“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)
As 2016 has drawn to a close, there has been no shortage of articles in the media recounting the major news stories of this past year. Some are even portraying 2016 as the worst year ever. Personally, I think that reflects a short-sighted view of history and the tendency of the media to focus on the sensational, outrageous, and divisive rather than the uplifting and positive. And we certainly had plenty of the former this year. While many of you will stay up tonight to see 2017 come in, others may be more interested in seeing 2016 leave!
I am deeply grateful for each of you who found my posts worthy of your time this year. This is my 30th post of 2016, generating over 2500 views by more than 1600 visitors. I feel I have grown as a writer over the two years since starting Ridgetop Reflections, becoming more comfortable and proficient in that role. Much credit belongs to those of you who encourage me with your comments, shares, and likes.
By far, my most popular post this year was Hope in the Face of Affliction, which was adapted from the eulogy I delivered at my brother’s funeral in 2015. Ronnie was dearly loved by many of you who follow this blog and that post was widely shared on social media. It received more than twice the number of views of any other post I have published to date. He would be pleased to know that the story of the spiritual growth he experienced in the face of years of physical suffering blessed many hearts. If you are new to Ridgetop Reflections and missed that post or if you would like to read it again, you may access it by <clicking here>.
Looking ahead to 2017, my goal is to post more often with shorter devotional-length articles. Several of you with more writing experience have been urging me in that direction. Given the amount of information that bombards us daily and the increasing impact of social media, I recognize the need to be more sensitive to the demands on everyone’s time these days.
As the sun sets on another year, my prayer for you is the one offered by Paul in his letter to the Colossians. May God “fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” May you “live a life worthy of the Lord” and may you “please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Col. 1:9-12 NIV)
If my posts in some small way assist you in that, may all glory be given to God, without whom I could write nothing of consequence. Thanks for honoring me with your time and especially for your encouraging feedback and contributions to the conversations.
Happy New Year to you all.
“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” – G.K. Chesterton
Thank you for your reflections. We miss you both and pray 2017 will be filled with God’s supernatural joy!
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Thank you, RuthEllen. We miss our many friends at First Baptist but are excited about what God has in store for us in 2017.
Thank you, Julian, for your words and reflections. They never fail to inspire me. I wish you and Patty a very happy and healthy new year.
Thanks, Anne. Happy New Year to you and Pat.