Another year has been turned over on the calendar. And we are all different. We have all, to some degree, been changed by what has taken place in the past year.
The world we live in is not the same, the country we live in is not the same, the souls we live in are not the same. Nothing is as it was before September 11. Our confusion, when we look at the world, runs more rampant. Fear hangs in the air even thicker. Our questions mount and our despair builds.
Yet, with the start of a new year, hope reigns. Hope is never fuller then when it is coming out of a place of true despair. And our despair, in many instances, is deeper than it has ever been. However, we still have much to be hopeful for and thankful when looking toward the future. The circumstances have not changed the fact that God is active in our lives. They have not changed the fact that God is more concerned with our lives than we will ever know. But we don't see like God.
We see reality, and the world around us, as if we were looking at a mosaic or an impressionistic painting. We see but two or three tiles of the mosaic, or we merely see a few dots of the painting. We don't see how they are all working together to form a beautiful scene. The events of today are playing off events that happened thousands of years ago and events that could possibly happen thousands of years from now.
Faith is on the minds of the general public like I have never seen. And faith consists of two things: belief and obedience. One of the most difficult acts of obedience, for me, is the act of trusting. God is calling us to trust that things will be OK and that good overcomes. And to trust that in the midst of despair ... there is hope. It can be really, really, really hard to see that hope, but it is there. We don't see like God.
With the coming of a new year, resolutions are often made. I relish whatever opportunity comes along to see improvement in my life, so each year i give it a shot. I vow to pray more, workout more, or stay away from sugar, for example. I typically do fine for a few days, or a few weeks, or if I'm really lucky, a few months. But then, in the end, i fail and everything seems lost. I only see that I faltered. I end up depressed and don't even see the times when I accomplished what i set out to do.
In the Psalms, David says "create in me a clean heart, renew within me a resolute spirit." I have also been very resolute in trying to become good or holy or whatever. I have been determined to make myself clean by whatever means necessary. But David was onto something. He seemed to understand that the only way his resolutions would hold up was for God to make his spirit resolute.
With the coming year, i am praying for a resolute spirit (I don't even know what that means, but I'm hoping to come to know). I am just trusting that where my determination gives out, God's forgiveness and strength pick up. It seems that our resolutions are flimsy unless they are held up by divine strength and forgiveness. So, my prayer for you all is that a resolute spirit would take you down the paths you wish to follow this year.
I am starting out this next year by spending the months of January and February doing another recording. I am really excited about the songs and looking forward to the whole process.
The devotional that i was fortunate to get to be a part of writing is slated to come out in August. I am excited to see it, read it, and critique the malarky I wrote.
I will also be doing a good number of concerts once again. Next fall, I am planning an extensive "full on" tour. Whatever that means, I am really looking forward to it coming together. I love to perform live. It is my opportunity to get out there and rub shoulders with you all. It is a blessing to get to present Jesus to people through concerts and I am constantly ministered to by those that I come in contact with. I am richly blessed to get to do this as a vocation.
Thank you all so very much for you support, your care, and your prayers. I look forward to crossing paths with you somewhere, sometime.
Peace of Christ,