Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflections on Resolutions

Once again a new year has begun.  I find it curious that such a fuss is made over the event.
It is as good a reason to gather with friends as any and that is exactly what Ray and I did last night.
We joined four other couples, most of whom we hadn't seen in a while, and visited, played games and actually greeted the new year together!  It wasn't but a few minutes later that Ray and I lead the exodus to our respective homes and comfy beds!

No one spoke of resolutions last night, probably because we all knew better.  I am certain that there wasn't one person among us who had not made a new year's resolution in the past to no avail.  Human nature being what it is, we resolve to do or change something, but often find it takes more than we have to sustain it.  I, myself, gave up on the practice long ago.

The turn of the year does offer a good opportunity to review the past year and look forward to the new one.  I have done so for many years now.

Papa and I spent some extended time together this morning and discussed where I am and where He intends me to head.  This discussion didn't begin today though.  It is something that had been brewing for quite a while.

When the Living God wants to get a message across He pulls out all stops and presents it from as many directions as necessary.  He has been doing this with me.

I do believe that He wants me to write a book.  Yikes! 
I vacillate between fear and confidence.  It all depends upon whether I am thinking I have to do this myself or if I am trusting Him to continue to lead me.

Before Ray's accident I had been sensing Papa's prompting and had shared the idea with a few friends.  Then April fourteenth happened.
For the past few months I have been, once again, sensing that the time was coming for me to get serious about writing. 
In December we had the joy of having a visit from a dear Russian couple.  The husband, Sergei, had written a book, but he had no idea that I was considering such a thing. 
One morning Sergei announced to me that he had something to say.  "When are you writing your book?"
It seems that Papa spoke to him about this subject too!
Sergei pressed until I made the commitment to begin.

The first step is a schedule.  If we don't set aside specific time and guard it, it will leave no time for any project we are prompted to undertake.
I am a morning person.  My mind is much clearer at the beginning of the day.  I also find it very difficult to stop once I step fulling into the day and it takes off.

The next step was to enlist my family's support, particularly the ones who reside with me!  They were very supportive, though couldn't resist a little humor.  Will I neglect them??  Will I remember them when I am famous??  Will the book become a screen play??  Ray's lament was that he will need to be out of bed by eight in the morning from now on!
Well, I do not imagine any fame will be finding me, nor will the book be something to be made into a movie!  As far as neglecting them... or Ray having to adjust his time of arising for the day...
It'll do all of us some good!

Each year I like to take time to receive scripture from my loving Papa.  The verses are to be woven into my life; whether they be promises or exhortations.  Often many of the verses are ones that are carried from the previous year.
The focus for this year will continue on worship of my amazing God and my identity and call.
He also gives me specific verses for my Honey, each of our sons, their wives/girlfriends, grandchildren and now our great-grandchild, Ariana!
I use these verses to fashion prayers for each of us, as the Holy Spirit directs.  Over the years so many specific answers have come that reflect those prayers!
How gracious is my God!!

Papa had me spend some time this morning in the later part of the fifth chapter of Galatians. It is the section on "the fruit of the spirit."
It would be easy to read this passage and then "resolve" to apply the principles.  That would be a mistake.
To attempt anything on our own is an exercise in futility! 
Now exercise is good and it is part of my schedule, but who wants to begin the new year in such an exercise!

However, yoked with our LORD and Savior, nothing is impossible.
With Him here is what I desire to see bear fruit in me:

Love - Receive the love He offers and then love Him back.  Then He will love others through me!
          Much easier this way.
Joy - This allows no room for cynism, which according to Max Lucado is "the tool of a lazy thinker." 
         Look to my God and then see through Papa's eyes.
Peace - I am forgiven!!   I have peace with God!!
        With that in mind I am free to extend that gift to others.
Patience -  To borrow again from Max - "no clenching of my fist in face of new challenges." 
         The only way to do this is with Him.
Kindness - Treat others as He treats me! 
         Not very possible on my own.
Goodness - Be honorable.  
         Many temptations can get in the way.

Faithfulness - Be trustworthy. 
         Keep eyes focused on Him.  He is the faithful One.
Gentleness - No battering of others or self.
         Keeping aware of how tender He is with me makes the difference.
Self-control - "I refuse to let what will not, rule the eternal!"  (Max again)

A big order without Him, but with Him, glorious things can and will happen!

How worthy is He of worship!

One of the verses from Psalm twenty-nine that He gave me this morning speaks of worship.
"Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His Name;
Worship the LORD in holy array."

Entering into and experiencing His Presence is the loveliest, most beautiful, most satisfying, amazing experience one can have this side of Heaven.
Seek Him and He will be found!   I believe that is one resolution that He will honor without our asking!!

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