12.31.15–>”Looking Back on 2015. Looking Ahead to 2016″

Jesus laughing

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God.

Reflection.

Reflection, I have found, to be a most important of practices for us. If we never stop to take inventory, we will probably not notice what is actually happening in our lives–what is  going well, what is not working, or even where God is in our day to day reality.

To paraphrase and extrapolate from the late great theologian, Chris Farley, If you never shut your big yapper, you’ll never hear anything! Am I right? It is in stopping that we notice; it is in silence that we hear.

So I hope this week, or even this day, you’re able to sit and reflect on 2015. You will doubtless see, first of all, that you have much to be thankful for.

Here are some prompts that a friend sent me last year this time which may help spark some 2015 reflection for you:

Consolations: What has been life gaining and deepened your sense of connection to God and God’s purposes for you? How could you strengthen these aspects of your life?

Desolations: What has been life draining and made you lose that sense of intimacy with God and your confidence in God’s purposes for you? How is God speaking to you through this?

What are the major pressures in your life? Where do you think the pressure comes from? What are the underlying causes? What is one thing you could do in the next year to relieve some of this pressure?

How do the above impact your spiritual well being? Write down the positive and negative impacts of the consolations, desolations, and pressures on your life. Share them with someone you wholly trust. Converse with God directly about how you can harness this impact so that your heart may be broken open to new possibilities for a better future. What is one new practice you could incorporate into your spiritual disciplines to maximize the life giving nature of these forces?

What is one thing you need to do every day?

I hope this is a help!


Looking ahead to 2016, after prayer and consideration, I feel led to send revised and updated versions of the “Daily Meds” of 2014 on the Gospel accounts and Proverbs.

First off, I love and feel the need for reading through the Gospel accounts daily. I do not believe we can ever exhaust the wisdom and Life contained in these four accounts. If you read nothing else, read these, for in them is Life indeed. In them is straightforward Jesus Christ.

Secondly, paraenesis. We need to be continually reminded of what we believe. I’d rather know a few things really well, than a thousand things only an inch deep. Reading a chapter a day, you will have read through all four gospel accounts every quarter, and the wisdom literature of Proverbs every month.

This is good.

There’s always something new to glean from these.

About a fourth of you signed up this year, so these will be completely new anyway. And for those of you who have seen them, I hadn’t sent pretty pictures with them before, so that’ll be exciting, won’t it!

Ok, well, I love you all, and I love connecting with you in this way. It’s almost like we spend a little time together everyday in some distant yet bonding manner.

I pray a blessing upon your day today and your new year starting tomorrow!

I pray that you will make spending focused, undistracted time with Jesus your first and most important priority of the day, every single day, starting right now. For it is reward beyond words that I shall never tire of promoting.

 

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