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Musings and Memories

Hoping for better year ahead

Doug Dezotell
Posted 1/8/22

It is a New Year. Finally! We can now say goodbye to the year that changed our lives forever. But…I guess we can say that about every year… can’t we?  

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Musings and Memories

Hoping for better year ahead

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It is a New Year. Finally! We can now say goodbye to the year that changed our lives forever. But…I guess we can say that about every year… can’t we?  

Although the years, 2020 and 2021, were doozies; they are years we will remember for so many different reasons. From the beginning of the world-wide COVID-19 outbreak… to the death of loved-ones… to political upheaval we will look back at those two years so, so glad that they are in the ‘rear-view-mirror.’ 

A dear friend of mine used to say, “Change is here to stay!” He would say that all the time. We lovingly called him “Brother Paul.” He and his wife, “Sister Sue,” were missionaries to the country of Japan for many years, and they raised their large family on the Mission Field. Bro.  

Paul experienced so many changes in his lifetime, just like all of us have. But Bro. Paul went through certain changes that most of us haven’t experienced. He lived through a World War where the Japanese were considered America’s enemies, and then one day Paul realized God was calling him to move his family to Japan to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Japanese people.  

Bro. Paul made the necessary changes and he accepted that divine calling. He and his wife moved to Japan without knowledge of the Japanese language, but they went overseas knowing the ‘language of love,’ the Love of Jesus Christ.  

Something else my old friend used to say was, “We all need to preach the Gospel, and sometimes we can even use words.” He knew from personal experience that people will respond well when we show them genuine kindness and love and consideration.  

A warm heart and a warm smile can melt away people’s fears and reluctance. I’ve found that to be so true. Over the years, I have been an ordained preacher in two Christian denominations and licensed in another, so I have been standing behind a pulpit for a long time.  

While I’m standing in front of a congregation of people, I use a whole lot of words with the intent of swaying the crowd, but when I step away from that pulpit… it’s how I live and act that really convinces people of the truth.  

That’s how I knew Bro. Paul. He lived what he preached. He loved God, and he loved people, and God’s love flowed from Paul’s heart to the heart of others. I’ve heard it said, “It’s not how you Talk-the Talk, but how you Walk-the-Walk.” And it is my daily prayer that I can walk that walk. I want to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and sometimes use words.

At the beginning of a New Year, we think about and talk about changes that we want to make in our lives, from losing weight and exercising more to redecorating the house or buying new furniture. We plan to make changes. We think hard on making changes. But too often we remain the same. I know mean old cranky people who are mean old cranky people year in and year out. Never changing.  

I don’t want to be like that. I don’t plan on being like that. And I sure hope you never see me like that. If you do see me like that, well, you have my permission to slap me! It’s a New Year! Change is here to stay! With God’s help and our hard work those changes can be the best ones yet! Happy, happy, happiest New Year! It’s 2022…  

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