I'm really excited about KB not only adding new writers, but also adding two additional days to bring our blog to a true daily outlet for praise, reflection and testimony for God's glory!
Today's post will be a bit out of my comfort zone in all honesty. As a matter of personal philosophy, I spend very little energy looking back on things. My goal is to live, learn and move on...from better and from bad. I'm not in search of some New Age 'centering of the soul and cleansing of the karma' nonsense, I just don't as a matter of habit reflect back on things.
But alas, that is the subject this week, so reflecting we shall go!
Here are my Top Five best moments from 2011 in countdown fashion:
5. Reconnecting with Marines on Facebook from my first command assignment.
God love them! As a newly commissioned Marine Second Lieutenant so green I could stand naked in grass without being seen, I was given the responsibility of watching over and actually leading 30 souls. At work...
4. Losing 30+ pounds.
Really wasn't that hard actually. First, I realized if I continued to expand at near the speed of light, I was going to eat my way straight to Type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke and death. Second, I was then diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Third, I admitted phase one of the forementioned path to destruction was underway. Fourth, I gave up drinking sodas and eating fatty foods. Fifth, I lost weight without doing much else. Finally, I'm 30 pounds lighter and diabetes-free. Thank you Jesus for sending me an angel of encouragement called Candice Cradic!
Going for 30 more in 2012!
3. Leading the family prayer at Christmas.
This one may not sound like much to some of you, may sound like too much pridefulness to others, and may just confuse still yet others. Truth be told that while I am a bit uncomfortable listing this due to the pride issue, I also want to be thankful for the opportunity. Most family have a...shall we call it...spiritual patriarch that is looked to on such ocassions. When I was asked to bless the Christmas meal not only at my father's family gathering but also at my in-laws, I was completely humbled and broken by the blessing He gave to me. Heck...I teared up writing this!
While it's certainly a sign that I'm getting older, there's a weight of responsibility that comes with the territory. The privilege of lifting up thanks and petitions to our Father is very important to me. Gravely important. I never take the task lightly either in private or while leading a public prayer. I'm most thankful to our Father for the gift of prayer in the name of our Savior. I praise Him for that gift!
2. Vacationing with the family.
Thanks to a wonderful suggestion from a couple at church, our family (including the in-laws) vacated at Holden Beach last summer. Never heard of it? Well that's what makes it so awesome! Forget the hussle and bussle of the popular spots. Holden Beach is a quite, relaxing community with no hotels or the crowds from hotels. Rent a house, very short walk to the beach...sigh.
I'm already back there in my mind.
1. Teaching a Wednesday night series at church.
When I was invited to join our pastor and a deacon at church to team teach a series called Essentials, I was immediately bubbling with excitement. I love talking about Jesus! The premise was to conduct a series that covered the essential elements of the Christian faith by dropping the denominational doctrines and focusing on why Christians are in fact Christians. Good stuff.
The series started with an excellent segment by Deacon Keith on creation. I had heard him teach this before but was completely blown away by depth of the three week presentation. He set the bar high for the rest of us. I took the next segment on the Bible by starting with the history of the English language version. I can't begin to explain the tremendous blessing poured on me from the preparation, presentation and discussion that followed. God is so good to us!
Next, Pastor Derek took a segment on the Holy Trinity and specifically God the Father. Excellent study! I followed with about four weeks on God the Son. Pastor Derek just concluded a few weeks on God the Spirit, and Keith will conclude the 4-month series with a few weeks on the Church.
Praying, studying and teaching with these two tremendous men of God has been so powerful in my life. Letting go of personal fears and insecurities and letting God use me as a tool for His glory has been nothing short of...well...life changing. I thank and praise Him for the opportunity.
If you'd like to catch some, or all, of the Essentials series, I've posted my last class called Jesus- Who He Isn't for your viewing. May God bless your 2012 and may you serve the Kingdom with your very best this year!