And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Turning the Page
The calendar turns from one year to another
Old man winter bangs on the door
looking for entrance, my mood to smother
its coldness in bleak, muted tones I scorn.
Because fires delight in the hearth
dances upon teary retinas and heart
reflecting on memories of days gone by
relief such a year has ended in a quiet sigh.
And here under the warmth of soft blanket
I close my eyes in serene peace
thanking my Lord for this quiet moment
surrounding this new year in contemplative relief.
Joyful the heart that keeps focused on Jesus
each moment of life lived in obedience
peace comes in walking hand-in-hand with my Savior
in prayer with thanksgiving my soul is at ease.
~Marcie Warner Bridges
All Rights Reserved.
I found a stack of papers tucked away in the back of my Bible cover. Notes I had taken over the past year I had forgotten about. Among them, I found this poem I had written. I’m not even sure when I wrote it. But it spoke to my heart this afternoon in a way I’m not sure I can explain.
It’s weird how we write things down then forget about them. I don’t remember writing this, yet, God kept it waiting in the wings for me to find one day when I would need it the most.
Last year my word for the year was obedience. Well, actually, obey. Same thing? As I contemplate on the past year, I realize I didn’t really keep it in my heart and mind. I forgot about it.
Oh, there were occasions God brought it back to mind. Many times he nudged me through devotions or something I’d read online. Maybe even a simple Bible verse.
Yet, I would walk away from those encounters and completely forget about what I’d just read.
Does this mean I was never convicted? By no means. But one must be careful to make the distinction between guilt and conviction.
Guilt means we are condemning ourselves of something. Conviction is God shining light on something in our lives that needs changing. Guilt often leads to impulsiveness (like digging into food or going on a shopping spree to try to assuage our guilt). Whereas conviction should lead to repentance and change.
So in this moment I can feel ashamed and guilty over things I disobeyed God with, or, I can repent and refocus on God and His word. I change those things and am able to fully live in Christ.
Many years ago my mom and I did a duet in church and the song lyrics to the chorus say:
Fully alive in Your Spirit
Lord make me fully alive
Fully aware of Your presence Lord
Totally fully alive.
I’m not sure what, if any, word will become my focus for this year. In fact, I only wrote down one single ultimate goal: To be closer to Jesus at the end of this year than I’ve ever been before. To fully aware of God and living in the joy and peace of His presence.
Last week we talked about planners and goals. (You can read that post here). I have the planner, now I need to fill it in. So I will begin with my #1 goal: To be closer to Jesus. To fix my eyes on Him. The next step? Figuring out the mini-goals underneath it and how I will implement them.
I know I can’t make any plans until I spend time with Jesus and getting my heart right with Him. Then I can work on my planner. I can’t wait to get started!
How about you? Did you make any goals this week or this year? Do you have a word for the year? I’d love to hear about them.
From My Heart to Yours,
Fireplace picture my own. Joy and Organizer pictures courtesy of www.pixabay.com