Blogs from The PCA Post
COME GROW WITH US!!!
I have tried to write this post about a dozen times, but to no avail. I keep looking for the perfect words to express myself… to express my thoughts and perspective. It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized there are no perfect words. Moreover, there is nothing perfect about our world. I continue to reflect back on all that has happened in the past month, with a burdened and heavy heart. I am still greatly troubled by recent events...the immense sorrow at the tragic losses our community has endured, and the disheartenment of seeing such senseless violence unfold. My mind is plagued with questions….Why is life so hard? Why do such evil things have to happen? Why are our children expected to cope with such horrific life events? How do we move on from such tragedies? So many questions, yet no answers seem to be forthcoming.
Then, it struck me, this is exactly what has kept me from having a relationship with Him in the first place. The incessant need to know and understand, as if having answers to my questions would somehow ease the pain and suffering of life’s experiences. The reality is, there are no answers that can, or will, do that. As I sit and think about it, there have been multiple times in my life where I have known the reason or purpose for something, yet knowing didn’t serve to ease my heart or spirit. Logic and knowledge are in no way a deterrent to sentiment. I may know that if my skin touches fire it will get burned, yet that won’t prevent the horrific pain I will experience if it in fact occurs.
There are no words to express the grief and sorrow of the tragedy that took place only a few short weeks ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Our hearts break for all the families, students, first responders, staff and faculty that experienced firsthand the events of that fateful day. My intention is in no way to minimize anyone’s pain or grief. My hope is however, that through my truths and sentiments, others will find comfort and solace, and know they are not alone. It is imperative that we lean on one another, yet the ultimate truth is that we must seek comfort in the Lord, and remember that God promises to make something good out of the storms that bring devastation to our lives (Romans 8:28). Only God has the answers; only He can see our final destination, and only He knows the purpose of each bump and detour in our road. Our task as believers is to try and decipher - and follow - the road maps God supplies for us, all the while remembering that even as we encounter dead ends and steep curves, He is right beside us throughout our journey… our journey leading ultimately to Him.
As we celebrate the beginning of a New Year, we are reminded that our role as Christians in the world today is to reveal Christ to others by the way we live our daily lives. As we begin this New Year 2018, may we all strive more to be more intentional disciples of Lord and His call to serve others by practicing the following: Practice Gratitude: Cultivating a grateful heart is the hallmark of a Christian. Every day, express thankfulness to the Lord and to others. Seeing the good in your life will allow you to keep your heart compassionate and loving. Encounter the Lord each day: Find time to be with the Lord each day, whether it is for ten minutes or an hour. Have a conversation with the Lord. Give your joys and worries to Him as well. Allow God’s love to transform them. Our encounters will keep our eyes and ears open to the presence of Christ in our midst. Be present to others: There is much celebration and mourning, joy and sorrow in people’s lives. What a blessing it is to share those times and not let others experience them alone. The gift of your presence is much more valuable than you realize. Resist overwork: There is pressure to produce, meet goals, and be successful. But activities that lead us to overwork, constant fatigue and worry do not give glory to God. What God calls us to do we can do well. Be mindful that life requires balance. Nurture family relationships and friendships: Our family and friends are those we choose to be with. They are a gift from God and give us a greater appreciation of God’s love for us. They need our time and our love. Give more: Realize that everything that we have is a gift from God entrusted to us and needs to be shared. Consider living more simply and be healthy. Don’t give up: People give up their New Year’s resolutions because of perfectionism and unrealistic expectations. So take it slow, be kind to yourself and keep trying. Resist the urge to throw your hands up and quit. You succeed through small manageable changes over time. Turn to the Lord: Ask the Lord for guidance, strength and perseverance in achieving your resolutions. In his letter to the Philippians, Saint Paul writes: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13) If Jesus is at the center of our New Year’s resolutions, they have a better chance for success. God bless you and your loved ones with a Blessed, Happy & Healthy New Year!
Do you remember the excitement you felt about Christmas when you were a kid? Before the big day, you probably checked out all the tags on the gifts to find out which ones were yours and shook each one trying to guess what was inside.
When Christmas morning finally arrived, you couldn’t wait to tear the wrapping paper off so you could play with your new toys.
With the passage of time and increased maturity, our excitement regarding Christmas may change. But our reason for celebrating grows deeper and more meaningful as our focus shifts from gifts to Christ. Now the tree reminds us of the tree Jesus died on to pay for our sins. The lights testify that He is the Light of the World, and the gifts are a mere shadow of the greatest gift ever given—Jesus Christ. What can we say about this priceless present?
Jesus is an eternal gift that is both personal and universal. Jesus Christ came to offer Himself as the sacrifice for sins to all who would believe in Him and call on His name for salvation (Rom. 10:11-13). Although this offer is given to everyone, each person must choose whether to accept or reject God’s gift of His Son. Although this gift must be personally received, it’s also one gift we can share with others and keep for ourselves. Each time we explain to someone who Jesus is and how He came to save us from our sins, we are offering them the gift of Christ.
You will probably receive many gifts during your lifetime, but the one who arrived on that first Christmas night in a stable is the only one that really matters. He is always with you if you know Him as Savior. He’ll love you unconditionally, cleanse you from all sin, and one day bring you home to Himself in heaven. No wonder Paul exclaimed, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).
We’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. As Christians, this is one of the most meaningful holidays we celebrate because it’s all about Jesus. Although we have many wonderful Christmas traditions, let’s always keep Jesus at the center of our celebrations and never forget to share this indescribable gift with others.