“For God has said, I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NLB
None of us get to choose how or when we will die. We only get to choose how we will live. NOW.
As if it were some magical flip of a page, we wake up on New Years Day with a new resolve. No longer in style to make resolutions, we now make them, but call them something different…new starts, new choices, and renewed desire to make some changes. Yes, in many ways they are resolutions but just by a different name.
It’s funny how the fresh page of a New Year gives us the courage to look at things differently. And, like most, I am looking at my life, my choices and the year ahead of me in a reflective way this morning. As I survey 2010 I realize it was one of the best years AND one of the worst years. It was bittersweet. Some of the relational things I have lived through were bitter beyond belief, almost breaking me down. Yet, some of the blessings I experienced are too beautiful for words, just a simple yet heart felt, THANK YOU GOD, explains the magnitude of the gratefulness in which each and every blessing was received.
Among honorable mentions on the blessings list are:
- The marriage of our son, Justin, to Janae. Mr. and Mrs. Brier were married in a beautiful setting filled with love on July 23rd.
- The celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary. For re-marriages and blended families you count it in dog-years, so 140 years together is amazing! And a blessing.
- The release of two books. The Faith Dare, which has surprised even me with it’s fruit in womens lives. I am blessed beyond belief in how it is challenging women and giving them a guide to go through for change. And, Beyond the Brady Bunch, our first book together, as a couple who not only survived the years of blending a family but now want to give others encouragement too.
- The engagement and marriage of our daughter, Ashley, to Austin. Mr. and Mrs. Jones were married with pumpkins and the soft sound of one of the first fall rains, on October 17th.
I will not mention the negatives, as they have been given to God and I am either walking through them with Him, or they are resolved. But just suffice it to be reminded that YES, Life is filled with the harshness of the bitter, and is also filled with the blessing of the sweet…and God desires to meet us at both places and walk us through. We can learn from both.
Onward now to a New Year. What will it bring?
We don’t completely know, do we? We might have plans, dates on the calendar, and ideas of where we are heading, but in reality we don’t really know. But one thing that I wanted to blog about this morning is something that each of us have control over, and that is the direction we take each day, infact, each moment.
Our direction determines our destination.
So, as we begin a New Year I am encouraging you to ask yourself where you want to end up. If you have a goal, what is the end result of that goal. And, then ask yourself if the disciplines and direction you are living out going to get you to that end result.
First Question: Are the disciplines you are currently engaging in taking you where you want to go?
This is a good question to ask ourselves regularly. At the beginning of the week, the month, the year. Why? because you don’t want to kid yourself. You don’t’ want to live a lie, to yourself. Instead, uncover the things that are keeping you from the direction you want to go, that are keeping you from your true goal.
Next Question: What am I doing that is or is not working?
Start with wherever you are and whatever you have, and begin exploring what is keeping you from your goal, and what you have tried that is not working for you.
For instance: I have tried many forms of “quiet times” before I came to a place where I realized what didn’t work for me. But, as I explored others methods, I learned things that kept me from completing my goal of making this practice a daily discipline. No matter what it is, diet, exercise, relations, finances, spiritual growth, ask yourself where you want to be…and be honest about what is keeping you from getting there.
There are 365 choices standing between you and the end of this year.
That’s all, just 365 days to choose to live towards your ultimate goal. If it’s health, you have a choice each day to make…eat right, rest more, exercise, pay attention. If it’s spiritual growth, you have a choice to make each day….pray, confess, connect with God, read the Bible, memorize portions and live them out.
Hey, where did you all go? Did I lose you? I didn’t say they have to be Big choices. They are not parting of the Red-Sea choices, but can be small choices. Little choices count too, perhaps they count the most.
Well enough for today. I am beginning the year choosing some new directions. But, to do that I had to part with the old ones. I had to admit they don’t work for me, and had to admit that though they dont’ work they are a direction I kept choosing. Now, as I realize that choice is a spiritual gift, and that free will, choosing God’s will is part of my spiritual calling and journey…I move into the fresh page with a heartfelt desire to by the best I can for His glory.
I must choose daily the direction that will get me there. And, when all is said and done, it will be His power that will enable me to end up at my destination. Still, God gives you and I the power to choose, and HE meets us at the crossroads of choice.
Happy New Year!