7 Pieces of Graduation Advice for the Senior in Your Life

With graduation approaching fast, seniors are looking for practical advice on what to do going forward. Adult life at first glance seems confusing, daunting and challenging, so how can we encourage graduates in their season of transition? Here are 7 pieces of advice from our staff; advice they’d wished they had received when they were graduating themselves.

 

Jim P. brought up the importance of your education path and where time with Jesus fits in:   

 

“When I graduated from high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life besides playing soccer. I ended up going to a Christian University on a soccer scholarship and decided to take extra Bible classes until I got a better understanding of what God wanted me to do. Once in college, I quickly realized that soccer would not carry me any farther, but those Bible classes were SO valuable as I grew in my understanding of the Scriptures. Looking back, I realize more and more how central our walk with Christ is to where God plans to use us vocationally. So my advice? Make your goal be to know God, and your daily goal be to spend time with Him.”

 

Rachel P. highlighted the importance of playing to your strengths and finding support for your weaknesses:

 

“I wish I was told that adults don’t have all the answers! I went to college feeling like there would be some magical point that I would reach where suddenly, life just made sense. But then I graduated, got married and started my first job, only to find out a lot of adults were just as lost as I was! I wish someone had encouraged me to focus on one area of my life that came easiest (my career for me!), and find support for all the other areas I was lacking in. Today, I have people that I go to for very specific issues/questions, like marriage, faith, friendships, physical well-being, etc. I am a healthier adult because of these people and am more confident in who I am, because I realized I never have to have it all together as long as I have my God and these friends He’s blessed me with.

 

Yaninna S. suggested taking a gap year:

 

“Something I wish people told me after high school is that everyone’s path looks different. I wish someone would have told me to take one year off and travel, explore, find out new things, learn more about myself and the Lord. After all, deciding what the rest of your life will look like right after high school is not easy.”

 

Marc S. talked about networking, building a professional identity & brand, and maintaining financial responsibility:

 

I wish I had known: (a) Developing honest, solid relationships with professors and instructors and employers greatly increases my marketability for employment. A degree and grades isn’t always enough to get the kind of opportunities I want.

  1. b) Even when employed by someone else, I am working for myself. Almost every job has something for me to learn to do well that I can add to my resume and take to the next opportunity within or outside of my current organization. I am not working only for a paycheck; I am also working to build my own brand.

  2. c) To pay myself first. I’ll always have bills and I’ll need food, clothes, shelter, and a way to get to work. But, I should be working for more than just to get to work the next day. I should save and invest in my own financial future. My current job isn’t promised, nor is the next, so I should always be paying myself for emergencies and any future goals. This may mean I need to be creative or versatile about how I acquire and/or manage my finances.”

 

Christina M. assures seniors that they don’t have to have it all figured out:

 

“What I wish I’d known when I graduated was that I didn’t have to go through this next phase of my life by myself. I thought I was “technically” becoming an adult and I’m now “supposed” to know what to go to school for and have all the steps lined up….and if that wasn’t enough pressure, then DO EVERYTHING right! I wish I’d known that I didn’t have to carry that burden. The Father wasn’t asking me to know everything and have all the steps lined up and do everything perfectly. He just asks me to come to him and make sure I’m making him a priority in my daily life. When you do that you open the door for the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you and give you wisdom and direction. Had I known this, I think my life back then would have been a lot easier and less stressful. ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.’ Proverbs 3:9-10”

 

Marcia H. remembers when devotionals and Bible reading helped serve her through her time in High School:


“When I graduated from high school I received a lot of devotionals from people as gifts.  I assumed that it was because they knew that I was a Christian. But when I began buying my own gifts for graduates, I realized that in giving me books that drew me into the Bible, they were giving me the best wisdom, the best support, the best life lessons, and the greatest love that they had to offer me.  My advice to graduates is read the Bible; it’s all in there!”

 

Vandetta H. keeps it simple:

“Matthew 6:33 – A keepsake for me! And it [is the] truth!”

