The last Day of the old year was something special as the church partied on into the early hours and we sung so many song, ate and drank and celebrated a year in prospect.
I have so much to be thankful for as I minister to people and share the love of God as found in Jesus, the Christ.
Lord for the many encounters I have had this year, the services I have been part of, the funerals I have conducted and the weddings (second wedding in the church building in eleven years) and the school assemblies and old folk's homes, care homes and hospitals I have found my self in: What can I do but thank you for the many opportunities they represent?
For the new life (spiritual and physical) that this year has seen (and the blessing that Poppy coming into the world has been) I can only take a deep breathe and be grateful: Help me to nurture the new believers and to care for the long term in the coming year.
For the bits where I have been louder, prouder and less of the man I need to be in You, help me to amend those things which interfere and become the man you need me to be in 2017.
For the opportunities ahead, help me to pray first and to recruit second before I dive in to do it as a third stage of things. Help me to make real the 'if you build/do/make it - they will come and build/do/make it with you' real this year. Spectators are what theatres, films, sports and other attractions crave. I crave people seeing the attraction of Jesus and responding by doing - and next year help me to 'encourage' this in the right way (and forgive me in advance for the 'wrongs' ways I will surely do it in :-).
But lord - You give us our daily bread - you forgive us and call on us to forgive others, service as Christ came to serve, loving as Christ came to love - Thos much more simple can it get?
So more prayer - less work and more worship - eh?