Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 is ending...

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...and I was wondering why it is we celebrate the New Year anyway. As I sit here listening to the countless cracking and popping of fireworks in the neighborhood and hear of parties that are going to last well past midnight, I can't help but wonder why New Year's Eve is such a celebration? What is so special about the END of the year and the beginning of a new one?

We are having a quiet New Year's Eve this year. I've done the fireworks and parties and had the cabbage and black-eyed peas the next day. This year I am even attempting to make my own black-eyed peas and cabbage (not for superstitious reasons). But this year, I've gotten to thinking that maybe New Year's Eve should be more about reflection than celebration. Sure, there's the New Year's resolutions...resolving to make better decisions, save more money, lose weight or try to be a better person. But what about REMEMBERING all that God has done? It's nothing new and certainly not something set apart only for the end of the year.

When <span class=" fbUnderline">I</span> look back on 2010 and all of the blessings God has given, I hang my head in shame for all that I've forgotten to acknowledge or have overlooked because of my own self-centeredness.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9

I see this new year as new territory. Kind of like the Israelites who were about to cross into the new land that God had provided for them. (Maybe lots of people have seen it that way, some who are older or wiser, and its just now dawning on me. Or maybe its just my way weird way of thinking.)

Moses gave the Israelites a command before they went into their new territory.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Stress about them...remind yourself about them... REMEMBER...REMEMBER...REMEMBER...

I want to end this year remembering all that God has done for me. Not just the stuff from this past year, but from the very beginning.

But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are. Deuteronomy 4:20

“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. Acts 13:38

God brought the Israelites out of their captivity and years later sent His Son to bring me out of captivity and everyone else who would believe in Him and acknowledge their need for Him. Since then my eyes have seen His hand upon my life and other's lives and my heart has known Him to be real and true. I don't want to forget those things. I don't want this year to be full of "resolutions" that only involve me trying to "better" myself. I want to end this year and begin a new one remembering ALL that God has done for me, asking Him to continue to deal with and work in me so that this year I can be transformed by His Spirit. I want to impress God's goodness and faithfulness on my children's hearts. I want to think and talk about it when I wake up, go about my day and lie down to sleep. I want God's word to be in my heart and in my home.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Happy New Year everyone. I pray it is a blessed one and you remember all that God has done for you.

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time. Deuteronomy 4:39-40

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