 

Questions for your senior (or yourself!):

  1. Jim references the importance of Bible college and spending time with God. Have there been any Bible colleges that you or your graduate have considered applying at? Has your graduate been spending enough time with God?
  2. Rachel stresses the importance of having a core group of people to turn to. Is there a core group surrounding your graduate?
  3. Yaninna wished she could have taken a gap year. Could a gap year be the right path?
  4. Marc S. recontextualizes the workplace as an area to develop the right connections with the right people. Is your graduate working a dead-end job or an open opportunity?
  5. Christiana wishes she recognized that nobody has it figured out, and that she needed to rely on the Lord to handle the pressure for her. Is there anything you can confide in your senior about this month? Or any encouragement you can give them?
  6. Marcia realizes that devotionals and similar resources helped her deep-dive into God’s word. Are there any study guides or companion readers helping your senior visualize the God of the Bible?
  7. Vandetta H. gave us a powerful verse that can be directly applied by graduating seniors. Is your senior prepared to take on the world?

 

Looking for more resources to help serve an upcoming graduate? Here are some titles we recommend for a graduation present!

Remembering Warren Wiersbe, May 16, 1929 – May 2, 2019

Today, we, along with many others around the world, mourn the loss of CLC’s friend and author, Warren Wiersbe. But we rejoice at the race he ran and take comfort in knowing that he has been released from his earthly duties after almost 90 years, and is now with his Savior and Friend in Glory! We are grateful for his friendship over the years and for his trust in allowing us to publish several of his books. Below is a personal note from Jim Pitman, who had the privilege of working with him.

“I first came to know of Warren while working in our CLC Bookstore in Philadelphia. I picked up some of his “Be” series commentaries and found them to be excellent and easy to understand. We recommended them to customers, and they became our best-selling commentary series.

Several years later, when I had transitioned into serving as publisher for CLC, our author and friend Michael Catt suggested I call Warren about publishing some of his books. “Do you think he’d publish with us?” I asked. I figured he must be tied tightly to book deals with others as he had published over a hundred books by that time. I don’t know if Warren used email or not, but it seemed the only way I could reach him was by phone, and I was surprised when he not only took my call but when he agreed to publish with us! We worked on 5 books with Warren including a beautiful coffee table book called Expert Lifemanship which was co-authored and illustrated by photographer Ken Jenkins.

From pastoring at the historic Moody Memorial Church, to teaching at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, to teaching on the Back to the Bible Radio Ministry, Wiersbe’s life was well-spent for Christ. We are grateful for him.” 

A well-known international Bible conference teacher with a heart for mission, Dr. Warren Wiersbe was a former pastor of Moody Church in Chicago. He was associated with Back to the Bible for ten years as a Bible teacher, and served for five of those years as general director. Dr. Wiersbe is the author of more than 150 books, including the best-selling “BE” commentary. He was known as a “pastors’ pastor,” and his speaking, writing and radio ministries brought new understandings of the truths of God’s Word to people around the world.

More Than A Full Basket… How The Empty Tomb Leads to Fullness of Life

This is a guest post by one of our team members – Marcia Hartman. We love her insights into what Easter means.

The students in an ESL class that I teach have been learning opposite word pairs:  short and tall, hot and cold, empty and full. We decided that given the choice, we’d all choose full over empty, especially when it comes to our wallets and gas tanks!

As opposites, it’s rare for “full” and “empty” to converge, except in Christ. Colossians 2:9 declares that all the fullness of God was literally embodied in Christ, yet it was in the emptying of Himself, the giving up of divine privilege, that this fullness was made manifest.  As the very lifeblood was emptied from that human vessel of divinity, Jesus poured out full forgiveness, full salvation, full access to God, and life to the full for all who choose it.

There will be full baskets this Easter. There will be overflow seating in churches, lawns full of eggs to hunt, and dinner tables filled with food and family. But eventually all of those things will empty, and they may even lead to emptiness.

In contrast, the true celebration of Easter comes from the fulfillment of the promised resurrection evidenced in the empty tomb. Because of what Christ has done for us, God is able to “fill until full” the empty places in our lives that we give to Him. Easter celebrates the choice of full over empty, and it’s a choice that we’ve all been given.

This Easter, take a moment to consider this awe-inspiring choice we were given. How can remembering the connection between the full and the empty change the way you live?

Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away.”

