New Year Encouragement

New Year Encouragement!

1 article, 2 blogs, a niece’s advice and a quote… What a way to start the New Year! I hope you find these as encouraging as I did.

From Tullian Tchividjian, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church’s Senior Pastor and founder of Liberate, we read:

You get the idea. In some ways we get better. In some ways we get worse. And in other ways we basically stay the same. Whoever told us that the experience of life was one of escalating progress lied to us. Most of the time it feels rather static, doesn’t it?

New Year’s Resolutions are a burdening attempt to fix ourselves and make ourselves more lovable. But (and here’s the good news), God loves us as we are, not as we should be.
God’s love for me, approval of me, and commitment to me does not ride on my resolve but on God’s resolve for me. ~ Tullian Tchividjian

To read this complete article, go to: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/01/01/welcome-2015-it-may-be-two-steps-forward-one-step-back-but-here-what-matters/

From David Zahl, director of Mockingbird Ministries and Editor-in-Chief of the Mockingbird Blog:

new year encouragementThis is the liberating truth of the Gospel at its most gut level. Life in the shadow of the cross is not some endless trajectory of mandatory improvement. It is not a mission or a project. It is simply life. A life lived with a modicum of self-acceptance in which we act in silly and sometimes self-defeating ways, but where we are free to laugh at ourselves (and cry with others), knowing that we have been given something a whole lot more sturdy to rely on for comfort and value than our own resolutions. What’s more, we are not alone. ~ David Zahl

Read the full blog at: http://www.mbird.com/2012/12/resolving-to-love-calvin-and-hobbes-17-years-later/

From Steve Brown, radio broadcaster, seminary professor, author and the founder of Key Life, we read:

Just because one believes in grace and admits to not living up to the standards (e.g. resolutions), it doesn’t mean that one lowers those standards (or quits making the resolutions). In fact, God’s grace and love make it possible to be honest about the failure and, at the same time, to continue to make the resolutions. ~ Steve Brown

Read this complete blog here: http://www.keylife.org/articles/the-god-of-second-chances

On a side note, my niece posted this on Facebook and I thought it was a great idea, so I wanted to share it:

My favorite part of January 1st!!!
Throughout the year, we keep a jar on our table and fill it with slips of paper noting things -big and small- for which we are especially grateful. Then on New Years Day, we dump it out and take turns reading them out loud, one at a time. Highly recommend doing this! It’s such a beautiful way to start the new year—reflecting on many of the blessings and sweet moments from the previous one. ~ Erin Fede

And lastly, but not leastly… a quote:

There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me. ~ J. I. Packer Knowing God

Happy New Year!

Tami – January 2015