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Z is for Zest

I was so proud of myself. I actually kept up with the daily Advent blog. Up until the very last day that is. Blame it on too many activities the week between Christmas and New Years Day, but the truth of the matter is, I procrastinated. Sorry.

Nevertheless, this post is timely in that it applies to the New Year.

Z is for Zest

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:20)

The Hope of His ReturnAll the biblical heroes we looked at through the month of December approached their appointed tasks with zest. They had down times and even rebelled. But when the moment of truth presented itself, God’s chosen vessels excelled at the undertakings place before them by God. From Adam to Noah, from Joseph to Moses, from the judges to the kings, each faced trials. Each celebrated victories. And along the way, they serviced God with zest.

The events of the birth of Christ reveal the same attitude of enthusiasm toward the Lord’s plan as what we see in the Old Testament leading up to His first advent.

Throughout His life, Jesus did all things with zest. He possessed enthusiasm and joy that was catching to His followers. He commissioned the disciples to tell the world of all they had seen and experienced while they walked with Him. And they did so with zest.

The torch of the gospel has been passed down through the generations to us. Christians have the responsibility to tell the world of Jesus’ atonement for sin and his Second Advent. Let us approach our calling with the same amount of zest we’ve found in the faithful of the past.

We are at the cusp of a New Year—a new beginning. Instead of making a list of resolutions we’re sure to break in a week or two, why not set one goal? Draw closer to God. If we He seek Him in every aspect of life, all things will fall into place. And if you’re one to choose a word for the year, let it be “zest.”

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter Z?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Hope

Advent 2014

Day 28

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:24-25)

The Hope of His ReturnMany of us celebrate Christmas with a hope of receiving something we long for but haven’t bought for ourselves. After we tear off the paper, open the box, and clasp the item, we no longer hope for it. We own it. It’d be silly to say we’re hoping to receive what we are already holding in our hands. Unfortunately, we often put the item in its place and immediately dream of something else. We never seem completely satisfied.

Maybe that’s where New Year’s resolutions came into play. We weren’t satisfied with the previous year or years
for that matter. The beginning of a new year marks a time of reflection on the past. In doing so, we recognize all the areas we could have, should have, would have done “it” differently with better results. So we resolve to improve our behavior, achieve more, give more, study harder, pray fervently, and just become all-round better people. Yes, we enter the New Year with high hopes and great expectations. But somewhere along the way …

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Next time, we’ll peek inside the Gift of Peace. Prepare by reading and meditating on John 14:23-31.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Learning from Joseph’s Dilemma

Advent 2014

Day 3

 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. (Matthew 1:24)

MessengersGod seems to talk to me more just before I fall asleep or sometime during those hours of subconsciousness. Why doesn’t He speak to me during waking hours? The answer is obvious. I’m too busy … busy with life, busy with trying to resolve my problems my way, busy with consulting friends for answers. I’m busy with things that consume my thoughts and prevent God’s thought to enter the equation.

Perhaps that was Joseph’s problem too. When he learned about Mary’s pregnancy, he considered all the options, I’m sure. All the options he thought reasonable at least. Unfortunately, marrying an unfaithful woman was not among them.

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In preparation for tomorrow’s meditation, read Luke 1:39-56.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

S is for Stand

…Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1 NIV).

Reflect on Christ, not self

Reflect on Christ, not self

Stand! Stand firm, even! Seems like a contradiction to last week’s thought to navigate—to move forward toward the goal. Yet, we are called to stand and become immovable in our convictions.

In the beginning of this series, we talked about the renewing of our minds, getting a fresh outlook on our lives and how God wants us to live. We moved on to endurance, strength, and optimism, while implementing loyalty to ourselves and to our Lord with clearer understanding of our constitution. We discovered most permanent and worthwhile changes take time. The importance of our task motivated us to explore the options available, which help us navigate through the obstacles we encounter along the way.

I’m sure after three months of working on our resolutions…

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Next Week:

We’ll begin a new study on spiritual warfare. Prepare by reading and thinking about Ephesians 6:12.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

N is for Navigate

Eagles are Great Navigators

Eagles are Great Navigators

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way (Proverbs 4:15-16 NIV).

Each day marks a step in our journeys. Yesterday has taken us in one of two directions—closer to or farther from our goals.

Last week, we talked about keeping our options open. If Plan A fails, move to Plan B, C, or Z. But the key is to move FORWARD. We can set all the plans on paper. We can work out tentative schemes in our minds. We can talk the talk. But until we, yes, walk the walk, we are drifting farther from our desired resolutions. Sorry, we do NOT remain stationary for long, in reality, not even for twenty-four hours. The longer we linger in our bad habits or present situations, the more difficult it becomes to break free of them.

We need to learn to

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Next Week:

S is for Stand. Prepare by reading and thinking about Galatians 5:1.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

O is for Options

…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NIV).

weighinHow are you doing with your 2014 resolutions? Are you where you thought you’d be at the end of the first quart of the year? If so, congratulations. You’re well on your way to making those changes a permanent part of your life.

If you’re not where you hoped to be by now, why not? What’s going on that has diverted your plan? Often the best thought-out plans fail because of unexpected situations.

Personally, I resolved to Read More

Next Week:

N is for Navigate. Prepare by reading and thinking about Proverbs 4:15 and 16.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

I is for Importance

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…(1 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).

Prioritize

Prioritize

Those things which are most important to us, we are mindful of and do.

For real? We do what we want to do. But sometimes, we maintain a mixed-up set of priorities. For whatever reason, we put the trivial, pleasurable, even useless tasks ahead of the more important jobs we have to do.

Before I completed preparing my income tax return, I spent hours playing word games online. I did what I wanted to do, but definitely NOT what was important. I loathe doing tax returns. I like playing word games. My priorities always get twisted during tax season.

But it doesn’t end there. Read More

Next Week:

O is for Options. Prepare by reading and thinking about Deuteronomy 30:19-20.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks