Tag Archives: Excitement

New Year New Beginnings

It’s a new year.  A chance for new choices, a fresh start.  A time to look ahead and change what was wrong, to plant a new crop for the new year.

It’s a chance for new beginnings.  What will you do with the next year?  It’s all in your hands to live each day with the excitement of a child as they open each Christmas gift.  What will you find in the days ahead?NewBeginning

We always begin a new year with hopes and dreams of better things, but soon find that the same problems, same choices, and same people are still the same!  But don’t let the sameness around you keep you from planting new crops in your life, from doing something different, from new adventures.  Make the choice to do one new thing this year that you have always wanted to do.

Plant a new kind of seed in your life.  Become a student of a new interest, learn something new that has always interested you, go somewhere you have always wanted to go.  God is a God of adventure in our lives with him and in his desires for us personally.  He smiles when we thrive.  So, this year, with a new year beginning what new things will you do?   What adventures will you go on in your walk with God?

We are in the last days.  The Lord is coming soon.  There has never been a time like this when God’s people can be part of such an amazing time.  Love people.  Get to know God more deeply.  And consider the new year ahead the greatest adventure you will ever embark upon.  It will be exciting!

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

The Big Lie

I watched the beginning of a video a few weeks ago that is haunting. I couldn’t watch it all. I didn’t want to see the end. It was the video of a young lady committing suicide. Someone had filmed it. The beginning of the video was heartbreaking as she just stood there…on the edge of this tall building looking down. I stopped the video before she moved a muscle. The title told me all I needed to know. I can’t imagine the thoughts of someone as they make this kind of life ending decision. It’s a tragic event in the life of someone God has made. It’s a horrible end of the life of someone dear to God. I just couldn’t watch the point of decision…the point where she leans forward and moves beyond her ability to make any other decision. The rest is inevitable.

It made me think about something that I have been dwelling on for a long time. It’s what I call the big lie. It’s a lie that started many centuries ago, but continues to be believed even today. Here’s the lie- I can find happiness disobeying God. It’s a lie that we have believed to our own fall for centuries.
At first, you have a sense that all is well. You might find pleasure for a moment, a little excitement, maybe a thrill; but there will be a moment when you move past your ability to make any further choices and you begin to fall. The outcome is unavoidable. It will happen every time and yet I hear over and over again, as people tell me they want to make a choice that is clearly sin in scripture, “I just want to be happy…” My response is the same each time. It’s a response I have repeated to those on “the edge of their building” over and over again….”You will never find happiness disobeying God.” But what I know is that most people don’t believe me and so they go on that horrible quest that starts with the decision to jump and always ends in death.
Here’s how the book of James describes it,
James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Look at the way James describes this- conception, birth, full growth and then death. From conception to birth there is a time of growth. The baby is growing in the mother’s womb. For a few months it looks like there were no results from the intimate act that had in fact conceived a new baby, but soon the action begins to show….soon there’s a birth, then growth and finally death. This is the perfect description of disobedience to God. For a moment there is pleasure, no one disputes that, but there will be a birth coming. There will be results from sin, it will come to light, it will grow up and ultimately there will be a death because of the choice. Sin has a price and it’s high!
I’ve seen this so many times in my role as a pastor I could almost predict the outcome when a person decides that it is “ok” to disobey God because….”don’t you know….I just want to be happy.” There are a hundred stories I could tell. They all end the same. The big lie has not changed in centuries, nor have the results. Don’t believe the culture when they tell you that it’s ok, because God would surely want you happy. I must tell you that God is more interested in your obedience than he is in your happiness. If you do things God’s way happiness will be one of the results. If you do things your way happiness will always elude you because…you will never find happiness disobeying God.
Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

He Never Lets Go

Do you remember the thrill of being spun around by your dad? Do you remember how exciting it was? Never a worry about him letting go. He’s your dad, he would never do that. The thought never crossed our minds. We simply enjoyed the thrill and excitement of the ride.

How have we lost that thrill of life with God? How have we imagined that he would ever let go of us? Where did we get the idea that we can’t trust him? When did the thrill of living a life with God disappear for you? I think, for most I talk to the thrill of a life lived with God is a distant memory if they ever knew that excitement at all. How do we lose that excitement of living in relationship with the God who made us?

For me the thrill and excitement of walking with God, of knowing he has me in his hands, is often a distant memory. I’ve lost it in the mundane, in the necessary things of life. But with the loss of that excitement another emotion rises for many…we wonder if God will let go of us. Can we trust him to “hold on?” Am I safe?

If fear of a fall is part of life then you can’t enjoy the ride…..you simply don’t trust the hands that hold you. When fear and lack of trust replaces the excitement of a relationship with God then you’ve lost all joy of knowing God and living life with him. We must recapture trust and then can enjoy the thrill of the adventure once more.

Here’s what Jesus said, knowing how destructive our fears can be, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” Jesus knows we forget the fun of the relationship and easily fear the one who holds our hands. He wants us to know, “I will never let go! Enjoy the ride. I’ve got you! I love you too much to let go of you. Relax!”

Once we recapture that trust then fun begins again, we relax knowing that God loves us, promises to hold onto us and wants us to enjoy this life and walk with him. If, like me, you easily lose the thrill and excitement of a life lived with God and entertain fears of the fall then go to the Father, recapture that trust, revisit his love for you and realize that whatever you go through he will never let you go. Enjoy the ride!

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Steep Grade Ahead

Steep grade ahead, in the wilderness great

where God’s voice whispers through aspens and pines

our hearts will not miss a beat for we know what is at stake

through strife, we will find a blessing for all times.

for years to come we will look back on these days,

and remember God’s beauty, which is ours to find.

As the low clouds shifted and moved to the south

The snowy mountain peak was revealed

ten hours we had been confined

en route to where our true journey would begin.

Our excitement grew in an instant

the pines framed the sight

we paused to take in its beauty

and pondered what the journey would be like

The peak seemed close at hand

as we stood there in awe.

Intoxicated by the view, before we began

the long treacherous climb, to answer our call.

In actuality the mountain was a ways,

our feet would have to carry us a long distance yet

to reach our goal in the coming days

we would not be deterred, in our wilderness dance

Steep grade ahead, in the wilderness great

where God’s voice whispers through aspens and pines

our hearts will not miss a beat for we know what is at stake

through strife, we will find a blessing for all times.

for years to come we will look back on these days,

and remember God’s beauty, which is ours to find.

We had our gear,

our souls were not dead.

we had trained, but were we prepared,

for there was a steep grade ahead.

Our beautiful goal had us in a trance

as we stood our ground and took in the view.

The mountain trail invited us to dance

in hopes that our souls would soon renew

Headwaters start anew, just below the ridge line

Soon we will stand above and take a long hard gaze

and view God’s earth as seen before our time.

Cold, but not alone, atop the ridge are our best days.

In time thereafter, we must descend,

for there is witness and the work of our lives,

families, and responsibilities to which we must attend

But standing atop the mountain ridge, we are revived.

Steep grade ahead, in the wilderness great

where God’s voice whispers through aspens and pines

our hearts will not miss a beat for we know what is at stake

through strife, we will find a blessing for all times.

for years to come we will look back on these days,

and remember God’s beauty, which is ours to find.

By Philip Mack Furlow