Year in review: a variety of topics covered

January 17, 2014

This month we will take a look back at some of the articles that were featured in this column in 2013 and then momentarily peek ahead to what awaits us in 2014.
Annually, the month of June is recognized as National Health Month. Therefore, this column ran articles addressing health issues the entire month of June 2013. Health is one of the issues often neglected in the church. If your church has an active health ministry, you are to be commended. In addressing health issues members will not only be healthier but they will be better able to serve God and others with the gifts God has given them. Charles Reynolds Brown, past dean of Yale Divinity School in his book “Faith and Health” (T.Y. Crowell & Co., 1910) wrote: “The Church of Jesus Christ ought to ‘teach health,’ not as its chief business, but as a leaf on the tree of its main purpose, which… is to produce the good fruit of Christian character and service.” The words of Dean Brown were written in 1910 and as any timeless truth, they remain applicable even today. I encourage you to take charge of your future by taking care of your health today!2013-new-year-digits-with-golden-compass-illustration
From the responses I received from the articles titled: The Pain of Unrequited Love (August 2013), you considered the series bittersweet. Most of you indicated you were enlightened by the article’s information; but at the same time, you were forced to come face-to-face with a relationship that was unmistakably and undeniably unrequited love. Reading the series triggered a flood of emotions for you that caused feelings of sadness, but a sense of relief at the realization that not all relationships are destined for the altar.
While we are on the subject of relationships, I was glad to hear that many of you (male and female) are not giving up on your marriage but are working hard to maintain the love that initially drew the two of you together. On that note you have asked that I re-run the articles regarding marital forgiveness from a few years ago. In 2014, I plan to accommodate your request. Marriage is honorable. It is an institution ordained by God. While couples must fight against many external temptations to keep a marriage from falling apart, it is not impossible. The key is mutual trust, honesty, transparency, communication and commitment.
Even in a year where we saw times of achievement and triumph which often seemed few and far between, we were delighted to read about combat missions oversees in some countries were winding down which meant for most American troops, the steady drumbeat of repeated deployments to the war zone was slowly coming to an end. (Holt, NBC Nightly News, August 2013). In honor of our veterans and military personnel, we personally thanked our veterans and troops for their valor, courage, sacrifice and unyielding devotion in serving our country. In articles titled: “Honoring Our Veterans and Military Personnel” (November 2013), we noted the greatest thing we can do this holiday season is to remember these brave soldiers who have been willing to go, to serve and to give. Remember, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35). If you are interested in assisting in collecting items for our military personnel who serve our country, contact or any of the local organizations dedicated to this cause.
While we did not address dementia in 2013, I want you to know I have received your requests and I plan to run articles once more regarding Alzheimer’s, the warning signs, etc., in 2014 during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
Finally, many ministries are scrambling to find ways to reach and retain Millennials (those young people between the ages of 18-29). Church leaders are getting the message; Millennials will leave their ministry if they are not ministered to in ways they can relate. Simply put, church leaders are recognizing they cannot continue operating with an 8-track tape mentality in this digital society. Either you update – or they will vacate! In 2014, I will dedicate a month to outlining ways to keep Millennials from running out of your church’s back door.
2013 has been a year many of you have commented to me you will never forget. You shared with me your highs and your lows, your struggles and your spiritual victories. As we come to the end of another year and wait patiently for the New Year, it is my prayer that:
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’
– Numbers 6:24-26
As always, this column will take a brief interval for the remainder of December and return January 2014. May you enjoy a happy and blessed holiday season!
The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.