Happy New Year, AFAA family!
As I sit here on the first morning of the new year, my heart is filled both with thanksgiving for God’s provision and the awe of His Sovereignty. A New Year brings to mind new beginnings and the start of a new work and so–to the surprise of none who know me well–my thoughts naturally went to the Westminster Catechism. The first question of the shorter catechism is: What is the chief end of man? And all the saints would respond in unison: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever. On the surface it appears to be a simple question with a simple answer; but inherent in the question (and to the great blessing of the saints responding) are treasures of riches without measure relative to being, purpose, meaning, and community that would fill the very heart of all who might give the question its due consideration. God’s glorification expounded upon for us by the apostle Paul in his letters to the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 10:31) and to those in Rome (Rom. 11:36); and the joy of the Lord given as a figurative gift by the Psalmist (Ps. 73:24-28) and a literal one by God Himself and borne as fruit by the one who truly knows Him (Gal. 5:22). A constant prayer in our home is that we would each one glorify God in thought, word, and deed and that more and more each day as we are conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ we would exude a joy unbounded by circumstance. I would pray this might resound in your home as well in 2018.
It seems unreal that this new work of Alamance Fine Arts Academy just began in July, but as I look back on 2017 it is impossible to miss the markers of God using His people at AFAA for His glory and our good. Beginning with the willingness of all the team members to pick up portions of the logistics and functional aspects of starting a new business–without any one of which AFAA would never have gotten off the ground. We were overwhelmed with the turnout of a multitude to help clean and prep the Studio building for registration and classes. God’s blessing of both familiar faces and new ones alike who share a similar vision of excellence and worship in the arts, and from the first staff meetings a unified prayer of excitement for what the Lord would do with His people called to use their specific gifts to advance the kingdom, edify the saints and reinforce in the hearts of the children the message that we glorify God as we worship Him with our whole being. We were privileged to pray for staff and students alike and see prayers answered in God’s timing and by His grace. From a beginning where we thought only a dance company would be possible, God sent instructors for Theatre and Visual Art and we were able to enjoy a 24-hour Play Festival, a Winter Art Display and “Frosty the Snowman”–our first staged theatre performance as a company. By any measurement God has done great things and is to be greatly praised.
As we look forward into 2018 we have on our schedule many exciting FIRSTS: Winter Concert, parent observation week, “Charlotte’s Web”, and Spring Recital. We also have in the works some major new opportunities that will be FIRSTS not just for AFAA but for the Arts community in Burlington and the surrounding areas and plans for more upgrades to the facility–as the Lord makes provision. We look forward to many more interactions with our wonderful parents that will help us to grow and be for our mutual benefit, and more opportunities to pour into the next generation a growing love for our Lord. Among all the exciting new changes in the new year, we remain firmly committed to our vision of inspiring excellence and cultivating worship as the Lord would equip and enable us all to do so.
One final thought: it blesses my soul each week as I come to the Studio and see the smiling faces of parents and children alike, hear music and praying and laughter and feel the presence of a living God moving in a space dedicated for His glory as His people enjoy Him and His grace and goodness. I pray that to an even greater extent in 2018 we would have on our minds to glorify the Lord in our own way as we are able and positioned by God to do so, and enjoy Him and the blessings that come from having done so.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26
May God be our portion and our greatest desire this year as we rest in Him and seek to glorify Him to our fullest in the fine arts at Alamance Fine Arts Academy. I pray His blessings for you all in the New Year.
Yours In Christ,
Jeremy D. Troxler
Director–Alamance Fine Arts Academy