I wanted to just wish you all , my blogging friends a most Happy and Blessed New Year!
As we look back at 2013, we all probably have different highlights and low times and lots of hopes and dreams for the year ahead! 2013 has for the USA in my opinion been one of the worst for moral degeneration, financial irresponsibility, and anything BUT peace!
2013 started off with a jolt at our own home, when on Jan 3 my husband was rushed to the hospital with both lungs full of blood clots. Five days in ICU, then a regular room, and we eventually came home! It wasn't how we were expecting to start off the new year... but it's what we were to face last January.
We have so much to be thankful for!!! This was a major event and even our own Dr. when he took over the case remarked how lucky he was to pull through this! We just smiled, because we knew it wasn't luck at all. It was God's grace and mercy, and answered prayer! HE chose to pull him through and to give us more time together, for which we are eternally grateful!
Nov. 2013 Alan's "self shot" at Gatlinburg, TN
The year has been full with blessings of family, friends, spiritual growth, and deepening love for each other and for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's also set our hearts and minds more on the things that really matter in this life! If nothing else... we learned that this life is indeed short! We need to be about the Father's business... being salt and light to this dark world! Our prayer is that our lives will matter! That we will touch other people's lives with love and the lasting message of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
His message is so simple. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me" (Jn 14:6). He was the only one who could pay the price for our sin, so The Creator of all things left His throne in glory, came to earth as a little baby, born in the most lowly of circumstances, lived a human life, yet without sin! Only that perfect life could take the weight of sin upon Himself. He died in the most humiliating and painful way possible, hated and rejected, beaten and spat upon. He could have come down off that cross and just said... sorry Father... I just can't do this! But He didn't! He said "not my will but yours be done". He went to the grave to settle a big problem that all humanity has! It's a SIN problem! The Bible says "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God"(Rom 3:23). It also says "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord"(Rom 6:23). So only this perfect sacrifice could pay the price for our sin! However, He did not stay in that grave! He rose three days later, victorious over death, and He will come again for those who know Him! We do not need to fear death! Physical death for the Christian is just the beginning of eternal life with our Savior!!! Paul said "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord"!(2 Cor 5:8) All we need to do to have this gift of eternal life that Jesus bought for us is to place our faith and trust in HIM... we could never do enough good works to pay our way in to heaven! It's only Jesus who could do that,with His perfect shed blood on Calvary, and He did! However, not everyone will receive that gift! Some will refuse to believe and receive Him as their own Savior! My heart aches for them! Our future is secure, our present is joyous and full of meaning... why wouldn't anyone want that for themselves?
Right now, our family is once again facing the loss of a loved one, and yet we are comforted with the knowledge that this is not the end... it's the beginning! The beginning of an eternity in heaven where there will be no more sickness, no more pain, no more evil! Even as I write this, my dear Mother in Law is in the final stages of leaving this world, where Alzheimers has ravaged her mind and now it is even shutting down her body. We look at her life with grateful hearts for the life she lived and the many good gifts she is leaving behind.... gifts of love, high standards, and a Godly example of a wife and mother who took her jobs seriously and did her absolute best to do it as unto the Lord. We also are so thankful that we know that having accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior, she is ready to go to meet Him face to face, and we will see her again one day!
So, it's with sadness that we say goodbye here on this earth... but it's with gladness that we celebrate her life, and know that this is not "goodbye".... it's "see you soon!"
If you have read through my ramblings this far... thank you! I felt the need to write this for whatever reason! I don't know what 2014 holds for any of us... but I do know WHO holds MY future, and I hope YOU know Him too!!!
I thought I would share my prayer for you via this link to a beautiful song of blessings... one of the best gifts we can give to one another! Happy and Blessed New Year!!!
Happy New Year! I hope you'll be back tomorrow morning to see the Jan. release from Our Daily Bread designs!