File

File

Minister’s Message: Stand firm in our faith in the new year

We aren’t expected to do this life all on our own.

  • Rev. Karen Martin Tichenor
  • Monday, January 2, 2023 10:20pm
  • LifeReligion

So, how are you doing through the holidays this year? Have you been able to delight in the lights and colors, the smiles and treats? Or, has it felt like a heavy weight has been placed on your soul and you’ve done your best to endure and slog through?

I have been at both ends of the spectrum over the years. It is truly a hard thing to do, to let light in when darkness has become the familiar, a friend. Or so it seems when we try to do it all on our own.

For the difficulty comes from our believing it is up to ourselves and ourselves alone to let that light in, to turn our minds and hearts around to the good, the possible. But it is through the relationship in faith that the truth comes out.

We aren’t expected to do this life all on our own.

We have One who is mightier than we are who is in this journey with us. And that Being has the power to bring light into our darkness, to heal us, to help us see differently. To realize that every person is a miracle of God, including you, and this dark moment/season of our lives is not all there is. It doesn’t have to have the last word.

We have a new year in front of us. Right now it is full of possibilities and promise.

If you stand in your faith, in the presence of God, name two goals you want to achieve by this time next year. What are they? To be more at peace with yourself? To grow closer to God? Maybe do more frequent ‘random acts of kindness’? Help others more? Let go of fear and embrace more of life? Unlearn biases that are getting in the way of a more full life and faith?

Remember that whatever you choose to make a goal isn’t meant to be done solely with your abilities alone. In faith you have someone to journey with you and help you make the wiser, more compassionate and just decisions that will make a better world, a better you. In faith you have a relationship to help broaden your life and world view.

We’ve all been created with promise and hope. We need to believe this and dare to open ourselves to such truth (even if the world has told you differently), so that we begin to find a freedom from the past that has bound us.

Such truth allows us to experience a freedom that empowers the whole family of God to a brighter, more compassionate and loving place. A way of being that no longer does harm but builds up each and every one around this globe that we finally come to peace.

As the new year rings in promise and possibility, let us be found standing firm in our faith daring to love others as we love ourselves. Let this be our goal and gift together.

Rev. Karen Martin Tichenor pastors at Soldotna United Methodist Church, 158 S. Binkley St., Soldotna, 907-262-4657, Sunday Worship at 10 a.m., Soldotna Food Pantry Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

More in Life

A copy of Prince Harry’s “Spare” sits on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion office on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Prince Harry gets candid about ‘gilded cage’ in new memoir

“Spare” undoubtedly succeeds in humanizing Harry

The cast of “Tarzan” rides the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Independence Day parade in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Triumvirate swings into the year with ‘Tarzan’, Dr. Seuss and fishy parody

The next local showing of the Triumvirate Theatre is fast approaching with a Feb. 10 premiere of “Seussical”

This vegan kimchi mandu uses crumbled extra-firm tofu as the protein. (Photo by Tressa Dale / Peninsula Clarion)
Meditating on the new year with kimchi mandu

Artfully folding dumplings evokes the peace and thoughtful calm of the Year of the Rabbit

Mashed potatoes are served with chicken breast, green beans and pan sauce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Mashed potatoes for a chef

They are deceptively hard to get right

Photo 210.029.162, from the Clark Collection, courtesy of Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum 
Emma Clark feeds the Clark “pet” moose named Spook in 1981. At the urging of state wildlife officials, Carl Clark had agreed to care for this calf at their home in Hope.
Emma Clark: Becoming a Hope pioneer

For 50 years, Emma and Carl had been central to the story of Hope

A copy of “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” stands on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion office on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Coffee shop time travelers leave reader cold

“Before the Coffee Gets Cold” is the debut novel of author and playwright Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Josiah Burton and Jaylee Webster rehearse "Something Rotten" on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
School productions bring SpongeBob SquarePants, Sherlock Holmes to the stage

Nikiski and Soldotna drama programs prepare for April productions

Ultra-fast, protein-packed miso soup is a mild and comforting broth for sick days. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Soothing soup for January ills

It’s probably a novelty to have experienced my child’s infancy without a single sniffle

Adobo Chicken Floutas are topped with queso, sour cream, cilantro, onions and tomatoes. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Deep-fried New Year’s indulgence

Like many people, I used to make New Year’s resolutions every year