Monday, January 2, 2012

So Long, 2011

In an informal survey of friends, family and Wal-Mart cashiers 2011 was not an overly stellar year for most. Indeed many of the Christmas letters we received in cards this year included news of the death of a loved one, or financial burdens or health concerns. Any of those things are unfortunate aspects of life but whenever a friend spends a lot of time complaining or feels burdened by life, I ask, “Is there anything in your life you can be thankful for?”

There is a reason the Lord continually told the Israelites to remember his faithfulness. When times got tough (and they always do), remembering the goodness and blessing of the Lord will change our prospective and will help us to overcome. It gives us the “push” we need to remember that it’s not over until we see the promise.

This week, the Kingdom Bloggers will be doing exactly that – summarizing 2011 with our personal Top 5. We also have an extra special treat as we add Saturday for new posts. Please read all the way to the end of the week and welcome Kerry Luddy and Doug Spurling to our roster of writers Kerry will be writing on Saturday and Doug will write on Sunday. Jenna Silliman, who first wrote before Christmas, will continue to take the Wednesday slot for the next while. 


I love vacation, travel and hot destinations and this year my family, including my parents and my brothers’ family went on a long awaited family cruise down the Pacific coast of Mexico. I discovered my Man and I are not ‘cruisers’ but it ranks as one of my favourite holidays because we did it as a family, and I love spending time with my family. I also discovered my brother is an amazing improv performer but his wife and I are equally unimpressive on stage as contestants in a game show.

A few months into the year, we hired a high school student as tutor for my Boy. I cannot recall my heart attaching itself to anyone else as quickly as CeCe. She is a ‘wannabe’ daughter – as in, I want her to be my daughter. She is delightful, responsible, intelligent and beautiful and God is setting her up for an amazing destiny. She is a star and I want to witness when she shines as God intends for her. Not only has CeCe integrated into our family as a tutor and babysitter but I love and am honoured she likes to hang out with us to do regular, family things.

In June, I started blogging and I love it ( I continue to be amazed by people who are not related to me read my blog (actually people who are related to me don’t read my blog - maybe that says I talk too much already). Through my blog, and the blog-o-sphere in general, I’ve learned I can make personal connections, such as I’ve done with the other writers on this blog.

Writing consistently is helping me hone my skills and keep my knowledge and revelation fresh. If I can’t write about truth I’m learning in Scripture, then I don’t know it well enough and I go back to Bible basics and wait on the Lord for further revelation. It is helping me keep focussed and discerning.

I can’t hold back any longer – my real Top 1-100 list would be the same – I’ve experienced God’s presence and I don’t have another message or thought. I only want more.

I’ve been a Christian for 32 years and have been actively pursuing him for 14 years but I’ve never experienced him in the way I’ve experienced him this year. The pursuit of his presence has lead me to flag worship and through flagging I’ve already encountered many new relationships (Jenna Silliman), including being on the stage with Georgian Banov and Kristene Mueller-DiMarco (Jesus Culture) - also with Jenna. As a bonus blessing, I’ve shared with others the joy and style of flag worship. I’ve made and sold flags that are being used for worship from Anchorage to Miami, from California to New Jersey; all my profit funds ministry travel & expenses.

In his presence, I’ve witnessed miracles such as hearts & attitudes change, physical healing such as insulin-dependent diabetes cured, crooked backs being straightened and I’ve received words about even greater works. I’ve taken risks, and God shows up but not because I’m worthy, but because he is worthy and he delights to delight me. Because of his presence, I receive favour from others that allow me to learn, teach and operate within gifts I’ve been given and I’m stretched for even more.

I’ve been accused of being one-dimensional, and perhaps I’ve become that way, especially this year. Everything I do and say is in relation to my Heavenly Father. It’s my ‘holy bubble’. It’s okay; there are worse things to be called. As I reflect on the past year, I am thankful and grateful to the Lord for all I’ve seen and done and for everything I offer praise and thanksgiving.

And I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings – I know it’s going to be good.


Doug Spurling said...

Thanks Andrea, beautiful. And isn't His presence the greatest present?

It's Something Beautiful said...

Andrea...Your enthusiasm/excitement
( especially about the Lord) shows through your words, just a wee bit :)...It's really wonderful for someone to speak so lovingly about the Lord. Looking forward to hearing what every single Kingdom Blogger has to say this year and grateful to be part of the bunch.
Linda Maynard

Andrea York said...

Welcome Doug, I'm looking forward to getting to know you on the site.

And thank you Linda; I am also looking forward to hearing what the others have to say this week.

Tony C said...

All things work for His purpose...

I'm amazed and excited at how God's people are coming together and connecting on social media outlets. Christians long to fellowship with other Believers regardless of our backgrounds, geographic locations, or even cultural differences. We are all His children.

I could have easily listed connecting with you and our other new KB writers as a Top 5 for me too. Looking forward to 2012!