One Word…(or so)


During this current sermon series, Small Things, Big Difference, my pastor is encouraging each member of the congregation to focus on one word, one verse and one thought throughout 2015. It has been a pleasure watching so many accept the challenge. It took a few days, but eventually I settled on the word FAITH. My verse is Matthew 17:20—

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

After what God has done for me, I, of all people, should not be lacking faith. I think that’s what makes it all the more embarrassing. The largest spiritual marker in my life occurred 18+ years ago when my daughter beat the odds of surviving a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. No one needs to tell me that God is in the miracle business. And yet I still struggle with doubt when the going gets tough. I am no different from the Israelites who began grumbling shortly after God delivered them from the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea. Maybe you can relate.

In a sermon on faith given by our current Pastor Emeritus several years ago, he stated that maybe the issue isn’t really a lack of faith. For some, it’s not that we don’t believe God CAN do it, but rather that we have difficulty believing He will do it for us. That obviously hit home because I remember that statement to this day.

Reflecting on my word and my verse these past few weeks has led me to my one thought—He WILL do it for me! I’m trying to leave my “glass half empty” mentality behind. It has since occurred to me that maybe I’ve settled on the wrong word. Perhaps my word should be POSITIVE…

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

or should it be REMEMBER??

But be careful that you don’t forget the Lord. Remember that he brought you out of Egypt. That’s the land where you were slaves. (Deuteronomy 6:12 NIRV)

Working backwards from my one thought has led to more choices and they are all good. Maybe I could get extra credit for choosing three!

The Ultimate Fresh Start

New Year
A time of reflection seems to naturally accompany the end of each year. This year is no different. Many are glad to part with 2014 because it was difficult at best. Others don’t know how 2015 could possibly be better. I imagine the bulk of us have more ambivalent feelings regarding the new year.

We often think of a new year as an opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning. This causes me to think of the fresh start we are granted the moment we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭17‬ NLT)
This is a fresh start that far exceeds the changing of the calendar. Instead of a new year, you get a new you!! At conversion, we are no longer slaves to our sinful ways, but are made new through the shed blood of Christ.
New life—now THERE’S something to celebrate!!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ NIV)
Praying that each of you experience the abundant life that He came to give in 2015 and beyond—Happy New Year!