Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Looking Forward

Luke 8:15 (New International Version)

15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

During this week--the week between Christmas and New Years day, I tend to be even more reflective than normal. I don't make New Year's resolutions exactly, but I do ponder about a focus for the year ahead and often a Bible verse pops out at me and I think, that's it, that's my verse. I have several "life verses" that cover the fly leaves of my various bibles--and I've gathered them together in one place, in a file on my computer, along with prophetic words or words of confirmation/affirmation that have been spoken to me and which I treasure. Words of blessing are of great significance in confirming and shaping identity, as are harsh words of criticism and shaming.

Anyway, all of that is to say that one of my friends drew my attention to the verse above from Luke 8, which was in yesterday's Daily Light. I'd read the Daily Light already and hadn't even noticed it, but I'm grateful for her prompt to read again, because I knew when I read it that it is my heart's longing for the year ahead.

If anyone else is reflecting and looking forward in this way, I'd love to hear your thoughts for the year ahead in a comment on the blog.

Matthew 11:19b (New Living Translation)

19 ..."But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.”


Dave Hingsburger said...

Like you, I find this a time of great reflection - a time to take stock of last year and set goals for the next. When I was younger these goals were all for superficial things like diet and excercise. Now, more mature, I want different things. I want to effect a change in the world around me rather than a change simply in me. I watched the Madonna concert on TV last night and she asked the question: Is it possible to change the world? I don't know if it is ... but I think it's possible to change the world around you, the world of people around you, and it's possible that's enough. It's possible that's why Jesus began by asking us to love our neighbours - our immediate neighbours are so much more challenging than the virtual neighbours across the world. So, I'm thinking that maybe I'd like to work on realizing that when Jesus said, "Love thy neighbour" was was saying ... Hey Dave, that's you too, love YOUR neighbour. So, I want to change the world around me - by using the only effective tool for change I've ever found. Love

Lily said...

It's my friendship with you Belinda, that has inspired me to look forward at this time of year... instead of vaguely "dreading the future", and hoping to get through it one way or another, to approach it with a sense of purpose and direction. Last year "my" verse was the last one in Psalm 27.. I purposed last December to focus this year on "'dwelling' continually in the house of the Lord, beholding His beauty, and continually inquiring at his temple."

I can't say I was perfect in keeping that resolution. I failed miserably, in fact. There were times I got so stressed I didn't know how my body was going to handle what I was dishing out in terms of adrenaline and lack of sleep. But it did. And you know what else? As I look back over the year, I realize that my perspective toward stress has changed. I am so much more aware of his "beauty" even in the midst of dire circumstances... I can see that he is in control.. and as I sit at his feet and inquire of Him, he truly does give me strength and sometimes even the most incredible, practical and effective solutions... Mind you, there are other times when it feels like He is silent and there are no "solutions", but focusing on his beauty, supercedes all that... It's not that I"m "there" and I have this down pat, but I can sure see that there has been some definite growth and an almost natural tendancy to remember to do that.

So, yes, I am already reflecting again at the end of this year and looking to God for hints toward what my focus will be... I really like your "word"... focusing on my heart being "good soil" for the Word to sink in and take root and grow fruit! In fact I like it so much, I just might take it as my own! :)

Loving your blog always (not to mention you!) Lily.

P.S. I loved Dave Hingsburger's comments above. His thoughts certainly resonate in my own heart...

Johnny Cash said...

Hi Belinda,
Thank you for your Xmas wishes. As I look into the near future of 2007, I see it as a year of destiny for many. I don't think it's going to be a happy new year for all but I do see an opportunity here to reach out to a broken world. Telling people that hope is found in God, not the schemes of Man is my resolution. BTW, love the new template. Much more girlish than my manly-man blog. Tee Hee!

Marian den Boer said...

Hi Belinda,

Happy New Year! I enjoy looking in on your blog now and again. Keep up the good stuff.