Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Letter 2012

Thank you to those of you who have sent me a Christmas Card.  I have never sent out a card but I'm doing my online this year.

2012 has been a great year for me personally, professionally and spiritually.

I am still working at KWAY radio in Waverly, Iowa.  I am on air from 5:00 to 1:00 everyday and I enjoy the opportunity my job gives me to be involved in my community.  Working at the station has enabled me to meet so many people; in fact, it's hard to go anywhere in town without saying hello to at least one person I know.  Another aspect of my job that I love is broadcasting sporting events.  I get the opportunity to do: volleyball, football, basketball, soccer, softball and baseball at the high school level and college football for my alma mater Wartburg College.  This year alone I did 139 games/matches.

2012 was also a fantastic and full year for me in other organizations.  I was this year's president of the Waverly Jaycees.  While it was a lot of work it was also a lot of fun.  We put on a number of fun, community minded events like: the G.R.A.B. (Great Ride Around Bremer) biking event, the School Supply Drive, Santa Callers, and many more.  The Jaycees is another way I get to be involved in my community positively.

Of course, my involvement in my church, Grace Baptist, has been a joy of mine.  This year we hired a new worship and outreach pastor and I'm seeing a lot of spiritual growth in Grace because of that hire.  I'm also still involved with the youth.  I covet the opportunities I get to work with them and teach them; they are a huge passion of mine.  It is hard though watching them move off to college but I'm glad I get to be a part of preparing them for life on their own.  The youth group this year has been full of kids who really desire to know God more and that has fueled me this whole year.  Also, in Grace I get the opportunity to be a part of our young adult Bible study.  My friends in this study have helped grow me, ground me and spur me on to more.  I thank God for them.

Personally 2012 has been a great year.  It began much like any year.  In fact, on my birthday (Jan. 3) I remember thinking, "Here we go again."  I had the feeling that 2012 was going to be just like 2011 for my personal life.  However, in January of this year I was given an opportunity to speak to a group at our church that puts on an Easter Passion Mime.  When I got up to share a short message from Ephesians I realized I knew everybody except a UNI student sitting in the front row just left of where I was standing.  I didn't think much about seeing her, but throughout the months I was able to be around her.  I saw her all Spring as she prepared with the group for the mime.  I saw her many times during the summer at our friends' house.  I got to see her impecable character, immense kindness, service-minded attitude and fun-loving nature.  Long story short she kept hinting and I eventually got the courage to ask Christine out in September.  Thank God I did.  We've been dating ever since and I'm so happy 2012 is ending differently than it began.  I'm thrilled to have Christine with me this year as we make the rounds to see everyone this Christmas.

Finally and most importantly, 2012 has been another year of spiritual maturation for me.  Through the input of others and some personal disciplines I've been able to grow closer to my God.  This blog is one of those disciplines because it helps me think critically about what I read.  I hope it is in a small way helpful to you, too.  Another thing that has helped me grow this year were some fantastic books like: Whatever Happened to Worship, Messy Church, The Knowledge of the Holy, and studies like Surprised by Hope have stretched my thinking.  It has been a great year of growth in 2012 spiritually.

That is a brief glimpse into my year.  I know I'm missing some major milestones but my memory is only so good.  I hope you've had a great 2012 and I thank you for the impact you've had on my life this year.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year friends,
Matt Ray


  1. Merry Christmas Matthew, what a wonderful year you have had and many blessings are in your future. I'm very happy for you.

    Uncle Brad.

  2. God definitely has new blessings in store every year!! :) I'm glad you had such an amazing 2012! I'm pumped for what He has in store for 2013! Lots of changes for me... but no fear - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. :) and He is good! Have a happy new year!