Hope you’re having an awesome and blessed beginning of 2011!
We made it!
It took all of us 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes 9.54 seconds to do the loop! One lap ‘round the sun was almost 600 million miles! No wonder you’re feeling a little tired!
Almost everybody is agreed…2010 was a tough one! And it may get tough in ways we don’t even anticipate in ’11. One person said that if global warming continues the way it’s going, the only opportunity we’ll have to observe a real, live polar bear will be at the zoo! Doesn’t that sound terrible?!...Opps. I forgot. That IS the only place I have ever seen one.
But, still…we do have serious problems ahead to think about…
But I read the most beautifully hopeful verse…almost tripped over it without noticing it…in the Gospel of Mark. Here it is…”After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God” Mark 1. 14)
One version puts it like this…”Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God…”
The ol’ King James puts it…”Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God…”
Notice the diff? They put some extra words in there (“…of the kingdom of…”) to make it make more sense…but in this case, “less is more”!
The King James says Jesus was telling everyone about the good news of “the kingdom of God”…which is awesome news! God reigns! And the kingdom is coming!
But what Mark wrote was that Jesus told everyone “the good news about God”!!
HEY! GOOD NEWS!
God is GOOD!
God is awesome! And no matter what happens, He reigns! And He loooooovvvveeeeesssss yyyyoooouuuuu! And in love and in 2011, He rules over all that will happen to me and to thee!
In nice and bad, happy and sad, God is good…all the time…no matter what!
That’s Good News!
Here’s something else I almost missed the other day…
I was chattin’ it up with an older gentleman, and he said, “Well, have a happy New Year!”
Did you get that!?
He didn’t say, “Happy New Year!”…as in, “I wish for you a Happy New Year!”…but, “HAVE a Happy New Year!...In 2011, you can have a happy one or a less-than-happy-one. HAVE a happy one! Make your decision! Decide to have a happy one! Have one! The choice is up to you!”
If God is good and loves me and is working out an awesome plan, in and thru all that happens to me in the coming year (that’s the good news about God!), than it just makes sense that I should, could, and can be happy all day…every day!
Here’s how two of my favorites put it…
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3)
How ‘bout making THAT your verse for 2011?
And then there’s this...
“Habakkuk teaches us that joy is not dependent on circumstances but can be embraced at all times. Happiness doesn’t happen; it involves an act of the will…Happiness is a choice. Rather, it’s a series of choices, a series of steps taken one after another in the same direction. You, no matter where you are, can take one of those steps right now….While suffering in inevitable, misery is optional. Pain can’t be avoided, but joy can. If you don’t believe in the power of choice, you won’t experience it…It would be cruel to expect anyone to be always happy apart from God. But in the Lord-why not? Who wouldn’t be overjoyed with a God who ‘has given us everything we need for life and godliness’ (2 Peter 1)? In the words of a Christmas carol, ‘Why on earth should men be so sad, since our Redeemer has made us glad?” (Mike Mason)
So, I’m not just gonna wish y’all a “Happy New Year!” in this first CCC Email of 2011.
Since, no matter what happens, good or bad, nice or sad, no matter what the news brings in ‘11, the Good News that trumps all other news is this: God! He’s always good! All the time!...
…and since the choice to have joy in Jesus, no matter what, is yours and mine to make…
As far as new years go, I’m going to encourage you to choose to have a happy one!
That’s the Good News about God (Mark 1:14)!