When I opened the curtains on the slider leading out to our deck in the backyard this morning, I was greeted by clear, crisp blue skies, a slight breeze and temperatures hovering around 28 degrees. Needless to say, it was a glorious morning and a glorious start to the first full week of 2016! I would like to go on record declaring that I am excited about all the positive possibilities before us in the New Year. Even though our 2015 ended in a whirlwind with the move, a cold and cough for me and Bronchitis along with two related trips to the Emergency Room for my wife, I am full of expectations of God’s best for our future in the Township of Hector’s Creek near the small town of Fuquay-Varina in Harnett County, North Carolina.
About a month ago, the Lord dropped a few words into my heart concerning 2016. As I was studying His Word in our dining room, I heard Him say: “2016, the year to Man Up!” That caught my attention as we were going through some difficult emotions at the time concerning the recent loss of a loved one. In the days that followed I began to realize that His words for us for 2016 was not specifically related to all the hoopla involved in that family situation, but in the need to make some changes in myself in order to successfully meet the exciting future challenges that are to be set before us in the New Year.
I am also beginning to understand that the command to “Man Up!” is not necessarily meant to face the days ahead as a strong, confident individual, but as a humble, loving, grace-giving, faith-filled, forgiving man of God as defined in His Word. The Lord has been giving me many new explanations of past and current experiences to learn from through various scriptures over the last month. It is beginning to unfold as a daily teaching from Him. In fact, I awoke this morning quite excited to see what today’s lesson would be!
I would like to share those lessons over the following weeks in this fresh new year of 2016. I believe that the current plan is to continue posting a new blog three days a week. The specific days may vary according to our weekly schedule, but I will do my best to meet the three day a week plan! I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and am expecting to receive some meaty feedback as we grow together in Him and learn what He means when He encourages each of us to “Man Up!”
I will leave you today with a poem Piper and I read this morning by an anonymous author as part of the preface to a book written by John A. MacMillan who was a Christian Missionary Alliance missionary sent to China and then the Philippines in the 1920’s. The book is entitled “The Authority of the Believer” and it came from a series articles first published in The Alliance Weekly (now Alliance Life) and later published as two separate pamphlets. Our pray is that the poem will stimulate you to develop a greater hunger for and become a more vibrant example of the things of God in 2016 to your world.
When mountain walls confront the way.
Why sit and weep? Arise and say
“Be thou removed! And they shall be
By the power of God cast in the sea.
All power on earth, all power in heaven,
To Christ, the Son of God, is given;
And from the throne He will endue,
And hindrances will flee from you.
O’er all the power of fiend and man
Say through the Lord, “I surely can”;
Take from Him power on earth to tread
On serpent’s sting, on dragon’s head.
Whate’er thou art, O mountain high,
Where’er thou art, in earth or sky,
Whene’er thou art, truth is the same,
“Be thou removed, in Jesus name.”
“Be thou removed!” Faith bids thee start
For yonder see – Arise! Depart!
I may, I can, I must, I will,
The purpose of my God fulfill.”