New Year reflections and resolutions


Well it is now 2009, and as of this article we are eight days into the New Year. This time of year two things happen, reflections and resolution. We look back on what has changed both good and bad and we look ahead for what he hope, make plans to make changes, and begin to make preparations for any plans for the year. The point of this article is to both look back and look at what is ahead. So this article is more personal reflection then it any teaching or commentary.

REFLECTIONS:

For me, 2008 brought a change in perspectives. I had started 2008 with the focus of just pursing my professional goals and just going from one day to the next. The start of 2008 was hope for further growth in relationships but really it was about getting by each day. Spend time with family and friends, read the Bible, go to Church, work at my job, and engage in entertainment often for felt needs for distraction. I knew I should perhaps start writing a blog but it was something always that I should start. It was on my “to do list” but ever put off. I was essentially coping. Working my hours and doing what I needed to do. Now I wanted to see God moved and initially tuned into programs like the Ramp which seemed to call for dedication to God. It was interesting blurbs that really didn’t even offer much to think about, since they only give snippets of any teachings. So I was simply getting along and getting by. Then in June of 2008 through the Ramp, I learned of Todd Bentley. As documented in the first article on the blog, I initially accepted Todd Bentley as a good thing and ignored the red flags and the warnings. After barely sleeping and looking more into what actually was being said and done, God woke me up to my self-focused sitting back. Once I started looking into that deception, I also began to be aware of prophecies about the United States, most I knew in my heart were off. Yet, exposure to them made me take stalk about where I was and recognize that I needed to get ready. I cannot just sit back and eventually get to doing something. I needed to stop just “playing with soap bubbles.” I needed to do what God called me to do. So I started my blog, and eventually the forum, which is now leading to a website portal as well.

Of course exposure to Mr. Bentley and his show in Lakeland, Florida also made me more aware of the nature of deception and the pervasiveness in the church. It has made me far more critical. My mindset had always been we all misunderstand God in some ways and most doctrinal differences end up around our focusing on when element or elements related to God with exclusion to the full picture and inability to cope with apparent paradoxes such as predestination and free will. I also had recognized that God allows us to be fed where we at and will reach out to us even in our errors and self-set limits of interactions. Personally I hadn’t really attended to the stark levels of deception. Then I was exposed to Lakeland and my eyes began to open to the lies that abound within the church.

A non-spiritual event that happened in spring of 2008 is an automobile accident where a driver came at me the wrong way that now results in my having chronic neck and back pain. I know understand better what my wife suffers and others with ongoing pain. Yet, even with the ongoing pain, God point me to “Rejoice in the Lord always” and it is a tempting trap to do otherwise.

So basically I moved away from being self-focused and actually began to do things God was leading me to do. I began using my voice, something that I had lost sight of using years past, perhaps gradually, perhaps connected to self-led failures that created wounds and doubt. But not only have I started to regain my voice, but have began to be more aware of deception and have dusted off the gift of discernment, which I have learned I need to be cautious and learn to read better what God shows me when he is and not jump to quick conclusions. Discernment can be initially quick but also needs time and further context. God has shown me that at times there are mixtures where even a deceiver is sharing truth and God moves in that truth, but the rest is clouded with lies and deception. So now that there is voice and renewed discernment, what is potentially in store for 2009? This leads to reflecting on the resolutions for the New Year.

Resolutions:

I think of this as resolutions, because it becomes areas and goals that I hope will be attended to, and decisions I want to commit to in the year ahead. We never know what the year brings, all we know at this stage is where we are pointed. Twists and turns will come, like my step-mother’s cancer returning, but still there are paths to go down, as led by God and the Holy Spirit. And 2009, really is a year of pending change. Yes, we have a new President and change will be happening regardless. But I am talking a time for personal transformation.

One of my resolutions and goals and really the starting point is deepening my relationship with God. God has already shown me of a need to be thankful daily, even moment by moment, regardless of circumstance. When things are getting tough I need to move beyond distraction and actually reach a point of being able to rejoice, with God’s help, since my strength to rejoice fails.

Another change that I need to make, is continue to follow God’s lead which will involve contact by email from people from my school and both forgiving and asking for forgiveness. I recently did write an old friend who went down a sinful path and I abandoned him to his sin essentially because of pride and self-righteousness. It is a hard thing to do, but this needs to happen.

I am in process of building not just a blog and forum but a website portal. It right now is an overwhelming task, but God has brought some good people to help, and I look forward to see how God uses what he leads in my life and the lives of those touched by those tools and services.

A personal goal is professional licensure in psychology and a hope to help others through in-office therapy and not just my current crisis evaluation and in-home skills training jobs. Yet, only God knows where those will lead.

Another resolution is to grow in my ability to meet my wife’s needs and to help her grow in her walk and overcome her struggles.

Also, I want to see healing and restored health for my step-mother and still hope that God can restore my mother’s vision. I need to open and listen to how God wants me to interact and act on behalf of those I love. I do also need to turn my felt responsibility for my family to God, seeing any of them in pain hurts regardless of coming at the hands of choices, or through life circumstances including health. Ultimately, I need to submit them to God before anything else. I need to daily turn my burdens over to Him because they are too much for me to bear.

All in all, I know that the year will not turn out in accordance with any expectations I have about what will happen, how God will work, and what is in store. All I know, is there is a season of changes coming. How that plays out, only God knows, but he has set things in motion and led me in directions for reasons only known to Him. And basically above all else I want to live in submission to Him, and build his Kingdom and not my own, because it is very easy to get caught up in building for self. There are way too many temptations.

I also know that God has some things for me to write and say. Articles on the to do list grow, there is a series coming on what goes into strong delusions and effectual deceptions, a series examining morality, an article on biblical approach to conspiracies real or imagined, and article on our wormwood, soap bubble chasing culture, and other things as God leads. It all can be very overwhelming. Add on to that adding the website and blog with family health concerns ongoing and I can easily be overwhelmed to the point of inaction. So pray for strength and let God move in me as he will.

I also offer the readers a challenge to go before God and turn yourself over to His will for the coming year. Ask God some very specific prayers:

Thank God for what has come in the years past and for what is to come, even any potential suffering.

Ask God to open your eyes and ears to any areas of deception in your life and to show you the truth.

Ask God to make clear areas in your life where you need to repent of your own self-will.

Ask God to show you anyone that you may need to forgive or reconcile.

Ask God to show you what is asking of you in this year ahead.

Tell God that you submit to His will over God.

And know that while all of this is easily written and actually easy to do, the surrender of self is never easy but when you surrender self to the God of Love who cared enough to send Jesus to pay for our selfishness, so that we can be reconciled, then you truly are blessed and find true peace.

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One Response

  1. […] was a year filled with much change and growth.  Looking back at an article I wrote last year looking at where I have been and where I am going it is clear the journey I had made. Last year I […]

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