1 Peter 1:3-4 Good News Translation (GNT)

 

 

If you’d like to read more about the fullness of life in Christ, one of these CLC Publications may be the life-changing resource that you’re looking: 

 

The Calvary Road:  “Roy Hession teaches that through brokenness, humility, and confession, we can prepare our hearts to receive the fullness God wants for us.”

 

 

Victory in Christ Charles Trumbull

 

Victory in Christ:  Charles Trumbull “reveals insights into the full reality of our victory in Christ, who has achieved by the power of His work on the cross, the freedom that every believer desires.”

 

 

The Two Covenants

 

The Two Covenants:  “In a series of eighteen meditations contrasting the Old Covenant with the New Covenant, Andrew Murray shows us the blessings God has given us, along with the conditions necessary for the full and continual experiences of those blessings.”

 

 

 

The Seven Wounds of Christ 9781619582583

 

The Seven Wounds of Christ:  “Fred Hartley shares how Christ’s wounds on the cross represent the fullness of His atonement and how, individually, each wound corresponds to distinct healing for us.”

FREE Jesus Storybook Printout!

In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

 

Over and over again, we see in Scripture the importance of childlike faith. A faith that comes from understanding the stories in their simplest form, and trusting that what we don’t know, God does.

So how do we gain back our childlike faith? By keeping our eyes on Jesus. Peter learned this lesson the hard way when he tried walking on water with Jesus. How many of us would be willing to get out on the water in a storm? Probably not many adults, but most children would jump at the chance to do something so extraordinary! Like a child, Peter eagerly left the safety of the boat to head towards his Savior, but as soon as he let his childlike excitement be replaced by very adult fears, he began to sink.

 

But just like Jesus does to all of us, as soon as Peter cried out asking Jesus for help, he received it. What a blessing to know our Savior is ready to reach out and save us!

 

This Easter season, we invite you to take advantage of a FREE printout of the story of Jesus walking on water to share with the children and adults in your life. Use it as a jumping off point to share your own moments of asking for help and how Jesus responded in your time of need. Allow God to take a simple story and childlike faith to do something extraordinary in your life.

 

Excerpt taken from The Jesus Storybook which presents the Bible in easy-to-understand, comic-style illustrations, highlighting what Jesus said, what He did, who He was and why He had to come to earth.

 

DOWNLOAD THE ENGLISH VERSION

 

DOWNLOAD THE SPANISH VERSION

 

 

BUY THE JESUS STORYBOOK TODAY!

 

Three Truths About Bitter Circumstances That Will Help You Through Them

No matter who we are or what stage of life we’re in, life is always a little different than what we expect it to be. People disappoint, circumstances change, and we’re left wondering what God is up to during this time. But we do have hope, even in the darkest moments, because we can trust that God will always be up to something.

Here are three truths from Bishop Milton C. Grannum’s new book, Bitter Water to Fine Wine, that will help you navigate through your bitter waters and get inspired by what God is doing in the background.

  1. Bitter waters in our lives are often used by God to push us out of our comfort zone and into a better place.

Bishop Grannum shares: “I was pushed out of my home because of my commitment to a church that was perceived to have no meaningful future for me. The pain of that event eventually helped me make some significant decisions and discoveries about life.

After a number of years, efforts, and experiences, I discovered that the true meaning and magic of life does not emerge while one lives in the active pursuit of comfort. Many people spend their best years in the confines of dwindling comfort zones. Our culture wires us for safety and limitations, and away from productive decision-making and risk-taking. False security and social approval have become the objects of the natural drive of many individuals. I chose not to be satisfied with the option of tiptoeing through life.

Pain rightly handled can produce both power and peace. Of course, I always had the option of reacting and wallowing in self-pity. I chose instead to put my faith in God and allow Him to direct my path.

 

  1. Every setback is a potential setup. God uses our worst experiences to help us grow.

As I look back on my life, I went through may bitter waters. I was beaten by my own family members for the ‘crime’ of attending church. I was ridiculed by other students at school for doing chores for my pastor as a “tithe” to the church. Shortly after arriving in Philadelphia, I was arrested without cause, spent a night in a dirty, smelly jail cell, and released without apology by a judge who told me, ‘Go home and behave yourself.’

