I want to thank you for all your prayers for me and my family during this difficult time. My cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer and there have been some other heavy things weighing on us. So it’s been a difficult holiday, but the Lord has been faithful. And He has been very near.
Your support, love, and encouragement has meant so much to me. I appreciate it more than you know.
A Word About My Friends
Over the past two weeks on my blog, I’ve been honoring some of my friends and introducing them and their work to my readers. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the 4 “friend-honoring” posts, please do so. (The direct links are posted at the bottom of this note.)
Friendships are VERY important to me. And I thank God for the many wonderful friends he has put in my life over the years, including the seven close friends I have honored on my blog recently — Tony & Felicity Dale; Milt Rodriguez & Alan Levine; Jon Zens & Leonard Sweet, and three others.
I am also thankful for each of you who have “friended” me on Facebook and have been so kind and gracious to encourage me in the journey.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
A Word and a Prayer About 2011
Recently, I’ve been arrested by the fact that life is so very short. Not long ago I had a very close friend pass away at a young age. And presently I have three friends who are stricken with serious sickness.
Since life is so short, let us use each day we have remaining on this earth to bring peace, joy, and encouragement in the lives of everyone we know.
The word I believe the Lord has given me and confirmed for this year is “peace.”
My prayer for 2011 is that God would use me to be a vessel to bring life, peace, freedom, comfort, and encouragement to everyone I come in contact with. That I would do no harm to any soul, that I would do nothing to add to their pain, that my speech and conduct would always lift-up and never tear-down, that I would always think the best of them, not judge their hearts, show compassion, and strive to be a peacemaker and live in peace with all people.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18).
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
As we start this new year, may you and I treat all of our sisters and brothers . . . and all people . . . the same exact way we would want to be treated if we were standing in their shoes . . . just as our Lord taught us. This is what it means to walk in love and to let Christ live in and through us. May God, by His blessed Holy Spirit, cause us to live-out The Forgotten Words of Jesus.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9)
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (Romans 14:19).
Closing Words from Jim Elliot
I’ll close with the words of one of my heroes, Jim Elliot. Words that I deeply resonate with:
“I walked out to the hill just now. It is exalting, delicious. To stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree with the wind tugging at your coattail and the heavens hailing your heart, to gaze and glory and to give oneself again to God, what more could a man ask? Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth. I care not if I never raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him.”
Here are my 4 “Lifting Up My Friends” posts. I hope you will read them all (each one is short):
May the Lord Jesus Christ gain more for Himself in 2011! And may His face shine upon you and yours.
Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance (Jude 1:2).
I am nothing; He is Everything.
Your brother in the bonds of Calvary,