Friday, January 9, 2015

Read this if you might be a 'black & white' person...

Sometimes I tend to be one...

a 'black or white' person.

I am sometimes guilty of making a strong sweeping decision and declaring it boldly! On MONDAY, this diet is going to swing into full speed ahead, only to find that by Wednesday, (or Tuesday) there have already been stumbles.


I am NEVER going to do or say THAT again, or...

You get the idea.

My daughter sent this from her devotional the other day, thoughts by Paul Tripp, which I hope he doesn't mind me quoting. It is pretty awesome...

He was writing on New Years Resolutions, but the same principle applies to ALL of our big self made declarations of change.

"Can be I honest with you? I think your New Year’s resolution isn’t going to be as effective as you hope it will, if it works at all.
Is change important? Absolutely. Is commitment essential? Of course. Is improving your lifestyle a wise decision? Without a doubt. So I don’t want to discourage you from writing or keeping a New Year’s resolution, but I do want to challenge the way you think about biblical change.
You see, Christianity – which has the gospel of Jesus Christ at the center – simply doesn’t rest its hope in big, dramatic moments of change. The fact of the matter is this: the transforming work of grace operates in 10,000 little moments more than it does in a series of two or three life-altering events.

In other words, the character and quality of your life won’t be defined by two or three life-changing moments. No, the character and quality of your life will be defined by the 10,000 little decisions, desires, words, and actions you make every day.
How you can you be a better you in 2015? Confess in 10,000 little moments of conviction. Be courageous in 10,000 little moments of faith. Obey in 10,000 little moments of decisions. Choose the kingdom over God over the kingdom of self in 10,000 little moments of desire.
You don’t need a big resolution to change your life, because your life isn’t established in big moments. Your life is established in 10,000 little moments, and Jesus Christ is present and active in all those moments. In these small, seemingly insignificant moments, he’s delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these 10,000 little moments, the Lord is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness.

By sovereign grace, God places you in 10,000 little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom, and grace so that you'll seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again - exactly what each one of us needs!"

Those words really hit my heart, for me. I think you might feel the same. It's one step at a time, one thought, one decision, not one big declaration of all that we are GOING to do. Our slates are wiped clean when we accept Him, but the ongoing process includes 10,000 choices on our part, every day.

I love that! God's grace is there for every one of the 10,000 and more.

(image courtesty of Google)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

3 blocks from the Rose Parade...

That's where I grew up... 3 blocks south of the Pasadena Rose Parade.

I've been sitting here this morning watching the parade, and it takes me right back to South Parkwood Avenue. 

Every year my dad would take 2 ladders, and the 3 of us kids brought a long piece of wood. We went right up those 3 blocks and got one of the 'good seats', just a few rows back. Dad set the ladders up and put the long board between them That was our seat, no one blocked our view. It was perfect!

A side thought... many many years later, after dad had died, as we went through their things, there was that original ladder, with many splotches of paint colors applied through the years, and a little shabby, but the same ladder that went to the parade every year.

During high school, I worked on the floats a few days before the parade. They were constructed in huge ice cold warehouses, to make sure the flowers stayed fresh. The flowers were flown in from all over the world and they were absolutely amazing! Each float was carefully put together and then each flower petal glued on to become part of the design, the only rule was it had to be made from growing plants, petals, seeds, grasses. We shivered all through the nights as we put those beauties together.

New Years Eve in Pasadena was so much fun! Our church youth group parked and walked the long main street of Colorado Blvd., as the crowds began to gather 2-3 days before New Years Day. By New Years Eve, they had set up little kerosene heaters, sleeping bags and blankets to keep warm, as they 'camped out' right on the sidewalk. We walked up and down the street, talking to people, dashing into one of the restaurants for a quick burger, and having the time of our lives. Van de Kamp's, Gwinn's, Scarantino's, all of them were open as people came in an out all through the night.

Finally we headed for home, only to take our walk up the street with dad early the next morning, we were tired and excited.

It never disappointed. Even this morning, I am enjoying the floats and marching bands, just like so many years ago...

Happy New Year to all of you!