The end of one year and the beginning of another is a time of reflection and anticipation.  In our own family, we celebrated the birth of our granddaughter Finlee in August.  On the other hand, we have seen many from our church go on to to their final reward.  From beginning to end we see the ups and downs of life.  In Philippians 3, Paul tells us that he is looking forward and forgetting the past.  He is encouraging a group of believers to strive toward their goal.  Good advice, but we must look at the whole picture.  As we go into a new year, we must learn from the past but not live there.  Furthermore, we look forward to that final reward, but we should enjoy the journey nearly as much as the final destination.  Each new day is a gift from God.  And we have been reminded, especially this past year, that we don’t know the number of our days here.  Only God knows, but He has called us to be a light while we are here.

As we begin a new year, let’s try and maintain an attitude of joy and celebration.  You have probably already experienced quite a bit of joy as we’ve just gone through the most popular holidays of the year.  So just keep it going!  Don’t let the darkness hide the light that is living in you!  Be the difference makers.  Be the joy givers and the life lovers.  Make the most of what you’ve been given and live this life to the fullest!  Allow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - the Fruits of the Spirit - to guide you in all you do and say in 2018.  These fruits are gifts.  Be grateful for them and allow them to shape your character.  Be an encourager instead of a complainer.  Be a giver instead of a beggar.  Be compassionate instead of critical, and allow truth and grace to flow from your life as easily and naturally as breathing.  Have a great 2018, and thanks for all the blessings you’ve poured into Denise and me over the past year.  Your generosity, encouragement and support are amazing and we love you all so very much!

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against these things!  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.  Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”  Galatians 5:16-17 and 22-26

Amen!  God is so good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!

In Christ’s Love,


Romans 12