Wow, what a year!!!  2011 was so full of changes, both good and hard.  I feel like we should all take a quick minute ot pause and count our blessings from this past year.  I know that sometimes it seems like the terrible and sad things far outweigh the blessings; but in a world where we are not even promised our next breath, every breath is a blessing.  I’m thinking about that even more today as I remember the fire in our apartment building from a couple days ago.

Don’t get me wrong.  This is not a story of us crawling across the floor in smoke filled rooms testing door knobs with the back of our hands and doing our best to encourage each other to prevail while dragging the few belongings we were able to lay our hands on.  It is much less specatcular, which makes it almost that much more sobering.  We were watching TV and about to go to bed when we heard an alarm going off.  It took a couple seconds to realize that this was for real and not just someones TV or something.  We picked up our coats and headed outside to see what was going on.  I even took time to lock the door behind us.  Everything seemed very, normal.

We got outside and people were already starting to gather.  Within a couple minutes the Fire Department was there.  Lindsay said I sounded rude as people were asking if we needed to leave our apartments.  My answers of, “Well, it IS a fire alarm”, and “Your call, but the Fire Department IS here.” probably weren’t the nicest responses.  Can you just hear the sarcasm?  As we stood there for about 45 minutes I realized that there was nothing outstanding about everything that was around us.  There were fire fighters in our building with hoses and stuff, but overall there was nothing fantastic about it. Everything looked Cialis very normal.  Somehow, that seemed to scare me even more.  Now, at that moment I wasn’t very scared, but the more I’ve thought about it I’ve grown increasingly…well, realistic.  Everything was normal, but there was a tragedy going on somewhere.  That somewhere just happened to be the building I was living in.  It was so close to home.  So, now I’m thinking about things very realistically.

What if the occupants hadn’t returned when they did?  What if the fire had found a quicker burning atmosphere?  What if the fire department was much slower?  So, now I have a choice.  What do I do with this?  I can let it go and ignore it so that things go back the way they were.  I can take action and purchase insurance and a fire safe.  I can move because wiring in the walls isn’t supposed to just catch fire.  I think for now the insurance and safe are the options that are the most realistic.
I thought about everything that could have gone terribly wrong that night, but in the end, I was standing outside with my arm around my wife, talking to my neighbors.  God had spared us and them and given us a chance to continue to live for Him in 2012.  As I look forward I can even count those bad and tough times as blessings that will teach me to grow and accomplish greater things for The Kingdom.  God has a plan for my future.  God has a plan for Lindsay’s future.  We stand on our blessings, our failures, and our dreams for the future as we move forward into this New Year.

Happy New Year.  May God Bless you.  May you allow Him to turn your failures and hard times into even greater blessings than you can imagine.  May you be blessed far greater than you ever have been before and may wisdom and love fill your home.

HAPPY 2012!!!