Greeting a New Year

I’m sure like many others, I have a love/hate relationship with the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions.  Yes, there is something exciting and fresh about starting anew with a clean slate.  However, along with that comes a lot of pressure and expectation to fulfill the promises you laid out for yourself.  So, with that being said here are my resolutions for 2010:

I resolve to not beat myself up over my mistakes and failures of the previous year.  They are now over and done with and I must move forward.  I will instead only beat myself up over my mistakes and failures of 2010 as the year progresses.  (Hey, if I pretend I’m going to succeed in everything then I’m lying to myself and I don’t think I should start the year off with a lie.)

I resolve to quit yelling, screaming, and cursing at the television set when there is a lying politician and/or a so-called journalist asking idiotic questions.  I will instead calmly change the channel.  I do this if not for the sake of my blood pressure, at least for the sake of my dog’s sanity.  (I’m sorry Rusty, I know I am hard to live with sometimes.)

I resolve to know less about Jon & Kate, Tiger’s mistresses, Sanford’s Argentina lover, and anything else about any celebrity whose actions have no direct bearing on my day to day life.  (Of course, combined with the previous resolution it looks like I might as well resolve to turn the television off completely.)

I resove to send at least one e-mail a week to a Senator or House Member (either federal or state) to voice my opinion on certain matters.  This should be a more constructive and healthy exercise than the afore-mentioned screaming and cursing.

I resolve to spend as many mornings  with a cup of coffee and evenings with a glass of wine as possible relaxing on my new front porch reading a good book or watching the deer and antelope play.  (Okay, maybe just the deer – haven’t seen many antelope here in Cat Square lately.)

I resolve to spend less time wishing I was a writer and more time actually writing.  I’ll never get anything published if I keep it all in my head.  And if I could, I know  none of us want my thoughts to be published unedited and uncensored.

I resolve to spend more time in bible study and prayer.  I have struggled more in school since back-tracking from my plans to go into the ministry and am not sure if the two are directly related or not.  However, if God is still calling me in that direction then He and I have some serious discussions ahead to hash some things out.  It’s not that I have anything against Him directly, but I do have many issues with what is being said and done His name by many church institutions.  If He does want me serving as a mouthpiece for Him and His Word, then I need to work with him to resolve many of my own questions, and He needs to greatly empower and strengthen this weak vessel.

I resolve to tell my loved ones how much I love them as often as I can.  Having worked in the Emergency Department these many years, I know all too well that sometimes that last time you told someone goodbye could very well be the  last goodbye.

Here’s wishing you a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year !!!!

Christmas Eve Reflection

Since the pastor of our church is spending time with his family tonight on Christmas Eve, I volunteered my services to be at the church for a certain time period this evening so that those who needed a brief respite from all the hectic and chaotic stress this time brings could stop in for a spiritual fill-up.  Mom graciously offered to assist me with this as well.  My plan is to have Christmas music playing in the background and just to stay back and let the people spend their time as they see fit in either prayer or meditation.  However, I did write this short piece that I am sharing below in the hope that it will help open their mind and heart to receive whatever message may be awaiting them.

 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means ‘God with us’.”  Matthew 1:23

 We all struggle with the chore of picking out the right gift for the right person.  Is it what he or she wants?  Is the right size and/or color?  Do they already have it?  Sometimes with certain clothing items you may find a tag that says, “One size fits all” or to decrease the chance of a lawsuit, “One size fits most.”  Oh if only that were true.  If only there was a magical perfect gift that could work for everyone.

 The truth is there is one gift that does fit all.  Regardless of your age, gender, class status, problems, or needs God’s gift to the world of his own Son is that magical perfect gift.

  • Do you need someone you can talk honestly and openly with about your deep dark secrets, your fears, your misgivings, and worries?   Here is a Wonderful Counselor.
  •  Do you feel weak and powerless in some area of your life, unable to take control of a situation?  Here is a Mighty God.
  • Do you need the stability, support structure, comfort, and unconditional love that an earthly family sometimes falls short of providing?  Here is an Everlasting Father (Mother).
  • Do you have strife and discord within your life, whether it be external among others or an internal struggle?  Here is a Prince of Peace.

This Christmas Eve strip away all the bows and wrapping paper that religion (the man-made institution) has dressed the baby Jesus in.  Instead see him as the gift as he was first presented to the world. Immanuel – God with us.  The Creator has become the created to share in all aspects of our life with us.  Our hurts, our sorrows, our joys, our celebrations.  Make an effort to know Him on a personal and intimate level.  Not as the world or even as the church tells you to view Him.  Instead, allow him to reveal Himself to you in the unique way that makes Him the perfect gift for you.