Pastor’s Message – December 21, 2022

What Brought Us Joy in 2021

We are less than two weeks away from the start of a new calendar year, which always invites us to reflect on the year that is ending. I’ve tried to keep track this year of the books, movies, music, and podcasts with which I’ve engaged, and it’s been fun to look back over what I did record (I did far better in keeping up with books than any other category!). I’m not a big fan of saying, “This is the best movie/album/book of the year.” Instead I’d like to share some resources that drew me closer to God and taught me something new about God at work in the world. As always, these are my personal opinion and may not be for everyone, but I hope they will inspire you to reflect on what brought YOU joy.

Ancient Remedies by Dr. Josh Axe (book): I was introduced to Dr. Axe’s work on a podcast in March, and he and his products have become a go-to resource on all things health for me. His philosophy in this book is simple: food can be powerful medicine for our bodies, souls, and spirits. He is not shy about his faith in Jesus and writes about how caring for our spirit can strengthen the body, too. I love the recipes and as well as the advice in this book. While it’s by no means meant to replace modern medicine, it is a perfect complement.

Abide With Me by Sara Groves (music): This album was released in 2017, but it spoke deeply to me this year, especially because of the last song on the album, “He’s Always Been Faithful.” It’s an updated take on “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” and all the songs on the record are new takes on old hymns. Groves lives in Minnesota, where she grew up, and I love hearing artists from outside of Nashville and the traditional Christian music industry.

The Little Things (movie): This was the first movie I saw in a theater after nearly a year. Any film starring Denzel Washington intrigues me, and this crime drama/thriller set in the 1990s in Los Angeles was great on the big screen. The title appears when Washington’s character, a weary sheriff, advises a young detective in an investigation to pay attention to the little things, for they will either trip him up or reveal what he needs to see. Sounds a lot like the walk of a Jesus follower, doesn’t it? Pay attention to the little things, for they contain a big lesson.

all good things, and Merry Christmas, to each of you,
Dr. Darian

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