Happy New Year?
Midnight came and we changed the year on our calendars.
Another exhausting, confusing, confounding, and depressing year has passed and we are ready for a new year…a better year.
The number of the year has changed…but have we?
To be more precise, have we changed in ways that will make this a better year?
Because if we have not been made better, then we will simply extend the pain with a new number.
For Christians, positive change is measured by the production of “fruit”.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23 ESV)
Have we allowed the Spirit to increase the production of theses fruits individually and corporately?
I don’t think so…what I keep hearing is that the current social conditions are too dire to allow the Spirit to reign…that perhaps when we have defeated the other, we can afford to be Christlike, but not before.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19–21 ESV)
While I didn’t get invited to any orgies last year, (age and lack of opportunity are often sanctifying) I did engage in enough of the works of the flesh listed to raise questions about which kingdom I was working toward.
So…if i were inclined to make a New Years resolution…it would be to replace the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit…no matter the cost.
Perhaps if enough of us did so, we would have a better shot at a Happy New Year…and inheriting the kingdom of God.
First, we have to choose which kingdom we want to inherit…
I’ll go first.
Make your own application…
Despite it all… Happy New Year, my friend!
To you and your bride, as well…
Let’s hope for a better year. Glad to be back on PHXP.
Happy New Year!
I don’t know what 2022 holds, although I will admit I have some fears of returning to my educational Petri dish next week. But, the way I’ve been able to navigate the past two years is, no matter the circumstances, God and His Word have not changed. During moments of fear and loneliness, He has always been there. He is the One going into the New Year with me, and I can trust Him. In the end, He is all we really have.
I trust Him…His followers increasingly scare the tar out of me…
I’m tempted to look forward to 2022, thinking that it couldn’t be worse than 2021 was. But, then I get a mental picture of 2022 telling 2021 to hold its beer. 🙂 I admit, I have a fatalist streak…
And yet in one of the most bizarre years of my life, God showed up in ways I wouldn’t have recognized but for the pain and loss.
When its all said and done, I simply pray that whatever comes this year, I’m willing to yield to the Spirit and learn from the Master.
I agree…I am wondering how many maskless wonders I’ll run into at church tomorrow!
My predictions are pretty apocalyptic…but we can hope…
Well, I am still snowed in, so chalk this up to cabin fever
juan/juan/tutu = a New Year
God keep all
My last two pandemic years really helped grow my dependence on God. I am very independent (something about being that kid who would “never” walk), and I’ve had to learn to be dependent on God for so many things. I had to learn new things (especially in the tech department) to do my job, I made two quite deep friendships due to online classes/Bible study, and God was even kind enough to supply another cat when my old kitty went over the bridge at the beginning of the pandemic. I look at all these things, and I know He is faithful and will get me through.
By the way, I know we are to be dependent on God for everything, but I think He often gradually reveals what “everything” is as He conforms us to His image.
Anybody watching football today?
I watch football and still do a weekly podcast with Phil on sports gambling…
Busy man today!
I don’t watch much college fb…I teach on Saturday nights and need to focus.
Big pro fan, though…
Two little 3/4 grown black with cute white markings kitties came out from under our deck this morning…
Following Michael’s example, we put some kittie kibble in the carport….
People come up here and dump unwanted pets. Sadly they usually end up crumpled, lifeless furballs in the ditch
God will bless you for that…
Last year was the worst year of my life, but we’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of Christians who demonstrated all the fruits of the Spirit for our benefit.
I need to retract my comment on maskless wonders at my church. There are so many ill with Omicron, both in the church and the nearby community, that they are going online for the near future. I have prayed much that the leadership would take the virus more seriously and this is an answer.
Our parish has a good number of anti-vaxxers (mostly “crazy” converts) and they all wanna give me and my husband big sympathetic hugs. We appreciate the sentiment but we don’t want the hugs. Yet we need our church more now than ever. I reckon we’ll go, but observe all the precautions to the max, and try to avoid certain people. Not a happy solution, but I guess that’s what we’ll do.
