Today is January 8th. The first week of the new year is over. It was a rough one for me as I promptly came down with a sinus infection of sorts and spent a few days in a fog. UGH, feel like I lost precious time. But I digress. Today, I had a chance to get my house in order and sit down to write my goals. As always, I pulled out last year’s. I’ve already confessed that not many of last year’s goals were accomplished. Instead of scrapping them, I read them and renewed in my heart that these were the three areas I wanted to accomplish something in — Financial, Mind & Spirit and Healthy Habits. Under each heading there are one or two specific goals.
To strengthen my commitment to each category, I found Bible verses to go with each that would remind me of the goal. Each goal category and verse is written on a note card that I will see often.
Financial (core value: to be a good steward of all God has given) — Colossians 3:17 “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (the goal has to do with my work)
Mind & Spirit (core value: to be a life-long learner) — Proverbs 1:5, 7 “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Healthy Habits (core value: to take care of myself so that I can serve others and be the best version of myself) — I Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? You were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your Body and in your spirit which are God’s.”
Perhaps as a person of faith, adding the scriptures to my goals will remind me each day that while I am human and may not always have the strength or discipline to stay focused, I serve a God who is bigger and is ready to help.
So here we go…
#resolutions, #newyears, #goals
It is quiet now. His body is guarded in the tomb. It’s been a long few days. He said he would raise on the third day. We can count on Sunday coming, watch this– It’s Friday… But Sunday’s a Coming (Don Buck P Creacy)
Every time we find ourselves feeling lonely, betrayed, and hopeless, remember, Sunday is coming, again.
Blessings to you,
My Savior is dead.
Lost in a tomb.
Hands and feet scarred for my sake –
Yet I lay in sorrow for Him …I presume
I wander to his final resting place hoping for the unexpected
The stone cast away and my LORD nowhere to be found
All that was left were cloths that wrapped him
Are his words true, is this real, is it all connected.
Turning to see a man in flashing white saying, “Fear not!” Jesus has risen!
My spirit lifted and I was alive again
His words were true, and his ways righteous
For he is alive and living and no longer hidden.
Joy, hope, happiness arise from his grave
Hope and faith was given through Jesus our savior
Freedom from sin and death Jesus gave
He is alive and in him is no failure
Today is the day that Jesus conquers death
All creation can breathe a new breath.
— Cole H. Taylor
This morning in our Sunday school class (or Sunday morning Bible study, whatever you call it) we discussed a passage from Mark 10 when Jesus rebukes his disciples as they attempted to keep the children from Him. There are certainly many layers to this passage to explore, but the one that we camped out on was the fact that children have a point of view on faith and Jesus that we should value and pay attention to. Our children do represent future believers in our churches, future parents passing their faith to another generation, future employees and supervisors who will have a broader sphere of influence outside their home and churches. As parents we have an awesome responsibility to our children, to raise them to know the Lord personally and to carry their personal faith into adulthood. Allow me to take this responsibility a step further.
Not every believer is a parent. An individual who is a Christ follower may be an aunt or uncle, a teacher, a coach, or a friend of the family. These adults can have a HUGE impact in the life of a child. As I listened to the lesson this morning and I considered that many of the adults in the class were parents, I was grossly aware of the individuals who are not. But I know them to be investing in the lives of young people who God has brought into their lives.
I don’t often talk about my single parenting days, but during those eight years, the first eight years of my son’s life, I prayed for God to bring Godly men into his life. The prayer was answered in several ways – my brother who came to ball games and concerts; a friend from college who “happened” to be his Bible bowl coach and fifth grade teacher; a good friend who coached basketball and baseball; and the best of all, my husband and his step father who shows Christ to him every day.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” and He drew them into His arms. The children we encounter every day or every week need us to invest in them, take an interest and pray for them. To the parents reading this, be encouraged to stay the course and finish the race of parenting strong. When you are tired ask for prayer. As your children grow and become more independent, this is when the real-life choices come. They need you just as much to guide them through the worldly issues they will encounter, as when they were young and you made all the choices for them.
To the non-parents reading this, find a young person and even if you don’t have a close relationship with them, pray for them. Seek ways to cheer them on to a Godly adulthood.
All the best,
There are dozens of theories about how the earth was created, evolved or banged together. I believe in creation through the power and spirit of one God. But even those who agree with me have thoughts about whether it was six literal 24-hour days or it took thousands of years. To this simple-minded, non-scientific girl, I say, who cares? The story of creation gives us more to discuss than how long it took.
First of all, God created the world and everything in it in a specific order. An order that provided for growth and sustainment. Think about it, the light and darkness came before the land and the water being separated. The land provided for the animals and plants, the water provided for the water creatures and the water that land dwellers would need.
Then came vegetation. All plants and trees needed to produce fruit and food was water, light and darkness.
Then came the sun and the moon. So what was the light and the darkness before we had planets to attribute? Who knows? Perhaps the light and darkness came from the control God had over his own power. Knowing our limited ability to comprehend Him, perhaps God is the pilot light of the sun, set it in space and let it be our reminder of the giver of life. Nonetheless, he gave us the sun and the moon as physical reminders of when we should wake and when we should rest.
He then gave life to the creatures of the sea, air and land. These creatures that would later sustain his favorite part of creation, man.
And 26 verses from nothing, God created his most sophisticated creature, man. Man was created in their image. God put him in charge of all he created. Man, imperfect, but God’s most trusted creation. And to create balance and order, he gave man a woman by which to partner and procreate. It was VERY good. Then he rested.
It is good from us to search the scriptures and have healthy debate. But in six days or 6,000, God gave more than our physical world.
- He taught us order. Do things in the right order for greater sustainment. There is peace and harmony in order.
- He taught us that nature was important enough to create first. Take notice and respect it.
- He gave us structure by which we schedule our life; day and night – seven days. Be productive and create for six days and then remember Him on the seventh. Rest in knowing that God is in charge of the big stuff like the universe AND the little stuff like caring enough to know the number of hairs on your head.
Your thoughts please,
Every year folks talk about how busy the Christmas season is. They declare that THIS will be the year they slow down and enjoy the true meaning of the season. Good intentions. I’m guilty of it too. Every year I begin December longing to truly feel that silent night, holy night. And while there will be moments late at night, or in church on Christmas Eve, I don’t feel like I experience what I long to have during the holiday. I’m not looking for movie-like Christmas miracles, just a little deeper peace; an expectancy throughout the season seeking the coming King.
Part of the problem is the noise and clutter in everyday life. What if we made intentional decisions every day to remove the noise we can control? What if each day until December 25th we live expectantly? Unlike the shepherds and wise men, we have a date on the calendar. We know that we are going to celebrate the birth of Jesus. For believers, it is the birth of our King. The man who changed the course of history.
I don’t sacrifice for Lent. But this year, I’ve decided to sacrifice for Advent. I’m clearing some clutter and making way for the birth of the Savior. I’m giving up talk radio for Advent. No Dave Ramsey or Sean Hannity or NPR. My time with the radio on will be with music declaring the coming King.
The other decision I’ve made is to not get caught in the hurriedness. We will make choices about the most important activities and be in the moment; not worrying about rushing to the next thing.
How will you make this season special? Will you join me in living expectantly each day, choosing to prepare your heart and mind for the birth of the King?
This is absolutely amazing. Please take 4 minutes to sit quietly, eyes closed and let the message pour over you.