RESOLUTIONS!???

How are those New Year resolutions working out for you?  I know.. on January 1st you had the best of intentions to keep them.  Same here!!!

Are you hearing people say “I can’t believe it’s the year 2018 already.”  Well, I heard the year 2020 mentioned on TV the other day and I thought…that’s way off.  No it’s not!!!  Space movies in the 70’s and 80’s hovered around that year.  Ha!  That’s only two years away, and you know how fast those years go!!!

Now, let’s get down to the issue of broken new year resolutions.  We all do it!  Maybe we don’t speak it, but if you’re honest you’ll admit that the “clean slate” of a new year is appealing.  “If I can just change one or two things about myself this year, I’ll be happy.”

I looked up resolution in the dictionary and there are six definitions.  The first one is: ‘the act of resolving or reducing to a simpler form.’  Ha! That’s one of my year after year resolutions…to reduce to a simpler form by 20 pounds!!!

The next definition I am sharing with you comes under the word resolve which has ten meanings.  The ninth one is: ‘to make up ones mind; arrive at a decision, or a fixed determination.’

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Now we’re getting to the resolve that really matters for eternity.  When you come to faith in Christ, you make a decision to do so.  As you grow in your knowledge of God and His Son by reading His Word, you find that His ways are past finding out.  You find that since you live in a sinful world that life is not always easy.  There are times when you feel like giving up.

That’s when the word resolution has spiritual meaning.  If you have committed your life to Christ, then it’s your choice, your resolution or fixed determination to never forsake Him, no matter what.  So I implore you to keep on, keeping on with Christ.  That’s the best resolution you can make day after day, year after year.

Romans 8:35,37-39  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

song….”I have decided to follow Jesus… no turning back, no turning back.//The world behind me, the cross before me….no turning back, no turning back.// Though none go with me, I still will follow….no turning back, no turning back.”   

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It Takes A Second To Wreck It

The Beastie Boys have a song that says, “It Takes A Second To Wreck It, It Takes Time To Build.”

This is so true. It took years to build the twin towers. And it took a second to start the collapse that would take lives and change America and the world forever. In a half hour that first tower collapsed. It took minutes, seconds, to destroy something that took so much hard work, money, sweat and years to build.

Think of the time it takes to build a house. And the time it takes a wrecking ball to crash through it.

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This can happen in our lives as well.

For example, a physical injury. An athlete can be in top shape, working hours a day to maintain the proper fitness and nutrition to make their body perform at its peak. Then one misstep can blow out a knee that puts them out of the game for months. They will have to have surgery, then rest and heal and go through painful rehab in order to get back to their playing shape.

I have personally had injuries like this. I worked hard every day to be at my best, only to find myself collapsed on the floor in pain and put on the injured list until I could heal.

In this life many things can happen to us that are beyond our control. There are accidents and there are outside forces that occur. We must deal with these and work to recover.

But many of these are caused by our own choices. One bad choice can cause days, weeks, months, years of pain and recovery.

We can also tear another person down with just a few choice words. Our tongues can be sharp, and they can cause damage that takes a long time to reverse. We may lose someone’s trust in one moment, making one bad choice. It may take years to rebuild that trust, and even then that relationship may never be the same.

Let us always keep in mind that it takes time to build a strong foundation, a strong relationship, a strong body and mind…it takes seconds to tear them down. Let us be diligent and mindful of this. Let us always consider our choices and the consequences they may have before we speak or act.

Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

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Work Smarter, Not Harder

In just 9 days I will be 40. The past few months of approach have been interesting and I have vacillated between panic and disbelief, and the promise and power of what is to come. Finally, I have settled into the promise side and I am ready to embrace the beginning of a new decade.  

The approach to this milestone causes great reflection and somehow life focuses into proper perspective. It seems that the one way I can sum it up is, to work smarter, not harder. We’ve all heard this, but it seems like we don’t actually do it. I think it applies to life in general.  

I am happy to oblige you with an amusing example: 

Every summer I put up a small pool in my back yard to help beat the heat of the southern summer and to give my little doggie a place to get exercise. Lacey and I, and occasionally a friend or two, really enjoy that little oasis.  

Of course I have lounge rafts to float on. Lie back, relax, soak up some sun, enjoy a cool drink. AHHH. Lacey even has her very own float.  

When the end of summer rolls around, it is always sad to tear down the pool. Once it is down, I am left with all these floats to deflate and pack away for the season.  

Normally I use my manual pump, reverse the valve, and work myself to death to get all the air sucked out of those pool toys. This is a lot of work, it is frustrating, and it is a time suck.  

This year it finally occurred to me that I should just open the valves and let them sit there a few days. Sure enough (DUH) they deflated almost completely on their own, and all I had to do was give it time and let it happen naturally. It then only took a small effort and a few minutes to deflate the floats enough to fold them and properly pack them away.  

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Why had I spent all that time in frustration all those years working harder when I could have just worked smarter to accomplish the same goal?  

Time is an asset, but we seem to let it control us.

Perhaps rather than scheduling ourselves to death, we should leave some time for spontaneity, creativity and progress. Perhaps our list of tasks really aren’t as important as we think they are, and some of them should be treated with less stress and more patience.  

So, let’s stop working ourselves up into a manic frenzy trying to force things that should be cultivated and left to grow or dissolve organically. In this day of instant access to everything, let us remember that good things take time. That good things deserve time. Let’s remember that the most important part of life is that we don’t waste time, but use it to our advantage to strengthen ourselves, others and our relationships with God and one another.  

The challenge: To keep that “To Do” list but to make sure it doesn’t control you. Let your love for yourself and others take the wheel.

Take back your life and let time work for you rather than against you. 

You are only promised right now! Make the most of it!  

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12 KJV

 

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