Tag Archive: new year


The Best Laid Plans…

…of mice and men often go awry.” (Robert Burns)

or, as someone else once said, “The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.” (Prov. 16.9). 

All too often, people think they have all their life mapped out, and that from the time they are old enough to make plans until their death, they will have total control over all they do and accomplish. We can barely get through a week without changing our schedules, yet we are expected to embellish on our 5-year plan as soon as we get out of college.

Graduates are told, “Follow your dreams. You can do anything you put your mind to”, then they find themselves in jobs only marginally related (if at all) to their major. But is that the end of the world? People panic when something in their life goes in an unexpected direction. Sometimes, though, a detour is the only way to get to your destination. (Tip: Read “On Target’s” post) And sometimes, it is by taking the scenic route that you realize that is where you were meant to be all along.

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs from North Carolina to Virginia and is known for its views of rugged mountains and the Appalachian Highlands.

Why should i panic, like a child who cannot have what he or she want’s RIGHT NOW? All that goes on in the world, throughout history is exactly that…

God has planned all that will happen, and we need to realize that our great deeds and accomplishments are not the main focus of the universe. We try to become more than we are, when we ought to be “content to fill a little space if thou [God] be glorified” (Anna L. Waring)

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Be Still

Let’s start the new year talking about stress…

Did you know:

  • Work stress causes 10% of strokes?
  • 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments?
  • It is estimated stress increases your risk of
    • Heart Disease by 40%
    • Heart Attack by 25%
    • Stroke by 50%

(http://www.stress.org/stress-is-killing-you/)

We enter a new year filled with excitement of all that can occur in the upcoming 12 months, and rightly so! But we may worry as well-there are so many unknowns that may flood our minds, and the anxiety about the future adds to the stress we have on a daily basis. While we may have a number of valid concerns on our minds, we often get all worked up over things that are nothing more than what MAY happen.

It is distressing how stress is so ingrained in our society. It seems companies are most “productive” when they keep their employees under the gun to get projects done by an arbitrary deadline. We hear “I need that done yesterday!”, then chaos ensues and our blood pressure goes up.

And somehow this is perfectly normal in our culture; everyone is stressed, everyone is rushed. We need to stay moving and we need constant noise. You know the horror that everyone experiences when there are even 12 seconds of silence on the radio. We have music at home, at work, at the gym, at the store. If it were quiet, what would happen then? We would end up lost in thought, and i use “lost” literally. We would not know what to do with ourselves, or which way to turn. But that is exactly what we need-we need to stop, and think, because we were given direction to our thoughts, if we only listen.

We are told “Be Still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10) God speaks to us, not in some thunderclouds or hurricane, but in the stillness, as we read His Word. The problem is that we have become to loud and too busy to have time to listen to God. We are like little children, with our fingers in our ears, shouting over our parents’ voices.
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So what will it take to change? God has so much to tell us, but we need to listen, to truly hear what He has to say. Let’s put down the screens, and pick up a Bible. Turn down the volume, and just

BE. STILL.

New Year-New You!

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As we begin 2014, there are all sorts of commercials for diets, clothing styles, and more designed to bring out the “new you this New Year!” Seeing some of these things got me thinking, “Is there a way people can really become new?” Obviously, changing your style, diet, or activity level does not make a changes to your actual identity. You will still be the same person, even if you change the words on your birth certificate.
Well, in the Bible there is a verse that addresses our spiritual “identity crisis”. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” So, somehow we become a new creation in Christ Jesus. The problem is that most of humanity does not see their need to be made new. They see no need to become a new person- New Year’s or not. In speaking to some people, many have responded to the Gospel with “Christianity is a crutch, and those who believe in it are weak.”

Well, last summer, I was trying to be daring in my wheelchair. I tried to jump a curb, and mistimed the jump, quickly snapping my front wheel clean off, and ending up on the patio. If someone had come up and offered me a new $4000 wheelchair, what would you say to me if I said, “Are you kidding? You’re trying to give me a wheelchair?! That means admitting I can’t walk on my own! I’d never stop so low!” I hope you would show me my arrogance and foolishness! But that is what we do when we think we are “too good” to accept the only means to become a new person.
The Bible says we are “dead in our trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:5) . DEAD. However, Christ, “The Great Physician” is able to make us alive again.

But How?

In Ezekiel 36, there is a verse that says, “I [God] will give you a new heart…I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and will give you a heart of flesh.”
No matter what you do to a rock, it will have no response, and will not do what you want it to. As babies, we learn “NO!” very quickly, and as we grow, we come up with increasingly “creative” ways to get out of doing what we know we ought to do. We need that “heart of flesh”, and we get that through what Paul told the Philippian jailer- “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Remember, the belief is not enough on its own, though. If I believed…REALLY believedthe food in the cafeteria was contaminated, I would actually stop eating my own plateful and keep others from eating it as well, even to the point of making a loud announcement and being an annoyance. If you believe that Christ can give you a new heart, that belief must be joined with turning from the lifestyle your old self used to be involved in. Don’t let another year go by without praying for a New You!