The lyrics to a song by Rev. Clay Evans and the AARC Mass Choir state, “As I look back over my life, and I think things over, I can truly say that I’ve been blessed, I’ve got a testimony!” AMEN! God is, has been, and will always be GOOD! Looking back on 2014 reminds me of God’s faithfulness and goodness to me and my family.  The bible says “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change, like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)  I am so glad that God is not like us! He is not good to you today, then angry and distant tomorrow.  I love that about God.  I can depend on Him, even when I have not given Him my best. The good and perfect gifts that we get from God are not material, but eternal.  These gifts don’t wear out, go out of style, or ever need their battery charged.

In 2015 we should set our focus on God’s good and perfect gifts: life, salvation, forgiveness, grace and mercy.  We should also seek to share those good and perfect gifts with others in 2015. We have to spend more of our time showing concern for those who have lost their way, and let them know there is a God who loves and cares for them.  We have to be more bold in sharing a word that will encourage someone and not break them down.  We have to be quick to offer grace in more situations.  I know it is hard, especially when we have been hurt, but God requires it of us.  It is important how we treat people and that we show the love of Jesus Christ to all.

Let us take a moment to thank God for his gifts to us in 2014 and most of all, for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).  Here is a very short and simple activity for you and your loved ones to complete.  Write down three things that God did for you, or brought you through in 2014.  Here is my top three:

1.  My husband and I celebrated thirty years of marriage.

2.  My son graduated from Seattle Pacific University, and survived a tragic campus shooting (Rest in Paradise, Paul Lee).

3.  I stayed healthy and kept my weight down by consistently walking several times a week and reducing my food intake.

Now its your turn! What three things occurred in 2014 that you are most thankful/grateful for.  Write them down and then thank God OUT LOUD for bringing you through.  If you want to take it a step further, tell someone about your top three and explain how you knew God was with you during that time.

So, it is with thanksgiving that we look forward to greater blessings and the new things God will do in 2015.  In return, what have you promised to do for Him? What will you do to make life better for yourself and others.  Do you need to lose weight, exercise, read your bible, stop smoking, stop spending excessively, reduce your time on social media, pray more often?  Whatever it is, I challenge you NOT to make a resolution, JUST DO IT! You CAN do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Phil. 4:13).  Just take small steps. Don’t forget to pray and ask God to help you!  Then, when you have made some progress towards your goal, tell someone about it, and tell them HOW you did it.  I know they will be encouraged by your testimony.  I wanted to get this post published by New Years Day, and even though it is now 11:12 p.m., I can say I DID IT!  It feels good!  May God bless you in all your endeavors for 2015.