I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I love all the love that comes with the holiday spirit and I hate it because I review my good and bad of the last twelve months with a view to improving on the good stuff and maybe letting go of some of those goals and dreams that seemed so right this time last year. It’s a time to remember those who are no longer with us as well as to rejoice in new friends, new interests and maybe, just maybe accomplishing what might otherwise seem impossible.
As I’ve mentioned before, being more disciplined and consistent about posting here is in the top three for 2018. I love writing and posting. I’m not in it to sell anything or make it a business. My primary purpose is, and has always been to give witness and my personal testimony of Jesus work in my life. A secondary vision, especially in 2018 will be to prayerfully increase interest in studying scripture and teaching what I’ve learned in my studies. I find it sad that so many who are called Christians have so little personal knowledge or interest in studying what He taught and what His apostles and disciples spread throughout the world. Sadly, some accept without question whatever preacher, pastor, or teacher they follow is telling them without benefit of reading and studying for themselves. Indeed my hope is to encourage anyone and everyone to be Berean-Minded( Acts 17:10-12). Needless to say as I continue to tweak the blog, I hope you’ll share on your Twitter and Facebook pages if you find anything worthy.
While I do a lot of personal study I also have a few select devotionals and teachers I follow. My favorite is Chuck Swindoll and “Insight for Living”. I’ve always found his teaching deep and with practical applicable lessons for those of us in the 21st century. John Piper is another favorite and you can find him and an abundance of resources, many of them free at Desiring God website. Others include Richard Rohr and James McDonald. Click as you will for their websites. I find Rohr especially deep. While I am not of the Catholic tradition, this Franciscan monk has insight that goes beyond the basics.
My daily devotions recently changed and include the “Book of Common Prayer (1979) Daily Office Lectionary”. I found a website that provides the liturgy and worship for these readings and use Life Application Bible notes to gain greater understanding of the readings especially as it may apply to me!
Well, now you know a little bit more about where I go for outside help and direction. There are many others I read including Christine Caine, Beth Moore and of course my pastor Craig Groeschel! Again, I encourage you to drop in at Life.Church during the holiday. Our Christmas message and worship begins tonight and through next week!
I will be celebrating my first year of “winter season” as I now have to apply for Medicare… and it is good. What I’m learning (Yep.. ol’ gals can learn new tricks) is that much of what used to seem important even a few years ago isn’t such a big deal. In fact, there isn’t much that is except loving others, and serving God as He leads. As I grow older this truth becomes more and more apparent… the world needs Jesus! And it is up to those of us who follow Him to get out there and share His love.
As we anxiously await the day of His coming into the world, keep this in mind. Our duty as believers is to first, love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That means not just believing there is a God but doing what He says in complete obedience-relying on the strength given to us by Him in the power of the Holy Spirit that now lives in each of us. Secondly we are to love our neighbors-ALL OF THEM-as we love ourselves. Yes, that even means the grouch next door, the Muslim down the street, the immigrant who just moved here from another land. It means your boss, your co-workers and of course, your family!
I may or may not post before New Years Day… don’t know yet what the plan is. My beloved, in his Grinch-y way, will be working for his co-workers who have family for both Christmas and New Years. He’s pretty giving of himself for an unbeliever… and there’s always hope in my heart that our Lord will grab him where it counts-in his heart and mind! Me? I’ll be sleeping in the spare room or in the living room as he goes to bed earlier for these workdays. At midnight or right before, I read Luke 2 and worship and pray.
Until then, I hope each one of you has a very Merry Christmas and a most joyous and blessed Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to digging deep and wide into the Book of Romans with you!