Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Resolution

My resolutions over the years have been pretty elaborate. For as long as I can remember growing up we had a ceremony on New Year’s Eve. We would take turns lighting our candles from one central candle which represented Christ and we would list things we were grateful for from the past year. We would then list goals we had for the new year and the prayer we would pray over the New Year and a Bible verse which would be our theme verse for the year. It was a special time and we would try to time it so we would be finishing up right as the clock chimed midnight.

For a while Tom and I did this with our kids but the older they got the more they wanted to do something more fun for New Year’s Eve. They wanted us to hurry through the ceremony so they could move onto the fun stuff. This felt strange to me because it was as if we were rushing through the God part so we could get to the real fun.

Recently we’ve begun having a party (of sorts) on New Year’s Eve and then a devotional the next day to share our New Year commitments. It is less of a ceremony and more of a discussion but it works for us.

I have made dozens of goals and resolutions over the years and I’d like to say I’ve kept them but sadly like most people, I would start the year all gung ho and then quickly lose steam.The older I get the more I realize I need to keep things simple and not try to shoot for too much.

Several years ago I chose Philippians 1:6 as my theme verse—not at New Year but somewhere along the way I realized that the words were going to be something that I would hang on to:

And I am sure of this, that He Who has begun a good work in you will bring it to completion at the coming of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

I can’t tell you how much this verse has helped me over the years. I would set so many goals for myself and think that God had sent us to Africa to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Now I know that God is more interested in the work in ME. And he has promised to finish it. The work he is doing will be completed.

This past December as I read a novel one of the characters quoted from Philippians:

…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 6-7 (ESV)

I actually cried when I read this. It touched me somehow. Oh, how I crave that ‘peace that surpasses all understanding'.

A few days later I was reading another novel and came across the passage:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things.
Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

Aha! a key! In order to have the peace of God I must keep my mind clear and fixed on positive things.

I decided then to read through the book of Philippians as many times as I need to to really let the words of truth sink in.This will be my devotions for now. I may even end up memorizing the majority of it.

The passages above form my only resolution this year. I will keep my mind fixed on positive things, and when there is difficulty I will pray about it (approaching Him with a thankful heart) and then let His peace fill my heart.

I’m not sure how I’ll do with this because my natural tendency is to panic first and think logically second. I usually do remember to pray but it is when in the panic mode—“Jesus, help!” My challenge will be to pray with thankfulness. I’ll be sure to let you know how I do.

What about you? Do you have verses that you hold on to?  What are your resolutions this year?


  1. Wishing you a Happy 2010 and good luck with your resolution. It sure isn't easy not to panic first when you're programmed that way, I'm sure you'll get there though.

    Keep on keeping on.


  2. 7 That all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
    8 The Son of Man hath bdescended below them all. Art thou greater than he? (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7,8)

    I am not greater than He yet He has done it all so that I can be who I am, a child of God. The road is hard and long but, eventually, I will know glory and joy beyond what I can now comprehend.

    “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).

    And when courage fails me, and it has and probably will, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." (John 14:27)

    18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

    It appears I am seeking peace and spiritual companionship.

    I found no scriptures to support seeking amusement but I'm pretty sure He approves of righteous amusement.

    Thanks for the invitation.

  3. I love John 14-17. I studied the Book of John under a wonderful teacher once and she really imparted the love of and for Jesus so beautifully. Those last chapters are wonderful.

  4. I tend to panic and then remember to pray. Someday I hope I pray first and don't panic. But ... at the end of the day, I am praying. It's so important!

    I hold onto "the Lord is my shepherd". I know it's become the traditional funeral psalm, but the valley of darkness can be anything!

    Happy new year!!


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