There's no doubt this has been an odd year. Just like tennis, the 2011 blog year started with love, a theme resonating throughout these past twelve months. Dr. Jeni Stepanek offered a mother's wisdom and shared her son's message of peace. Bruce Marchiano outlined his vision for a new Jesus movie he is writing, producing and starring in as Jesus. Just before fitness guru Jack Lalanne was called up to Heaven, he sent me an autographed picture and encouraged me to carry on. And I published my first book. Oh, what a year!
I wanted to give an honorable mention to my tennis teammates. We fell short of our goal to bring home a national championship. 5th place in the country is not too shabby. The road to the finals was incredible. We were known as "Smashin' with Passion." Along the way, we made lots of new friends. I also re-connected with childhood buddies from my old neighborhood and found missing classmates on Facebook. Sadly, one of my favorite friends from high school left this world after a three year fight with brain cancer. Ted Sandy, another former classmate I recently re-connected with is fighting cancer. In the midst of his battle, Ted is writing a guest blog about his faith journey to be posted soon. Ted is asking everyone he comes in contact with for prayers and will have surgery within the next 48 hours.
The highlight dearest to my heart from this past year has to do with a young man who told me he wasn't going to Heaven. The young man theorized his hatred disqualified his entry into Heaven. "You could spend your entire life doing good deeds and you wouldn't have enough credit to get through the door," I replied.
"Then how can I get in?" he asked.
"Jesus is standing at the door to your heart. He holds the key to Heaven. Let Him inside and He will lead you through the door. Not because of anything you have done, but because He died for your sins."
At the end of our conversation, the young man invited Jesus into His heart and asked Jesus to remain with Him forever. I asked him, "where are you going when you die?"
The year officially winds down in less than two weeks. 2010 was about hope. 2011 featured blog stories about love. And in 2012 the main theme will be faith. Thanks for keeping in touch and reading these stories. 2012 may not be an odd year, however, it will offer us a new set of challenges and opportunities. I look forward to discovering all God has planned for us as a new year unfolds. If you have a faith story you would like to share, contact me and let's get it posted on a guest blog.