Monday, January 3, 2011

As the New Year Begins

I'm freshly back from my winter visit to my other, older home in North America. I joke about our "Fourth Rome," but when it comes down to it our little church is a source of great renewal and strength, for me as well as for many others in our 'diaspora.' The more I travel the more I find that there are precious few churches that simultaneously function as extended families of sorts and I increasingly regret how much I took for granted the years that I lived in the Midwest.

I'm back to Oregon from the Midwest tireder and somewhat under the weather, but the grace of where I was is holding me up as I adjust to being back to my new home. I was afraid that I would find coming back discouraging after my short time back east, but instead I'm finding that I've come home from home - it's a joyous discovery to have made.

I spent most of my time traveling from the Midwest to Oregon rereading "Father Arseny" and it shames me when I consider what I think of as "hard" or "unbearable" when he endured so much worse in his life. I'm not embracing struggle yet by any means :-), but I hope that this year God continues to grant me (and us all) renewed strength to endure the little crosses He's given us for our salvation.

I'm not sure what all the New Year will bring and as I was under the weather at the stroke of midnight and then sick most of New Year's day I have yet to make any concrete resolutions, but as God is kind I'm sure the year will be full of the joys and struggles that every year is. The Lord save and protect you all in the New Year!

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