Tag Archives: resolution

Genesis 1-2; Psalm 19; Mark 1

We used to live in a big field. The morning sunrises were spectacular and the sky seemed endless. If anything sang glory, that sky did each morning.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship. Psalm 19:1, NLT

Now we live in the woods, and I never really expected to see the sunrises because of the trees. I’ve learned to appreciate seasons in a different way living in the woods, and winter is no exception. I’ve even learned to love winter in a way I never thought possible. It is still and quiet, and the sunrises sneak up on me through the woods line–only visible because all the foliage has fallen away.

Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world. Psalm 19:2-4, NLT

Sometimes it takes a barren season and stillness to become aware of what has always been.

I have a friend who is like a father to me. He is eighty, and the years have stolen ability and freedom from him. He has long periods of time and stillness to reflect on life. He told me his lack of busyness has birthed wonderment in the world around him.

I praise God that in the winters of life, we can see something in a new way.

I try to find a connection between the readings. In Genesis, creation of heavens and earth, creation of all things and mankind. In Psalm 19, the glory of the heavens proclaiming God and his goodness, and reflection on the frail and faulty heart.

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
    Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
    and innocent of great sin. Psalm 19:12-13, NLT

And in Mark 1, a way is made, the first disciples follow Jesus, and Jesus travels a region healing people and telling them of God’s kingdom.

It is January 1, and I look at a new year with a mental list of changes I want to make. I can’t help it. Like the psalmist, I’m aware of the visible and the existence of the unseen–I know how sin wrecks a life. But Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to make a list of their faults and a list of how they proposed to fix it all. He just said, “Follow me.”

Thankful for a savior who is bigger than my mess.

Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you. You have the power to create heavens and earth with a word; you have the power to (restore broken relationships, heal the sick and hurting, make the impossible possible, change a heart …). Whether through your word or your creation, help me to seek and see you with wonderment.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

2 Chronicles 23, 24, 25; John 16:16-33

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:20-24

Last year I chose my ‘one word’, joining in with millions of others who decided to focus on one thing rather than make a list of resolutions that are quickly forgotten when life takes over. The word I selected was ‘perspective’; I was merely hoping to gain some.

Honing in on this word began opening my eyes even more to the different viewpoints I could have in every situation and circumstance. Simplified – I can look through half-full or a half-empty glass(es). I can look at things from the view of American culture or Kingdom culture. I can look at everything through my human eyes or choose to see the world through God’s eyes.

Though I gained perspective last year, in the midst of the insanity that life brought, I was caught up and bogged down with the day-to-day of life, the struggles, and the loneliness. I misplaced my joy.

So this year, I have been on a quest…quest to rediscover joy.

I am not just looking for a fleeting happiness in the moment (though being happy is most definitely a part of it). I am looking for inhabitation.

I want to be filled with joy regardless of the circumstance, regardless of the trial. I want to rejoice always. I want gladness to satisfy my heart. I want gratitude to spill from my mouth. I want to be delighted by my relationship with the Lord, and I want Him to be captivated by me. I want to take delight in the world around me, in my husband, in my children, even in my daily duties. I want joy to become my legacy.

 

Yesappa, You told me to ask, so, Jesus I ask for fullness of joy; that I may no longer focus of the sorrow, on the anguish of tribulation, but dwell in a house of joy that will never be taken away or lost. Thank You for being the joy of my salvation. Help me learn how to hold on to Your joy forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 66 Books, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, John, New Testament, Old Testament

Genesis 46,47,48; Matthew 23:1-22

His language slaps and stings. Did they feel it? Would they see themselves in His words?

Blind guides, blind fools, hypocrites … what sorrow awaits.

These religious leaders, who shut the door to the Kingdom of Heaven so that neither they nor their students could enter. Making converts twice the child of hell they are. Burden stackers. Spotlight seekers. What sorrow awaits.

“Don’t follow their example,” Jesus tells the crowd and the disciples. He didn’t say their teaching was wrong; he was talking about their example.

I feel the sting. The contradiction of word and deed. It falls on me, conviction.

I tell my kids not to load up on junk, but when they leave the room  I sneak Hershey Kisses from the freezer. I tell my kids to treat each other the way they want to be treated, but I’m snapping at them as I do so. When I (internally) fault a “sister” for her lack of forgiveness, I see my own unforgiveness as I hold an offense against her.

Do I want to keep on like this? Candy sneaker, edgy mom, hypocrite?

Just yesterday, a friend and I talked and the question arose, “Wouldn’t you want a friend to point out if you were headed down a bad path? I know I would. But I don’t know anyone who would want to confront.”

There is a friend.

Jesus says, ” … for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.” Matthew 23:10b (NLT).

I am thankful for God’s Spirit in me, to help, to convict.

While it’s a little late in the year to make a resolution, it’s not too late for change. Jesus, be my teacher. Today. For real. Show me what needs to change and help me to do it. From what goes into my mouth to what comes out of it, Lord, I want to walk alongside you and learn from you for real change.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament