Saturday, December 31, 2005

Goodbye 2005...Hello 2006!

As we come to the end of another year, many people are thinking of ways they want to change the way they live. They look back over the year and compare what actually took place to what they thought or hoped would take place.

2005 has been an exciting chapter in my own life. Among some of eventful things which took place were: my dad going into septic shock while on vacation with my mom in Hawaii, my dad having to have major surgery, my brother being deployed to Iraq, my three-month stint on the Amazon River in Brazil, my grandpa having open-heart surgery because of a genetic problem, finding out that both my uncles, my mom, and I have this genetic problem, becoming more aware of God's sovereingty in the midst of suffering, purchasing a really old, antique copy of Berkhof's Systematic Theology, starting this blog, and everyone growing a year older.

One thought that has meant a lot to me this year has been, "You don't grow much in Christ during the easy times." It's the hard times that show us how dependent upon Christ we are. It is the trials which force us to lean on Him to be our comfort. It is the loneliness which reminds us that God is our only truly faithful friend. It is bad health which shows us that our only hope is Jesus. It is our imperfections which reminds us that Jesus lived the only perfect life.

This is why we thank God for struggles. We rejoice that God is ordaining hardships for us. This is why we smile (with tears in our eyes) when we say that our suffering is personalized individually for us. It's handmade stuff. It was made for us with us in God's mind.

And it's not just for the suffering itself. It's for something else.

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5

It produces hope. The Holy Spirit fills our hearts with God's love. This is the best thing for us.

So, as is popular tradition, here are my top ten New Year's Resolutions:

  • live to exalt Christ's name
  • live like I have one week left to live
  • live for the sake of partaking in Christ's sufferings
  • live for eternity, not the here and now
  • live riskfully and wisely at the same time
  • live healthfully
  • live joyfully
  • live to kill sin
  • live to die to self
  • live as would most please God

Now, what are yours?


Daniel Mann said...

Great stuff! God is Awesome!!!
May He continue to conform you to His glorious beautiful image, through out the new year. He is certainly faithful,good, and gracious to you. May He by His Spirit, enable you to carry out your resolutions or resolves.
Soli Deo Gloria

T.B. Vick said...

You have some very good resolutions. Hope you have a blessed new year, I have enjoed your blog.

stephen said...

Excellent post, Juli. I don't think you'll have much trouble with those resolutions, as you already do keep them. Keep it up.

Puritan Belief said...

Your Amazon River in Brazil trip sounded great. Rivers are always so much fun. We have a few cool ones in Oz but the rapids are only short lived.

My New years resolution would have to be to find out more about "soul winning" and put it into practice.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year's, Julianne!!! Let me know if you ever get out to TMC.

Carson Allen said...

1. start a Prayer Journal-

What do answers to prayer depend on?" The first and most fundamental part of the answer was that all answers to prayer depend on the death of Christ for our sins. The reason that a just and holy God is free to bless us with answers to prayer, even though we are sinners who deserve condemnation, is that Jesus Christ died for our sins and turned away the wrath of God from us. Everything beneficial, which fallen human beings have ever experienced, was purchased at Calvary. And therefore, all answers to prayer are free gifts based on God's mercy. We do not purchase answers to prayer by anything we say or do; we only plead for the overflow of mercy already purchased by the sacrifice of our Lord. Piper

2. Complete My Ignorance Notebook

3. Start a B.A. at Columbia Evangelical Seminary(online

4.Double my sales volume at work

5. Research starting a non-profit apologetics ministry

6. Go to James R White vs John Shelby Sbong Debate this November

well there they are

Spinney said...

May God grant you the grace to see these through. Happy New Year!

Julianne said...

T.B.: Thanks for stopping by!

Puritan: Resolutions for more soul winning are excellent! May God grant us the wonderful privilage of drawing His people to Himself.

Adam: Will do. You have a happy new year too.

Carson: Love those ideas. Number 2 looks especially interesting. (Everyone: check out his blog for an explanation.)

Spinney: Happy new year as well!