In North Carolina for two weeks in November we enjoyed the Chinese Lantern Festival in Cary NC. We also took Nancy Washington, Lisa’s mom, to see the Atlantic Coast and seashore for the first time since she’s lived in North Carolina.
We wish you all a Happy New Year! Tomorrow, we return to Malaysia, with hearts that are grateful for good times connecting with family and friends and hopeful for fruitful ministry in the months to come.
Word of the Year: The Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2022 was goblin mode, which I’d never heard of, and Merriam Webster’s was gaslighting, which I hope we all hear less of. I was intrigued while on a personal retreat last week by a prompt in the retreat guide to ask God for a word that summed up the previous year and one that expressed my hopes for the coming year. (This retreat guide was excellent and can be found here, and scroll down to the bottom of the page for a quick download.) My word of the year for 2022 was journey--if you’ve been reading these letters at all, that should seem a good fit! The word that emerged for me for 2023 was treasure. I hope to do better at treasuring the people in my life, listening better while I’m with them and expressing my care well from a distance. I hope to be like Mary and treasure the words I read in Scripture (Luke 2:19), and like the Magi who generously shared their treasures as an act of worship (Mt. 2:11). I hope to live in the deep knowledge of how much God treasures us (Ex. 19:5) and that Christ is the one in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). As you look ahead to the new year, I wonder if a word or phrase emerges for you?
If you are a donor or a Facebook friend, you already know that the book, Resonate, How to Preach for Deep Connection, came into print mid-December. If you haven’t had a chance, check it out here and consider buying a copy for yourself or as a gift for a pastor, campus minister, or seminarian friend. I stated elsewhere that you can only review a book on Amazon that you have purchased there. This is not true! I would greatly appreciate if you would rate and review it on Amazon. It’s quicker than you’d think—don’t feel a need to compose an essay. Two sentences would be great.
We’re so grateful to you all for your prayers and care!
PS: Below see images of our precious children during our visit with them in North Carolina: Becca and Avery with their dog Sierra. Mark and Leslie enjoying fall tree colors that they rarely see at home in Dubai!
Rich and Lisa Lamb