Well, looks like old 2014 is on the way out and a brand new year is on the way in. Just a few hours away and 14 is over – good or bad, and 15 is here – good or bad. How are you approaching the end of the year this year – any different? Shirley and I are. Usually she gets the New Year’s Day meal ready. You know, the pork, greens, black eyed peas – the healthy, wealthy and wise. And we gather the family over for the meal, good conversation, football, etc. Shirley has purchased all the food stuff, but there is one little problem this year. She is on the couch with a temp over 100, chills, a could be at any moment upset stomach, cough, and a generally yucky feeling.
It is harder to stay up to midnight just to watch a ball drop v-e-r-y slowly and nothing really happens when it reaches the bottom. No kaboom. Just confetti, kissing, shouting, and the playing of Auld Lang Syne. Well, I like the kissing part, the sipping of champaign, and the thoughts behind the song.
Not sure what I will do tonight with Shirley (my sidekick) out of commission? I guess I’ll have her glass of champaign also, kiss her on the forehead, and think about how we have messed up 2014. I wish I could say it was a stellar year, but we all know that is not the case. The racial tension in this country is just crazy. My fear is that it will lead to more trouble and death rather than better understanding and sensitivity to each other’s needs.
I am troubled by all the senseless killing of children – helpless children. It seems like every week or so a little child is killed by their parents or some close relative. If they do not want the children can’t they just take them to a hospital, police station, somewhere they can be helped and saved?
Wars, the rattling of sabers and drawing of lines around the world seems to be shouting out to the world – watch out – we still haven’t learned to get along with each other. And Isis seems to be pointing the world toward some kind of grand religious war because they want us to be them and we want to be us. They interpret their god saying kill while we interpret our God saying love. I am afraid there will be a reckoning at some point.
Some of the good stuff that has happened in this 2014 is that my health seems some better. My heart seems to be staying in rhythm more than it was earlier this year. The diabetes seems less of a problem since I am staying right at the borderline of being pre-diabetic. I hope that is a good thing. Still have low energy and terrible feet pain. Shirley seems to be doing really well (except for today).
I published two ebooks this year: A devotional book entitled “Daily Moments with Pastor Steve (on iTunes) and a book of talks, sermons for Lent entitled “Sayings of Noah; The Four Year Old Theologian (on Amazon). It was confusing and exciting to get this done. Matter of fact I was looking on Amazon’s book list today, searching under my name to find the book written about Noah. Using my name only it found the book on the 11th page right between Stephen Brown’s book on “Scurvy” and Stephen Cox’s book “Hooterville Handbook.” I had to laugh at that one. I just finished today publishing the third ebook. It is entitled: “The Grieving Heart: Up-Lifting Funeral Homilies” (on Amazon). I have compiled some 55 funeral messages to help people during their times of grief. These sermons are ones that I have delivered over the years to people in times of dealing with a death in their family. It is not a grand masterpiece, just seeking to touch a wounded heart with everyday words and stories.
Perhaps tonight would be better served if we spend some time in positive, creative meditation about how God would have us be part of the solution to the world’s problems rather than part of the problem? Allow that meditation to move and grow until you have an affirmation that the path you are traveling is the one God is walking. If we could do that I believe that 2015 could be a stellar year for all concerned.
Dear Lord, Move us in the direction of peace, love, understanding and the welfare of all people of the world. Touch us, move us, nudge us until we make a difference in and through Jesus. Amen.