My husband is elderly, and I’m no spring chicken myself. But the reason we were being so very strict the past year no longer applies, so I guess we should go, although no one is pressuring us. What a mess.
It is a mess unlike anything I’ve experienced before.
I am pro vaccines…but I’m also now dealing with what is apparently a severe vaccine injury.
The isolation has caused untold suffering, but not isolating has caused even more.
I want to say and do the right things, the righteous things, the safe things…but I cannot discern what is right.
I do know that making a disease a political issue has been and will be deadly.
Praying for you and yours, my friend.
Praying for God’s will, safekeeping and grace for all of us in this new year…..
Xenia, don’t forget vaxxers also can transmit covid… AND 😇
Us anti -vaxxers are not “crazy,” as there are some side effects from the vaccine – it isn’t a “normal” vaccination formula – pray the pill being developed is efficacious…. AND 😇
I’ve been told that the Scandinavian countries who take D3 regularly are much less impacted than the rest of the world…
God keep and comfort you and yours now… Sure He will. 🙏
AMEN to every word posted
I’ll say the amen…
The chief hierarch of our jurisdiction says the vaccine is not a matter for spiritual concern, so now there’s a gang of people saying we are free to ignore what our beloved bishop says, calling him terrible names, and these are people I used to admire. They have gone so far as to…. well nevermind.
And I don’t see why it’s a matter for political concern, either.
Michael, I am very sorry you were harmed by the vaccine.
So many people I know have Covid right now, and I know several who have died recently. Since we are 3x vaxxed maybe we won’t die if we catch it, but who wants to be quite sick for a week?
Em, the phrase “Crazy Convert” is an in-house Orthodox joke. And yes, they have crazy ideas about Covid, among other topics.
I want to say and do the right things, the righteous things, the safe things…but I cannot discern what is right.<<
I’m praying it’s reversible…
Still, I think the risk/reward ratio is still on the side of the shots…I don’t want to catch it, nor transmit it…and I’m aware that vaxxed people can still do both.
For me, the right thing was still to get vaccinated.
I’m just becoming more of a hermit with every passing day, sequestered with my books, my garden, my animals and my sorrow. A friend (sort of a friend) from out of state left a message on our answering machine, wanting to stop by. I did not return her call. And I feel bad about that, but not bad enough to give her a call and invite her over.
You already have enough to feel bad about in your sorrow…friends will let you grieve in your own way and time…
Letting one grieve their own way is what true friends do.. AND..
if they are Christ loving friends they hold you up in prayer….
Knowing and understanding the pain that many went through in 2021, I actually had a pretty good year.
My wife had a better year than 2020, even while dealing with her depression and trying to fill her time as we’re partial empty nesters (my son goes to school out of state). My son is doing great in college in Arizona. I was promoted to Associate in the company I work for, got licensed in Nevada to practice land surveying, and had several challenging projects at work get completed and recorded. In Texas, my parents and my brother all caught and recovered from covid and are now doing great.
I have several things to look forward to in 2022 and I pray that everyone here has a blessed year.
Covid will be around for at least the next few years. Severity will ebb and flow as will the needed response. Over the summer, here, things were pretty free. We got back to doing all the things we used to do, even to the point of going in stores unmasked, etc. 6 months later, we are back in crises mode. Numbers are higher than ever, hospitals are full again. My daughters college just announced it is back online. More and more restrictions will be enforced, and more and more conservatives will be enraged.
Shut out the noise and take care of yourself and your house. Trust everyone else to do the same. They won’t, but that is their choice. Find a source you trust and follow that source.
My fully vaccinated family had a christmas get-together. About half of them got covid. My fam and I stayed home last night for new year’s, and skipped a wedding today. I will have to go to church in the morning, but the rest will stay home.
Now, that’s me and my family in our little corner of North Carolina. I would expect things may be different in California or Ohio, and trust you and your families to do what is best for you.
