2012 is now a part of our history. Within its boundaries babies were born, seniors graduated, lovers married, anniversaries were celebrated, and promotions were granted. Of course, these name only a few of the circumstances of life that are held in esteem. On the other hand, babies were slain (in the womb), seniors died in accidents before their desired graduation, lovers parted company and married folks divorced, anniversaries were marred with the death of someone we love so dearly, and maybe some didn't get that well deserved promotion, etc.
What we've just described is an existence known as "life." How we respond in a place of such roller coaster activity is basically where the heart of the matter lies. Many will spend a minimal amount of effort to reflect on the past year and make plans to "do better" in this one. As well meaning as many of these practices are, they seldom amount to very much at all.
However, there is a way to aim much higher. There is higher thinking to be obtained. There is wisdom available for the one who asks in faith and wavers not in believing to receive from the Giver of all wisdom. This Giver told us that He has provided for all things that pertain to life and godliness, if we have the knowledge of this.
As we approach this New Year, may we examine ourselves to see if we truly know this One Who has made such provision for us. His way is a high way. His way is a path of pleasantness and peace. Yes, the storms of life are sure to come, but the Giver of all wisdom has promised to keep those in peace whose minds are stayed upon Him.
Press On, my friends. There's a prize to obtain. May we not stop short in our labor to reach this position. We bid you a very Happy New Year. It will be truly happy if the foundation for its success is based in the wisdom and knowledge of the great Giver (Christ the Lord).
Happy New Year,
Scripture references: II Peter 1:3; Isaiah 55:8,9; James 1:5; Proverbs 3:17
Early this New Years morning just after midnight 2013, our Congress averted our fiscal crisis by hastily pulling together after a late-night deal between White House and Senate Republican negotiators. We have something called a Fiscal Crisis Bill that is headed to the House. At the time of this posting I do not know if it will pass there. If it does the President has said he will sign it. "Crisis" that is a strong word, but we may be in a greater crisis than we know. We are now a nation divided in our ideologies and world view. We see two different visions of our future and seem unable to unite in a common purpose. Sacrifices must be made all agree, but we can't agree on who must make the Sacrifices. Surely not us, it's those other people who are causing the problems.
There was once another time and another crisis, a time when we as a people saw two different visions of the future, divided we stood, the cost of that division was a price well paid.
Speaking to those of that time, what advice can you give us now that we may avert a most costly mistake?
Mr. Lincoln, being President during this most troubling time and being such requested by Congress, what advice might you have for us today?
And insomuch as we know that, by divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisement in the world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity . . . which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflected upon [you] us for [your] our presumptuous sins to the needful end of [your] our national reformation as a whole people?
[You] We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. [You] We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. [You] We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.
But [you] we have forgotten God. [You]We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved [you] us in peace, and mulitpliled and enriched and strengthened [you] us; and [you] we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of [your] our hearts, that all [those] these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of [your] our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, [you] we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made [you] us!
It behooves [you] us then to humble [yourselves] ourselves before the offended Power, to confess [your] our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
. . . therefore, . . . concurring in the view of the Senate, . . . [ I would recomend that you] . . . designate . . . a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.
[I would] . . . request all the people to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of [your] the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessing no less than the pardon of [your] our national sins and the restoration of [your] our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace. . . ." ~ President Abraham Lincoln. Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day March 30, 1863
Well, Mr. Lincoln, I see you take this time of prayer and fasting very seriously, I also see you are not bashful concerning to whom we are to pray and who's name we are to invoke. But I am simply concerned we may not be a people yet ready for your advise. It may be that we still have more faith in a "fiscal crisis bill" than in our need to humble ourselves before the Offended Power.
May God bless each of you,