Monday, December 27, 2010

"As It Is In Heaven" in 2011

ey Bloggers, Tweeters, and Facebook Friends...I trust that you all had a beautiful and blessed Christmas, and that you’re anticipating and expecting great things for yourselves in the New Year. My household enjoyed a very peaceful and prosperous holiday, for which I am quite grateful, and as I have watched yet another Christmas come and go, I am convinced now more than ever before that God really is good all the time. He brought us through 2010 by His grace, and even though we have gone through the fire, we have come through it without the smell of smoke on our clothes. But now, hard as it is to believe, 2011 has arrived, and we must turn our attention to the new possibilities and new challenges that it brings for us all.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

s we entered 2010 twelve months ago, we declared the new year's motto to be "BEGIN AGAIN IN 2010!". Little did we know at the time that those words would prove to be way more prophetically accurate than we could have possibly realized at the time. We are, indeed, beginning again in every sense of the word, it seems. But, as I said in the previous post, I have no regrets about anything that has happened during this past year, and I wouldn't change anything about it even if I could. I will always look back on 2010 as one of the most important/significant years of my life. And even if I did have any regrets, I know that the past is the past...what has happened has happened...what is simply is what it is. Now is all that matters. Forrest Gump said, “My Mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on”, and I believe his mama's words. I am ready to move on to the the next phase of my life and ministry.

ain (any pain--emotional, physical, mental) has a message. The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific, but it usually falls into one of two categories: We would be more alive if we did more of this, and, Life would be more lovely if we did less of that. Once we get the pain's message, and follow its advice, the pain goes away. (Peter McWilliams) I definitely learned a lot about relationships this past year...some very painful lessons about what covenant is, and what it isn't. I saw that unconditional love is merely a concept/theory with a lot of people, including a lot of Christians, and that was a rude awakening for me. I watched, sometimes in shock, as long-term, time-tested relationships in my life became severed in an instant, simply because I told the truth about myself...and the painful realization that came with that is that the beloved people in your life may not love "you"...they may only love who they think you are, or who they want you to be. But the good news is that I have processed that pain, and now I have many, many new people in my life who know it all and love me anyway. Perhaps more importantly, the relationships in my life which have remained through it all are sweeter and stronger than ever before, and because of the God-kind of love that they have shown me, I can say without reservation that I am happy and pain-free. I love all, and I forgive all.

eace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned - and if your knowledge were your wealth then it would be well earned. (Erykah Badu, A line from the song "On & On"). I look forward to 2011 being a year of peace and blessings for all of us. You may have learned some painful lessons of your own during the last year, but now it's time for you to take the knowledge from those lessons, and use it for your own empowerment, and for the purpose of making the world around you a better place. May our lives all become in the new year the living embodiment of this one, simple and profound prayer: "Your Kingdom come...Your will be done on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN..."

ou cannot believe in honor until you have achieved it. Better keep yourself clean and bright, because you are the window through which you must see the world - (Sir Walter Besant). In His great sermon on the Kingdom of God, Jesus talked about the power of perception:
"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!" (Matthew 6:22, 23 - The Message)
May those of us who have had our eyes washed with tears in 2010 enter 2011 with clear perception, renewed vision, and a bright, shining inner light that will illuminate the future for all of us.

o work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. - (Alan Watts)

Of course, we can't predict what will happen in all of our lives over the next twelve months...all we can do is expect the best, and take everything one day at a time. Vision certainly is so important, but we must always remember that God is in the NOW...eternity is NOW...God, the I AM, is a very PRESENT help in time of trouble. As we enter 2011, let us forget those things which are behind, but let us also take no (worrying) thought for tomorrow. Each of the next 365 days will be the day that the Lord has made, so let us each make the resolution that we won't miss one moment of the new year...that we will be present in each one of them...that we will live our lives IN THE NOW!

merson said, "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." That's an excellent quote (one of my all-time favorites) about staying in the now...about taking each day as it comes. If you concentrate on making every single day of 2011 count, and refuse to waste even one of them in worry or regret or bitterness or pettiness, you can rest assured that this new year will be one of your best ever.

hatever 2011 holds, I am confident that the Lord will perfect that which concerns us all. Jesus gave us the blueprint for an excellent future later in that same famous sermon on the Kingdom.
“But seek out and search for a revelation of the kingdom of God in and through every circumstance, and in every situation. And seek it first (or first thing)...before you strive with the circumstance... before you start to worry about the situation…before you fret over it…before you allow yourself to become overwhelmed by it or let it become exaggerated in your mind. And along with your primary search, look diligently for His righteousness, (or His rightness) to be revealed somewhere in the thing, as well. When you prioritize the kingdom in this way, then you can be sure that everything in your personal world will come into order, and that all you need for your daily provision will just automatically flow into your life and will be added to you as a result of your quest. So don’t worry or be anxious about what may or may not happen tomorrow. Live in the now, because the kingdom is always revealed in the now. Deal with tomorrow and what it may bring when it gets here, knowing that tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. As you live each day as it comes, God will enable you to successfully handle each day’s trouble, whatever it may be." (Matthew 6:33, 34 - Matthew In The Now)

our best is yet to come. My best is yet to come. Our best is yet to come. I believe that it's the greatest time ever to be alive! As you enter the new year, think on these things, and talk up the possibilities of 2011. I wrote about this (thinking and speaking) in a recent previous post: "You attract the objects of your dominant thoughts. Those who speak most of illness have a tendency to have illness...those who speak most of prosperity have it, as well...David said, "Let the words of my mouth AND the meditation of my heart be acceptable"...Jesus also made the heart/mouth connection in Mark 11:23 when He said to speak to the mountain, and do not doubt in your heart, but believe that you have what you say...He also said "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks"...
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. (Philippians 4:8 - AMP)

very day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. - (Winston Churchill) These words from Mr. Churchill are very good ones to remember as you face the challenges of the new year. Above all else, remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

nyway...this post is becoming too long...but it is a new year, so I do want to speak a blessing over you all concerning it. I pray that in 2011 you find within yourselves inexhaustible reserves of potential that you have never even come close to realizing before. God says, "I know the plans I have for you"...and those plans are all good...and I say that they unlock all that potential for you. You have far more intelligence than you have ever used, and in the new year, I believe that you will tap into a whole new level of that intelligence. I say in faith that some of the greatest achievements of your lives lie ahead of you in 2011, and that some of the happiest moments of your lives are coming to you in the next 12 months, along with some of the greatest successes you will ever attain. You are blessed when you go out (of 2010), and blessed when you come in (to 2011).

each forward now in faith with everything you have inside you to what lies ahead in this fresh, new year, while you make the quality decision and every effort to forget those things which are behind you. As it turns out, we really did begin again in 2010, and now it's time for us to all get on the same page, and believe that His Kingdom will come in the days ahead, and that His will will be done ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN IN 2011! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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