Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

"God? What do you see when you look at me? Is there something you want to tell me? If you don't mind, I think I'm going to give up on this idea of 'hearing your voice' as a voice. I'm not charismatic, and I think, hearing a voice would freak me out. So, I'll go about this another way. I think I forgot about the Bible. It's Your Living Word. It's the way you communicate with us. I'm going to read it more often in 2008, but not because it's a book to finish, but because you have something to tell me through it."

And with that I opened the Bible to where I had a package of gum tucked in, which was roughly in the middle. Thinking I might as well start there, I set about reading Isaiah 38:10 ... "I said, In the prime of my life, must I now enter the place of the dead? Am I to be robbed of my normal years?"

Not liking where that was going, I turned the page. My eye was drawn to the following passages:
"The grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of our God stands forever."

And then? Then the best verse ever:
"He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in His arms holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with her young."

He will gently lead me and my young. He will hold my sons, His lambs, in His arms, close to His heart.

My kids are not with me this week; they're with their dad. And they are in His arms, close to His heart.

At 10:00 pm I went to CLA to hang with the pentacostals. I'd been to one of their New Year's Eve services before ... about 5 years ago... with Jack and Denise. Seems to me I remember it being OK. With no other options to choose from, I thought I'd go again this year.

If you're a single woman over 40, CLA was the place to be. There were quite a number of us, all kinda uncomfortable, each sitting at the end of a row near the back.

The worship band was young. There were 15 people on stage, none over 24 years of age I'd guess. Both male lead singers had those emo haircuts (long hair draped over one half of their faces, the other side of their heads all spikey) and great voices. We sang for an hour, mostly songs I did not know. "Hey! Want to learn a new song tonight? Is that cool?"

At 11 pm, three men shared their testimonies and were baptized.
And then Pastor Brent spoke.

I love the way God repeats Himself for emphasis. On Sunday, at Gracepoint, Bill Hogg spoke on Philipians 3: 12 - 14. Tonight Brent Cantelon spoke on Philipians 3: 12 - 14 - "Forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead." "Strive to be all that Jesus saved you to be."

Forget the past. Hallelujuah! Yes! Let's forget this past year. 2007 will not go down in history as my favorite year. But maybe I need to forget other years too? Or at least other dates? Like all those dates in December that remind me of sad things...

Look forward to what lies ahead. I don't know what lies ahead. But I guess I shouldn't dread it. Or worry about it. Or worry about it. I'm supposed to look forward to it. With joyful anticipation.

Strive to be all the Jesus saved me to be. He saved me for a purpose. His purpose. He has a plan and a purpose for my life.

When two pastors, one in a Mennonite Church and the other in a Pentacostal one, both preach passionate sermons on the exact same three verses ... and there's only one person (probably) who is in attendance at both services hears them - that person is bound to think that God really wants her to get the message. So, I'm to forget the past, look forward to the future and be all that God is calling me to be.


One other part of the sermon included this helpful guide to New Year's resolutions.
Here's the challenge:

Choose ONE THING to do in the following areas this year:

1. Spiritual Life
2. Relational Life
3. Financial Life
4. Time Life
5. Physical Life

Just ONE THING in each category. One thing that will improve your life. One thing that will help you fulfill your purpose. One thing that will draw you closer to Him.

Did you come up with any? If you're a blogger, post your thoughts. If you're not a blogger, leave a comment.

My ONE THINGS? I'm going:
1. To read the Bible daily with the purpose of HEARING from God, not just learning more about the life and times of the folks whose stories are recorded.
2. I have two things for this relationships category: First - to join a church that my kids and I feel at home in, where we will get involved and make new friends. And secondly, to be intentional in my relationships with my kids; as opposed to waiting for opportunities to connect/or reacting to crisises.
3. I am going to analyze my spending with the intention of decreasing the amount of money I spend on food. I am sickened by the amount of food we throw out because it's gone bad/stale.
4. I am going to try very very hard to be in bed by midnight every night in 2008.
5. I am going to try very very hard to walk for 20 minutes every single day in 2008 regardless of the weather.

I hope so.

Thank you internet, for being there (here) in 2007. Thank you for praying for me and my family as we went through a rough patch in November. Praying that all of you reading, have felt God's love in a special, personal way this Christmas season. Peace to you,

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Churches.
2. The Bible.
3. Wireless internet connections, laptop computers, digital cameras, 42" plasma TV's with surround sound, chocolate covered almonds, facebook, blogger.com, old soft nighties, DVD's, coil-bound lined journals, and new pillows.


1 comment:

raych said...

And to continue that theme:
'Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?'
Isaiah 43:18-19