We can go through life reflecting and thinking of all the pain, the challenges, the disappointments, the let-downs and the trauma of our journey, or we can believe that turning bitter water into wine is possible, and trust God for the miracles.

As an example, who walks into a donut shop and complains about the holes? No, we buy donuts, knowing that every donut has a hole. The same is true with every experience in life. To focus all our attention on the challenging and painful holes that come our way is to rob ourselves of the personal strength and power of the total experience. Over the decades, my wife and I have sought to stay focused on the donuts, lest we get distracted and overwhelmed by the holes.

 

  1. Bitter waters point out both areas of need and the subsequent areas for growth.

The shortage of wine was a massive faux pas that did not impact Jesus intimately, but it produced a need that became Jesus’s project. Likewise, meaningful projects and new paths emerge when pressing needs are discovered, regardless of where the needs occur or who they impact.

When bitter waters reveal needs around us, we are forced to make a decision to either address the need or ignore it. We are either pushed forward in growth or backward and downward. We are given the choice which way we move. And oftentimes, our choices impact other people as well as our own future.

For Jesus, the first miracle led to further ministry opportunities and revealed who He was. In our own lives, we sometimes miss the fact that God may very well be the one stirring the waters to push us forward to something miraculous.

Take a moment now and look back at your life. Focus on the faithfulness of God to you, in spite of you, and realize that it was God stirring up the waters, irritating your spirit, creating a change, moving people to push you when all the while you were blaming and rebuking Satan. Satan hates faith. He knows the awesome power of faith. Move forward in faith to change your water into wine. Do it now!”

 

 

Still not convinced? Bishop Grannum’s new book, Bitter Water to Fine Wine, further dives into his experiences that prove God is not absent during these times, but instead, is working in the background to do great miracles. Bishop Grannum shows how Christ can change the bitterest setbacks of life into sweet setups for victory and growth—but only if we let go and give Him full control. BUY NOW

A letter from Andrew Murray

An excerpt from The Secret of Fellowship 

BELOVED brethren—The more I think of and pray about the state of religion in this country and all over the world, the deeper my conviction becomes that the low state of the spiritual life of Christians is due to the fact that they do not realize that the aim and object of conversion is to bring the soul, even here on earth, to a daily fellowship with the Father in heaven.

This lesson is not always taught at the beginning of the Christian life, nor is it always understood by the [new] convert. He should realize that the grace he has received of the forgiveness of sins, of acceptance as God’s child, of joy in the Holy Spirit, can only be preserved by the daily renewal of fellowship with Jesus Christ Himself.

Many Christians backslide because this truth is not clearly taught. They have never really grasped the secret: The Lord Jesus will every day from heaven continue His work in me. But on one condition—the soul must give Him time each day to impart His love and His grace.

God greatly desires this intimacy with man. But sin has come between man and his God. Even in the Christian who thinks he knows God, there is often great ignorance and even indifference to this personal relationship of love to God. People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven, and that they should try to do God’s will. But the idea is strange to them that even as a father and his child on earth have pleasure in companionship, so they may and must each day have this blessed fellowship with God.

Our Lord, in the last night that He was with His disciples, promised to send the Holy Spirit as a helper. Although His bodily presence was removed, they would realize His presence in them and with them in a wonderful way. The Holy Spirit as God would so reveal Christ in their hearts that they would experience His presence with them continually. The Spirit would glorify Christ and would reveal the glorified Christ in heavenly love and power. How little do Christians understand and believe and experience this glorious truth!

Dear brothers and sisters, [we speak] of the fellowship of love with Christ in the inner chamber. Everything depends on this. Christ came from heaven to love us with the love wherewith the Father loved Him. He suffered and died to win our hearts for this love. His love can be satisfied with nothing less than a deep, personal love on our part.

I urge you to write this down on a piece of paper and remember it continually: The love of Jesus must be all—in the inner chamber, in all my work, in my daily life.

 

 

 

2019 Daytona Bike Week Prayer Warriors

 

 

 

Biker Bible

 

The 2019 Daytona Bike Week is upon us! Bikers from all over the US and other countries will gather for a week at Daytona Beach, FL., giving us a week full of opportunities to reach many for Christ.  Some CLC USA team members, Bible for the Nations staff and Christian Bikers from all over the US will come together to give away 20,000 Biker Bibles!

