I know that it’s hard to believe, at least for me, but the years seem to click by faster as I age.  Can anyone explain that to me?  When I was a kid, it seemed like it took forever for the things that I wanted to happen to actually happen, you know like Christmases, birthdays, and summer breaks.  Anymore, it’s as if time doesn’t have the same effect it once did.  Or maybe it’s the attitude with which I viewed things then as opposed to now.

As we look forward to a new year, we can choose to have an attitude of excited anticipation or gloomy dread, or maybe somewhere in the middle, like cautiously optimistic.  Paul liked to share with those he ministered to about life, and where they were, and how to live with this new faith in Jesus Christ.  He used examples of citizenship, loyalty, athletics, family, and education to teach how Christ had taught.  So, in the coming year, how will we spend the time we’ve been given, no matter how fast it may or not go by, to live and love?

In the coming year, will we choose to forgive instead of condemning?  Will we choose to encourage instead of criticizing?  Will we be agents of change based on our faith instead of our political persuasion?  Are there areas of injustice where God is calling us to speak up based on our weaknesses instead of our strengths?  How will we allow our past to stay put and move toward the goal to which God is calling us?  We learn from our experiences, but we don’t live there do we?  Time continues to move, and we move along with it, either fighting the flow or finding our pace in it.  I pray our attitude of humility would continue to show those around us that, as C.S. Lewis said, "We don’t think less of ourselves, we just think of ourselves less."

Paul told of an experience in his past about which he could boast, but then chose to say this, “That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it.  I will boast only about my weaknesses.  If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth.  But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God.  So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.'  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:5-10

Thank you, on behalf of Denise and myself, for all the many ways you have blessed us over this past year!  We are so grateful for the encouragement, wisdom, and generosity you’ve shown us.  May we all love God with all our lives, and love our neighbors as God is calling us to love them.  And may we walk daily knowing that His grace is all we need, even in our weaknesses!  God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!

In Christ’s Love,

Rob     Romans 12