Looking Forward?

If you’re like me, there’s probably something you’re looking forward to. Maybe it’s the premiere of a long-awaited sequel to your favorite movie franchise. How about a family reunion where “everyone” will be there. Or it could be an appointment where the doctor says the tests are “clear”.

We’re looking forward to a family vacation. We’ve made many plans, bought the tickets, kept (and finally revealed) great secrets, packed the bags. Our departure is soon. So soon, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. It’s been a little consuming and I’ve become a little anxious about it. Of course there are great expectations. And hopes that there are no disappointments.

Memories will be made. There’s no doubt about that. Even if there be problems or trials. Romans 5 reminds us that even though those problem and trials WILL happen. But they lead us to something else, then something else, and finally…

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 NLT

God is fashioning us, molding us (if we let Him) to be more and more like His glorious Son. And that certainly will NEVER disappoint and is the greatest thing we could EVER look forward to.

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.