We want the Lord to go before us! This will not be an easy task. Many souls are at stake. Would you join us in prayer for the 2019 Daytona Bike Week? We want as many people as we can praying for this HUGE outreach event.

Just sign up with your email address below and you will receive daily prayer request for the Daytona Bike Week.  If you will be joining us in prayer, please let us know! Email us here. and let us know that you will be praying with us.  Also, if you wish to give to the Bike Week Project, click here.

Join the 2019 Daytona Bike Week Prayer Team!

* indicates required




Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

 

 

Valentine’s day is almost here! Here at CLC Ministries, we love to celebrate with books. If you have a special reader in your life, how about slipping a book in with that bouquet! What better way to celebrate than to gift knowledge? 

Here’s a list of books for your special someone this Valentine’s Day.

 

For the poetry lover in your life…

Mountain Breezes, a collection of poems by Amy Carmichael, is a great place to start. With 66 poems gathered from 29 of her books, many now out of print, and arranged under 7 topical headings: Worship, Petition, Surrender, Ministry, Wartime, Encouragement, and Youth, it is truly a treasure for poetry lovers!

 

HIS FAITHFULNESS
by Amy Carmichael 

O wind of God, blow through the trees;
O birds of God, come sing your song;
For now I know the joy that frees,
The joy that makes the weakest strong.

The vapors march in shining crowds,
High in the trackless roads of air;
I look, and lo, unto the clouds,
His faithfulness is even there!
Pass foolish fears; the fresh winds blow;
O birds of God, come sing with me.
My God is faithful, this I know;
My Father, I have all in Thee.

 

If you want to dive more into the word this Valentine’s day, we recommend Song of Songs by Watchman Nee.

The Song of Solomon is one of the most excellent love poems ever written. Over the centuries, its beautiful language and dreamy imagery have hooked readers from page 1. 

“Why is this tender love poem included in the Scripture?” and “how should we interpret it?” are often questions we ask.

This is a real mystery to many of us, but Watchman Nee believes it is possible to discover within the poem all the principles needed to develop a deeper spiritual life. In this devotional commentary, he explores the love relationship between the individual believer and the Lord. His insights are for all who long to intensify their love for God and by so doing find overwhelming joy and complete satisfaction.

 

For anyone interested in redemption stories and exploring other cultures, we recommend The Torn Veil.

It tells the story of how a Muslim girl, imprisoned by her religion, her strict upbringing, her womanhood and her severe disability, is set free by God.

This classic true-life story of Gulshan Esther, who on becoming a Christian was miraculously healed, was first published in 1984 and has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide.

 

For the lovers of a romantic story, we recommend Our Nearest Kinsman by Roy Hession.

Is there more than romance to the story of Ruth? Roy Hession insists “Yes!” Most of us have missed the subtle details that are key to understanding the significance of this heart-moving book. We need a new vision of the blood of Christ and the grace of God to make the same daring claim on our Nearest Kinsman as Ruth made on hers.

Come and learn about the restoration, revival and renewal promised in Ruth, until at last you have the boldness to lie at the feet of your Kinsman with full confidence.

 

For stirring short stories that capture and are an encouragement to many, we recommend Amazing Love by Corrie Ten Boom.

Following her miraculous release from a Nazi concentration camp, Corrie ten Boom refused to give into the weakness of anger, claiming, “Forgiveness requires more strength than hatred.” Sharing incredible stories of encounters with people from all walks of life, Corrie illustrates how a childlike faith in the wisdom and love of God pushes us to forgive the seemingly impossible.

 

Don’t let History Repeat Itself – Holocaust Day Remembrance

“Hate is such a bitter emotion, but I know that the Savior with His cleansing blood is near me. The evil spirits cannot win.” – Corrie Ten Boom

Imagine this.

Constant fear…fear of being taken to a special “camp.” Fear of being separated from your family and loved ones. Fear of dying. Fear of the unknown.

Fear of soldiers finding out what you are hiding. Or worse than what, who are you are hiding…

Enter the world of Corrie ten Boom.  She was a Dutch woman who, alongside her family, provided a hiding place to dozens of Jews and other refugees during World War II.

