"Me" Is Out of Here in 2015

IMG_9611Happy New Year!
Resolutions. Do you make them at New Year’s? I have in the past, but this year—no. Why? I’m being honest with myself. I can make a dozen really great resolutions and that’s as far as it goes. They are soon forgotten. 
Or I remember them with guilt because I’m not following through. So this New Year, I’m planning a bypass. 
I prefer the Back Door Method. You know, when someone is watching the front door, you sneak around to the back and go in that way. Never happens to you? Er … okay. It’s also called a sneak attack, and it’s a method I often use to get around those things “Me” doesn’t want to do. 
You probably don’t have this problem, but the “Me” over here … has become a big stumbling block. Being my own boss in a home-based business, no one really tells me what to do, except my long-time best friend and confidante (we’ve been married forty years). But even with him, I can get by. I’ve weaseled out of a few situations in the past forty years. 
But “Me” can be rather insistent. Downright rude, at times. So, I’ve decided to give “Me” the official boot. Fired. Out of here. Bye-bye!
So what exactly is a resolution? A decision we make to change our lives. A firm decision. Resolve: firmness of purpose, a focused decision to better one’s life. Make a fresh start.
 
With that in mind, read this passage from 2 Corinthians (The Message):
14-15 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

So … back to that ole “Me” who’s causing all the problems—

The old life is gone—“Me” is out of here—so now, as the New Year dawns, I can move on and create and do the things that I am specifically called to do. I’m not totally naïve. I know I will have to resist “Me” from time to time. Someone as difficult as “Me” will not give up without a fight. But I know I am not alone in the struggle.
One of those things I am called to do is to encourage you. My daily work involves writing and some of that writing is given as a praise offering to God. My hope being: out of that praise offering, you will be encouraged to follow God’s plan for your life, as laid out in the passage of scripture above. And in 2015, move away from following what “Me” wants and follow what “He” wants for you. Because it is vastly more beautiful than anything you can imagine on your own. “You” are “His”—and when you learn to oust the “Me” in your life, nothing can stand in your way anymore. 
He has this.Make a firm decision today to give “Him” first place in your life. Listen for His voice and don’t be afraid to follow, wherever He leads you. No matter how many times you may have failed in the past. Today is a new day—a new year—a new beginning for “You.”

My prayer for you today is this: May your New Year come alive with possibilities as you realize the plans He has for you.

Photo of squirrel from MorgueFile

 

Happy New Year – 2014 – Anything is Possible

A friend of mine is lamenting Christmas. He didn’t get everything he’d hoped for. In fact, this entire year is ending on a bit of a sour note for him.
Several months ago, he made the difficult decision to follow his dreams. He knew the road was going to be rough. It was. The approach of the Christmas season brought anxiety, since he wasn’t able to give as he had in the past. His family “suffered.” 
But he is pursuing his dream. Each new day dawns with the promise that said dream will come true. He will accomplish what he set out to do. Like an inventor with a great idea, this man is daily transferring his dreams to reality. It takes work and tons of ambition to keep chipping away at the iceberg blocking the finish line, but he’s determined. And with that determination, comes doubt.
His lament is the voice of discouragement. I understand that. Many of us tend to let our energy drain out to the dredges during the final few weeks of the year. We simply endure Christmas, then try to drum up some excitement and expectation to face the new year. Sometimes we become so caught up in our own problems, we don’t realize that others have troubles, too. 
Maybe you didn’t make your goals for 2013, so you’re discouraged about the year’s end. Maybe your Christmas was bleak and fraught with worry. There’s nothing new or weird or unusual about that. Here’s what a certain preacher had to say in the Old Testament:

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,    the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—    the feeling of hitting the bottom.But there’s one other thing I remember,    and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.They’re created new every morning.    How great your faithfulness!I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).    He’s all I’ve got left. (Lamentations 3:21-24, The Message)

<img alt="" border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u87z6pO_Dng/Ur3gcUXnXhI/AAAAAAAAAvs/h-WCBTxArX0/s200/freeimage-5640458-high.jpg" title="© Peafactory | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images” width=”133″ />
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Get a grip on hope, because God’s promises are renewed every morning. Get some rest during these darker days of winter. Let God’s promises renew themselves in your spirit. As the days lengthen and the sun wakes the sleeping trees and plants and brings them back to life, you’ll wake up, too, with a renewed sense of purpose.
Most important of all, don’t give up. Stick with God––He’s all we’ve got left. But that’s like saving the best till last. He’s the Greatest and the Best. He’ll never let us down. His timetable may be different, but as long as we do our part, He’ll be there. 
What is our part? Faith. Believing in Him and in His promises. Believing that He sent His only Son. 
So for 2014, Believe. Anything is possible. You can win. You can make it. And what you’ll end up with––even if your hands seem empty––is a year’s worth of progress

Chalk Messages from God?

Most of us who believe in God believe He still speaks. Many times, He speaks through others around us. Especially when we need encouragement.

A friend of mine is going through a very painful divorce. She’s improving daily, but still has emotional ups and downs. The other morning she was walking in the park, which she often does. But on this day, she decided to take a different path.

She was walking along, struggling with her emotions when she caught sight of this:

You are perfect (so love yourself).

 Ok, writing on pavement. A message for someone in particular. But in her heart, my friend knew this message was for her. She walked a bit further and found another:

You are strong.

Once again, exactly what she needed. She walked on, praising God and feeling physically stronger. She could do this. She could overcome.

Shine bright like a diamond

Her day was getting better and better. If I know my friend, by now she was bouncing along and throwing her fists into the air, a big smile on her face.

Never give up.

Never give up. No matter what life throws at you, never give up. This has practically been my mantra the past few months and to see it written here for someone is proof I’m on the right track. My friend felt the same. She couldn’t wait to share it with her friends. Her heart overflowed with love and gratitude. Her difficult road just got easier because she knew God cared enough about her to include her in this message.

Yes, it was written for someone specific. A biker, perhaps. Someone pushing beyond their limits to improve his or her life. But these simple messages were in a public place where they’d be seen by many. It’s a message that’s meant to be shared. How many others received it?

I hope you receive the message. God does care. He sees what you’re going through and He wants you to make it. He wants you to overcome. He wants you strong so you can reach back and help others.

Thanks for stopping by!