Dear Friend,

I am sure you will agree, 2020 has been quite the year for different and disappointment.

Masks, sickness, unemployment, hand sanitizers, quarantines, face shields, election fails, lock downs, government overreach, uncertainty, awkward fist bumps, online church, unsocial distancing and toilet paper shortages– just to name a few.  It has all been quite a ride, and not exactly a fun one.  But despite all the weirdness and restrictions of 2020, as Christians we should always find evidence of common grace and as Jeremiah 15 admonishes us, “extract the precious from the worthless.”

So, as we begin to celebrate Thanksgiving, our team got together and just started to count our blessings and started a discussion to “find the good” in 2020.

So, to help us have a better perspective and a better attitude on giving thanks, we present some of what we have seen as good in 2020.  You may have a different view on some of these, but the idea is simply to help provoke us to love and good works. So, we present to you…

Our random list of good things that happened in 2020:

– Amy Coney Barrett is named as new U.S. Supreme Court Justice
– More dinner time with family
– Explosion & mainstreaming of home school and virtual schools
– Realizing we really did not need to travel that much after all
– Grateful to have technology in place when we needed it most
– Renewed appreciation for our medical professionals
– Telemedicine is sometimes faster and better
– Learning contentment and refocusing on what’s really important
– Rediscovering the art of cooking at home
– Growth of online purchase and home delivery of food and goods
– Zoom parties and celebrations when travel was not possible
– Huge increase in unchurched people watching church online
– Live concerts made available free online
– Learning to know our neighbors better
– Created Equal Movie, the life story of Clarence Thomas released
– Parental Consent before abortion passes Florida Legislature
– Rediscovering that the Church is people not buildings
– Discovering family worship, family alters, family devotions
– FFPC Annual Dinner with Mike Pompeo is the best attended and  most successful event in our 15-year history with no reported COVID outbreaks or transmission.
– Trail Life USA launched a nationwide Father / Son Backyard Campout movement

We are sure there are many more that you can think of.

It easy to whine and complain. But Christian maturity means we should also be able to find the good in even the most difficult of circumstances. Following the example of the Apostle Paul, we should also be able to praise God, even if from a prison cell.

So, we encourage you when gathering with family or friends for Thanksgiving either in person (hopefully) or online (if necessary) to ask the question what good came out of 2020 and to give God thanks for his many blessings.

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

John Stemberger

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