The Unofficial New Year’s Day

Holidays are a problem for me, and none more so than the multiple-week year-ending festivities. And none more so than this past year’s 2016-2017 turnover.

You see, all my life I have been stuck in the mode of looking forward to the next batch of “time off for good behavior”. It is definitely what has caused me so much trouble throughout my life. I waited anxiously for “beer o’clock” and the end of the work day. I lived for the party weekend. I wanted to be on permanent holiday. But this past year, the first of my blogging life, it finally dawned on me what good, hard, blissful work was.

Why on earth and heaven would I want time-off from that? By mid-December, 2016, I was firmly established in a productive routine. Blogging, sharing testimony and worship, one-on-one encouragement, putting time in each week on projects around the house, completing daily chores. And then massive disruption hit with college break (my daughter was home) and the consumerism that Christmas has become. I didn’t handle it well.

(If you doubt, just look at my posting frequency from mid-December through today.)

And so, here I am on January 18, trying to get back into my blessed day-to-day, day-by-day. I’ve been thinking about this first post of the year. January 1 is a holiday. It might be the official New Year’s Day, but which day is the one where we really “get back to work”?

So, let me approach this as a re-committing; a re-dedicating day, simply because I have to re-start somewhere.

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.
It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’…
And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us – an unbelievable inheritance!
Romans 8:15-17 MSG

I hope you’ll join me! This year is full of great promise, as I pick up from where I left off in Sharing God’s Story.

The Lord gives me strength and makes me sing [is my strength and my song];
He has saved me [is my salvation].
He is my God and I will praise him,
He is the God of my ancestors [fathers]
and I will honor [exalt] him.
Genesis 15:2 EXB

How Can I Keep From Singing?!

joyFascination With God can be found in everything/anything around us when we “Find The Beauty”. Nature, art, beautiful sounds and smells and sights, acts of kindness, praise and worship, and giving ourselves in service and love pump us up with this totally freeing super-good-and-purely-natural high. When we truly look or listen or sing or feel what these things are made for, we experience true joy, and it’s our first baby-step on the path to a permanent (or, at least, prominent) serenity. We might need to start with a crawl before we can stumble and walk, but soon we are running and leaping into the air to soar on wings like eagles.


chris-tomlinFor me, music is a primary expression of my Fascination With God,and one of the best at delivering it in an easy and simple way is Chris Tomlin. One of my favorite ‘topics’ of praise and worship is, very plainly, the urge to sing. Make a joyful noise!

Hope you like this one:

microphoneHow Can I Keep From Singing?!

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You’ll see me through
And sing the songs You give

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing ’cause You pick me up
Sing ’cause You’re there
I can sing ’cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I’ll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

(2006 sixsteps Music Thankyou Music Vamos Publishing songs Wondrously Made Songs)
Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Matt Redman