Our Time is Now – Ode to a New Year

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Wow, it’s hard to believe it is 2020 – a new decade! For some, the past year was wonderful – maybe it included a wedding, a new baby, a move, or the start of a new job or career path. Undoubtedly, there was some disappointment or sadness as well. We lost my step-father just the week before Christmas. But he was 94; he lived a good, long life, was a great husband to my mother for over 25 years, and was ready to be with his Savior. Perhaps your 2019 wasn’t what you had hoped it would be. Maybe you look back on the past year or decade with regret. But every day, every year is an opportunity to start fresh – what a blessing!

Two years ago I had no idea I would be where I am now with regard to my job situation. Three months ago I had no idea we would be anticipating another grandchild in our family. Today, I have no idea what will happen in the coming year. It’s January First, 2020; we will blink, and suddenly it will be the end of another year. And yet, not one of us is guaranteed another year, or even tomorrow, for that matter. (see Luke 12:16-21, James 4:13-14)

We can’t determine or control everything that will occur this year, or tomorrow for that matter. But we can certainly make plans – and it is good and wise to do so. We can make the most of each day that we have breath. We can make a conscious decision to live for the Lord and to make a positive difference in the lives of those we touch. We can live, work, even sing before our time runs out, as Jon Foreman so artfully puts it.

January, February, March –
The days are marching forward;
April, May, June and July –
They fly like a hummingbird.
August, September, October –
The year is almost over.
November, December arrive,
Now the year is gone.

Time is illusion; Time is a curse.
Time is all these things and worse,
But our time is now,
Oh Oh Oh Oh –
Our time is now,
Oh Oh Oh Oh!
Let us sing before our time runs out.

Time is a mockingbird,
The embers of what we were.
But the years are still burning in my veins –
And my time is now

Watch the official video – Before Our Time, by Jon Foreman

Or as Foreman’s band, Switchfoot, sings in their song Live It Well:

Awaken, oh my soul – Every breath that you take is a miracle! Life is short, I wanna live it well – One life, one story to tell.

What are you looking most forward to in 2020?

Thoughts to Take Us into a New Year

As we come to the end of 2016 and look ahead to 2017, I thought I’d share this poetic prayer from The Valley of Vision.

Year’s End

O LOVE BEYOND COMPARE,
Thou art good when thou givest,
++when thou takest away,
++when the sun shines upon me,
++when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
++and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
++in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
++leading me through a twisting wilderness,
++in retreat helping me to advance,
++when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
++with thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
++thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
++I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
++I shall see thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
++grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
++I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
++as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.

Most of the New Year messages we see offer wishes for health, success and prosperity, and that there be no troubles or sorrows in the year to come. This poem reminds me that, no matter what “If’s” I may anticipate in the coming year, my sovereign, loving Father has ordained it for my good, to sanctify me, and will take me through it for His glory. I pray that if you are His child, this will serve to comfort you as well.

christmas

 

Happy New Year 2016

happy-new-year-2016Happy New Year to my readers and followers!

2015 was certainly an interesting year, and unfortunately not only in positive ways. When we see some of the things happening in the world around us – politically, culturally, and socially – it can sometimes be overwhelming and discouraging. Charles Spurgeon made  a statement over 125 years ago that rings so true in our day: “This present age is so flippant that if a man loves the Savior he is styled a fanatic, and if he hates the powers of evil he is named a bigot.”

This should not be surprising, for the scriptures teach that the wheat and the tares will continue to grow together on earth until the return of Christ and the final day of judgment. Continue reading “Happy New Year 2016”

Resolving to Kill Sin, Part One: The Who and Why of Mortification

The Mortification of Sin by John Owen

“The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business, all their days, to mortify the indwelling power of sin.”

A new year often inspires people to start fresh by making resolutions and setting goals for themselves – things they want to experience or accomplish, and often changes they determine to make for the better, such as breaking bad habits. In the past, I have challenged readers to consider reading through the entire Bible in the coming year, and I encourage you to do so again. This year I’d like to encourage you to consider developing another habit, if you haven’t done so: killing sin in your life. With that in mind, let me commend to you John Owen’s masterful, convicting, and helpful work, The Mortification of Sin.

Continue reading “Resolving to Kill Sin, Part One: The Who and Why of Mortification”