A blessing of a completely different nature was the marriage of Michaela Bundon and Jason Odom. They are dear friends and former students. They are gentle souls and faithful Christians whose lives inspire me and bring me joy. Their wedding ceremony was a profoundly worshipful service of praise and thanksgiving to the God whom they love and serve, and who brought them together. I look forward to seeing how God will continue to use them in his service as the years go by.
Two financial blessings came my way in 2012: the sale of my rental house and the re-finance of my present home. In both cases, God was clearly at work through people I didn't know or knew only through email contact.
I made some new friends last year for whom I am immensely grateful. One in particular, Brian Wood, shared with me from his garden, as well as from his life. My gifts to him were prayers and friendly counsel. I am always blessed by friends who ask me to pray for them. To me, it offers to share in the aspects of their lives that matter most to them.
2012 also brought opportunities to deepen existing friendships. Some of the greatest riches of my life are my friendships and I treasure them all. Some friends are struggling with physical limitations brought on by illness or injury. I have rejoiced with them in every victory and suffered with them through every setback. Some friends have experienced the transition of loved ones from this life to heavenly life, and I have mourned with them. Other friends have received great blessings of their own. My friend, Noel Forlini, got to teach a summer Hebrew course at Beeson Divinity School, and is now teaching a couple of courses at Judson College in Marion, AL, while studying for her Ph.D. comprehensive exams. Her schedule is full, but what wonderful opportunities for her to develop her teaching skills and to be able to stay in Alabama vs. enduring another year of exile in New Jersey. :-)
There are many, many more blessings to recount, and I will add them to this list as time goes by. For now, these are sufficient for a New Year's Day reflection.