Counting Blessings in the New Year

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As you are reading this, we have welcomed in a brand new year. Can you believe we are this far into the 21st century? When I was a child, the year 2000 seemed so far away. It was the stuff of science fiction with the likes of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers traveling daily to other worlds.
However, to be honest, I had some thought in the back of my mind that no one and nothing would actually exist by the time the year 2000 rolled around. Admit it, did you begin to wonder yourself just how long this old world was destined to last when Y2-K was making all the headlines and predictions of the end-of-the world filled the air in 1999?
It feels good to have been wrong.
Yet as 2001 came to a close, we once again found ourselves worried about the precarious condition of the world as bin Laden and his terrorists created havoc with our peace of mind.
Family and friends tell me I have a compulsive nature. It’s true. I like things orderly, loose ends tied up, problems solved. I guess that is why it feels disconcerting to have ended the year on such an unsettling note. It’s like we have unfinished business that we are dragging over to the new year.
I know it is out of my hands to do anything about the situation. All I can contribute are my prayers that the leaders who do have such power to make changes can and will use that power wisely.
Meanwhile, as I look back on the year just ending, I feel blessed, and as I count those blessings, I find the list, although by no means in the order of importance, includes:
–Being able to worship in the church of my choice
–My Wednesday night Bible study group
–A renewed spiritual growth currently being experienced by a family member
–Having both my parents living and in good health and my other family members all happy and healthy
–The birth of a new grandson
–Having all my family together for the first time in almost 20 years
–Being employed and able to take home a weekly paycheck
–Making new friends
–Treasuring old friends
–Knowing courageous people who are daily meeting the challenges of cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and other devastating illnesses
And these are just a few. The list goes on. I know your own list will be just as long if not longer. In fact, once you begin to count them, you might be pleasantly surprised at the number of blessings you have.
Thus, as we began this new year, I suggest that instead of dwelling on all the unpleasant aspects in our lives, we concentrate instead on our blessings. He gives us so many.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” James 1:17
I challenge each of you to cherish your family and friends. Be kind to one another. Forgive. Read your Bible daily, and most of all, pray.
Somehow, I feel if we all do that, the bad stuff will be taken care of by a Greater Authority. For it is written, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
Have a Happy and Blessed New Year.
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