What’s in a gift?

We just finished our birthday season. It begins (I like to think) in September, with my birthday. Then it goes month-to-month with 3 of my children, a two-month break after the new year and resumes with my first-born, and finally my wife in April. We have fun celebrations with family and friends and we always eat really well. Really well.

Many thoughtful, special, even needed gifts are given to the honored individual. Each of the gifts are given out of the resources of the person giving the gift. Almost an extension of who they are, what they have. Sometimes you can know who gave the gift just by looking at the wrapping, and sometimes the contents. Continue reading

What’s New

Well it’s that time of year again: time to ask “what happened to 2015”; time to correct yourself every time you write the date; time to start/quit/fix something. I’d like to start getting up earlier to exercise, quit being lazy about it but I need to fix my feet first. Why do we wait for something monumental to happen before we make changes? Yes, some things need to be planned out. There are times to set aside a date for special occasions. Everything can’t be done at a moment’s notice. But here are some simple things to grow in: faith, hope, love.

There is a song I enjoy listening to, especially around the New Year and I’d like to share part of it with you. It’s called New Year’s Day by Carolyn Arends.

I buy a lot of diaries / Fill them full of good intentions / Each and every New Year’s Eve / I make myself a list / All the things I’m gonna change / Until January 2nd / So this time I’m making one promise

This will be my resolution / Every day is New Year’s Day

One more chance to start all over / One more chance to change and grow / One more chance to grab a hold of grace / And never let it go

© 1997 running arends music

This song teaches me that when I’ve fallen back to old ways, not followed through, or just keep procrastinating, there’s no need to wait for something big to happen. Just start again, right now (1 John 1:9).

And if you haven’t yet, Gods’ gift of salvation is for you to receive, today. Even right now.

“For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2

“Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Look, I am making all things new!” Revelations 21:5

So, what’s new? Everything.

What’s in store?

What happened to you this past year? What was most memorable? New baby? A loved one’s passing? Struggles at work, home? Health failing? Reunited family? Whatever you’ve been through has had a purpose. Did you sense God in the midst? Whether you recognized Him or not, He was aware of your situation. He was waiting to see you through it. To cheer you; to comfort you.

I know it’s easier to praise God in the times of feast; but what about famine? Job said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21 NLT.

One song that I enjoy and reminds me to look to God in all situations is You Are With Me:

Standing here looking at this mountain
Wondering how I’m going to make it
Still I know you’re the rock of ages
Never shaken, always true

You are with me, You will never let me go
Through the calm, through the storm
I am always in your arms
You are with me, You have promised to remain
Ever strong, faithful one, There is healing in your arms
You are with me

Darkest nights will not stay my story
Holding on knowing you are for me
Yes there’s pain but I can see the morning
Joy is coming, hope is here

I won’t let this pain silence my praise
I won’t let this fear quiet my praise
I will trust in you through every day
I will trust in you, I will trust in you

© Seacoast Worship 2012 

So, what’s in store this next year? Only God knows. But who else would you trust with your life? Let’s praise God this year through thick and thin!