Friday, December 28, 2018

Mining 2018

As the year draws to a close, we like to remember. We look back on they year with a mixture of fondness and relief. Remembering is important.

If we fail to remember, we can't evaluate our lives. We miss opportunities to learn and grow. Everyone has had hard times, and these times have much to say to us.

Here are some suggestions as we close out 2018.

Look at your life. 
Remember where you have come from and what you have experienced. Remember your successes and accomplishments. Remember your failures and weaknesses. Anticipate the good things coming in the new year. Recall your experiences as if they happened to a good friend. How would a good friend evaluate your year?

Learn from your life.
Look closely to see God at work in your circumstances. See how he has grown you up. Make sure that your suffering has meaning and purpose. Recognize the patterns in your experiences. How has God been preparing you for some new endeavor all along? What struggles keep coming up for you? How can God redeem that?

Live your life.
When you have a better sense of God's leading, you can move boldly into new adventures. It is so easy to maintain the status quo of your life. But God is calling you to something more. Take some next steps. Trust him to lead.

The year 2018 will wrap up in just a few days. Mine it for all the gold you can.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Peace-Stealing Lie

I'm learning to notice my thinking and to shine the light of truth on it. Satan loves to trick me, ever so subtly. I just discovered another lie that has controlled me way too much.

It goes like this: "You can't have peace just now. You have to wait until [fill in the blank]."

In my life that blank is almost constantly full. I have to wait until I arrive at my destination, finish a conversation, finish my daily Bible reading, solve a problem, complete a task, win people's approval, finish an event...  Of course the list is endless.

Then I can have peace...provided that the blank isn't immediately filled in with something else. Seems like it always is.

Here's the truth: I can have peace right now. Jesus came to bring us peace. "I have told you these things," Jesus said, "so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Here is a whole list of other lies that I fall for far too often: Lies That I Believe.

Monday, December 3, 2018

"Let Me Look at You."

What do you say to your kid, just before a big moment?

"Let me look at you."

You say that because you are proud of your kid. You want to affirm him. You want to encourage her.

And you delight in them. There is power in your gaze. You are not judging, not looking for fault. You are taking in the beauty, the power, the presence of your child.

It is a moment outside of time. You take a deep breath. Of course your kid has to cooperate. They stop, stand still. They look at you. You are together in heart and spirit. It overflows with joy.

God is saying to you, "Let me look at you." Stop and be with him. Feel the power. Overflow with joy.

He loves you.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Newness of Christmas

Everything changes when a baby comes into the family. Everything. Everything revolves around that baby.
  • Schedules
  • Meals
  • Furniture arrangement
  • Finances
  • Entertainment
It's all new.

With the coming of Jesus, everything changes for those who follow him. It's all new. It all revolves around Jesus.

Our Advent series begins tomorrow:
The Newness of Christmas
Dec. 2 New Hope
Dec. 9 New Relationships
Dec. 16 New Responsibilities
Dec. 23 New Love

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