Published 10:40 am Friday, December 31, 2021

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It was a year that many want to put to bed. Others found 2021 to be a good year and want to savor the final moments. In many ways, I think 2021 was better than 2020 because we got to spend more time with family and friends. I appreciated every moment after living through the lockdowns.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

Truthfully, every year has good and bad moments. I try to remember the good things and focus on the positive. I try to forget the water leak in my front yard and remember the friends who came and helped me repair it. I try to remind myself of all the good things we ate from my garden and forget that the squirrels and deer enjoyed quite a bit of it.

My family is doing well. We all had our fair share of ups and downs this year, but we survived, and in fact, we increased in number this year. I met the most recent addition to our family on Christmas Eve, a grandnephew. He is cute and his parents are still glowing with the joy of his arrival. Well, they did look a little tired, like any new parents.

I have been able to catch up with most of my family and friends this year, but there are some family and friends that I have been unable to see since this whole pandemic began. One friend is like a second mother to my wife and me; we miss her terribly. Other friends I would have dinner with occasionally. I sure do miss catching up with them. I am hoping that in 2022 life will improve and we will get back to seeing some more of our friends.

One thing I am not looking forward to in the next couple of days is cleaning up and putting away all the Christmas things. I will especially miss all the lights outside. I have been spending some extra time outside in the evenings, looking at all the lights on our street. They are so cheery and festive. I am like a little kid looking out the window, enjoying the beauty and wonder of this special time of the year.

I have been enjoying a good book about where all the traditions of Christmas originated. It explains why we do the things we do at this special time of year. Soon we will all pack this very special stuff up for another year. But before we do that, we will ring in the new year. I am looking forward to watching the Rose Bowl Parade. It is my final tradition for this great season.

Let’s turn our focus on the arrival of 2022, a brand new year. All the mistakes of the past have not crossed the threshold of the new year. We are granted a fresh start, a new beginning. It won’t be a perfect year, but we still need to look at it as an opportunity to begin a new chapter in our lives.

Our view of the new year needs to be filled with hope and optimism. God has something good planned for our future. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be some challenges for us, but we have to believe in the goodness and love of God to give us hope. When we can sow the seeds of hope for a brighter tomorrow, we can meet our challenges with renewed strength and vigor.

Our seeds of hope for the new year should be based on the promises of God. God promises a good future for us. God promises to never leave or forsake us. God promises to bring light to the darkness. There are many other promises that God has for you hidden in the Bible, waiting for you to discover them and to cling to them. Each promise gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow.

God is good and His promises are true. He wants you to live with your faith stirred up, believing and trusting in Him. He is keeping a close watch on you. He has gone before you and will walk with you into 2022.

I want to encourage you to plant the seeds of hope in the soil of your heart. Let your hope be based on the promises of God. He loves you and is planning great things for your future. God wants you to be closer. If you draw closer to Him, He promises to draw closer to you. What could be better than entering a new year walking hand in hand with God? 2022 is full of great promise for each of us. God Bless 2022! Happy New Year!

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or