sunsetThis is New Year’s Eve. The last hours of 2008 is a mere few hours away. It’s been meaningful to reflect over an amazing year.

Family rates up at the top of my favorite memories. Long talks, serious discussions, and fervent prayers pepper those relationships. Decisions that alter the lives of my children have not been uncommon this year. Each time the Lord has blessed, guided, and given affirmation when we have sought His wisdom together.

One of my hardest decisions was saying Good-bye to our Lhasa Apso, Dusty, after fifteen loyal years. He was such a character. But, in the end cancer won and a mercy decision was the right thing to do.

Friends shape and mold my soul more than any other situation in life. Laughter, provision, help, encouragement, advice, consolation, warning, smiles, tears, hugs, surprises, gestures, unspoken gazes, cheers and prayers are all a part of deepening what already exists between hearts knitted together with eternal threads. What would any of us do without our friends?

2008 was the year for privileged travel. My frequent flyer miles took me to Israel, South Korea, Quebec and South Africa. In those very special places I walked the land and met great people and experienced the blessing of God that before I only thought would be in my dreams.

I was also back in one of my favorite places in the world, Oregon. The beauty of the NW was refreshed in my soul. Visions of hikes below towering Douglas fir, gazing at majestic Mt. Hood, skipping along the shores of the vast Pacific Ocean, combing for sea shells on the endless beaches and smiling at jet skis spouting up giant rooster tails on the mighty Columbia River all contribute to the serenity that fills up my senses.

Back at home I love thinking about the lives of special people. Joint Heirs are members of the Adult Bible Fellowship that I teach. It is a treat to be their teacher.

Michigan Theological Seminary was a highlight. It’s an amazing collection of great people who are all deeply devoted to the Lord and determined to make a difference with their lives. God’s transformation of lives is a regular occurence in this place.

When it comes right down to what made 2008 special, it was all about people. I am grateful for those people that I love. Of course it is a blessing to also be loved by them. Happy New Year!