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Happy New Year!
The beginning of the new year is always a time when I set new goals. It always has been and probably always will be.
If you are setting goals for the new year may I add a little something to the mix?
I truly believe setting new goals is a good thing and I believe God has given us seasons in our lives to start fresh and for me, the new year is one of those times.
Let me just say if you are considering doing more for God this year, would you please consider diving in and discovering all God has done for you as you serve this year.
When we truly understand all God has done for us through the perfect life, death and resurrection of His only Son Jesus, then we can turn around and give and serve and donate and help and volunteer as a big thank you for what He has done for us.
Our lives become a big gift back to Him. A living thank you.
If we skip this step, we start to feel burned out, taken advantage of and we come to dread trying to please God and people with our service.
See what God has done for you through His perfect mercy and then turn around as a big thank you and serve and worship Him.
And always remember, you can’t make God love you anymore with your service. He already loves you the maximum amount.
This is how you and I become cheerful servants. We offer ourselves as living sacrifices to say thank you to our King.
Happy New Year Friends!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1 (NIV)
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Traditions are so important because they say, “This is who we are.”
They give us a sense of history.
Carol and I started life-long traditions from our first month of marriage.
We have had many different traditions and traditions with holidays are important to us.
Whether it was the same movie on Thanksgiving night, the same seafood celebration on Christmas Eve or the trip to the indoor water park on spring break; Traditions on holidays and special days help create a sense of history for our families.
Any guesses what is the biggest night of the year at the Ray house?
New Years Eve!
Everyone’s favorite, full of traditional foods and a trip down memory lane watching our family slideshows.
This has been such a riot for so long that our kids count down the days until New Year’s Eve and invite their friends every year.
Traditions. Make some.
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All right, let’s imagine something a little different.
So we start with you, you’re an adult and you have been around for a while.
You are living in a perfect world. No crime. No problems. No sin. No sickness. No worries.
Now, stick with me here, you become a fetus. With all your wisdom and knowledge you become a fetus in a mother’s womb in a different world.
You spend nine months growing in that womb. Nine months!
Then you go through the birth process. It’s intense. You come out of the young mother and take a breath. There is no hospital so you are born in what appears to maybe be a cave with some animals in it.
But don’t worry, you have been sent here to die for the wicked people of the land who hate you.
You grow up and they kill you.
Have you ever stopped to really think what happened that first Christmas? Jesus, who lived in Heaven in a perfect world with His Father and the Spirit, became a human baby to save you and me. The God of all creation who was alive in Heaven became a fetus.
I am at a loss for words.
He was transformed into a fetus, born, killed and raised from the dead. He conquered death and sin for you and me so we wouldn’t have to be separated from His love forever.
Almighty God as a newborn.
So that we could experience: True Hope.
I guess what I am really trying to say here is…