When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to you name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain in the land you gave your people for an inheritance. I Kings 8: 35-36

Have you ever arrived at a store too late? You did your best to get there before it closed but, on arrival, the lights were out and the place was locked up. It is a pretty empty feeling, especially if there is no other place that you can get what you need.

Some of us may look back on the year 2021 and have that same feeling. Time seems to be flying even though at the same time it seems to be dragging on. Most of us will remember 2020 as the year that wasn’t. Others may feel the same way as 2021 dragged on. While there are those still stuck at home working or remain at home due to fear, time is moving on at the same pace.

What was your greatest accomplishment in 2021? What is your greatest regret? Do you have the same or similar goals for 2022?

As I have been thinking about the end of this year I have been reading in the Old Testament in the book of Kings. Before Israel entered the Promised Land, Moses had cautioned the people about falling prey to pride and arrogance. He knew that as they became established in Canaan and continued to receive God’s blessings, they would soon forget that all these blessings came from God’s hand, not theirs. He had warned them before not to take this land and its offerings for granted.

This history applies to us today. How blessed we are! God gave us an inheritance. Everything we have and will have has come from our Heavenly Father. At the same time, how often do we fail to acknowledge these gifts? Our scripture today reminds us to acknowledge our many gifts and turn from ways that are not pleasing to God. Most importantly, it calls for us to teach our generation the right way to live. When we do this, God will rain an abundance of blessings upon us.

It is not too late to receive the blessing of eternal life. Our great challenge for today and every day of the upcoming New Year is, in all times of our lives, to continually cast ourselves on the Lord for His mercy, wisdom, counsel and grace. Sounds like a great resolution. Think about it!

PRAYER TIME: Continue to pray for those that are trying to get on with life after the tornados in Kentucky and the Midwest. Please pray for the many that are facing serious illnesses and need a touch of the Master’s hand. As always, pray for Israel. There are still several urgent prayer requests that need our prayers! God knows who they are. Continue to pray for protection as we battle the pandemic. Keep praying for those that are still fighting COVID-19 and the new variant. Continue to pray for businesses that try to stay open and find help, for many unspoken requests, for our military, our nation and leaders, and a ray of hope for those in prison.

OUR SYMPATHY TO: The family of our friend, Carlos Hernandez who passed away last week. Also, to Lindsey Tester and her family at the passing of her Grandfather, Clay Yates and to the family of Peggy Scoggins who passed away this week.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Myra Scoggins on Dec. 30, to Jeff Crittenden on Jan. 1 , to Lily Presson, Pearl Cook and George Gilliland on Jan. 2, to Marsha Story on Jan. 4, and to Jerry Absher on Jan. 5. May the Lord bless you all in His most wondrous and serendipitous way!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO: Ken and Jenelle McEwin on Jan. 2. May the Lord bless you with many more years together.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Christians are just mirrors to reflect the glory of Christ.”

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