Like most of this past year … I’ve been behind (or non-existent here, & other places). Not being one to like to fail, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions … but I do make goals. So a goal that I have is to be better about coming over here on WordPress – to write some, but especially to see how my friends here are doing. Happy belated – 2016! So – here is the letter that my husband and I wrote this year (& am just now getting out)!
CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR GREETINGS FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS!
Each December is a good time to reflect on the many blessings from God throughout the year as it draws to a close. How appropriate to also observe a day to honor the birth of the Son of God who came in the flesh to be the Savior of all who will believe in him. What a wonderful way to look ahead to the new year of 2016, knowing that the Lord has promised eternal life through grace by faith in His Son!
*Isaiah 43:11 (AMPC) “I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.”**Luke 2:10-11 (BSB) “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'”
*** 1 John 5:10-12 (NIV) “Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
MEDICAL STUFF: Carolyn had another year of dealing with chronic pain, and the left shoulder became a severe problem beginning in February. After having PT and then several rounds of cortisone treatments, it finally resulted in arthroscopic surgery on December 3rd mainly to remove large amounts of arthritis. She also had some additional treatments of cortisone injections for rib pain. Carolyn’s brother Don provided transportation for appointments for both Carolyn and Mom Bonnell, and additional errands throughout the year since Carolyn had limitations on her driving. The excellent health care in Springfield, and the many kinds of help and visits from family and friends brought blessings to us even during times of difficulty.
SPECIAL VISITS: SUMMER – In June, we had a lovely visit with the Shaun Justice family. It was great to have special time visiting with him and the children, while Melissa spent a “Girls’ Day Out” with our Marci. In August – Dear family frends, Jim & Polly Prieto, visited with us all, and shared their musical talents with us. These dear folk date back to our years in the Philippines, and Mom & Dad Bonnell were their “Ninong & Ninang” at their wedding (godparents – who stood with them at the wedding). Through the years they have continued serving God with preaching, music, church planting, and much more.
FALL – On September 5th , we made our only “long-distance” travel, since this too is something that causes more pain for Carolyn now. We enjoyed a lovely supper with Marci & Gary in Columbus, and spent two overnights at a nice hotel suite. We were within a half hour from Shaun & Melissa, and so each of the three days (5th – 7th) we were able to enjoy some time with them and he grandchildren. In November, Mom’s Grandson Stephen and his younger daughter Kendall (almost 2) – from Maryland, surprised her with a two day visit. We all enjoyed the time they spent here. Later in November – Former students, and still friends🙂 – Nicole, Sarah, & Lisa came over to visit, dye hair, and enjoy lunch together.
WINTER – Carolyn had shoulder surgery on Dec. 3rd, was wearing a sling, and so couldn’t do much for the first two weeks after that… SO … during that period of time friends from church provided meals 3 times per week for us. December 11th – Nicole spent time doing extensive decorating for Christmas, and enjoyed sharing food and fellowship together. Then on December 18th, SURPRISE! Nicole, Lisa, & Lisa’s two children came for a visit bearing gifts and lunch. It was a fun time together! December 24 – Our annual family time of celbrating Christmas together. As always, we enjoyed the time with everyone.
ACTIVITIES: Carolyn and Mom Bonnell participated as much as possible in Ladies seasonal weekly Bible study, and in a special fall retreat for the Ladies and guests of Cornerstone. They also enjoy reading lots of books together here at home. Mom surprised us with NETFLIX so that Mike and Carolyn could watch movies on “Date Night!” Mike regularly attends the Men’s Bible Study at Cornerstone, and has added 32 Bible studies to his MPNHome.net website. Carolyn enjoys sharing personal news and encouragement with many friends on Facebook. Mom has a ministry of sending cards to many people for encouragement and for special occasions, and she does a lot of Email communication as well. For all of us in the home, it is very important to be consistently reading and studying the Bible to remind us of our need to lay up treasure in Heaven, and not to be pulled away by the distractions and discouragements of this present world. We want to be patient and trust that the Lord is working out His plans according to his perfect will. Whatever the new year brings, God is in control and Heaven awaits those who have placed their faith in the true and living God.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 (NIV) “We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
Have a blessed year in 2016!
Mike and Carolyn Justice