Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Fresh Start

hosted by: Laurel Wreath













I love a fresh start. When we would break at school for Christmas or Easter, I would always clean out my notebook (remember the good ol' Trapper Keepers?) and "resolve" to be more organized, more prepared, more like *Kelly Blank-itty-Blank_* who was a straight "A" student, had an "Add-A-Bead" necklace and Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans with swans of every color (so she was basically perfect). The problem was that despite all my good intentions, I never was committed to true change. An organized notebook was not going to be enough to transform me into a disciplined student.

So we find ourselves with somewhat of a fresh start! Thankfully, as a child of God I am given a fresh start each and every morning, which I need because I am still prone to sin and in desperate need of a Savior. I am grateful that I am not dependant on my own ability to change, but rather His beautiful grace that changes me.

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your
faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Our pastor has been and continues to guide us through the book of Romans. The emphasis will be, as we start the new year, "The Distinguishing Marks of an Authentic Church". As we closely examine God's word he will expose the Godly characteristics of the church that he purposed and set apart through the counsel and teaching of Paul.

My first aspiration/goal/resolution/desire must be for God to reveal in me the "distinguishing marks" of a Christ-follower who proclaims the gospel and lives a radically different life because of my love for Him. I am both fearful and prayerful as I seek the Lord in this part of my life. I am always one to make the claim of how different my life should be, but I am challenged when it comes to truly setting myself "apart". The movement in church growth today depends greatly on the congregation being willing to "reach out" and "share Christ" which most often means, invite your friends to church.

I have no problem with inviting someone to church- that's actually pretty easy. But, I am under a strong conviction that while Mark 16:15, says: "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation", I cannot rest on that by giving out open-ended church invitations. Sharing the gospel is so much greater a task. In order for my witness to be valid and my testimony to reflect Him, I pray that I shall be under constant scrutiny for selfish ambition, pride, self-preservation, and other sins that would hinder me in that process. I pray that God will build relationships where I "earn" my position of favor with them because of the revelation of Christ through me and *nothing* else. My assignment is to share the gospel and that should challenge me to the core every single day. I am anxious as I watch carefully for the opportunities in which I should be faithful in proclamation.

My next "nearly impossible" task would be in the direction of reading and devotion to God's Word. This should actually come first, as it would be the most direct way for God to reveal all the planks in my eye(s) and also present me as "prepared".

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 1Peter 3:15-16

I call this task "nearly impossible" because it is the one that I fail at most often. Surely, it is because I find so many other *very important* things to do (for the Lord).

I could type a jillion laundry list's of more "to-do's" in regard to parenting, mothering, sistering, gardening :) etc. etc. etc. But in the end, with God's word as my foundation and obedience to that, I can't fathom that the other necessaries would end up being too difficult! I am prayerful that these desires will bear good fruit.

Let's proclaim His goodness & grace in 2007!

8 comments:

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

A fresh start is always so liberating, and exciting. I pray that 2007 is a beautiful and blessed year for you. I think this was one of my first stops here at your blog and I enjoyed it. God bless!

Daughter Awaken! said...

Kim.....I loved your post about the New Year and what you want to do for our God ! *Good fruit!*

*Good Fruit* is easy to give away!! May this year be a year of many people giving their lives to Christ!! Have a fabulous Year Kim!

Lisa said...

Trapper Keepers! Add a bead necklaces! Gloria Vanderbilt jeans! What a trip down memory lane...Who can forget leg warmers and skinny leg jeans? Oh wait, those are back in style! What about purple eye shadow and wings in our hair?

Thanks for oppportunity to look back. As we look forward, may our God find us faithful to Him...

First visit to your blog; good stuff!

Lisa

lrlwreath said...

You mean they don't use trapper Keppers anymore ;)

You said, "I pray that I shall be under constant scrutiny for selfish ambition, pride, self-preservation, and other sins that would hinder me in that process." Just for that reason I praise God he left us with the Holy Spirit, it is with his guidance that we can be aware of these sins in our life. I know pride and selfishness is something I struggle with.

Thank you so much for sharing your meditations, I really enjoyed them and was blessed.

Happy New Year.

Leslie said...

Thankfully, as a child of God I am given a fresh start each and every morning,

Amen, sister!

I pray that I shall be under constant scrutiny for selfish ambition, pride, self-preservation, and other sins that would hinder me in that process. I pray that God will build relationships where I "earn" my position of favor with them because of the revelation of Christ through me and *nothing* else. My assignment is to share the gospel and that should challenge me to the core every single day.

Me, too! That sin of self-preservation is a booger. Why do I care so much what others might think if I say something about Jesus?! Sharing the gospel with actual words is one of my goals for this year, too.

Kelly said...

I love the idea of "Distinguishing Marks." We are called to be set apart--thanks for the challenge!

janiswrites said...

If you can accomplish those two tasks, then your mothering, sistering, etc. will all fall into place as well. I enjoyed reading your post! It greatly encouraged me! I hope you have a Happy New Year.

MiPa said...

This is so well said and speaks to me. Blessings in your new start in 2007!