Goodbye, Hello

This time of the year I always enjoy those television shows where we watch the year in review, recapping all the news and celebrity happenings from the last twelve months.  Even as a kid I remember watching them.  So often as I watch I think, “Did that just happen this year?”  It’s amazing how much we can cram into 365 days.  Looking back 2017 seems to have flown by.  And yet, looking forward, 2018 seems to stretch out vastly ahead of me.

This is also the time that many of us take a minute to reflect on our lives, the blessings and the challenges.  Hopefully we can find it easy to be grateful and appreciate all the good things in our lives.  But we also spend some time looking at places for improvement and progress toward personal goals.

I am no different in this regard, although over the years my New Year resolutions have evolved.  Most often they are no longer tied to quantifiable measurements like pounds or dollars, but include more abstract objectives.  So, with that in mind, tomorrow at midnight I hope to say goodbye to some of the less desirable parts of 2017 and hello to a new improved version of me and the world around me.   Below are a few of the things on my list.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.

  • Goodbye to an obsession with the number on the scale every morning.  Hello to a lifestyle of staying healthy and active.
  • Goodbye to judging others.  Hello to loving better.
  • Goodbye to treating others as less than.  Hello to respectfully reaching down and over and out to help others.
  • Goodbye to wasting time that can never be recovered.  Hello to appreciating the 1,440 minutes of each day, knowing that they are a gift from God.
  • Goodbye to daydreams that never develop beyond fantasy.  Hello to action.
  • Goodbye to tears of regret and sadness.  Hello to tears of enormous joy and overwhelming laughter.
  • Goodbye to petty jealousies and insecurities that weigh me down.  Hello to cheering for those around me knowing that their successes do not create my failures.
  • Goodbye to hanging on to the past when it’s not healthy.  Hello to shedding the weight of guilt and shame.
  • Goodbye to loneliness and boredom.  Hello to moving beyond my comfort zone.
  • Goodbye to the prison of perfectionism.  Hello to the freedom of being who God allows me to be.
  • Goodbye to being shy about celebrating life.  Hello to embracing emotions and taking chances.
  • Goodbye to allowing this world to define who I am or how I should spend my time and energy.  Hello to taking my direction from God.
  • Goodbye to pity parties for one.  Hello to banquets of gratitude.
  • Goodbye to laziness.  Hello to resting in the spirit of God.
  • Goodbye to comparisons.  Hello to individuality.
  • Goodbye to fear of the known and the unknown, the future and uncertainty.  Hello to trusting God more.

Goodbye to 2017.  Hello to 2018.





Peace on Earth

When I was 19 I began teaching two-year olds in Sunday school.  A few years later I taught older children.  In the years that would pass I taught ladies, young married couples, teenagers and seniors. Each year we would inevitably celebrate Christmas and Easter, generally reading the same passages of scripture each time.  It would be very easy to become complacent in studying, so years ago I determined that each year I would search out one new thing to learn about these Christian milestones.  This year is no different.

Last week a dear friend gave me a copy of his latest book – a look at the birth of Christ.  As I read his writings, I came across a part of the story that has always baffled me — when the angel announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds in the fields that night.  Then a multitude of heavenly hosts praise God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Peace on earth.  Or maybe I should say “peace on earth?”  I just don’t see it and I’ve never understood it.  When the angels proclaimed the message, there wasn’t peace on earth.  Historically there have been very few times when there wasn’t at least one war being fought somewhere on the earth.  The message came about 2,000 years ago, but the prophecy doesn’t seem to be coming true.  Any television news broadcast will tell you about the latest fighting between groups or countries.  Greed, hatred and even religion seem to constantly divide us from those around us.  If you look closer to home, we see daily conflict and senseless violence in our own city.  Are we ever going to see the peace on earth that the angels sang of?

In Matthew, Jesus Himself even tells us we will have tribulation in this world.  Yet He goes on to say that He has overcome the world and that in Him we might have peace.  The peace He refers to is an inner peace that comes from a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.  It is a peace that He gives to those who believe in Him; a peace that happens within individuals, not necessarily between countries or people groups or even family members.  So how does my inner peace relate to peace on earth?

My “aha moment” this year came as I realized that the peace on earth is my inner peace while on the earth.  Though I have tribulations.  Though the violence and hatred scream from every headline.  Though man seems to continue to destroy those around him in his never ending self-promotion.  I don’t have to wait for peace on some future day when I spend eternity in heaven.  I have peace now.  I have peace here – on earth.  No wonder the heavenly host sang out!  Finally, we can experience peace while still on this earth.

Glory to God in the highest.  Peace (within me, while I’m) on Earth. Good will toward men.

May you, this Christmas like never before, experience your own peace on earth.

Merry Christmas!


If you would like to read more: Backstage at the Manger by Dr. Nelson Price