Wednesday, January 23, 2013

All Things New

I started a new job this month and when I told my friends, two of them responded, “what a great new adventure!” Instead of being anxious, I am trying to adopt their attitude and decided while I’m at it, that’s a good attitude with which to begin a new year.

God wants us to enjoy the adventure He has in store for us and the start of a new year is a good time to focus on fresh opportunities God may be leading you toward.  Like the pristine pages of the new planner I get every year, each January provides the opportunity for a fresh start in all areas of our lives. It’s a good time to review the last year and take a spiritual inventory. I like to start each January by seeking God and asking Him to set the agenda for the year, to reveal more of His will to me and to help me make the changes I need to make.  The interesting thing is that God has already remade us and will continue to remake us.  

2 Cor. 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  While the verb is in the present tense, the context reveals that God has already done this work, that through the blood of Christ, those who are saved have already been made new.  But since we continue to sin daily, despite our best efforts, Paul reminds us we can continue to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. And in Rev. 21:5: Jesus says, “Behold I am making all things new!”  That verb phrase is in the present progressive tense which means that He is continuing to do it and will do it until He is finished.

So this January, believe that God has made and is making all things new and that includes you!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Last year for my birthday I received a herniated disc in my neck but on the one-year anniversary of the beginning of last year’s health crisis, I am reminded of the health problems my Mom endured when she was pregnant with me. Her pregnancy with my older sister was a difficult one and doctors advised her not to have any more children. When she became pregnant with me, the situation was so critical doctors repeatedly encouraged her to abort me. They said if Mom carried me to term, one of us might not survive and if we did, I could be born with extreme mental or physical challenges.

Despite their dire predictions and the trials of ill health, Mom bravely carried me until January 16 when I was born nearly a month early. During her cesarean, a clot formed and lodged in her intestines and when I was six weeks old, she had emergency surgery during which the surgeon discovered gangrene had set up in her intestines. Mom’s heart stopped twice during surgery but God and the doctors revived her and the Lord allowed her to live with us many, many more years. So today, I honor my strong, courageous Momma who fought the odds and trusted God in order to give me life. May I follow her example and always live life with such courage and faith!

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jer. 1:5  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A God of Seconds

2012 was a year of firsts…my first MRI; my first visit to a neurosurgeon; my first acupuncture treatment. (That last one wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined).  Like my year, maybe you had some firsts in 2012 you’d rather not have endured.  But thankfully, God is a God of seconds.

When Jonah ran 100 miles in the opposite direction, he got a second chance to evangelize Nineveh. Okay, so he spent three days in a whale first. But he still got a second chance and because he did, an entire nation of barbarous, godless people were spared from God’s wrath.

When the angel Gabriel told Zechariah his elderly wife Elizabeth would give birth to a son, he unwisely laughed. His punishment was to be mute for nine months, but he still got a second chance—a chance to raise a son who would become known as John the Baptizer.  

And Paul the apostle? His sins to us seem the most grievous of all—he was a murderer who persecuted the fledgling church. Yet on the road to Damascus, God met him and after three years in the wilderness, Paul became arguably the greatest advocate of Christianity the world has ever known.

So no matter what firsts you have faced in 2012, look forward and know that the God of second chances always has a plan.

Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”