If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Mark 2:17 talks about Jesus’s response to the Pharisees as they questioned why Jesus would with sinners and tax collectors.
“On hearing this, Jesus said to them “It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Mark 2:17
I pray that all of mankind would realize that there are none righteous, no not one. We are all infected with a terminal disease called sin. There is only one that can help to cure us of it, His name is Jesus. Most of us know we have this sickness but we try to tough our way through it so we don’t have to pay the co-pay. But even that has been paid for by Jesus. Your good works will not save you from sin. But Jesus can. Please recognize your sick, and make an appointment with Him today. He is making house calls daily. Submit to His prescription for your condition the Gospel. He Came, He Died For Our Sins, He Rose From The Dead, Death, Sin, and Satan for all Time.
In Mark 1:40-45 we get the account of Jesus healing a man with leprosy. In this account the man ask Jesus “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing!” He said, “Be Clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
I want to make this point to everyone. We are all dirty. We have all sinned. The wages of sin is death. So please take the time to ask God’s son Jesus “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus will answer and make you clean because He will have compassion on you. He will remove your sin and you will be forgiven. He is the Lamb of God. He loves you and He is willing to change your life. Be Re-born and rejoice in the new creation He has made in you. A CLEAN, Righteous, Child of God.
Lord I thank you for doing this in my life and I pray that you would do it in the lives of my family, friends, and anyone who calls on your name. Because Lord you are willing we worship you. Because you are worthy we worship you. Because you paid the price that we could not, we worship you. Because You are God we worship you.
2017 was a year that continued to teach me new things over and over again. It was by far one of my harder years. It came with major reasons to celebrate and it also came with terrible heart ache. It was the year I turned 40, and it was not the year I thought it would be when it started.
Lesson 1 – Always be ready: This is an obvious statement but I had not been to a funeral in quite some time and then this year we went to 5 in the first 4 or 5 months. 3 were older folks and 2 were young ladies in their early to mid 30’s. But all of these people were good people. The lesson that comes out of this is that we never know when our day comes so if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ I would implore you to become one. I would also note that being a good person doesn’t make one a Christian. Being a follower of Christ makes you a Christian.
Lesson 2 – Praise God for the Church: In a year like this we have needed help like no other year. Our church has been there to help talk us through difficulties, Love on us with gifts and hugs, I know we have been covered in prayer, and physical needs have been met. I don’t like to brag on people much so I won’t do it here either, but I will use this spot to brag on God’s People, His Church. What an outpouring of love. Even church families we don’t attend have gifted us with His grace. It has been so humbling to be on the receiving end of it. My Father is a Gracious loving Father who blesses His children abundantly using the hands and feet (the church).
Lesson 3 – Personal Growth is Exciting: This year I’ve seen some personal growth and it is neat to see God use events and people to mold the person I am at the end of 2017. I have also seen some personal failures and areas I needed to improve on. Praise God for this as well. Life is hard sometimes but through the hardness of it, the perseverance is great for building character. I’m still not the perfect version of me by any means but I’m working at it.
Lesson 4 – Pride in Family: Man I thought I loved my family so much back in 2016 but in 2017 I found it was possible to love them even more. I’m so proud of my wife for the person she was but to see her growth in this year has been exciting. To see where we are going is even more exciting. Seeing my two oldest boys decide to get baptized this year was amazing and that God would use me to perform it. Wow! I can’t tell you how excited I was that God had put that on their hearts. Two of my sons started reading this year that is huge. The other son has started playing basketball (who knew you would get so into your kids games). Seriously I use to think man what’s up with some of these parents. But it’s a since of pride and it’s exciting. Seriously the people at Disney Pixar got it right in Cars 3 when they were talking about how the best part of Doc’s life was helping Lightning.
Lesson 5 – No matter what you think is coming you have no idea: I am a planner, I’m where ever I need to be early, I have already completed my monthly cash flow budget for 2018 last week (that’s not a joke). But what 2017 has taught me is that life can throw you a curve ball. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve had a curve ball in 2014, 2015, & 2016, but the one we got in 2017 was filthy (MLB slang for crazy). I still believe in planning but I also realize that those plans are only as good as the day they are written on. Things change and we need to be willing to make adjustments to the plans. God will provide. I don’t always know how or when but he will.
Well those are my 5 lessons for this year. Like I said it has been hard, but it has also been great. As I look forward to a new beginning in 2018 for the New Year I remember the verse written by Paul so long ago.
“I focus on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Philippians 3:13-14
If your reading this and 2017 was hard, remember the wisdom you gained, remember your successes. But also press on knowing that tomorrow is another day a new day. Finish the race my brothers and sisters and hope to hear at the end “well done good and faithful servant.”
Last night I got the great privileged of watching my son participate in his first practice on his first organized sports team. Noah was nervous before he got there but continued to have a good time, and learn from his new coach. I was so proud of him, as he was open to instruction, respectful, and tried hard. God I praise you so much for letting me see this. Everyday isn’t promised and this was a day that I thought I would enjoy when I was a kid. But in reality I had the time of my life watching him acclimate into this new family. I’m so thankful that he was able to be there and his teammates seemed very nice. God you bless us so much and I’m so thankful that you gave me this opportunity. I hope Lord that you feel that same sense of pride in me as I try to be a better man each day. It felt good to know what my parents felt cheering for me all those years.
Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Seriously I love this song. Thank you Jesus for coming down and making our lives better for all time. Thank you for the heavenly peace that you give to mankind.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30
I want to take today to Praise my wife. She is an amazing person that inspires me everyday to be a better version of myself. My wife drives an hour and 20 minutes each day to help our son get to a special program. The fruit of this has been a much more confident son who believes he can do something no matter how hard or what road blocks may lay ahead of him. She does this in spite of having her own troubles in this world including chronic back pain.
She works each month to make sure everyone has what they need and gets our other son the medical attention he needs for his health issues. Making every financial sacrifice for the betterment of her family. Again the fruit of this is after 3 long years we might finally be at a place where we know what is wrong with him and might finally be able to help him to breath correctly. Her love for him would not let her stop digging into other possible forms of help for him. She is one of the best researchers I know.
My wife is long suffering with me as well. It is bad enough that she has all these other things going on, but after the death of her best friend earlier this year. I realized I wasn’t really the friend she needed me to be. I need to be a better version of what I am. I’ve benefited the most from her fruit through the years as God has used her to help sanctify me. Praise God.
As you can see her beauty is not fleeting yet, but when it does I will be married to an amazing woman who fears the Lord. God thank you so much for showing me such mercy and allowing me to be shaped by your hands. Thanks for using my wife in that process and I praise you Lord for the gift of marriage to her, and I praise her for her fearing of you. Lord may she continue to be fruitful!