She wrote:

“During the last world war, as the German armies rolled over most of Europe, crushing countries in their path, Adolf Hitler set into operation a plan to exterminate all Jews. Many of the people of Holland responded by doing their utmost to help Dutch Jews escape this peril. My own family and my friends and I did all that we could do to save Jewish lives until we were betrayed and arrested.

At that time my father was eighty-four years of age, and friends had often warned him that if he persisted in hiding Jews in his home under the very eye of the occupying armies, he could surely face imprisonment.

‘I am too old for prison life,’ my father replied, “but if that should happen, then it would be, for me, an honor to give my life for God’s ancient people, the Jews.” I recall with great clarity the day, February 28, 1944, that we went down the winding staircase with our whole family and our friends. For some of them, it was the last time they would ever feel the worn staircase railing of the beloved Beje—name for our home, located in the Barteljorisstraat—in their hands.

After an hour’s ride the van door [we had been taken in] opened, and the gates of the prison closed behind us. We were ordered to stand with our faces pressed against the red brick wall. When our names were called, I passed by Father, who was sitting on a chair. He looked up, and we heard him softly saying, ‘The Lord be with you, my daughters.’

From that moment forward, everything in our lives was changed. We did not know what was ahead of us, but I was certain of one thing: that Jesus would never leave us or forsake us and that, for a child of God, no pit could be so deep that Jesus was not deeper still.”

“Soldiers are walking around and the women have to wait a long time, naked. Bep and I put our arms around each other, and we implore, ‘Oh Lord, not that, not that!'”

-Corrie Ten Boom

(Excerpts taken from Corrie Ten Boom’s Prison Letters)

Corrie spent some time in prison until she and her sister were transported to a German concentration camp in Holland. We can’t begin to imagine the pain, the torture and the difficulties Corrie and many of our Jewish brothers and sisters had to endure. Being separated from their families, living in inhumane conditions, being sick, not being able to continue with their daily routines…just for being a Jew or helping them.

They say we learn from history, but do we really? What if the tables were flipped and now Christians are the ones being persecuted and imprisoned just because we follow Christ? Would you be prepared to endure? Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ face this reality already. Being prepared or not being prepared is taken out of the question. Once they become a Christian, a red X is marked on their backs.

When we remember the Holocaust, we often think of it as a terrible thing that happened in a far-off time and place. Something so horrible we could never imagine it in our own society. But is that really the case? Or are we at a new point in history where we are once again allowing our government to decide whose lives hold value? This week, a new law was passed in the state of New York that allows babies to be murdered. And as Faithwire so eloquently points out: “And so, New York State now has legislation that permits murder for convenience.”

How could this have happened? Are we about to let history repeat itself?

And what can we do about it?

  1. We can pray. Pray for endurance for the persecuted. Pray for those making the decisions for our country. Pray that we learn from our history.
  2. Stand with our Jewish brother and sisters. We cannot change history but as Christians, we can come alongside the oppressed communities around us and start opening communication channels.
  3. Read. Stay informed with what’s happening in the culture around you, and learn how to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” as 1 Peter 3:15 says. Take advantage of the resources at your church, or let us know if you need more information on a particular subject.

But don’t let it end there. Most importantly, make sure you’re sharing your faith. Reach out to your government. Don’t let your faith be silent. Don’t allow culture to move around you. Learn to push back at the right time.

Don’t let history repeat itself. 

 

 

 

About Corrie  It is hard to overestimate the impact of the life of Corrie ten Boom. As a result of hiding Jews in her Holland home in the midst of World War II, Corrie ended up in a Nazi concentration camp where she continued to speak the love of Christ. A miraculous release gave Corrie the chance to begin an international ministry of writing and speaking, sharing Christ, and counseling the hurting as a self-titled “tramp for the Lord.” Corrie died in 1983, on her ninety-first birthday. Among Corrie’s most loved titles are The Hiding Place and Tramp for the Lord. Find CLC’s full list of Corrie’s books here

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s240

Throw something out this January…and by that, we don’t mean books

Ah, the new year.

Regardless of whether or not last year was our best or worst year yet, we just can’t help but hope and plan that this next one will be better. Right at the beginning, we make all kinds of goals and promises to ourselves.

