Thank God for getting you through ’22, and try some new firsts in ’23

Published 3:00 pm Sunday, January 8, 2023

Hi, all. Just a thought to help start your weekend.

If you are reading this, then you somehow survived the year of 2022. You may possibly be wrestling with thoughts of how to go forward in 2023. I would like to offer a suggestion or two.

First of all, instead of complaining about all the tough, terrible, discouraging, and painful things that you experienced last year, try thanking God that He brought you through every single one of them. Think back on every blessing, every new friend, every smile made or given, every opportunity you had to share the love of God with someone else. Did you give it your best? If not, then may this year be your year.

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I’m one of those folks, especially around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, who enjoy and appreciate my same-old year-after-year routines. The same goodies, the same decorations, the same gatherings, in the same places. However, this year I decided to try a couple of new things. I enjoy baking. And I enjoy simplicity. So, I found a couple of simple recipes and tried my hand at them both for the very first time. Take a look at the photo to see my first-ever homemade pecan pie and cheesecake.

Even if I did make them, my family members said they tasted good. I’ll make them again. I’m glad I tried two new “firsts” this year. And in 2023, I intend to make a point to attempt some other new “firsts” as well.

For you, 2023 may be the year for you to trust in God for the first time. You can give Him yourself, warts and all, and let Him ‘bake’ something good from your mess. Or, this may be the year for you to retire and finally relax for the first time in a very long time. You may attempt a new job, move to a new home, get married, or yes, even bury a loved one. But in each of those ‘firsts,’ the Lord promises us good things will come. And everything will somehow bring glory to God.

My challenge to you – and to myself — is to try some new ‘firsts’ this year.  Make this the first year in a long time that you’ve really looked forward to. Put Him first in your life, and what a difference it will make! After all, there is that one ‘first’ that makes it all worthwhile – “We love Him, because He first loved us.”

May I be one of the first to wish you a blessed new year.

Just a thought.

Rev. Brad Campbell can be reached at