It is time again for New Year's Resolutions. Promises to eat less, exercise more, live on a budget, and simply be a better person.
side point: Why is it in a year we don't move on to PHASE II of this year's resolutions and become a nutritionist, cross-fit athlete, financial advisor, and/or become the next Billy Graham? Instead we unabashedly repeat our past failed resolutions. - askin' for a friend -
Of course resolutions are mostly 'tweaks' in the lives of mostly good folk. Everyday people who could lose a pound or two, watch less TV, or tweet less... but never hear anyone say they resolve to be involved in less felonies. And it safe to say Hitler, Stalin, and Hannibal Lector were not typical New Years Resolution kind'a guys.
Not a smidge of curbing evil in their resolutions as evil continues to do evil while good folk like you and me tweak our lives with resolutions. But then a serious question..
Why would good folk need a Savior?
Sure dictators, serial killers, bank robbers, and IRS agents NEED A SAVIOR after all they are REAL major league sinners. But, most of us are just New Year's Resolutions kinda sinners? I mean, should I go to Hell because I need a 'tweak'... or because I tweet?
Truth is I am a sinner, and sorry to inform the rest of you, but you are sinners too. There is no doubt we all need a savior. We are the reason Jesus Christ died on a cross a sinners death in our place.
I still contend I am not a bad person, and most of what everyone sees of me supports this, BUT you don't know my quiet selfish thoughts played out in subtle selfish ways. You don't know the anger I feel at times, or the little white lies I may convince myself are truth. You do not know my desires, or bitterness, or the pity parties I sometimes throw for myself when I am down. You don't know the wasted moments that have accumulated in my life.. you don't know.. but I know, and God certainly knows.
So again, I am not such a bad person.. but I certainly am a sinner, it's just that my sins don't make the evening news... AND I certainly need a savior.
So how about you? I am sure most of you are pretty GOOD PEEPS too. You are probably just a couple Resolutions (tweaks) from being GREAT peeps. You may not even admit to as many private attitudes and actions of sins that I do, but.. I will go out on a limb here and say with confidence.. You too need a savior.
Let me close with a parable Jesus taught about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector..
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14
I do thank God for a life that is good, and for this New Year filled with opportunities. I do resolve this year to lose a few pounds, be more productive, and exercise, and repentant with the prayer of the tax collector.. "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"
May God bless all of you GOOD PEEPS this New Year. I pray for God's very best in your lives as you serve Him. I pray His church seeks His will like never before, and that 2021 is a year of resolutions, repentance, and and a revival (the 3 Rs?) that is long over due.
To 'DIE' .. with a 'T' on the end
Again in 2020 I knew full well over the Christmas holiday I was eating too much, and snacking too often. The cookies, the eggnog, candies, carmels, fudge, etc were all taking their toll on me, so I approached it like any 'good inmate' on death row does. As 2021 approaches, I will eat my last meal before I .. DIE. with T on the end.
Sadly, both the inmate on death row, and Jeff must DIE.. T, die-t, ok I will say it all together now DIET. The end has arrived to life as I know it. The Christmas cookies & the fudge .. GONE, no more eggnog, and so the time has come to DIE with a t on the end.
My bathroom scale even whispered to me a scripture paraphrase truth while wincing in pain as I stood on him.
"Jeff, do not be conformed to muffin top your jeans: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your body with 'diet' and 'exercise'." Romans 12:2 (BRE)Bathroom Edition
It was very much like the donkey who spoke to Balaam in Numbers 22:21-39, but for me it was a bathroom scale that spoke as he lay there prostrate on a linoleum floor near a toilet.
In my life a growing bank account balance is welcome, but this growing bathroom scale balance was not.
The good news is I am ready to start eating right, getting fit again, and prayerfully returning to normal with a healthy perspective on food, rest, and exercise.
Healthy in mind, body, and spirit is a great goal for each of us to take seriously. At my age I do not aspire to be an athlete, but do aspire to be healthy.
Life is better when I am rested, active, eating right, AND taking time to pursue a personal relationship with God. When I am missing any of these life disciplines my total health suffers.
May God bless each of you now and in the coming year with health and balance in life.. and I pray some of you are willing to DIE with a T on the end if you find you are a little like me.
New Year's Blessings from the Back Pew
Jeff DIE (with a T) Hard Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson