Rock of ages, You have been our refuge and dwelling place for another year. We thank you that You have provided for all of our needs and praise you for providentially working in all of our affairs.
Though we have had our afflictions, we trust that they have all been according to Your good and wise design.
Help us to use this occasion to consider the past year and Your call upon our lives. May our failings cause us to seek Your grace, and may our successes lead us to glorify Your name.
We rejoice and find peace in knowing that you are the Lord of the new year.
Teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom. Grant us an abundance of your grace so the image of your Son would be better reflected in our lives. And may the hope that you give fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Whether you are inclined to make New Year’s resolutions or not, surely there are areas of your life that you desire to be different. But how do you bring about change?
Start with your character.
At the foundation of every positive change in our lives is an improvement in character.
That may seem surprising, but think about it. When you consider the top New Year’s resolutions – like spending more time with friends and family, exercising and losing weight, or getting out of debt – they all call for better character.
You want to spend more time with your family and friends? Then you’re going to have to sacrifice some of your favorite time wasters. You’d like to get more fit? Then you’ll need to acquire better discipline. You want to overcome some debt? Then growing in contentment may be very important for you.
See the point? If you really want to change some of your ways, there’s likely a character issue that needs to be dealt with first.
So, how do you deal with those character issues?
Nativity Prayer of St. Augustine
Let the just rejoice,
For their justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
For their saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
For their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
For their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
For their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
For Jesus Christ is born.
~ St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-440)
Every now and then I’ll dip into my copy of C.H. Spurgeon’s classic Morning and Evening. Whenever I do, I find something worth pondering. A few days ago I came across a tidbit I’m still turning over in my mind
Here it is, it’s the morning reading from December 19th.
It would bring a holy calm over your mind, dear friend, if you were always to remember this. It would so relieve your mind from anxiety, that you would be the better able to walk in patience, quiet, and cheerfulness as a Christian should. When a man is anxious he cannot pray with faith; when he is troubled about the world, he cannot serve his Master, his thoughts are serving himself. If you would “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” all things would then be added unto you. You are meddling with Christ’s business, and neglecting your own when you fret about your lot and circumstances. You have been trying “providing” work and forgetting that it is yours to obey. Be wise and attend to the obeying, and let Christ manage the providing.
We’re to do the obeying, while our Lord handles the providing. . . now that’s worth remembering!
Christmas. It’s just what the world needs.
With a year that has brought us the fall and death of celebrities, an economy that continues to flounder, and political maneuvering ad nauseam, Christmas brings us precisely the message our time requires.
First, Christmas brings us the message of a Savior.
What is the greatest need we have today? Is it information? Maybe technology? How about money? Perhaps health care? Or leisure? No. None of these. Our fundamental problem is ethical, so our greatest need is for a Savior, and this is what God provided through the birth of Jesus Christ.
Here is that message as it was foretold in reference to His mother Mary. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Mt.1:21).
This Savior, Jesus, was sent to deliver us from sin and self-destruction, and restore us to God that we might live according to His design. But there’s more. Read more…
The link for the hour on Straight Talk with Jerry Hughes from yesterday is now available.
The interview went well, and Jerry does an excellent job framing questions and keeping the program moving along.
I’m looking forward to being Jerry’s guest again in the near future.
I’ll be on Straight Talk with Jerry Hughes this afternoon from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. I believe we’ll be discussing current political and economic issues from a Christian perspective.
You can listen live if you are in the Lakeland area at 1330 AM. Those outside of the area can hear the program online via the Accent Radio Network. The show should also be available later as an mp3 archive file.
I haven’t posted anything on the blog for a while as I’ve been a little busy. Last month my family and I — after many years in Michigan — moved to Lakeland, Florida to plant Christ Church of Lakeland.
We’re adjusting to the change, enjoying the weather, and getting the new church underway. New blog posts should be forthcoming. . .