Those of us from an instantly gratified and constantly moving culture do not always understand the fire started by masters. This is extremely evident in fighting back the cold reality of extreme poverty around the world. We often prefer a quick relief style of change. A magic bullet. But those fires go out as fast as they start, and can even injure folks in the process.Continue Reading ›
For years, I feel like I’ve wrestled with the question “how much is enough?” – with wanting more. Thinking my contentment will be measured by things I fill my day or home with. I measure my success against the success of others – how they have defined what enough is and what to say yes to. Even what experiencing God looks like in comparison to others.Continue Reading ›
Time used to dance slowly for me. I remember my creeping countdown to Christmas break. Spring break. Summer…The beginning of our lives was marked with seasons broken up for us, with rest. Then there was college and marriage and all the responsibility that piles itself high. It feels like a new kind of time that believes you’ve exchanged wonder for a number. An age. I’m wide eyed in disbelief that it is almost 2015. This year, I’ve told too many people that I am 26. When in fact, I turned 30.
Prayerfully choosing one word that embodies the promise of the upcoming year is a discipline we’ve shared with you for many years. This practice of asking God for His yearly theme in our lives endows us with strength in the tough times. It renews the spirit and imbues us with purpose.
Receiving a word for the year from the Lord is not a New Year’s resolution. It’s more like a gift from Him.
I suspect a lot of people are glad this decade is over, and that’s understandable.
The global economy is a wreck. There’s a global food crisis devastating the developing world. Loved ones have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jobs have been lost. The implosion of the housing market has left many in dire straits.
But you could also view the past 10 years in a different light.
We have been punched in the face, bloodied and beaten. Our pockets have been pilfered. Our sense of security crushed. But we’re still standing. And that’s saying something.
Standing. That’s how I’d like to start this new decade.
It’s time to take a deep breath, expand our lungs, square our hips and boldly, defiantly …stand.
But just standing isn’t enough. We need to stand with a purpose. Stand for a reason.
I’m not much into New Year’s resolutions. I find it an odd tradition. If you really want to change your life, why wait until January 1 to start? But perhaps it’s a positive thing if it helps us to truly focus on being better human beings — even if our New Year’s resolutions only last a few days or weeks!
Take a look at some of these popular New Year’s resolutions for 2009:
- In 2009, I resolve to eat better.
- In 2009, I resolve to keep my home in better shape.
- In 2009, I resolve to take better care of my body.
- In 2009, I resolve to be better about what I spend my money on.
- In 2009, I resolve to look for a new job.
Any of those look familiar?
Now, go back and read those resolutions again … but this time, from the perspective of a person living in poverty.
Imagine a little boy in Kenya who resolves to eat better because he’s tired of going to bed hungry. Imagine a single mother in Peru who resolves to keep her 6’x6’ shack clean. I’ve seen families that sweep their dirt floors just to try to keep their humble homes presentable.
Imagine a little girl in India who wants to take control of her own body instead of falling prey to the men who abuse it. Imagine the family that scrapes together spare change to eat today. Imagine the father who is desperately searching for a job so he can give his children an education and a shot at life.
This year, I urge you to resolve to do something about global poverty. Get involved.
Here’s a list of suggested, revised New Year’s resolutions for you:
- In 2009, I resolve to go on a mission trip.
- In 2009, I resolve to help my church start a food pantry — or donate to an existing one on a regular basis.
- In 2009, I resolve to pray for children trapped in poverty.
- In 2009, I resolve to support a ministry that cares for the poor.
- In 2009, I resolve to think beyond myself and truly make a difference in the life of a child living in poverty.
And let’s try to make these New Year’s resolutions last.
Do you have one? A favorite? A blog post that meant something special to you?
We’re interested to know if what we like is even remotely similar to what you like.
And if you’re not much into leaving comments on blog posts, this is a great opportunity to work on that New Year’s Resolution we know you made. You know, the one about becoming a blog extrovert. 🙂
Happy New Year!