Saturday, December 16, 2017

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A Farewell Message To My Kingsview Family

Thank you so much for your kind words, encouragement and well wishes for my transition from Kingsview as Director of Worship. Read more: A Farewell Message To My Kingsview Family

Making (and Keeping) New Years’ Resolutions

By: Heather Zydeck, edited by Jenna Burke

Across cultures and throughout history, New Year’s Day has been a time of jubilant celebration. But for many, it is also a time to reflect on regrets and to focus on the new beginning offered by a fresh year.

Whether a commitment to break a bad habit starts on New Year’s Day or any other day of the year, there are a few tricks to making them stick—and the best way to start anew is to do it equipped with the tools the Church has provided its faithful for 2000 years.

1. Start small. It’s always good to critically analyze areas of your life where you find weaknesses and work on ways to fix them. But it’s not wise to bite off more than you can chew. Start out with small things and take one step at a time, holding onto God’s grace all the while, until you reach your goal. Then, when you do, set bigger goals.

2. Speaking of God’s grace, it’s critical to pray unceasingly while undertaking to accomplish any kind of goal. We should ask for God’s help before we start, while we are working toward our goal and afterwards, as we take on new goals. Establishing a line of communication with God is paramount if we are to receive strength and help in overcoming our own weaknesses.

3. Make yourself accountable. Seek spiritual counsel from a trusted leader and/or a more mature person in your life. Ask them to hold you accountable — whether your resolution is to eat less or pray more — your brothers and sisters in Christ can remember you in their prayers and check in with you from time to time, gently holding you accountable for your actions and offering counsel and support in times of weakness.

4.  If you fail, it’s okay to get up and start over. If we keep trying to overcome our weaknesses, and we prayerfully ask for His help, He will extend His mercy to us. For it is written, “If a righteous man fall seven times’ (that is, repeatedly throughout his life) seven times ‘shall he rise again.”

The Gift of Time

Shopping Malls… Family Dinners… Holiday Parties… Christmas Trees… House decorations… Wrapping Presents… The list for the Christmas season goes on and on.

Every Christmas season goes by so quickly and sometimes our focus can be on all the to-do lists, rather than on the people we’re doing the work for! This Christmas, I’m encouraging you to invest time into your relationships, may it be your spouse, your children, your friends, or your co-workers.

Make time to meet with a friend over Egg Nog Lattes (my favourite), or call a family member that you haven’t heard from in a while. Or, spend an evening reading the Nativity story with your children!

Despite the busyness the Christmas season can bring, our time can be the greatest gift. “In The Purpose Driven Life”, Rick Warren says, “When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back… the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E.” We only have so much time, and it’s going away from us so quickly. Let’s use it to show Christ’s love to everyone around us!

Hebrews 10:24-25 says “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Let’s not get into the habit of putting our to-do lists before the people around us. We are going into a brand new season and, even more so, developing relationships is so important to a Christian life. This Christmas season, let’s spur each other on and celebrate together the birth of Jesus Christ!

Gratefulness In Every Season

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Paul is very direct when he said, “all circumstances”. We tend to create our own exceptions when it comes to having a grateful attitude; when the Word says ALL circumstances, good or bad! No matter the situation, we are to find reason to thank God.

To live with an unthankful attitude is to live in contradiction to a life with Christ. Is it unreasonable for God to ask that from us? Wouldn’t ungratefulness be acceptable in certain situations? According to the Word, it is not! Even in the toughest of situations, we are not asked, but commanded to find reason to give thanks to God.

I can’t count the number of times this month alone that God has provided for me. Through my business, through my family, and here with my ministry at Kingsview, I have seen firsthand how our God is one who provides. We have to focus on all that He has provided on a daily basis, rather than on what we perceive as lack. Even in the darkest situations, God is working in us and doing something for us to be thankful for.

If ungratefulness is something you really struggle with, I would encourage you to start a gratefulness journal. At the end of each day, write down 2-5 things that you are grateful to God for that day. Your life with Christ will deepen, and soon all you will see are the overwhelming blessings the Lord has given!