I Meant 2015

Every entry in my journal for 2015 is dated 2014.

I see the blunder in previous journals. In the first few weeks at the beginning of each year I’ve done the same. I see where I’ve changed the numbers, trying to make it look as if I’d not made the error. Or I’ve erased it, or crossed it out and rewritten it.

A lot of you make the same mistake.

It takes a while to get used to a New Year, a different pattern, a fresh attitude, or a healthier habit.

My friend is frustrated that her scale didn’t aptly measure the deprivation she tolerated last week. It’s not what she expected. She wants results quickly. She wants to see the proof of her work.

Have you already messed up on your New Year’s resolutions? Have you given up on the promises you made to yourself or to others?

You paid the gym but haven’t shown up to use it.

You quit smoking but the patch isn’t enough. You’ve been sneaking one every day at lunch.

You told your family you wouldn’t bring work home anymore. You promised to sit and eat dinner together and patiently help the kids with their homework. But an unexpected deadline caused you to hurry through dinner last night to finish a report.

Your intentions haven’t turned into actions. You feel like you’ve failed and you’re discouraged.

I told my frustrated friend to focus on what she’s done right. I urged her to quit stepping on the scale and measure her success another way. Keep declining the doughnuts, and refusing the Ruffles. The desired results will come. Just don’t give up.

We all date our checks incorrectly at the first of the year. But we don’t get frustrated; we don’t quit trying to get it right. We don’t give in to the “I’m never going to change” or “This is too hard” thoughts. We will eventually date our memos, journals and checks correctly.

This morning I changed every “4” in the misprinted 2014s to a “5”. I messed up but I will get it right.

I have to. It just takes a while.

15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. Philippians 3:15-16 (MSG)

Welcome

I have a welcome mat on my front porch. Most of us do. We like to think we are welcoming people. But are we? Really?

I asked my 12 year old what she thought about when she heard the word “welcome”.

“I think you’re supposed to be happy when you welcome someone,” she said.

I’m guilty of not always being happy when I welcome or receive someone. I’m sometimes guilty of welcoming only those I feel comfortable welcoming. Or those that are most like me. I shy away from inviting those with more into my home. More money, more house, more education. Those that appear to have it more together, or……….more anything.

And those with less……..the same.

I have to be intentional about welcoming all kinds into my home. Into my conversation. Into my world. But I get so comfortable in my space. In my home with my people. In the office with my co-workers. Within my circle of friends.

My comfort is not what God had in mind when he inspired Paul to write to the Romans: Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (15:7)

Welcome. Invite. Receive. Accept.

Joyfully.

The poor should invite the rich. And the rich the poor. The strong receive the weak and the weak the strong. Those less mature in the faith should receive those more mature, and vice versa. Those living in freedom bring in those dying in bondage and those in bondage welcome the free.

Jesus welcomed all. He asks us to do the same.

So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!
Romans 15:7 (MSG)