Looking Forward: Reflecting on 2014

Reflection: Casting back light or heat or sound after striking a surface, an act of intense concentration; a favorable observation; the ability to bend and even bounce; long and careful thought.

Don’t you find that the Christmas holiday and the start of a New Year cause us to instinctively reflect on the things past as we project our thoughts and lives into a new season of time?  Do you spend some time reflecting, remembering as the calendar changes?  I know, I do.  In fact, I have a fairly regular process that helps me move from one season to the next with intention.

When I look back at 2014, I can only smile and give thanks.  That doesn’t mean that everything was green lights and blue skies.  But it does mean that, in the balance, there were a lot of things that tend to create a spirit of thanksgiving.  For example:

I am grateful for the way God has been directing the life of our congregation.

I am appreciative of the fact that we have a great ministry team.

I am thankful for the blessings that have come to our family.

I am blessed to have a hand in some very exciting mission projects.

I am gratified that the Lord has provided abundant opportunities that stretch my imagination.

Those are the kind of things that make me smile!  I could break each one down for you if we had time, but for now, let me just say that I sense the daily presence of God.  Would your reflection bring you to a similar place?

In a way, I think I can answer a part of that question before I add the question mark.  Because I know that some among our fellowship have struggled.  I know that truth for my own family and I know it is true for the bigger picture as well.  But I also know that many of you have likewise been blessed to be a blessing to others.  Thanks be to God that the balance of time always seems to swing solidly toward blessing!

One of my New Year practices is the process of taking time to renew, change, increase, or adjust my personal Rule of Life.  Each year, I look at my investment in prayer, my commitment to Scripture, my promises to my family, and my desire to serve in mission.  From those broad categories, I set specific targets and goals for each area.  My Rule of Life is then printed out and hung on my wall where it challenges me each day as I seek to walk the path of discipleship.

Perhaps your discipleship journey would be enhanced by setting some specific structure or goals around your commitment of faith.  Wouldn’t that be an interesting way to reflect in a very positive way?!

Invest your life for the Lord!  It won’t always be easy but it will result in long term blessing and a heart that is thankful.  I am thankful for you!  I look forward to seeing you in worship or on the mission field of life!   God bless you all!

Yours in Christ,

Randy Jessen


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