…And an Elder in a Bear Tree: A look back at 2022

At the end of 2022 I started following another WordPress website called, Chasing Faith and Love which has some great ideas about writing and life. Her title of her 2022 recap summed it up for me: “Merry Crisis, Happy New Fears.”

To say that all my plans and goals were not completed was an understatement. I managed to finish the Bible in a year, a goal that I accomplished with my wife; and to be honest if it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t have gotten it done.

The year started off great, becoming an Elder in my church with new roles and goals. Then celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary along with 50th birthday reliving our engagement at an Alice Cooper concert. I had big ideas and leading evangelism teams, I was starting to think the Lord’s work was unstoppable.

Things took a major turn when my father was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) which turned into Leukemia and then he quickly passed away. The rest of the year was major trips back and forth to my parents, dental work, and along with major anxiety which I haven’t been able to shake except in small doses. Can’t imagine why.

I would like to say that through it all I have this insight into what had happened. But I don’t. Hindsight is not always 20/20; sometimes its like Clarice Starling in “Silence of the Lambs” groping for a light switch in a pitch black room with a serial killer.

New Year, New You

My wife has a saying that makes me laugh every New Year: “New Year…New You!” But it’s the way she says it that makes me crack up — with sarcastic joy in her voice looking like Wayne from Wayne’s World with a canary-eating smile, thumbs pointed to the sky. But I tried that last year and it didn’t work. I try that every year.

This is coming from a woman who’s favorite Bible book is Ecclesiastes; a close second is James.

But then that’s the point isn’t it? In my article, “Time Flies By,” I go through a section of Ecclesiastes and look at how the body and mind ages over time. But with that there is no difference between a believer in Christ and an unsaved person. The body deteriorates the same way. Life is made up of having no control, having responsibilities, responses to life, displaying affections, having possessions and relationships with others, to having no control again (Ecc 3:1-8). A life without God is vanity; a life with God remains forever (Ecc 3:14).

At the beginning of the day…start with the power of God in prayer.

In the middle of the day…keep trying through the Holy Spirit.

At the end of the day…look back with no regret if all is done with God.

As the day’s keep counting down, the more we see life slip through our fingers…the more precious it becomes to us.

What is My Prayer?

Looking into this year with all the planning I did last year, I have to say that it’s not always about how much we got accomplished; but seeing the world through the eyes of God. This year my prayer is this:

The clarity of God along with the urgency of God will bring about unparalleled productivity for God.

My prayer is that as I focus on Him and His kingdom and not with the things of this life that God is not in, then whatever I plow without looking back, God will make it grow in His timing and in His will.

How will you spend 2023 serving the Lord?

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