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Today I write my last column of 2018.

Some 50 times this past year, I’ve sat down on a Thursday morning to transfer my thoughts to written word. I attempt to compose something in these moments that might remind you that there is a God who is nearby, a God who cares about you.

Maybe, every once in awhile, I have intentionally pushed you, just a tiny bit, to think outside the box on an idea. Maybe I’ve made you mad (I hope not), maybe I’ve inspired you, maybe I’ve made you laugh, or remember, or dream or cry.

Mostly I tell stories to communicate my ever-evolving faith.

I do, some days, wonder what you’re thinking about my simple thoughts spilled out on paper. Some days I struggle to put a coherent sentence together. Other days, the words seem to effortlessly form intelligible musings. But each time, no matter the writing acrobats, they are offered out of love, love for the written word and love for the God who gives them.

God loves words, too.

When the disciple John began his personal account of Jesus’ life he wrote:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Words, in all forms and from various platforms, unleash a great power.

Words can incite riots that destroy peace and they can also paint a picture of what could be.

Words can inflict irreversible pain and they can also heal a wounded heart.

Words can inspire someone to push through circumstances that could paralyze their will and they can also loose secrets that hold one in bondage.

Words can invoke emotions long buried and they can also initiate dialogue about truth.

Words matter. They have the power to create or devastate. Provoke or diminish. Influence or demand. Awaken or desolate.

Words change the landscape of our hearts.

Jesus was the Word. He not only used words to teach or to encourage, but he was the Word who communicated by how he was born, how he lived and how he died.

He was the word on how to navigate through every day life loving the broken, the outcast, the lonely. He was the word on how to confront religious bigotry, how to elevate the value of people often overlooked, how to sacrifice unselfishly.

Jesus, the Word spoken into our world was, without question, the greatest power ever unleashed. The power of love gifted to mankind.

I pray for you today that as we walk into 2019 my imperfect and quite inadequate words would create an attentiveness to the truly good Word: Jesus.

Happy New Year.

Larry and Linda Kloster sponsor this column.

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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