Happy New Year!

Today is not only the last day of the year, and the decade, but it is my son’s 21st Birthday! Happy Birthday Stew!

I’m reminded that The Lord did not say we would be free from trouble in this life. On the contrary, he said we would be persecuted for our beliefs and our stand for what is right and righteous. It’s a small price to pay for life everlasting is how I look at it. The “real” world is not as we see it here. What we have here on earth is governed by the Prince of the Air. Our enemy Satan has dominion on this planet over many things. But, take heart, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!

How does this (our faith) play out on a daily basis in our lives? How do you actually get the rubber to hit where the road is? It’s not easy. I have to admit first that I am far from perfect. As Paul says to the Romans: “The things I want to do, I do not; that which I do not want to do I do over and over. Oh what a wretched man am I!” But again, it means that we will never be perfect in this life, and that we must accept our imperfections as did Paul, his “Thorn in the flesh” as he called it, and realize that Christ is just making us dependent upon Himself. That’s the real goal, not to be independent (“Captain of my own ship”), but dependent on the power of a risen savior on a daily basis.

I say all the time that it is a journey and not a destination, this is what that means: Coming to grips with the fact that we are dependent on His (Jesus) power and not ours. We are broken vessels, jars of clay, with lots of cracks and so on. But, if we let Him pour His spirit into us, then His light will shine through those cracks, and His light can bless others through us.

A lot has happened this year, and not much, both at the same time. I’ve discovered something about myself, that I only want to follow Jesus, nothing else. I’ve discovered I care little for the things of this world anymore. I care only about relationships with Jesus and with others. That’s the bottom line. Serving Him means helping others to grow in their knowledge and relationship with The Lord.

I started writing a blog this year as an exercise to help me find where I was going, and it worked it seems. It led to writing a book about my daddy, my earthly father. One that I am still working on. What I have written so far about my father is good stuff, but I started to write one chapter about him that included much of the bad stuff, at least the bad things I remember about him. I realized something though, and this is important: I chose a while ago to let all those bad memories float out to sea with his ashes, and that’s what I’ve got to do (again).

So, in that light, I need to rewrite that chapter permanently, both on paper, electronically and in my heart, so that it remains empty. I will publish it in the book that way, with that same explanation. It’s important for us all to realize we have the power over good and evil, if nothing else, to forgive those who have “wronged” us, or trespassed against us. The Lord commanded us to do so, therefore, that’s what I will do.

The commitment to forgive others, is similar to the commitment to Christ, it’s a daily thing. I must take up my cross and bear it daily. That means renewing my relationship with Him daily, each and every day. It’s something the Bible says that doesn’t make sense to folks if they aren’t saved: Each day is new. In Alcoholics Anonymous they say “One day at a time.” It’s a similar thing, it means all you have is today. You are not the sum of your accomplishments in other words, your character is how you will act today in the face of adversity, not how you reacted yesterday.

May God bless you all richly in this coming year!


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