Saturday, January 09, 2010

Becoming New

It's a new year again. Time to take stock of our lives, seeking to use the present to redeem the past and consequently change our future.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come." (HCSV)

It goes without saying that our new lives in Christ should be different from our old lives without Christ. We are made for him, and our daily walks should reflect a moment by moment dependence on him. However, being is more important than doing. As my pastor puts it, "What will we be?" not "What will we do?" How should our mindset change in order to become what God wants us to be?

I've heard several pastors/teachers/speakers saying the same sorts of things about this very topic. My own pastor spoke last week of the importance of being quiet and listening to what God says to us in his Word. About slowing down and how you know that you're too busy if you don't have time for God. Is the pace we are running at right now sustainable? Or are we heading for an eventual breakdown? I have seen this happen and it's not pretty. It would behoove us to re-evaluate our priorities and see what needs to be switched around or canned completely.

Dr. Richard Swenson, a futurist, speaker, and author talks about putting margin into our lives. About how we have to say no to things. I recommend listening to him speak and/or reading articles he has written. He's an expert on many subjects and puts everything into perspective clearly and logically.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." - Matthew 6:33 (HCSV)

This is the most important thing when thinking about renewing our minds, softening our hearts, and slowing down our pace in order to listen to God--putting the kingdom of God first. After all, we belong to that kingdom, and its advancement should be of utmost value to us.

Ephesians 3:14-21: "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. [I pray] that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. [I pray that] you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth [of God's love], and to know the Messiah's love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think-according to the power that works in you--to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (HCSV)

Slow down and listen to God this year. Focus on being and not doing. If you are listening closely to the Spirit, he will tell you what you ought to do. But focus instead on being. Then look and see how your calendar/schedule changes as a result. See how your attitude and outlook changes. Our God is doing a new thing, and he is doing it through us.

(cross posted at the Ted Dekker website on the Modfia blog)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Karri Compton is a contributing author to this collaborative fiction book, created by twenty-seven authors and artists from six different countries.

An immigrant and her young daughter, struggling to reach their dream…a special needs child, searching for hope…a newly released ex-con, seeking forgiveness. They have one thing in common—they’re about to be touched by God in a way they never imagined.

All through a simple postcard.

Brought up in a strict Muslim home in London, Sulafa has recently experienced the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Now, despite fear of discovery and its consequences, she knows she has to spread the good news. In an act of bravery, she sends out postcards with a single message: Let me pray for you. Her simple postcard request impacts lives and brings hope in the midst of hopelessness.

The second of many anticipated books from Peculiar People, Delivered is a collection of short stories that intertwine to deliver a single message. It is the work of twenty-five authors with one united voice, proclaiming the power of God to transform lives, and His ability to do the miraculous in the most ordinary of circumstances.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is." --Albert Camus

Stay tuned for my New Year's blog--it's in process now.