New Years Resolutions
2022 was a hard year…2023 started where 2022 left off.
There is something in most of us that hopes a new calendar will bring better things…luckily, I had that silly notion clipped in the bud early this year.
I know this is going to be a hard year…in some way they all are.
My religious friends have spent the last week posting platitudes associated with the New Year and reading them turns my brain to cream of wheat.
Trust God, they say.
You’re safe, they say.
All things work together for your good, they say.
There is truth to all these sayings, but not necessarily in context of life as we live it.
Trusting God does not mean you’re safe from having the worst thing you can imagine happen to you this year.
Trusting God does not mean that somehow, some way, all the not good things that happen to you will eventually turn out in your favor…in this life.
Trusting God does not mean that at the end of your life you will understand all the tragedy and injustice that you’ve experienced and it will all make sense.
I’m fun at parties, too…
I trust God that He has made a place for me in the age to come.
I trust that then, all things will be made new.
I trust that nothing and no one can take me from Him and in that regard, I am safe.
I trust that God loves my loved ones more than I do and He will safely convey them to the age to come as well.
I understand that I see through thickly smoked glass today…someday I will see Him face to face…and see that all things were indeed used by Him to a blessed end.
I have no new resolutions.
For years my only resolutions have been to persevere in the faith and be faithful to what I believe.
I’ve done neither well, but here I am.
He’s been faithful.
He will continue to be no matter what happens this year.
May you experience His faithfulness whether the New Year is happy or not…
My take on New Year’s resolutions-if it’s something I really need to do I should start now (especially if it’s an important area of spiritual obedience). Otherwise, I’m grateful to be alive and breathing on January 1, and thankful for another year of life. That’s a lot, I think!
Indeed it is!
I/we can do better–a daily mantra, not a yearly one.
I needed this reminder. I’m going to share this with my oldest daughter. She’s 41 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few months back. She’s regressing quickly. The worst part is that she now wants absolutely nothing to do with God. Please pray for her.
Very sorry to hear that…it’s hard to get our arms around all the pain in a fallen world.
CK, praying for your daughter…
Hopefully He will let her know that John 3:16 & 17 are not a joke
“Trust God, they say.”
“You’re safe, they say.”
“All things work together for your good, they say.”
I agree with you Michael, and I also think that these sayings can be flippant, trite, and weaponized.
They’re a lot easier to spout than to actually get out of the box and go out of your way to help somebody who’s hurting.
This is my favorite part of you OP: “ For years my only resolutions have been to persevere in the faith and be faithful to what I believe.
I’ve done neither well, but here I am.
He’s been faithful.”
That’s how I feel too—all the time.
I tend to think that here in America, we have wrongly interpreted and applied the scriptures thru a Western lens.
Often times when a person approaches the scriptures the question asked by readers is “What does this passage mean to me?”. But you can’t ask that question until you’ve answered another question and that is “What does it say?”
But we Americans can’t help ourselves. We are self absorbed (for the most part). We evaluate everything thru the lens of “what’s in it for me”
It’s one reason, I believe, that worship is so meaningless in church. The heart of worship is stated in Psalm 29 “Give unto the Lord the glory due His Name”
We’ll give—-but we feel the need to be rewarded for our giving.
So most songs we sing in church are “me” focused.
That’s not to say there’s no place for reflecting on yourself when singing church music.
The Psalms are full of real-life self talk. David and other Psalmists speak openly about things like anxiety, doubt, depression—even rage.
But what sets these Psalms apart is that the writers aren’t using their own writing as a mood booster. They might mourn their loneliness, confess their fear or sic God on their enemies! But you never get the sense that they’re looking in the mirror, trying to pump themselves up to feel “blessed” That’s not the goal of the Psalms and it shouldn’t be our goal either.
Worship isn’t about looking within ourselves to find the strength and resolve to do better. It’s about confessing our own inability to do better!
It’s about taking a deliberate break from making much of ourselves and making much of God instead.
Good words, Officer Holly @3:29
Okay, I wrote _”Hoppy” and spell check changed it. 👎 👎
Damn, that was good!
Along those same lines:
“WE WORSHIP GOD because He is worthy and not because we as worshipers get something out of it. If we look upon worship only as a means of getting something from God, rather than giving something to God, then we make God our servant instead of our Lord, and the elements of worship become a cheap formula for selfish gratification. We then become like those backslidden priests that the prophet Malachi denounced, men who said, “It is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the LORD of hosts?” (Mal. 3: 14).”
I’m so disconnected from evangelicalism and evangelical worship that I’m not qualified to speak…I just know what I see online…and it’s usually ….different than I prefer…
I’ve been raised since birth in Evangelicalism and know no other way. But you have oft spoken of a different way to worship, serve and understand God. I would truly love to see what that looks like. Attempts have been made by you and others to explain the difference but to completely “get it” I probable need to experience it. Can you recommend a local study or gathering of folks?
Honestly, there are none around here that I know of.
That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I’m not aware of them.
I am utterly Anglican in my convictions about worship, but have great respect for traditional Lutheran and Methodist churches that are liturgically based.
I am utterly persuaded that a liturgical worship centered on the Eucharist is the basis for all correct worship and the “study” should be brief and from the readings of the day.
There are other days to teach the Bible or in Sunday School classes before worship.
The music should be theologically sound…and the hymns of the church are tried and true.
On the other hand, I hope to have the first Anglican Church with a black choir…
“ On the other hand, I hope to have the first Anglican Church with a black choir…”
I’ll be your first convert if you put together a choir of black folks!!
Interesting (to me) sidenote.
I’m teaching through Daniel…and realized going through the first five chapters that I knew them well because of the songs that I learned as a kid…on old Johnny Cash records from the Sun years.
I’ve been tempted to play them during services…
There was a time when biblical themes were a big part of pop culture…
Good old Warren Diets be. 👍 👍
“I am utterly persuaded that a liturgical worship centered on the Eucharist is the basis for all correct worship and the “study” should be brief and from the readings of the day.
There are other days to teach the Bible or in Sunday School classes before worship.”
I think that the Bible suffers from two extremes.
Not giving it the credence it deserves at one polarity, and making way too much of it at the other.
That does happen…I have a high regard for Bible teaching, but also as much for prayer and worship in word and song.
A typical Anglican service is an hour long and a quarter is given to the homily…there is much more to do.