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It’s A Wonderful Life – A New Year Message

In 1946 the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, was released with mediocre results and reviews. It looked like it would never make any money and was deemed a box office failure. While the movie may not have seen initial success, it has become a staple of the American Christmas season, loved by millions and a classic must see movie each December.

If you’ve seen the movie, you may recall George Bailey, the main character, was a man on a mission. He wanted to explore the world, tasting all it had to offer. Yet due to circumstances beyond his control he was never able to travel like he wanted and was, at least in his mind, subjected to a life of mundane living. It wasn’t until he was removed from that life that he did not appreciate all he had.

As we prepare for the 2018 season, I’ve reflected on 2017 and all it had to offer. One could look at the difficulties we experienced and consider the season an overall failure. Equipment break downs, personnel issues and so much more plagued us at what seemed like every turn. The season was long, hard and frustrating. We ended the year tired, with broken gear, deeper in debt and yet there was a glimmer of hope. We could see the blessings of the Lord shinning through, everything was just a little out of focus. Then, just like George Bailey, we started to see all the Lord had bestowed on us.

– We had 2 grandbabies born in 2017, giving us 4 total, 3 girls and 1 boy. (Can I tell you grandbabies are the best kept secret in life!) 
– Our sons both have new jobs that could easily be considered their dream jobs. 
– After living on the road for 2 years, the Lord allowed us to move back into our home and gave us the ability to do some much need renovations. It’s amazing how much difference replacing old carpeting with wood laminate flooring can make. Add a few new light fixtures, some paint and the place is a palace!
– Our business is booming like never before.

Then comes the icing on the cake… 2018 will mark my return to pulpit ministry. JAMA has been named as the official chaplaincy of the American Drag Racing League. I was starting to wonder if that portion of what we do for our Lord had passed. I have not been a series chaplain since God called 3 great men of God to host chapel services for the Ontario Street Car Association at the end of 2008.

As I close I’m reminded of two teachings from the Apostle Paul.

First from Philippians 3:12-14 ‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’

Secondly, Romans 8:28-30 ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.’

I am greatly encouraged with all that has happened the past year, not because the troubles are behind us, but in the hope they offer through the strength of my Lord for the future. A future He has planned for us, all of us. I do not know how the future will unfold, but I do know this, it is my confidence, He has never fail me yet!

May the Lord bless you with a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

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