Resolutions

On the radio, the other day, the announcer was asking listeners to call and : “Tell us about your most memorable Christmas” and there were so many folks calling in with stories. This time of year can be full of meaning and sweet memories. However, there are so many people who hurt so much more at this time. They wish it would pass quickly so they can pack away those memories for another year and move on with their lives. Each year, it seems to me, that there’s more busy-ness and less contemplation. And, when New Year’s Eve rolls around a week later, we are all making a resolution list and checking it twice. 

I like that we have a week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. But I like it because I tend to take time to reflect on the year that is coming to a close, wondering if I should have done something differently, or how I could have handled a situation differently, or even whether I used my time (God’s time) wisely. I also look back to previous years; walking through memories, and prior situations. Sometimes they bring a smile to my face; and sometimes, I walk through them in sadness for what once was or what could have been. For me, this is helpful and gives me a “through the telescope” perspective that I may not have had when something was happening. 

Gladness and sorrow, sunshine and rain, war and peace, love and hate… so many feelings turn on a dime depending on the circumstance.  Caught up in the circumstance we may become determined to plan our way out of the situation. We spend hours planning what we will do, setting goals for ourselves and for our families, re-thinking the plans, or changing our goals for the future that we miss what is right in front of us-the child who is hurting because of a friend; the grandchild who wants us to read to them-now; the neighbor who is all alone and needs to talk; the spouse who would like some uninterrupted companionship without a difference of opinion; the friend who asks us to pray. 

As this year is folded up and placed in the memory book, and the new one is opened before me; I would like to be able to look back and see that I did what was important in the eyes of the Lord. 

 

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

 

So, without making a resolution for 2012, I am resolved to look around me and see with “His eyes”. Maybe that will make a difference-in my own perspective if nowhere else!

May the New Year bring blessings, 

May it be all you hope it will be.

May you see what you are meant to see,

Know what you are meant to know, 

Do what you are meant to do,

And may your life be a beacon, 

To light the Way. 

It’s Easy—Not!

Ever wonder why it’s so hard for a child to be obedient? For example, my precious granddaughter has a really hard time staying away from sweets-even when they are removed from her ability to acquire them! The other day she was at her other grandparents with a large group of adults and, you guessed it! there was candy in several reachable places and it just happened to be the kind of candy she liked- a lot!

She had eaten several pieces, was starting to feel the buzz from the sugar and she started behaving rather poorly… you can see where this is going… she was told “no more”! But of course, she managed to sneak a few more bits before she was removed permanently from the presence of the offending sweets. And reaped the consequences of her behavior! Bless her!

Usually she’s a delightful child to be around and is a little Chatty Cathy (for those of you who remember those dolls- just smile); however, when she’s loaded up… she’s swinging from the chandeliers, squawking and talking like she has to use every word she knows in both an appropriate and inappropriate manner in the next 5 seconds!

Ok, ok, I’ll quit picking on her; but truthfully it’s a great example of disobedience at work. At this time of year, it’s easy to do things to excess and to justify them by saying “it’s only for the holidays”. But in doing so, we sometimes exclude the very things that God wants us to do and run around like chickens with our heads cut off.

This week, I felt that tug of the Holy Spirit and heard the unspoken request of the Father: “Stop watching tv in the daytime until Christmas”. It was a simple request, easy enough to follow, didn’t conflict with anything I wanted….

Hmmm…. so why is it I’m at day 3 and I’m already getting antsy about no tv? I don’t need it, or its “busy-ness”, it doesn’t provide anything other than entertainment, distraction, and a lot of useless information with a little bit of important info thrown into the mix.

I’m finding out a lot about myself, restraint, self-control, being still, and sitting in silence. I’ve gotten quite a lot done in these three days–so I should feel like this is going to be a cakewalk… NOT.

I’m the kind of person that wants to know why? how come? for how long? what’s it good for? and so, what’s in it for me?  Now the reasonable person in me can probably answer those questions without difficulty and to anyone’s satisfaction. However, I’m feeling a bit like I’m behaving like my granddaughter… overdosed and unable to break free of the distraction of the tv monster. So, God must really need my attention and because I know He has only good in mind for me… I have not turned the tv on.

Yet.

But I want to!

And, of course, He leads me to the verse I need  to understand why I’m not watching tv:

2 John 6- “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands”. 

I don’t usually pick and choose verses or portions of verses to read and apply, but today this little snippet stood out- it was just for me and just for today. Tomorrow is another day and there may or may not be a battle of my will against what I know I’m supposed to do. But I am confident, I think

Stay tuned.

Just When I thought I had it all Figured Out

Who am I kidding?    Myself!

 

I long for complete honesty, yet I myself am untruthful.

I long for companionship on a deep Godly foundation, yet I do nothing.

I long for grandchildren who KNOW God, yet I say little.

I long for a continual conversation with God, yet I am distracted.

 

I long for …. fill in the blanks…. yet in as much as it relies on me to…I don’t.

 

We fail in so many ways. We fall down, we trip over, we stumble, we cause others to stumble, we fake it, we want to look good, sound good, be good.

 

Be Good.

 

If I believe God’s word, and I do, none of us is good… scary thought, isn’t it. But I love how His word always gives the solution to the problem…He does not leave us senseless to our own devices. He gave us the Provision for us to be good, holy, clean. Amazing. Grace.

 

If you struggle with all of this and are at the point where you are past self-deception and realize that we’re all “bad”- you are not alone.

 

Take heart, His Provision is here!

 

At this time of year, we often think of the babe in the manger and push back the thought of this precious babe grown up, beaten, bleeding, nailed to the cross. But the same Grace that gave us this babe also nailed His Son to the cross to give us the only gift that counts- His Provision!

Gifts are to be given and accepted. Take the gift, grab hold of it, open it and wear it! It’s a perfect fit! Though the expression and word pic may be trite, the gift is not!

 

When you are singing “Silent Night” this year think of another song while you are at it. “Amazing Grace”

 

God is Good.  We are not. But, with the gift of His Provision…

 

” This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:5-10

TAKE THE GIFT!