Monday, November 26, 2012

Looking toward the end...Preparing for the Future

It's hard to believe that we are just a few short weeks from a New Year! 2012 has gone by quickly, each week it seems flies by just a little faster than the last. It has been a good year, not a perfect year, but a good year...a year that is about to end.

I'm excited about the New Year and all that it holds, but I want to end well this year, to make sure that all of my dots are connected, my wrongs are righted and that my heart is clear. It's important to me that I close out this year with a good attitude, after all, I will carry things from this year into the next year, so I want to make sure the things I carry are good bad baggage!

My daughters and I have accepted a challenge, we're going to read the Bible through together in 2013. I've given them some an incentive, if they'll read it through with me, I'll give them 50.00 each. they may have done it for free, but I wanted to put something on the table that would entice them a little, something that would make it a challenge. We're probably going to do it online, there are excellent apps for your computer, Ipad and cell phone, You Version is excellent, or the one I'm using, Bible 1 Year, each provide a one year plan to read through the entire Bible. It's important to me that my daughter receive more Word than a Sunday sermon, I want them to discover the wonderful world of God's Word, for them to hear Him speak into their hearts from the pages of the book that never grows old, that will never be irrelevant.

As we leave this year I want to follow the biblical truth of Hebrews 12:1-3: Do you see what this means-all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running-and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-He could put up with anything along the way: And now He's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.

2012 may not have been all that we wanted it to be, it may have included something we wish hadn't been, but it's not over yet...our best days are just ahead!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Sky Isn't Falling

I'm not very political, opinionated, but not political, I don't watch the news I read it online daily, bouncing back and forth between various news channels. This gives me a diversity of options and opinions to draw from. This past week has brought the conclusion to one of the longest political campaigns in modern history, but it hasn't brought an end to the frustrations and questions in the minds of many.

What I find interesting is the take many Christ followers have taken, as they recoil from the presidential elections and their opinions of who should have won and what is going to take place next. As I've listened to some of their conversations and read their posts on various social media outlets, you would think that the sky is about to fall. I read this week of the financial cliff that we are quickly approaching, of the deals that need to be struck, and of how we are barreling towards a great recession. In fact, as I was checking out at Walmart a few days ago a man wanted to draw me into his circle of opinion, asking what I thought about the election and what was going to happen next.

Here's my response: I'm not ready to proclaim the sky is falling and the world is about to end. There is a heaviness that comes on me as I listen to those declaring how much trouble we are in, and how difficult life is going to become. My friend at Walmart asked didn't I believe that things were tough, sure I do, my head isn't in the clouds or the sand, life is difficult, our times are stressful...but the sky isn't falling.

Those that believe in a rapture will begin to declare that Jesus has to soon return, some even saying that if He doesn't, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah, to which I say, say what? God has to apologize for what? They messed up, He gave them an opportunity to fix it, they refused, and He judged them. Since when does God work according to our way of doing things? The times we live in declare the nearness of Christ's return, they loudly proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand, that the day of the Lord is a day of darkness, and we, particularly the believer, need to check up before we check out!

My comments to my friend were simple: The Word of God says that the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof and all that dwells therein. That means me and you, it means that God isn't surprised by the outcome of the election and the financial cliff we're approaching, it also means that He has a plan, and as always, will provide and protection His family. If only we are able to trust God for our eternal souls, but unable to trust Him with our natural lives, then we have forgotten a simple truth: God is either in control of all or not at all.

Before some write me off as a heretic or as a spiritual zealot with my head in the sand, I believe we live in difficult end time days, but Jesus told us these days would come, and His message was not one of fear, but of faith. The greatest days for the church are before us, we are transitioning into the time of the Kingdom, the Kingdom is within us, it is now, and it is near. The Kingdom has come, will come, and is here within us. So rather than proclaim the sky is falling, I'm proclaiming the King and His Kingdom are coming!