Quickly, the end of December is approaching; and you know what that means.
I can't believe it's time to write another annual report.
Of course, considering annual reports come annually, I guess it makes sense.
I'd rather look forward to the future than look at my, uh, behind.
Few things are less appealing to me than writing or reading ecclesiastical rationalizations, uh, I mean, uh, annual reports.
That's because I envision churches as passionate, forward-looking, mountain-moving, evil-busting, mission-fueling stations more than museums or mausoleums.
Last year's disappointments can't be changed.
Last year's successes are like last year's winners of the Super Bowl - irrelevant to now and then.
Christianity is so much less about what was and so much more about what will/can/must be.
I believe Christianity, at His best, is more about making living memories by building upon the best of the past for a better today and tomorrow than wasting so much time on what's over and done and longing for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.
I believe Christianity, as His best, is more about trusting His "better" than before by making room for His fresh ways of knowing Him and making Him known (see Matthew 9:16-17).
Simply, God is always up to something better than before in our lives and we must make room for His improvements.
Of course, these are tough times for everybody; and there are no sociopoliticoeconomic indicators suggesting things are going to get any easier any time soon.
Surely, we know tough times expose more than build character.
That's the worldly reality.
And the greater reality is overcoming the worldly reality because of the Wordy truth: "The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:1ff.).
Oswald Chambers wrote, "Our Lord said, in effect,...'You are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine'...When we are born again, we all have visions, if we are spiritual at all, of what Jesus wants us to be, and the great thing is to learn not to be disobedient to the vision, not to say that it cannot be attained."
Philippians 4:1ff. comes to mind.
That's why we look forward instead of at our, uh, behind(s).
Advent recalls His first coming as the Babe of Bethlehem, continuing coming into our lives as Holy Spirit, and ultimate/final coming to usher in the Kingdom in all His glory.
That being said/true/understood, annual reports, at His best, are at, uh, His best when concentrating on who we can become so much more than how we've been.
I think that's what it really means to prepare the way of the Lord.
We are getting ready for His advent(s).
It's about praying and wanting and working to face the future more faithfully.
It's so much better to flush what's in our behind(s) in favor of moving into a future molded after His likeness.
Blessings and Love!
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