Reflection on 2016

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good. Who would have thought that so many great moments would happen in 2016? Like Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “God can do ANYTHING!”

As a church we’ve seen great things happen this year like:
• 11 people become members of our church.
• 55 gift-filled shoeboxes sent to children through Samaritan’s Purse!
• More than 20 children and parents attend our Family Story Time twice a week throughout the year.
• A lot of food items were donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.
• 53 lap robes were donated to Palo Alto Veteran’s Hospital.
• We support missionaries to Nepal and Cambodia.
• We support Teen Challenge.
• We provide dinner once a month to families at JW House.
• Many healing miracles have been happening among our church members.
• Julia Borjeson was assigned to our church as lay minister; and she also won Bishop’s Award for 2016
• The parking lot has been resurfaced.
• The apportionment is paid in full.
• Finance is in the black.

While we celebrate last year achievements, we have been given a New Year. Whether we want to do something special with it or not, it is really up to us.

We love new things, don’t we? Who doesn’t enjoy that new car smell, that aroma of a new pair of leather shoes, or the feel of that nice Christmas sweater you just opened? Even now, many of us are making New Year’s Resolutions. We cannot wait to see what differences we will make for this New Year. How exciting! But if the truth to be told, the average time between the moment we make our resolutions and their demise is a sad three weeks. By that time all the newness has been aired out of them; and they become mere chores.

Therefore, I would like to offer us a different focus for our New Year’s enthusiasm. Focus on the new
year ahead, what are the most important “provisions” that you will need for the journey? When you think about the most challenging times in your life, what are the most important things that have tided you over?

Jesus always encouraged his disciples to travel light. In Mark 6:8-9, Jesus “charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; not bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.” His point was to focus them, not to be impoverished, but to clear their vision of material things so that they can clearly see the most precious provisions of all: other people, and the presence of God in those people.

So at the beginning of this new journey of 2017, as you put away your milk, eggs and bread, I ask you to contemplate this: who and what are the real provisions of your life? Think of them, and tuck them away in that special part of your heart that you reserve for precious things.

Let us turn to God in prayer:
Dear Lord, you have a plan and purpose for each day of 2017. I ask for your guidance and your direction. I ask for motivational zeal to accomplish your goals. I ask for compassion to help me move through my days with an ever increasing love for others. In love and devotion, I pray, Amen.