January Newsletter Message

“Another go around”

Yep, its time to turn the page on the calendar and restock the shelves of our heart’s and mind’s hopes and expectations.  Some years start with just a relief that the old one is gone!  Other’s start with the splash of joy that is found in the fulfillment of long anticipated events such as; this is the year I finally graduate or we’re getting married, or our first child will be born, or I finally get to retire! Still other years start with fear and foreboding; is this the year my health gives out?  Will I still have a job at the end of this year?

Whether turning the page to January has you relieved, joyful or fearful there is one constant you can rely on… God’s love in Christ Jesus.  One of my favorite Bible passages the Apostle Paul tells us:

“38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. “Romans 8:38-39. 

Scriptural promises like that can be a real comfort when we are road weary from the stresses of the past.  Scriptural promises like that can double our joy in anticipation of enjoying God given blessings.  Scriptural promises like that can also ease our sorrows and ally our fears as we realize we don’t need to walk through the “valleys of the shadow of death” alone.

So as you start filling in your new calendar to ensure that you don’t miss any of the important things in your life: doctor appointments, graduation dates, and sport schedules don’t fail to note those regular appointments and special events that can make a greater year better and a difficult year easier. 

What regular appointments are those?  What special events might you overlook?  Mark you’re calendar for the regular appointment with your best friend, lover, and savior: Jesus.  Whether its morning meditations, evening devotions, daily table prayers, or just honoring the sabbath each Sunday, make it a point this year to relish the relationship that can keep you centered and grounded.  And let’s not forget those special events Easter and Christmas!

During my youth worker days, I used to tell parents- if you don’t program your kids someone else will.  What I meant by this was our consumer society wants to program our kids to be consumers not contributors.  “Madison avenue” spends billions each year to program youth as to what they have to purchase to be happy. In concert with that our underlying drug culture wants our youth to be consistent clients not resistant response-able adults.  If a dealer can hook just one client on “happy pills” they’ve landed a cash cow to make their life cushy while making their clients life hollow.  If parents don’t purposely examine their calendars and the type of time they spend with their children, they may quickly find someone else has “programmed” their child in unsavory ways.

The same is true of us as adults. The world would like to program us this year.  The world would like to make us consumers of the “pursuit of happiness.” Whereas Jesus gives us grace and salvation, so we don’t have to pursue happiness because we are filled with joy and peace.   The world would like to program us to be cash cows for sporting goods, digital entertainment, and so forth. Whereas Jesus became our sacrificial lamb so that we could be free to be the people God created us to be.

So this go around, go around making time for God in your life.  Make sure your calendar isn’t too full for regular appointments and special events with God.  Because, time with God is important.  Time with God isn’t a promise of constant “happy pills.”  Instead it is a promise to find comfort when weary, joy in blessings, and company in the valleys.


Blessings to you in the New Year,


Pastor Mike