Devotional for Monday January 1st

Good Morning Everyone,


Our theme for this month: “Balance”


Our Bible verse for today: “There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (HCSB)


Our thought for today: “We need a healthy balance in life.”


Happy New Year! Do you have some goals you hope to achieve in 2018? Perhaps you’re going to work on an important change or two which needs to take place in your life. This morning, as we begin the New Year, I’ll share one of mine with you.


Some of you have wondered how I come up with the theme for each month’s daily devotional series. Often it ends up being something that God is in the process of working through in my own life (That’s the case this month). I then get to share those lessons with you. Since we’re really not that different, those lessons are often helpful to you as well as to me.


As I sat here at my desk very early this past Saturday morning, having just sent out the last devotional for 2017, I realized I didn’t have a clue what to write about for January 2018. The Lord hadn’t given me anything yet. That’s unusual. Usually He gives me the next theme a week or so before it’s needed. Therefore my mind will already be working in that direction – but not this time.


I have to admit I was a little irritated with Him about it. Christmas is always a busy time in the life of a Pastor but that was especially true this year. In addition to all the regular Christmas stuff, I had four staff members get sick or injured (three of them had surgery). Four other church members had accidents or surgeries during that time too. Additionally, I made two trips to California during that time to bring my disabled daughter home to Tennessee and then to bring her back to California again – all of it within a three week period.


So as I sat there on Saturday morning, with no clue what to write about in January, I was exhausted and a little annoyed with God for not giving me the next theme yet. In prayer I said something like, “God, I don’t need this aggravation right now. Do you know what these last three weeks have been like for me? What’s up with You not giving me the next theme yet? This isn’t helping!”


As I sat there stewing a bit (pouting maybe), with my chest hurting a little from the stress, frustrated that I didn’t have a theme yet for the new month, I thought about how easy it was for me to write last month’s series “Living with no excuses”. That’s the story of my life! I’m OCD by nature, and then there’s those two decades of military discipline that is now in my DNA. So I can march myself through life like a goose-stepping Nazi Storm Trooper. I can force myself to keep going and to get stuff done. Eliminating excuses and getting things done is not my problem. Coming up for air once in a while is my problem. I need better balance in my life.


And then it hit me. God had given me the theme for January. It’s the very thing I need more of in my life right now – balance. And although, once again, these devotionals begin with God working something out in my life and you getting to read about it, I know that this is meant for you too. I know many of you. I know what most of your lives are like. Therefore I know that this issue is a problem for many of you too.


This month we’ll give some deep devotional thought to living life well – without making excuses – but while maintaining a healthy balance as well.


God Bless,

Pastor Jim

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