Keep Improving

As I sit and reflect on this year I must it has been good, I’ve learned a lot, struggled with a lot and grown in many ways. I’m beyond grateful for the journey that I am on and look forward to where God will be taking me in 2017. While I’m not someone that believes in making “New Year’s Resolutions” because I believe we should all be constantly working to make ourselves better – I hate seeing the quote “A New Year, A New Me” don’t wait for the new year to change, work hard to grow and change yourself every day!

Here are my intentions for 2017:

  • Be more thankful in all aspects of my life.
  • Recognize where God our Creator is at work.
  • Slow down and enjoy life. (I have to realize my calendar and to-do list aren’t supreme)
  • Spend more with those that are close to me and that I love.
  • Give more and spend less.
  • Smile and laugh more.
  • Talk to God more.
  • Not get wrapped up with media.
  • Not let my professional life rule my life.
  • Notice the small things.
  • Write more.
  • Spend less time look at a screen.
  • Be introspective.
  • To listen more and talk less.
  • Be mindful.

And the list goes on…

As a good friend of mine says “The Best Is Yet To Be” … Bring on 2017!

Peace Be with You

Psalm 46:8-11

Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

This Psalm reminds of just how powerful our God is and provides us with words of comfort, hope and peace for the present day. I think of all that is going on in the world: poverty, crime, hate, unrest, political wars, food insecurity, homelessness, sex trafficking, terminal illnesses, need for healthcare, equal education, people suffering with mental illness or substance abuse, and many other terrifying realities.

I become saddened and overwhelmed when confronted with all of the issues of this world, but I am comforted knowing that our God is in control and is at work in all situations!

After suffering from an extended period of illness, German Church Reformer Martin Luther wrote the hymn A Might Fortress Is Our God based on Psalm 46. On the 10th Anniversary of him publishing the 95 Theses, this hymn was a comfort and reminder of the power God’s word held. The fourth verse reminds us of God’s power and presence among us in this ever-changing, broken and messy world – he (God) is exalted among the nations.

That word above all earthly pow’rs,

No thanks to them, abideth;

The Spirit and the gifts are ours

Thro’ Him who with us sideth:

Let goods and kindred go,

This mortal life also;

The body they may kill:

God’s truth abideth still,

His kingdom is forever.[1]

In the fourth verse I’m reminded of how “Be still and know that I am God’ calls us to quietly trust God and hold his hand as he leads us along the journey of life. I find hope in knowing that we serve a Christ of love and compassion that call us to love all who we know and to share his peace with those we love and don’t know.

This Advent season it is my prayer that we all will abide in God’s love and peace!

[1] Convention Press, The Baptist Hymnal, 1991