As this turbulent year ends, it’s my fervent wish that we will focus our eyes on the future. Hopefully, we will not allow the problems of the past to take away our concentrated efforts to see and experience better days.

The mistakes and errors of the past must not dictate how we live moving forward.

I’m so glad that I know that trouble in life doesn’t last always. Behind every cloud there’s a silver lining. Christ has taught us that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We must know and understand that not one of us is deemed righteous when measured by the standard of God.

This is the reason that no matter what the problems of the past have been, we, as Christian believers, must strive to be peacemakers. Finding peace in the heat of any divisive situation is most difficult because we must be willing to take a long, hard, honest look at ourselves before we point fingers at others.

As our faults are revealed and truth is acknowledged and affirmed, we will know the right path to take. Martin Luther King Jr. said it’s always right to do right. What I know is that right always prevails because it’s anchored in truth, righteousness and justice.

Learning this was personal for me and it was difficult. However, I’m grateful that I learned and have been able to accept the fact that God’s word reigns supreme. All I will ever have to do is believe.

I have, in 2020, lost many relatives and close friends. For solace and peace of mind, I just remember that each soul that I knew and lost lived in such a way that they made the world a better place because they did live; I will strive to do no less.

To some, the days may seem dark, but sooner rather than later, the sun will surely shine. We’re admonished by the ruler of the universe to treat each other as we wish to be treated. Hatred is a sin, but love is a virtue. Love can, and will, bear the fruits of unity, peace and righteous justice.

As I rewind the tapes of 2020 in my mind, I see how far our community has come with making 2021 a better year. We can actually see the results of the work that has gone into the coming together of the community to plan for the replacement of our children’s schools that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Our students and teachers will soon enter “state of the art” buildings, designed for education and safety. Our community college also has benefited from the support of the community as well.

So, let us usher in the New Year with thoughts of reverence, goodwill and appreciation for all of the children of God. If we do this, we will survive any and every storm together.

The Rev. James E. Daniels is founder and chairman of the Eagles’ Nest community organization and the community liaison for the Texas City and La Marque police departments.

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(7) comments

Charles Douglas

Amen! Thanks for the community work you do now, and for protesting in the heat for better school conditions ..so many years ago!

" Who satisfied thy mouth with good things; so that thy Youth is renewed like the EAGLE'S." ( Psalms 103: 5 )

" But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as EAGLES; They shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." ( Isaiah 40: 31 ).

" Once an EAGLE; Always an EAGLE!" ( Daniels, J. E. ).

Bailey Jones

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I'm not one to put much emphasis on the passing of arbitrary dates, like January 1. But this year I feel an excitement about the changing of the calendar that I haven't felt in many decades. This past year has seen tragedy on a worldwide scale - a true annus horribilis. Much of the tragedy was self-inflicted - a result of our inability to learn the lessons of history, the lessons of science, and the lessons of the teachings of Jesus.

I think back to another annus horribilis, 1978. The oil crisis, an epidemic of serial killers, environmental disaster, Jonestown, political assassination, and my own personal challenges - my father's bankruptcy, my mother's cancer, an Iranian girlfriend watching her nation devolve into chaos, a sophomore engineering curriculum that was seemingly designed to break the will of the best and brightest of us. And I remember coming back to my dorm room after morning classes and turning on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and decompressing under his thoughtful attention - I like you just the way you are, he would say.

A popular meme these days is the Fred Rogers quote, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." And that's my takeaway from 2020. But, as adults, it's us who must now be the helpers, and it's us who must now carry the world through this long night - supporting our local food banks and homeless shelters, observing COVID protocols, not for our own safety but the safety of others, demanding economic and social justice for those whose lives have been destroyed by pandemic, unemployment, and racial prejudice. (And on this particular night - not launching flaming litter and hot lead into our neighborhoods in the name of "celebration", and having the common sense and common decency not to drive home after a night of drunken revelry.)

It's my hope that 2021 can be a year of healing, of redemption, of the reclamation of our world's never quite realized promises, and a year of a renewed effort to simply be a little better, do a little better, and treat each other a little better. I intend to try, at least,

A final Mr. Rogers quote - "How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us."

Gary Scoggin

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Charles Douglas

Amen Mr. Jones! You probably could not have written that any better than you did! That is one of those equal opportunity statements spoken eloquently and efficiently allowing the squirrels on the ground to feed off it at the same time the giraffes are chewing on it far above in the trees. If we all can just take a piece of what you said, and live it ..we will see great transformation began inside us! Great piece! [thumbup][thumbup]

Bailey Jones

My best to you and yours, Charles. I hope the new year brings us closer.

Paula Flinn

Peace, Joy, Love, and Gratitude!

Thank you, Reverend Daniels.

Happy New Year to All!

Jack Cross

Amen to all above reply's and hoping for a better 2021.

A point about the Rev. Daniels. I don't always agree with his solutions, but the Rev is a gentleman, and is a peace maker always working to make his community better.

There is one thing left out of todays conversation and that is I never see in these news stories about police shootings, is that we need to tell these kids, black and white, to just obey the police. I'm afraid that there is so much anger being built up against the police that some young kids may think they have a right to resist the police. That could be a decision of life or death. When I'm stopped I say yes sir or yes mam or officer, out of respect for the position. its such an easy thing to do.

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