Let us rejoice!

Dear Friends in Christ,
Another year has passed us by. We have much to be rejoicing over as we look back on the past 12 months.  Lives have been touched for Christ, relationships have been built and God has proved Himself faithful in our midst once again!  Amen! Maybe you’ve noticed….it’s been a somewhat mild winter so far.  I anticipate it being cold during this month of January… Brrr…! For many, these days of January into February seem to be the longest, dreariest days of the year. Maybe it’s just because they’re so cold. So dark. Technically, of course, the days are getting a teeny bit longer each day, but frankly, I haven’t noticed.

It is at this time of year that many struggle with depression and discouragement, so I would like to give you a word of encouragement to hang your hat on.  This article comes from the Upper Room, Friday, June 21, 2014.  Laila Karin Geitz, from Akershus, Norway was the author:

“I was tired and moody – and in despair.  I was about to sign the contract to sell our home.  My dear husband of 55 years had died a few months earlier after losing his battle against cancer.  Soon after his death, I realized that I could not go on living in our home with all I would have to do:  maintenance, gardening in summer and snow shoveling in winter, carrying wood for the fireplaces, and other necessary chores.  I should have been grateful for actually finding a buyer even before the house was advertised for sale and at a time when buying and selling houses was almost impossible.  But I felt bad – even a little guilty – for selling the home we had shared for all these years.

I had not had time to read I Dag, the Norwegian edition of the The Upper Room, the morning before I left for the real estate agency.  But when I returned home, I saw the opened magazine on the kitchen table and read the words from Isaiah 43:19.

The Lord says, ‘See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

My feelings of despair eased.  God did not tell me to forget my husband.  God did not forbid me to think back on all the good memories with joy.  Rather, God invited me to go on with my life with new strength.  God is near, in both good and bad times.

Prayer:  Dear heavenly Father, we thank you for all we have received from you – especially good memories and a loving family and church.  Amen.

God bless you this coming New Year!

In Christ,

Pastor Rob

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