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Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

MicahEach year brings its challenges and dreams, its disappointments and surprises. I am alive, blessed with work and shelter, and healthy for the most part: for these things I give thanks. I want to keep my focus this year on the Christ within, the story that God has given us in scriptures to mark my way, and the people  around me to share the journey. I want to lead and I want to be led. I want to be a light and pierce the darkness. I want to count to ten before I speak ill of anyone. I want to practice contentment. I want to be a champion for joy.

My verse for this year is Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal [human], what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humblywith your God.

My long term resolve for this year in God is to

  • st patrick prayerTo read the Bible through again (daily), this time using one of the chronological plans where the poetic and prophetic chapters are interlaced with the historical. I found this particular plan at the website: Blue Letter Bible, if anyone cares to join me. It can start on any day of the year.
  • To re-imagine prayer and pursue an interior life, daily.
  • To celebrate what is good by dropping small notes into a jar and then reading them on 12/31/14, daily.
  • To respond to God’s will and submit to the Holy Spirit, daily.
  • To write. Daily.
  • To honor the gift of health by engaging my body in exercise, wellness, and nutritious eating, daily.
  • To order my spaces, not with guilt but with respect for the endowment God has provided.

Let it be so, dear Christ, dear Spirit within and without.

I invoke the Lorica Prayer of St. Patrick (in which lorica means body armor or protection), I enter this year with Christ.

 

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When we enter into relationship with Christ Jesus we are also entering into an agreement to be a witness to the acts of Jesus in our lives up until that moment and as events unfold in the future. Much like the cusp of the New Year… we look back, but we also look forward.

Acts 26:15b-16
” ‘I am Jesus, whom you [Paul] are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. …”

When I started on the Way, I was a little embarrassed. I wasn’t comfortable with the trappings of being a “Christian.” There was a whole new vocabulary and depending on the types of believers around me, there were expectations about behaviors. Sometimes, the whole thing just didn’t feel real. Was I really going to carry a bible around with me all the time and wear a cross around my neck and give homage to Christian holidays? Was I really a person who would stop saying Jesus Christ! when I banged my toe or hit my fingers with a hammer? Was I really going to go to church every Sunday or even extra days throughout the week? Would I pray in public? Would I raise my hands and dance in the aisles or would I kneel in a pew and cross myself? Would I pray for people over the phone? Would I ask people to pray for me on the Internet?

Which of these outward expressions would really witness to my faith in Christ?

None. Not really. Somewhere along the way, I realized it was my transformations within that would dictate my outer expressions. And even from the very beginning, there was a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. No matter how I stumbled, there was a wooing that would bring me back to the Way.

I experienced private joy when I walked around my apartment for an hour singing the only Christian song I knew, Jesus Loves Me. There were intense times of forgiveness of my father who died and abandoned me at a young age, and forgiveness of people who had hurt me, and forgiveness of myself for the hurts I had caused others (my mother, my first husband, my brother, my friends). There were testing times too because I wanted to see if God really cared about me as an individual. He did. He does.

Now, what of tomorrow? What will be my witness be for tomorrow? What more will the Christ do in my life? Perhaps this is the reason I write now… to capture today so I can be ready for the next hour, the afternoon, the evening, and then tomorrow.

Yes, I am on the Way. It is a long path that winds ahead. I can look back on that path and see where I took some “long cuts” (opposite of a short cut) and I can see where the path was wide and easy as well as the places that were narrow and difficult. When I turn to look ahead, I can see there are curves ahead that prevent me from seeing very far into the future. But I do see that there is a path. And when I look around, I can see the footprints of others. I am not alone on the Way.

Yes, it’s all good. I am comfortable in my Jesus shoes at last. I am content.

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