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Preparing for 2015

December 31st, 2014 · No Comments

In the mountains with our family, all 15 of our immediate family members are here and we see God’s Thumb print on us. Reflection time this morning due to family out skiing and our choice to not ski until this afternoon (the spirit is willing but the flesh…..). 

This trip is one of those special blessings due to Christian Heritage Church and Great Plains Conference giving us the money to take our family on a vacation. There are no words to express my family’s deep appreciation. There have been tons of giggles and memories made. 
As 2015 comes into focus, there are a few things that are glaring on the radar and I want to share four of them with you! 
#1 – Our ideas of Miracles. Let’s look at some things:
  • In a recent blog the idea of cleansing of sin came along with the blind seeing, the deaf hearing and the lame walking. This will be more necessary than ever in the coming year. 
  • Miracles must be acknowledged and God given the praise for them. Every birth of a child both spiritual and natural births are not to be taken lightly. By simplifying new-birth to a prayer recited and no real time to focus on repentance and conversion, we have put spiritual births into the hands of the one leading the prayer. The natural birth of a baby is put into the hands of a doctor and we fail to acknowledge God’s involvement in the process many times. 
  • Miracles will come with a price tag! Mother Mary had the distinct honor of carrying the Savior of the World but had to walk in shame, disgrace and rejection. She called out to the Lord, but He appeared to be silent. He did not reveal His Son to the multitudes, not even the immediate family with the exception of a few. What about Joseph and his embarrassment? How many of his ‘friends’ believed his wife conceived by the Holy Spirit? Are you prepared for the miracles to separate you? 
#2 – Our concept of God must be defined by Scripture, not culture, not religion, not our assumptions and not what ‘we caught’ when we were ‘taught’. 
  • God is a holy God, yes, but a just God also. 
  • The mandates of scripture in our deeds and lifestyles are meaningless without a fear of God. Fear must not control us, however, fear must keep us on the straight and narrow. 
  • Our living must be a true reflection of His Kingdom, not a set of religious rules. 
#3 – Our willingness to follow Christ must include an understanding that He allows or orchestrates pain in our life. 
  • Jesus was born in a hostile world, 
    • Genocide followed his birth, how much blood ran due to His birth. 
    • Why didn’t the Father simply take Herod off the throne?
  • We are going to experience more and more hostility in this ‘post-Christian’ society we live in. 
  • We must stop our giving the enemy all the credit. God is in control and has a major plan. 
  • We must stop focusing our frustration and pain because God does NOT fix everything. 
  • Embrace the ‘refiner’s’ fire! It is hot but it purifies. 
  • Yield to the ‘potter’s wheel’ – It is painful but He is preparing you for His plan. 
#4 – Lastly, we must take our ‘purpose’ in life seriously. 
  • If God truly has a plan for our life (which I believe He does), we must accept it whole heartedly. 
  • Recognize materialism, earthly wealth and worldly status may not be the key to Kingdom success. 
  • Currently, the study of poverty, poor people in scripture has me fascinated. Not looking at it through the eyes of our American culture; religion or political views but Biblical. 
    • Look at the church in Smyrna, Revelations 2
    • ….this is the message from the one who is the First and Last, who was dead but is now alive: 9. “I know about your suffering and your poverty – but you are rich!
Let us rejoice in the years we have experienced but let us not lose heart, if it does not remain the same. Let us prepare to face more with the Joy – Peace and Fulness of His grace. 
Let us be prepared to live a life that SHINES with the Hope of the Gospel. 
Let our attitude be as Christ…. 
Even in intense pain, may people be able to draw from us spiritually. Hanging on the cross with His back beaten, nails in his hands and feet, crown of thrones on His head and experiencing total rejection, a lost man saw a ‘HOPE’ in Him and cried out to be included in His Kingdom. He was not seeing a Kingdom of ease, abundance, deliverance, etc. but a Kingdom of Eternal Hope! 
Gary and Carolyn


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