If you look back to my February 18, 2021 post titled “Concentration for 2021” you will see the two Scriptures I have concentrated on this year:
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
This year has had many challenges, many hallelujah moments and drawn me deeper into the next phase of God’s plan for me. It was the first year since 2016 that John has been here the whole year, now that we no longer own a second house. Things began quietly, since John was recovering from shoulder surgery, going to physical therapy and laid low until spring. We had challenges that were a bit comical; one of us on each side of the snowblower, clearing our driveway. A great lesson in cooperation! You may remember all the puzzles and books I completed during those months.
Spring came with much rain, which made gardening and mowing the lawn challenging. John’s solar project got started about three months later than expected. We planted our garden in time to enjoy a bountiful harvest and to bless many people. I ended up helping spring clean at the neighbor’s motel when I thought I would not be working there this year. The Lord provided, so I was available when Barb had the greatest need and the money I earned went to godly use; besides all the books I ended up buying! Turns out when you belong to writing groups, everyone offers you their new book. I have my shelf in my office double-stacked with books and now I need to follow the Spirit’s leading to know which book to read when. Several are daily readings, so I need to decipher which one to use for 2022.
Speaking of books, my son Chris got me The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris for Christmas. I finished reading it last evening. What an amazing story this was! Over the years, I have read many accounts of people’s lives during World War II and each is unique. Each gives a different aspect of God’s saving power amid atrocities and deprivation. Many do not recognize God’s hand in their story, but I can clearly see His saving power and ability to make people triumph in the worst possible situations. In this book, the friendships that grew, the favor with authorities, the good deeds done in the face of evil, all shine as you read Lali and Gita’s heart-wrenching/heart-warming story. Lali shared his life story with Heather just after his wife died and she did an excellent job of putting it together and filling in gaps as he shared many deep memories. You will love the postscript written by Lali & Gita’s son.
This is the puzzle my son Chris’ family brought me and they helped start it before they left for home the weekend before Christmas. It took a full week through Christmas season to finish it! Looks like the grace of God is upon our trip to Vermont for New Year’s Eve. We are finishing up laundry so we can pack, figuring how to use the food in the fridge that won’t last, and I just packed away the Christmas tree as John checked light strings. Amazing how the newer strands work and curious how the bulbs connect. I have an Action Bible and a young child’s Bible storybook to take to our granddaughters. John just bought a bag of fresh cheese curd to take to Chris, and he deems the deer mount he prepared for Chris’ Christmas present is ready to travel. Did I tell you the five-year-old left her stuffed reindeer with us the weekend before Christmas so we can bring it when we visit? I don’t think she understood it would be with us for Christmas; we thought we made it clear when she left it, but when Christmas came, she wondered where it was.
I am glad I saw new facets of the good work God is continuing to do in my life and being reminded that everything comes from Jesus, through Jesus, and returns to Him. I pray you can plug into the Holy Spirit of God and your relationship with Jesus as we enter 2022. I will seek the Lord to clarify my word for the new year, which I’ll share in my next post.
Our congregation’s annual January fast begins this Saturday, so I may not be actively posting for the next three weeks. If you want some pointers on fasting, what the Bible says about it, and practical tips, I recommend Pastor Josh Gmitter’s sermon from December 26, 2021. You can find it on this link:
Let me know how things are going on your end; you are in my thoughts and prayers, dear readers so let me know if there are specifics!