Monday, December 28, 2015

*Future*

 "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."
Philip. 3:7-11 KJV


 I have never viewed the upcoming New Year with as much anticipation, or fear, as I view this one. During 2015,  my world expanded and grew. It exploded.  It was a year of tremendous wonders. Tremendous excitement. Tremendous joy.
But there comes a time, during good times, when you know you can't grow unless you face a challenge. 
And deep down, I have a feeling.

A very troubling feeling.
2016 is going to expand my view of the world in a more serious way. 
It is one thing to put your foot out into the unknown and pray for the best. 
It is entirely another to knowingly enter into a time of trial, or at least, deep personal growth.
And pray for it all the same.

I feel that in order to reach the next milestone in my life (whatever that might be!) I will first need to undergo a personal test.

It's intimidating really.
To know God will stretch you, to believe He WILL challenge you, 
well.....
It takes some surrender. 
 A lot of surrender.
Total surrender?
Yep. 
A knowledge that God wants to form us into the image of Christ sounds very moving, sounds like what we, as Christians, would want.
But then it hits you.
To be like Christ, you must suffer.
What if we can't become who we need to become unless we hit stormy seas?
Yikes.
Seriously Lord? Really?
"Yes my child. But breathe deep. I am with you".

And then it sinks in with a bit more comfort. Yea sure, its still not going to be easy. But what if the suffering we go through, the pain we endure, the trials we face, is the door to Christ-likeness?

After all, our ultimate future is Christ.

 Really and truly.
We might cherish the hopes of good, godly things for our future life here on earth.
Finding a godly spouse. Starting a family. Delving in deep with a ministry or charity that promotes God's word.
But that is not our end goal.
 Those things lie in the path, but do not constitute, the ultimate end of the journey.


I am still wondering how this all is going to play out in 2016.
There is a very real possibility that I am not up for a huge trial.
But then again,
there is.
One thing that concerns me more than any other thing is this-

When my personal trial come, will I handle it with Grace?
 Will I endure it well, with humility and patience?

I can't promise that I will. In fact, I can promise you that whatever 2016 throws my way, good or bad, I will make mistakes. 
Because we all do.
However,
 I pray that, through it all, I can stay on the path God intends. 
That He will use all things to grow me.

To prepare me. To equip me...
for my future.

The idea that God's love involves bringing us through hard things, is painful for people to accept.
There is this common belief, spoken and unspoken,
that God wants us to be happy.
You might disagree with me and my family,
but,
We do not believe happiness is the goal of the Christian life.

I believe God loves to give good gifts to His children. 
(every good and perfect Gift comes from Above, after all. James 1:17)
But I believe the purpose of this life is to
Glorify God.

That may involve hurting.

So, here I am.
On the verge of the adventure that will be my 2016 year.
I am really eager to see God's plan for my life.
Scared?
For sure! No denying it. I am human after all-and not a particularly brave or strong one at that.
Eager with expectation?
Absolutely!

There is a promise near to my heart.
My favorite Bible verse is the end of Matthew. Right after the Great Commission, this is what Jesus said to his beloved...it is a promise He has made to all believers, to comfort us as we go and proclaim His message, and yes, as we suffer for Him,
"and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Matthew 28:20b KJV
The version that repeats in mind head is this:
"Lo, I am with you, even to the end of the age!"
Lord, I ask, what does that mean? To the end of the age?

And He seems to whisper back:
Surrender Lexi. Give me it all. 
I will be with you. Even when you lose yourself.

 
So here it goes. I'm jumping in.
Much love to you dear readers!
Happy New Year!
And may God show you Himself, more abundantly and more clearly than ever before!
And may we serve Him.
Together! 
xoxox 
Lexi
 



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Star- December in Focus

 "God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy"









Christmas. 
The whole season. It's a lot. 
A lot of time. A lot of work.  A lot of stuff.
My season has been  bright. Lots of parties, lots of plays, lots of love.  I visited a friend I haven't seen in 8 months.  I saw Stars Wars with my dad. I enjoyed reading a scripture at church when we lighted the fourth advent candle. I have scrambled to find gifts, I have struggled to get over this lingering flu. 
And I wonder. 
About 2016. 
My future? That's scary.
I look back.  
My year? It's gone and  I miss it.
I want to go back and relive my summer. What a joy. Church camp, I miss you! My cousin Lyssie's visit in June, I want to see her again. Visiting Houston and a newly married friend? It's gone!
My heart aches for the past. Nostalgia envelopes.
And I tremble a little at the future. Whats it going to be like? Will I be disappointed? What if 2015 is the best it will ever be?
And then I slow.
I breathe.
That babe in the manger. Now HE had a lot to worry about! In the starry night, the whole world rested in Mary's arms. And I know. Say no to the past, Say no to the future. This is the moment to focus on.
This is Christmas.
Our guiding star, the reason we have HOPE (like an anchor to our souls-Hebrews 6:19), let my gaze rest on Him. 
And if I follow my Christmas Star?
 What have I to fear?

Nothing. I can rest. Like Jesus did. That first night. In Mary's arms.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Readers, you are some of my 2015 Blessings.
 I appreciate you.  
If I do not hear from you via comments most of the year, please drop me one now.
And may you find some bit of rest in the next few days.
Fix your gaze.
Yes indeed.
Upon your Christmas Star.

With all the love I can give,

Lexi