He Makes All Things New

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

I love this time of year because the idea of an approaching new year lends itself to a “reset” in our lives. The old year has faded away and the New Year is ahead of us complete with a clean calendar and the expectations of something new and fresh on the horizon.
The Revelation, the last book of the Bible, also talks about a “reset”. But this is more than just the passing of one year into the next. It is speaking of the “Grand Reset” at the end of the age when Christ will return, do away with evil once and for all and make all things brand new. I, for one, am looking forward to this time with great anticipation and longing.
You may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but this “Grand Reset” is probably way in the future, even beyond my lifetime! However, the good news is that God doesn’t just wait to the end of time to bring newness into our lives. He does that the moment we submit to Him and follow Him through Christ Jesus. He begins to work in us to give us a purpose filled path for our life, a new pattern of thinking, a more noble way of acting, and a kinder way of speaking.
The reality is though, that sometimes, life throws us a curve or we go through situations that trip us up and we may fall back into the old patterns that God had begun to take out of our lives or we may veer off the path He has chosen for us. But, when these old patterns begin to take root or when me make a wrong turn in life, God in His amazing grace, infinite mercy and abounding love calls us back to Himself where He renews His work in us and begins to once again reshape us into His image and get us on the right path. In essence, He is bringing newness and a fresh start into our lives.
So, as we think about the past year, maybe there were some things that blindsided us or maybe we faced some difficult situations that we allowed to negatively affect us and get us off the right path. If we did, let us rest in the truth that God is in the business of bringing newness into our lives and will give us a fresh start in the New Year.

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He Makes All Things New

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

I love this time of year because the idea of an approaching new year lends itself to a “reset” in our lives. The old year has faded away and the New Year is ahead of us complete with a clean calendar and the expectations of something new and fresh on the horizon.
The Revelation, the last book of the Bible, also talks about a “reset”. But this is more than just the passing of one year into the next. It is speaking of the “Grand Reset” at the end of the age when Christ will return, do away with evil once and for all and make all things brand new. I, for one, am looking forward to this time with great anticipation and longing.
You may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but this “Grand Reset” is probably way in the future, even beyond my lifetime! However, the good news is that God doesn’t just wait to the end of time to bring newness into our lives. He does that the moment we submit to Him and follow Him through Christ Jesus. He begins to work in us to give us a purpose filled path for our life, a new pattern of thinking, a more noble way of acting, and a kinder way of speaking.
The reality is though, that sometimes, life throws us a curve or we go through situations that trip us up and we may fall back into the old patterns that God had begun to take out of our lives or we may veer off the path He has chosen for us. But, when these old patterns begin to take root or when me make a wrong turn in life, God in His amazing grace, infinite mercy and abounding love calls us back to Himself where He renews His work in us and begins to once again reshape us into His image and get us on the right path. In essence, He is bringing newness and a fresh start into our lives.
So, as we think about the past year, maybe there were some things that blindsided us or maybe we faced some difficult situations that we allowed to negatively affect us and get us off the right path. If we did, let us rest in the truth that God is in the business of bringing newness into our lives and will give us a fresh start in the New Year.

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Well Done

God will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them (Hebrews 6:10).

During the recent hurricane and its aftermath, I personally witnessed some of the most selfless and loving acts imaginable. In the hours before the hurricane, many of our staff left family and homes behind, unsure if they would ever see either again, to ride out the storm here at the facility. Even as they were concerned about the well-being of their own families and property, these dedicated men and women, with a sense of duty, sacrificially cared for those who could not care for themselves.

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Isaiah 25:4

You have been a tower of refuge for the poor, Oh Lord, a tower of refuge for the needy in their distress, you are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are a storm beating against a wall.

Forgiveness

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

– Ephesians 4:32 ESV

Recently in my small group at church, we were talking about forgiveness. Some in the group shared how they have a hard time forgiving others and how this un-forgiveness negatively impacts their lives and relationships.
Someone once said that “un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. The way un-forgiveness effects the offended is far greater than its effects on the offender. Studies have suggested that un-forgiveness may lead to depression, eating disorders, personality disorders and a host of other physical and psychological problems, not to mention its negative impact on our relationship with God.
On the flip-side, other studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for our health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. And we must not forget that forgiving others honors God as well.

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What is My Purpose

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13
What is my purpose? Why am I here? …..These are questions asked frequently by people of all ages and are especially common for those in long-term care. Often times those in long-term care feel that their lives do not matter anymore or that they no longer have any purpose in life.
Struggling with one’s “life purpose and meaning” is not just a modern phenomenon but has been around since Old Testament times. King Solomon was a man who according to Scripture (1 Kings 10) literally had anything he wanted and then some. He had riches, fame, wisdom and power. He even had camels and baboons!…. How cool is that!…. But even the great King Solomon wrestled with this idea of life purpose and meaning.
The book of Ecclesiastes chronicles the King’s examination of all that life has to offer and his search for meaning in all the most logical places. After doing so, the wise King comes to this conclusion, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” ….Wow! So simple, yet so profound. After the most thorough examination of all that life has to offer, the King concludes that life’s purpose and meaning are not bound up in things like work, relationships, possessions, hobbies, or even the size of one’s bank account but in living in a reverent, awe-filled relationship with God and doing what He desires for us to do. Everything else is—to put it in the words of King Solomon—“like a chasing after the wind”. Nothing can bring purpose and meaning to life as fully and completely as living in a reverent, obedient relationship with the God who made us and knows us better than we know ourselves.

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The Company You Keep

An old fellow I knew growing up was fond of saying “if you sleep with dogs you gonna wake up with fleas.” According to Wikipedia, this phrase has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac. But if you go back even further, you find this truth written in a different way by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.

In first century in Corinth, false teachers had infiltrated the young church and were introducing teachings that led many away from the truth of the Gospel and even threatened the very foundation of the church. In response, the Apostle Paul wrote to these young believers, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV)

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He only is my rock and my salvation

Psalms 62:6 – “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my; I shall not be moved.”

The Psalmist David teaches us that God is our defence which means “strong tower, lofty place, to be carried to a cliff”- which renders us unreachable or inaccessible to the reach of our enemy!  How do we make ourselves “INACCESSIBLE”?  Verse 8 tells us to- “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him….”

When we pour our heart out to God- The good, the bad, the ugly, the concerns, worries, problems, no matter what it is – God then carries us to a “lofty” place where we are inaccessible to our attackers! Make yourself INACCESSIBLE today by pouring your heart out before the Lord!  Be blessed today!

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Embrace your NINEVEH

Nineveh was a tough place for Jonah to go, yet it was mandated by God! God will many times give us a Nineveh, because He is wanting us to “EMBRACE” His attributes. Jonah fled from the Presence of the Lord, but God wants us to “EMBRACE” HIS Presence! 

God gives us Nineveh moments to also “EMBRACE” HIS Power! When Jonah was tossed in the raging and temultuous sea- God’s Power calmed the sea! And God gives us Nineveh moments for us to “EMBRACE” HIS Provisions! 

God prepared a great fish for Jonah – that fish was prepared for Jonah and Jonah only! God gives us Nineveh moments, (tough places for us to go, and tough things for us to do), in our life for the purpose of us to embrace HIM and for HIM to embrace us!

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