Things like:

  • Eat more healthy food!
  • Exercise more often!
  • Budget better!
  • Reorganize the whole house in 30 days!
  • Read more books!
  • Have more patience!
  • Increase joy!
  • Gain more peace!

Sound familiar?

And yet, by this time, we’re probably already discouraged. We already missed a good week of gym time. We were supposed to have read a whole book by now and we just can’t get into the story. And
forget about healthy meals. We’re so tired from all the cooking and cleaning during the holidays, pizza sounds so much easier. So we consider giving up and we’re only two weeks in!

But look closer… what do you notice about each of these statements? They’re all written in a positive spin. And we think that makes it harder to stick to it and create goals – the goals you need
to accomplish your resolutions.

Think about it. If your plan is to eat healthier and that’s all you say, you might just set a number of calories or meals that need to be “healthy.” But most likely, that number was arbitrary, and its
attainability was probably not taken into consideration. What if you turned it around though? What makes for healthy eating for you? Maybe it’s eating out less? Ordering less pizza? Cooking more
meals from scratch? What if you started by just eliminating one thing? Instead of just telling yourself that to eat more healthily, tell yourself to just throw out one night of mac and cheese and make a healthy alternative.

Well, that you can do! Small actions create a chain reaction! And you can use the same trick for reading more, reorganizing the house, or budgeting better.

But we’re not just about resolutions here. We’re about life-change. So what about the spiritual aspects? What if you tried the same trick for your spiritual life?

If we’re trying to increase joy, we may not know exactly what that looks like, but we do know what DOESN’T bring us joy. What if, to increase something, you had to throw something else out?

With that in mind, what is the Lord calling you to throw out this year? Is there something you’ve been keeping around in a trash bag that you never got around to taking it out? You keep telling yourself: “I’ll get to it soon…” But soon doesn’t work. We both know that. And not only that, but that bag takes up room.  So, what are you waiting for?!

If you had to throw one thing out this year…what would that be?

 

Here are some book recommendations to help you with that

 

Issues you may face in 2019

We all like victory. We all like being at the top of the mountain, celebrating.

Because nothing beats that feeling of reaching the crest and looking back at the road you had to travel to get there. Sometimes we may want to stay there forever, but it’s just not possible. The next one is just ahead.

As we climb into 2019, some of us ended at a peak, while others of us were stuck in a valley. And as we face the new mountain ahead, we might already feel a little weary, regardless of where we’re starting from. “Didn’t I just face this? Those storm clouds look a little nasty. Maybe God won’t notice if I drag my feet a little bit.” But take heart! We can have confidence even as you meet this year’s challenges on the mountain.

Climbing up the mountain in 2019, you might face:

  • disappointment – things not turning out the way you want, unmet expectations
  • life challenges – health, relationships, spiritual, financial
  • death – either natural and/or spiritual, of friendships, of relationships
  • change – jobs, relationships, ministry
  • fears – what the future holds, money, changes in circumstances

You see, climbing a mountain is not easy and you need the right tools for the journey.

But how blessed are those of us in the faith! God has already provided the tools we need in His word and equipped others to teach us how to use them. To help you climb the mountain, we’ve curated a list of books that will help you deal with the climb that 2019 will bring.

In the meantime, here is some encouragement directly from the Lord:

“…’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” Hebrews 13:6

 “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

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” Psalm 31:24

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

May your 2019 climb be the best one yet!

 

 

Click on a book to learn more about it…

Recommended books by title:

A Quiet Center: Living in God’s Place of Rest

Out of the Storm and into God’s Arms: Shelter in Turbulent Times 

No Matter What: Abiding in God’s Faithfulness 

Don’t Waste Your Sorrows: Finding God’s Purpose in the Midst of Pain

Finding the Jewel in Job Loss: Walking by Faith in Unemployment

Why This Waste (Vital Series)

Trusting God’s Heart When You Can’t Trace His Hand 

When Heaven is Silent: Trusting God When It Hurts

Crossing the Jordan: Living Victoriously in Difficult Relationship

Surrender: Learning To Navigate Life’s Deep Waters With Christ As Your Guide