Per tradition here, I like to create a post on New Years Day reflecting over the past year and focusing on the new. Not to break with tradition, this is that post. However first I wanted to share something that happened last night (or early this morning about 1:30 am).
First God Moment of the New Year
My family and I had gotten home from our New Years Eve celebration at my mother-in-laws about 12:30. No we are not big on parties, in fact I was ready for bed by 10 pm. But regardless, as we got ready for bed we both laid there checking our phones and social media (I know, it’s a bad habit right before bed). I read some scripture and came across this verse.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! -2 Corinthians 5:17
Pretty appropriate for the new year so I shared it across my social media. As I was about to close down, I did one last scroll through Twitter and came across a post by my wife made not more than 5 minutes before mine. Now she posts maybe two or three times a year so it obviously caught my eye when I saw her name. She had posted a scripture as well…take one guess…. Yep, she posted 2 Corinthians 5:17 as well.
I playfully pushed her and said “are you kidding me??” At that moment, I realized God had been there with us, yes he’s always there, but he showed himself a little more clearly this time. This is our verse for 2018. This is the year we will abide in Christ and let the new creation come. The old us, well we are gone. The new is here!!
I know many that feel differently, but 2017 was a pretty decent year. Some ups and downs to be sure, but this was the year I became more focused in my relationship with Christ. I feel I’m in a season of pruning. God is removing stuff from my life that is holding me back from producing more fruit for him. That’s not entirely painless. In fact it can be quite painful at time. But when I can focus on where He is taking me, it becomes worth the effort.
I’ve stepped down from a board position of a non-profit. It was something that was near to my heart, but it was also beginning to take over my mental capacity. I felt early on in 2017 that it was becoming time to move on. I felt God moving me to spend more time elsewhere and this was becoming a burden because of my commitment to it. I did finish out my term, which ended in November. But now I’m purely in a transitional role with the new board and the weight lifting is quite freeing.
Work has been going great. I’ve discovered a place where I can thrive, I can help lead, and something I love the most, I can help mentor those younger in their career. It’s a place, run by an owner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He loves his customers, he loves the good he is doing for them, he loves his employees. When I first met him in my interview in 2016, I said to myself within 5 minutes…”Here is a guy I want to work for!” The ensuing year and half has only led to solidify that feeling in me.
Personally, I have my struggles. As we all do. And at times, it felt overwhelming. But my wife is awesome and patient with me. My kids bring joy to my life that overshadows anything that overwhelms me. And of course God has been there throughout and I’ve been able to sense his presence and his promptings a bit clearer this year. That has also brought the attention of the enemy on me as he senses that God is about to help me produce some good fruit. That attention can be overwhelming at times and can be disheartening, but through the grace of God, which is enough, He pulls me through it all.
What will the new year bring? We never know. I usually write about my plans and goals and by the time I make my next new years post, it’s all changed. So I’m not going to focus on what my goals are, even though I have some. I’m going to focus instead on finding where God is and then be there also. I want to focus on seeing where God is moving to, then follow Him there.
2018 will be the year for me that I let God take control of my life and move me to where I need to be. It will include some discipline I’m sure. Some pruning without a doubt. But I hope and pray and I will act to abide in Him more and more each day.
Just some housekeeping
Just a little housekeeping in regards to this blog. This has been my post productive year on this blog. I’ve written 48 posts and over 32,000 words. By far my post prolific year. Based on the traffic, this site and it’s posts have reached more people this year than ever before and from more places around the world. It’s humbling and I give all the glory to God for giving me the words to write. My hope is that in some way, what is written and shared here will help someone else come to know the joy that I have.
You may notice a few things are different. I am using a new theme. I figured new year, time for a new look around here. I liked the simplicity of the old look and I’m hoping that while this new theme isn’t quite as simple, it will still allow you to focus on your reading.
I plan on writing more. Nothing will change there, except perhaps a more steady pace of posts. I know I always slow down during spring and summer, so it will take a bit of diligence on my part to keep it going. But praying that it happens.
Also new is I finally purchased the domain for this site and upgraded my wordpress account to allow for that and to remove the ads that show up. I’m excited to be able to have my site be on exceptionalchristian.com. This change costs me about $60/year so it’s not anything huge. But I really wanted to be able to reach more people and share with them what my love of Christ has done for me.
God bless you all in 2018 and remember that “The old is gone, the new is here!”