The end of the year is always the time to reflect. It is a time for endings and a time to beginnings. In 2014, I became part of the “senior generation” in my family. In 2014, I experienced some health issues. In 2014, I fell (more) totally in love with my grandchildren as they grew from infancy into toddlerhood. It has been a year of sadness and joy and despair and hope. It hasn’t been all good, but it certainly hasn’t been all bad. If I learned one thing from 2014, it was that life is a mixed bag … the hand is dealt and my experience is what I make of it.

Above all, it has been a year of experiencing the depth and breadth of what it means to live in grace … trusting God to be God and allowing me to be … well, me. That’s the joy of our faith, isn’t it? It is all about experiencing the goodness of God while experiencing some of the harshest realities of life and death. It is about being real and laughing and crying and grieving and hoping for that new life that we know is always ahead of us!

So as we head into this new year, my hope is that all will experience the joy of following in the footsteps of this one who taught us so much about living only in grace. May you experience the comfort of knowing that God loved us enough to send us someone who lived our lives, shared our hunger, experienced the reality of our living and ultimately gave us a clear path to the God of our creation! May you experience the joy of Christ … born to us this season … as you take your first steps into 2015.

And as you take that step, may you experience it as a gift of …

Grace,

Jeff

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