Embrace the New Year

I remember the huge celebrations growing up as that clock ticked and the crowd counted down the remaining seconds before “Happy New Year!”

As a child I’d smile, watching the ball drop on TV at Time’s Square, fireworks exploding all around. As an adult I’d cheer and turn to my husband for the customary kiss to start the new year off right. Now…

Now, as a mother and as someone who very much feels the weight of time passing like sand through my fingers, my face is more somber. It’s like I’m saluting the year that passed by so swiftly, the pain and triumphs and milestones that it held, never to experience again.

I see a world that is almost hesitant now, if not just as somber. The joy and laughter are almost hollow in some ways, the crowds are gone, the ball drop? A silent affair.

Are we setting ourselves up to expect more hardship? Forgetting the new day(s) and it’s opportunity for joy and restoration? It’s time we throw our fears and woes back at the devil’s face and say, “this is going to be a great year!”

Instead of new year resolutions, why not try new year declarations:

1. This year I’m going to see miracles

2. This year I’m choosing joy!

3. This year, my family will be reunited.

4. This year, Is the year of revival!

(Insert your own)

Resolutions our what we say to ourselves, declarations is what we say to our spirit and perhaps those words carry more power?

Our minds are influenced by our thoughts and what we feed it daily. Are we feeding on Hope and surrounding ourselves with positivity? Your mental health with reflect what you are focused on and what you have trained your mind to do. The power to transform your life begins with transforming the way you think.

I highly recommend reading “Battlefield of the Mind,” by Joyce Meyer, and coupling that with reading/watching books/videos by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a pure genius of the mind who is also a Christian.

As for your own 2022 declarations, get out a sheet of paper and write down as many as the Lord places on your heart to write and hang them in a place you can speak them aloud daily. It can be a part of your morning routine—setting your mind and heart on joy and positivity before each new day.

And one day at a time…you’ll see God move through your words and they won’t return to you void. Only just remember this…every spoken word from you (and God) will be tested and tried.

You may find yourself experiencing opposition and possibly “the opposite” of what you declare at first. This is the devil trying to undermine truth. Hold fast and don’t stop declaring! This is a spiritual battle but you know who is victorious…your words have power or he wouldn’t be attacking them.

You will win. Trust in God. Keep straight the path ❤️

And Happy New Year…

A Reason To Sing

My husband, Aaron, leading worship in the face of a Covid outbreak at a neighboring church.

These past couple years have hurt. Deeply. Everywhere I turn it’s the same story, like a broken record. Pain—loss—fear. It’s more rampant than ever, and Hope? More scarce than ever.

The church (as a whole) made a grave error. Many turned their backs during a time when the world needed them most. In a lot of ways we collectively said, “Jesus isn’t enough,” and the world heard the message. And a bleak hopelessness set in…

We all carry scars now that we were never meant to carry, particularly alone. The devil has done what he set out to do, and now that Christmas is drawing near—he’s ever more dedicated to his cause. Is not Christmas and the coming Easter worth our final stand?

The two months that bring us Hope and remind us of the giver of Hope are under attack in ways we do not realize. I have friends who have turned from church and God, those who have lost so much these past years…and what kind of Hope can I give them?

Have I lost my Hope as well?

I’ve tasted depression and the void of loneliness that only comes in the absence of God in my life. There, my friends, is where you discover what hell is like. You see, we have a tendency to pull away from what would heal us when we are hurting. As “progressed” as we like to think of ourselves we are far from it!

Without God, we cease to have purpose and therefore begin to die. We can’t fully live without Him—we can’t go against the grain of our destinies.

Last night I read the story of Jonah and how he tried to flee from God and his destiny. As you know, he wasn’t given the choice to back down. After a fierce storm and time in the belly of a fish God had prepared to both discipline and protect him, he finally accepted his call to warn the people of Nineveh.

What happened after that? The people of Nineveh repented at Jonah’s warning and the city was saved. But Jonah again needed a lesson from God to remind him how valued each and every soul is to Him.

It reminded me of our own destinies. The church may have turned its back like Jonah on God’s call to save—but I believe, that also—like Jonah, they will be reminded of that call and either will repent and see a revival or completely fall away from their faith (pruned away like a rotting branch from the vine).

Those who turn from God will not find rest or Hope, they won’t even find contentment and wholeness because they’ve denied who they are and why they were created.

But those who heed the call and cling fast to Jesus during this time of trials, will find everything they need and more to withstand the storm yes, but also to heal and mend those who are hurting and point them to salvation. A gift that cannot be taken from you (unless you give it away).

And so I urge you brothers and sisters to turn your eyes back to God. It is very easy to get caught up in the things of this world but we can’t afford to lose sight of what matters most and sink beneath the waves like Peter. There is a reality that is unseen, that is more “real” than this plane of existence. Those who perish do not truly die, those who suffer now do so temporarily and are allowed to do so so that the love of Jesus can be demonstrated on this Earth.

We’re ambassadors from another place, representing the most High God in our words and by our actions.

This Christmas Eve, remember Jesus. Born in a disgusting manger, hiding from King Herod and his men. God on Earth—come to die at our hands, so that we could be with Him forever.

And that…is a reason to sing!

Not Covid, nor death, nor persecution, nor suffering, nor what powers govern our world—NOTHING can take this from you!

He is my reason to sing. Always and forever.

Even when I don’t feel joyful in the moment, or when I’m mourning…More of God is always the answer—not less.

https://youtu.be/UGhmvNGFENE