Happy New Year…it still sucks 🙂
Covid has defeated all comers… it has proven that “science” is of no more use than the honor of those who own its copyrights. It has confounded the masks and the vaccines. It has rendered us confused, divided, angry, and embedded in our own fortresses of “truth.” So now we endure and wait until, deliverance comes, at which point we will variously claim victory and return to our walls.
When it is done there is one singular force whose power can release us to build again ‘with worn out tools.’ That power is forgiveness. We will all have a list of enemies to forgive. Nothing else will set us free from the viral load of hate that has been loosed by covid19, delta, omicron and whatever demons await. But forgiveness was loosed long before omicron by the sacrifice of the Son. It is a power that called us come and receive. It is the power that gave us our true identity.
Everyone wants to call us to repentance. Forgiveness enables us. So it is Ja 1, 2022. I am unemployed, homeless (not by poverty), and no one owes me anything. Nor am I a debtor financially. But I owe a debt I cannot pay and I have debts unpaid of offenses sown. So there is work to do and payments to make.
2022 … the year of remembering Jesus at the table and laying down all offenses there again and again.
I cannot sort out the body politic or the body of Christ … I can return to the body and blood and remember Him and pray with him “father forgive them” receiving and being enabled to give.
Grace and Peace PP … from your grumpiest 2021 graduate.
Blessings to you as well, Everstudy…
Josh and Dread…well said and much appreciated…
Hope that resolves asap…..
My son is using a spare room in the garage of a house he helped build (rammed earth) – with a broken leg,he can’t work… He lives on one of Washington state’s San Juan islands, but oh how I wish he was here with us now…. His bossy baby sister would make sure he behaved. Home 24/7 now herself as she refused the vaccine and the hospital in Wenatchee said “goodbye.”
But God is good. I sold my acreage up here and we’re living off the proceeds….
Hoping God blesses His Church in the USA in 2022… we need good teachers, who fear God…. IMHO
working on sobriety in more ways than one this year.
A friend posted on FB, asking folks to tell something they are proud to have accomplished in 2021. My response was “staying alive.” Of course, I’m not really the one who accomplished that feat.
Dan, we have a neighbor who cannot lick her dependence on the bottle. In and out of rehab’ like it is a revolving door. Her poor “husband” looks so beat down that we worry for him. As far as we know he is a kind man. …. 🙆
Hope that’s not the sobriety you are referring to….
Captain, life has been hard in your corner from what I’ve read in your posts…
I keep asking God to heal you and Michael……
I guess He has other plans for the both of you…..
If I don’t get out of these mountains soon, I think I just may lose what’s left of my mind, so….
God watches how we accept our challenges, I guess…. Would like to echo God’s response to Satan when He said, “Have you considered my servant Job?”
Good reminder Michael!
My thoughts are on the grace of God to shake me out of the Galatians 5:19-21 crowd… where I find myself too often… specially when thinking of others… But, God used you to remind me that is my heart that needs fixing … not the other people.
May He continue molding us into His image, please, I pray!🙏
A blessed year to all of you🙏💕🙏
Your report of a vaccine injury is very concerning. I’ve heard much about heart episodes. Specifically related to the failure to check aspirate the needle on the shot.
Worse yet the reports are very credible of the failure of any integrity about reporting to the public the truth about vaccine injury.
Sadly I hear this from medical professionals that I know. I’m not stirring a matter but it needs to see the light of day if true.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from getting vaccinated.
However, I had an ultrasound in August that my doctors were bragging about and I gave glory to God for.
I had a Moderna booster in November.
My ultrasound last week showed that the surgically replaced part of heart is fine…but I now have enlargement and thickening issues on the left side…and I feel like I did before the surgery.
I’ll know more next week…but it’s very discouraging.
The risk/reward is still on the side of the shots…but I would only get the Phizer…
I’ve heard the same and share your concerns…especially now.
Michael and all…
Over the years I have known several men who developed heart issues…
Every one of them had trouble with emotional stabilty…..
Know we are ALL praying now for our blog host! ! !
Thanks for the prayers, Em…
Michael, you are welcome and I think you are braver, more balanced than you realize.
