Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Gift to Go...

It is hard to believe that another Christmas Day will soon be upon us.  As the day quickly approaches so to do all of the final preparations that go into it all.  To be honest, I haven't had much to do with the Auld family preparations as they fall mostly to my wife.  In fact, as the day quickly approaches I find myself somewhat weary as the bucket of ministry has been poured out on so many fronts and yet there is one final gift that must be sought out.

My need to pursue this gift was birthed out of a question posed by a ministry colleague earlier this week when he challenged us to consider what we were giving Jesus this year for Christmas.  At first glance, this many seem like a silly question or one that deserves a pat answer and yet it is a question that has me really thinking.

What do you give the King of Kings?  What do you give the God who loves you so much He willingly took on flesh and entered fallen humanity in order to rescue us from our sin?  What do you give a Saviour who has given everything for you?  These are not easy questions that warrant easy answers.

So... I still have one gift to go.  I am still not sure what I am going to give Jesus but it is proving to be a very soul searching exercise that I want to take quite seriously heading into 2012.  I trust that all who read this will also consider what they will be giving Jesus this year as you finish up your shopping lists heading into Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Reflect and Project

As the year 2011 comes to a close, I am preparing to fulfill an annual heart and mental exercise I like to do at the end of each calendar year.  As with most people, I try to grab a few days of vacation/rest and travel to visit with family.  This usually provides me with a few hours of drive time whereby I can usually take some time to think.

Part of this exercise relates to my need to reflect.  I never want to close out a year without reflecting upon the following three things.  First, I want to remind myself of God's faithfulness throughout the year.  I need to pause and think through how God has showed up in love and grace throughout all of the events of year 2011.  Secondly, I need to honestly reflect upon where I am at spiritually, emotionally and physically as the year closes.  How am I feeling in each of these areas?  What has been tested in each of these areas?  An honest awareness of where you are at personally in all three is important.  Finally, I need to honestly reflect upon where I am at relationally.  How are the most important relationships in my life going?  What tested those relationships throughout the year?  What growth and great things took place in those relationships throughout the year?  Again, an honest awareness of where I am at in my key relationships is important.

But I also am convinced I can't live in the past reflecting.  I must also spend some time projecting and asking the Lord to help me set some concrete goals to pursue for the year in each of the areas mentioned above.  I never want to grow stagnant in my life and will constantly look to the Lord for His leading in how to keep growing and becoming all that He would have me become while I have life to do so.

So, I am looking forward to some time out of the office to prayerfully reflect and project as 2011 comes to a close and 2012 launches.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Breaking out of the Squash Box

I am heading out this afternoon to play a bit of squash with a friend of mine.  I haven't played much squash or racquetball in life, but, I do enjoy getting out and trying new sports.  One of the unique features about these two sports is the court upon which you play.  You basically go and lock yourself into a concrete box with only one small door as the way out and then smack a hard rubber ball off the walls.

As I thought about this, I could not help but equate it to the lives so many find themselves living in.  I even find myself fighting this temptation to view life as this box we are are forced into whereby you spend your days trying to keep the ball of life moving as it bounces out of control on the walls that surround you.  There are days when you just want to break out of the box you find yourself in and yet there often appears to be no way out as the ball keeps begging to be hit.  I also believe that many of us naturally return to the box as we at least feel safe and somewhat in control when in it even if we don't like it.

I really don't think the Lord has called us to live lives like this.  We have been set free in Christ and I believe we have been called to be agile and ready to move as He moves within our lives.  So often the daily requirements of surviving and being successful within the North American culture create and force us into the box of life whereby we stop dreaming big for God.  It is here that our faith can begin to shrivel.

I guess my question to self daily is simple, "What am I doing to make sure I never stop dreaming big in Christ and for Christ so that I can move with Christ?"  I don't want my remaining years on this planet to be defined as trapped in the box of daily grind but rather alive, free and moving in faith with my Saviour.