Thursday, January 1, 2015
Happy New Year.
No, seriously. I sincerely hope 2015 is a happy, new year. Lord knows this old world can use it.
Many have asked me “Why only one column in December?”
The reasons are many and varied. Busy with writing and re-writing, and re-writing again, our Church Christmas production. Getting things done for Christmas, shopping, wrapping gifts, etc. We enjoyed a much needed trip to Virginia to visit our daughter Aubrey, son-in-law John and wonderful grandchildren Gwen and Rocky over Christmas. Being a proud Father at our son Gabe’s graduation was tossed into the mix over the same trip. Add an end of the fourth quarter drive at work to finish the year well above quota (which I did); well… any and all are sufficient cause to not write.
But, the answer is far simpler; I had a fairly moderate case of Curmudgeon-ism. No one wants to hear from a certified Curmudgeon; especially at Christmas, Chanukkah, Kwanza, or Winter Solstice, whichever one chooses to celebrate.
And, like clock-work and in relative silence, the calendar page turneth.
Each year I resolve to not make any resolutions. So far, my record of success has been impeccable. Oh, don’t think for a moment I am beyond any form of self-improvement. Just talk with my Lovely Bride, she will quickly dissuade you of any such silly delusions.
Rather, I make lists. Lists in my heart and my head; lists of things I would like to achieve over the ensuing 365 days.
The Perennial Chart-topper is this: to be more Christ-like. I hasten to point out this does not entail having a holier-than-thou attitude. In fact, it is far from such an outlook. It is a personal admonition to me to see people through His eyes, to hear their words with His ears, and to feel for them with His heart.
Hot upon the heels of Number One is Number Two, to not forget Paul’s commandment to men in the book of Ephesians; “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ loved the church that he gave Himself for her.” Anyone who has been married more than 2 months knows this can be a challenge at times. Especially when the toilet paper is replaced coming down from the back of the roll, not the front!! (note: If there were toilet paper in Paul’s day, would he have still written that? Hmm)
Breathing down Number Two’s neck is Number Three, again from Paul found in Colossians; “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, lest they be discouraged.” In my simple little mind, this extends to our four wonderful children we got through marriages, and our eight so far (hint, hint) amazing Grandchildren. The world is discouraging enough, our children and grandchildren need to be encouraged; particularly by their parents.
At times, Life being what it is, I find myself falling upon the words of my namesake; James. His timeless encouragement to realize when things happen, it serves to strengthen my faith. That when I lack wisdom, to ask of God, and He will provide wisdom and guidance greatly. I have found, as the years flow past like a river, that I need to ask of Him more and more. It is amazing how much I don’t know!
This is followed by a boot in the rear to be a better friend. None other than Solomon wrote there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I am blessed to say I have several friends who fill that bill. I pray I will become the same to them.
Another on my list is to never forget John’s inspiring words, particularly when it seems at times as if we are being assaulted from all sides. As the rough-hewn fisherman so wonderfully put it; “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.”
If along the way I lose some weight (after all, my body is a “temple of the Holy Spirit”, and the temple has been enlarging somewhat), get more things accomplished (whatever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord…for you serve the Lord Jesus Christ), then that is great.
Except, this year; somewhere near the top is: Get at least a second book published this year.
Oh, yeah… and to make sure the Publisher’s Clearinghouse people have my phone number. I know they must have stopped by when I wasn't home last year.