2020 has been…__________________

Merry Christmas my friends.
2020 has been … _________.
We began the year with a word from God.
We were to take stock … and from there, we were to lay aside every sin and weight that so easily besets us and focus on Jesus, who is the author and the finisher of our faith.
Vision 2020 — we were promised clarity, efficiency, productivity, growth and promotion.
As I look back on my life and the life of those around me, I see from this vantage point. I see more clearly. Many things that used to be part of my day are no longer distracting or cluttering things – efficiency – leading to more efficiency and this clarity helps me to see where I have grown and where more is expected of me … which is my definition of promotion. (Promoted to perform, not promotion as a reward – but a promotion to do more with what I have been given.)

So many unexpected things occurred in 2020

 In listening, there is learning and when I listen to people describe 2020, I hear a layer of introspection that is new. I hear a slower pace and a more careful approach to 2021. So many unexpected things occurred in 2020. So many adjustments had to be made. And in the midst of all of this there were disappointments, discouragement and delays. Still, as I watched and listened I saw the adjustments in many that were made to turn adversity into advantage. I watched and I marveled as so many did so much for others in spite of the obstacles.

Priorities have been shifted. Trust the way you are seeing now. Rise above the sense of loss you may feel. Let the tears act as lenses to sharpen your focus as you make decisions for 2021. What you see as loss … cast it into the ground as seed. God can take your pain and turn it into joy. He can take your confusion and bring you clarity. He can turn your frustration into ferocious strength. He can, but He won’t if you won’t ask for His help.

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Mortality for immortality.
Corruptible for Incorruptible.
Darkness for Light.
Death for Life.
Give whatever you have … He can turn doubt into great faith. Worry will become Trust and Fear will turn to Faith. Take your thoughts and your emotions and sow them … deep into the abyss and let them die … for if the seed doesn’t die, they cannot be resurrected new.

Time to sow your loss as seed

 The kernel of corn cannot be the glorious stalk that produces thousands of kernel. In the acorn is the mighty oak, and yes, oak forests. In you, there are generations of life giving – vessels of light and love. It’s hard to see when you have suffered loss, but when you sow that loss as seed — take a breath and let God do what He alone can do. He will cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the dead to live and your life to be raised and lifted to new levels of influence and joy.

I start each day with prayer

Each day – I start with prayer and selfishly I pray for my wife and daughter first. There is so much there as I watch my Annie — as she checks her phone to see if her little Danielle, who is working a 24 hour shift at the hospital has texted. I watch as the relief comes across her face. It’s subtle – almost unconscious … but the pride, the joy and yes the concern are all wrapped into those few movements.

We don’t get sick

The other day, Danielle called to say that she had an unusually eventful day. A woman came in with a scheduled C-section but things weren’t just “Business as usual.” The mother was tested for Covid and she was negative, but it looked like things were moving and the birth might just happen naturally. Danielle was in with the lady and she began to share some things about her day … Danielle administered the epidural and there were complications — the woman was leaning all over Danielle as the decision was made to go to an emergency C-section. It was at this point that the rambling mother disclosed the fact that she had two people at home with confirmed Covid cases.
As Danielle shared this with me, I could feel her frustration and her faith. I waited as she told her story. “I know Dad … I don’t get sick. Still, this added pressure is a lot. I really want to have Christmas with you and Mom … I’ll get tested.” I asked her when she would get the vaccine and she said that she didn’t know.

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Not every body has the same amount of skin in the events happening all around us. I encourage you to find something — something to be thankful for and let your faith breathe … If you don’t your worries and your fears will dominate … and this will hurt much worse.
2020 is our best year yet. Not the best year we will ever have, but our best year until now — spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and financially — declare it and then look for fruit.

2021 will soon be here.

Much Love
Pastor Dan.

P.S. Check out my recent article -> 2020, A Year Like No Other

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