I hope folks post agreement to the comment I just posted here!
God keep you close and be your Truth. 😘
Sadly: unhappy New Year to millions of Vikings fans as their QB won’t be starting against the Packers tonight because he refused to get vaccinated. That means their chances for any post-season play are nil, done.
“Each man’s life touches so many other lives” — Clarence, It’s a Wonderful Life
I don’t know that there are millions of us…but Viking fans are used to this kind of woe.
We waited all year for the inevitable…we knew he would miss a game when it mattered most.
Lots of people will lose their jobs over this…
I debated how or even if I should respond to your comment. My kind addiction (and there are NUMEROUS kinds of addictions) is not up for talk here, but I will say that I hold a steady well-paying job, and happily married in a good marriage and have several pets. I am not an abuser and have no police record. My comment about sobriety was also in reference to being sober of mind as the Bible speaks of. Blessings to you.
Michael and bob1…
Ugh..yeah this is horrible timing for no starting QB. I was hoping it would’ve been a early game so as to not have the Vikes embarrassed on National TV.
Exactly…going to be a disaster…
Dan, thank you for your reply. You do describe a walk that pleases our Lord! ! !
Thank you very much for the kind words Em! Blessings to you again!
We’ve lost a lot of people close to us this past year. Celebrities, football coaches, musicians, parents, a brother or a sister, a child, a husband, a wife, or even a pet. Reminds me to love and appreciate them while you’ve got them.
If there is a bridge that needs to be crossed can, I encourage you to build it and then cross it?
Last week, I asked my brother what he would say to our mom and dad if they were here. Chris said, he’d tell them he’d love them. I said, “I’d say I was sorry”.
Unfortunately, they both left this earth before i could utter those words.
I like the words of the Mike and the mECHANICS TUNE, LIVING YEARS,
“ I wasn’t there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn’t get to tell him
All the things I had to say
I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I’m sure I heard his echo
In my baby’s new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years”
Forgive me. I am a bit sappy this afternoon
very good thoughts hoppy. Good song too.
Hoppy, I’ve got some bridges to build. Thanks for that encouragement.
You’ve figured out who I am, right? Not using the same moniker. A before—a few years back
Yes, Hoppy, I know who you are. It has been good to see you here lately. I read often, but don’t comment as much as I used to.
Up from under my rock—wife and I are both COVID positive & fortunately she’s feeling pretty well. Me not so well but doing well enough to be home. We are both vaccinated and perhaps the benefit is that I’m not sicker.
I was just composing an email to you to ask…praying for you to recover fully and swiftly.
Thanks for praying. I wont be at school for at least a week.
Our wives talked. Mine said it’s kicking your Kjv donkey. Wasn’t too worried about you but I’m glad your wife is doing ok
My first question for the new year. If God likes earnestness, can a person be a Christian and be angry with God?
Asking for a friend.
God likes humans.
Likes them so much that he became one of them to save them.
He understands all our emotions and the honest expression of them.
There are some folks that got a angry in the Bible and lived to tell about it…
As they say on “Family Fued”…good answer
Yes, good answer ! ! !
I’ve been “it’s mpatient” [angry?] with God and I’ve learned that He does take into account our feeble, mortal thinking
I didn’t type the “its” – someday I ll learn to edit after this program does its editing
God is “big enough” to handle our anger.
Just look at many of the psalms, especially the “lament” ones.
bob 1 sure many of Davids’s psalms started with his laments but they usually ended in praise.
Curious- why do you think his psalm of lament ended in praise and is there a lesson for us there?
David was said to have strengthened himself in the Lord at Ziklag 1 Sa 30:6 – how? Well he spoke to himself in songs. He psalmed his way to resolution. In his song he recounted the revelation of the God who keeps covenant. Thus he regularly became stronger as his psalm was sung.
Thanks Dreadly…sounds like your feeling better my friend
Good words Dread. I have experienced anger towards the Lord and others, but in the end laying aside the bitterness and anger (that’s how my mileage goes anyways) was a healing factor in my life.