons to add to his acting skillset and was cast in the #2 guy role in the Middle School Musical production. New things are already abundant and those are just the ones we know.
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present.
I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? (Isaiah 43:19a MSG)
Your New Thing
Way back on page 1, I mentioned that I included our verse multiple times in this update for two reasons. Sorry to leave you hanging! The second reason is that we can often be slow hearers. What do I mean by slow hearers? Well… I think many of us can hear a word or a testimony or a revelation from the Lord and we think it is for “them” – our spouse, our friend, our kids, our boss – you know, it’s for them. It may be because we think “they” need it to fix their lives or to be comforted. At other times it may be we don’t believe those powerful words could even be about our lives. Our lot has been cast and will never change.
I mentioned we chose our verse on January 4. This past Sunday, our Pastor mentioned that verse, too, and pointed out it was spoken to the Israelites following 70 years in captivity. Maybe that’s where you are – feeling like your captivity may not ever end. To that I just want to say, don’t be a slow hearer. If you read those words (in any translation) and you wonder if maybe… just maybe … the Lord is speaking to you… He probably is. So listen up! Hear Him quickly and grab onto it for your situation. Whatever that situation is where you might need a new thing… even today, the Lord just may be saying…
Look! See! Behold! I AM doing it FOR YOU!
See, He IS doing a new thing,
Paul, Barb, Andrew, Josiah, & Daniel Malinich
By the way, enclosed with this letter are:
Our latest prayer magnet, (playing in the NEW snow!)
Your tax receipt, (Set Free is a 501(c)(3) charity);
A sign-up form if you want to support us by prayer or finances. You can pray for us all the time! And you can contribute…
By mailing a check
By monthly automatic withdrawal from a checking account (e-mail or call 504-235-5626)