Dear Auburn Family and Friends,
Warm greetings to you as we brace for another January cold snap! In spite of the normal inconveniences of winter in Minnesota, we have much to be thankful for. I often hear that positive point of view when visiting with residents here in Waconia. “As far as winters go, this one has been pretty good.” Of course, we don’t know what next week or next month will bring, but we can be thankful for managing thus far.
As we journey into 2022, many of us are wondering not so much about the weather but what the New Year may have in store. We often find ourselves focused on the challenges and unknowns of this pandemic. There are days of great optimism, and then there are days when the news is not always encouraging. When that happens, we can be tempted to dwell on the negative.
The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Phil 4:8-9
When Paul wrote this, his situation was less than ideal. He was locked up in a Roman prison for no crime other than preaching the Gospel. Yet he was able to write this uplifting letter, often called the Epistle of Joy. How was he able to do it? He focused on God. Paul was able to look beyond his bleak situation and see the bigger picture - God is ultimately in control, and his difficulties would not last forever. Through his encouraging words, we gain insight into determining our own focus and priorities.
As the New Year unfolds, I pray that we may stop to reflect on our blessings and things worthy of praise, and give thanks to God for giving them to us. Whether in times of need or abundance, God will provide as we put our trust in Him.
God’s blessings to you in the coming year!
In the Spirit of Christ’s Love,