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Blog: Tom Job

A Note From Tom: December 29th, 2012

CCC Oak Ridge

Hey, everyone!

We’ve almost made it to the end of 2011!

It takes all of us 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, and 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 ‘bout now!

Almost everybody is agreed…2011 was a tough one! Economically, meteorologically, UTVolFootball-ly, inalmosteveryotherway-ly, 2011 isn’t getting great reviews. 2½ stars by some. One dude on the radio interviewed this other guy and asked, “If a Martian landed from Mars (where else?) and wanted to know how the situation here on earth was going in ‘11, how would you answer?” The other guy said, “I’d ask him, ‘Can that spaceship take you back up to Mars…’cause you might want to climb back up in there!”

But yesterday, 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? The King’s guys put some extra words in there (“…of the kingdom of…”) to make it make more sense.

But 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 about “the good news about God”!!

“I have Good news! Here it is!...God!!

God is good! God is awesome! And no matter what happens, He reigns! And He loooooovvvveeeeesssss yyyyoooouuuuu! And in love and in 2012, 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 yesterday…

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!”

He said, “HAVE a Happy New Year!”

In 2012, you can have a happy one or a less-than-happy-one. So…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 2012?

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.

….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!”

I guess I’m encouraging you and me to decide…

…no matter what happens, good or bad, nice or sad…

…because no matter what the news or the new year brings, the Good News that trumps all other news is…well,…God! He’s always good! All the time!...

…and because the choice to have joy in Jesus, no matter what, is yours and mine!…

…I’m gonna encourage you…as far as Happy New Years are concerned…

…TO HAVE ONE!!