The sun shines like it is new. It seems energetic, like it is giving out warmth for the first time. It is only the 3rd day of 2017 and I am still tiptoeing into the new year, fearful I might trip.
A very good friend asked me what were my highlights for 2016. I paused for a few seconds to recall. Somehow, qualifying events as ‘highlights’ was a little difficult. I knew exactly why. The past year, I was beat up with work concerns that I hardly had time to pause and thank God for what was happening in my life. Yesterday, I took out my annual prayer notebook and wrote down my thanksgiving for the year. Today, I’m sharing some of them with you.
Highlights of 2016 (Best Twelve)
1. Attending the Global Discipleship Congress 2016 in Manila and hearing Ravi Zacharias speak again. It was a time of refreshing and realigning to God’s purpose in my life.
Happy New Year!
2.Writing short poems for the whole month of February. Writing used to be a breeze but for the years that went by, it was a struggle. Maybe for the lack of a muse. Or maybe for sheer laziness. But, for the month of February, I was able to write 14 poems. Exercise is the key. You can read them at A November Miracle.
3. Earning the Masters in Ministry degree. The highlight is not the degree but graduating with my father.
4. Turning 35 and enjoying the last stretch of single-life. (Why not?) Hahahaha!
5. Training young people to be better leaders. This year, two of my friends and I started a Public Speaking company. We called it The Speaker Crafters. We trained young children not only to speak well but also to become better citizens of this country.
6. Visiting our students during their Gospel Team deployment. It was an experience that is one for the books. I went to far-flung villages to find out the situation of our student-pastors who were on Summer Internship. I am not an outdoorsy person but the lot fell on me. I was joyful enough to take the challenge. It turned out to be exciting!
7. Making myself available to be God’s mouthpiece in many places and different occasions. God gave me opportunities to speak of His love to people of all ages, in churches, campuses, youth fellowships and even the Police force. I am humbled by this calling.
8. Studying Introduction to Hebrew. I can now read a little and write a little Hebrew.
9. Coordinating benefit concerts. The latest was in December. It was a production that brought me out of my comfort zone. It was only by trusting God that we made it through. Not only am I ecstatic that I am working with world-class performers, I am awed at how they are all-out in serving God.
10. Being with high school friends is always a yearly highlight. These are the people I grew up with and somehow, being with them makes me forget momentarily the troubles of adult life.
11.Spending time with family. We had spur of the moment reunions and they were all fun!!!
12. Having a family that accepts me for everything that I am not and holds the hope for everything I can become.
I started this piece by saying how I am tiptoeing into 2017. Now, having looked back, I can say, there is nothing to fear! God has been faithful and will always be faithful.
I am reminded of what I read yesterday in Psalm 106. It was a recounting of how the Israelites turned away from God and how, each time, God came to their rescue. But, as the pattern repeats and the plot worsens, verse 44-45 say:
"Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry.I know now why the sun shines like it has not seen the troubles of 2016. It was created by a God whose love is persistent, endless, unceasing. That fact alone steadies my wobbly feet.
For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love."
Happy New Year!