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January 9, 2014, 2:27 PM

I am resolved to..........


Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Ahhh....New Year's is now upon us. By the time you read this we will have made our resolutions. Perhaps it was to loose weight, to stop smoking or to go to church every Sunday and Special Services (hey... I just had to put that one in.....lol).

If you know me, and now after 18 months you're getting glimpses, you find I am a planner and very goal oriented.  They are a few things I bring with me after 35 plus years in the corporate world where one must be that way. I finished planning out the Lenten season and Holy Week just before Christmas and now I am working on my weekly bible studies. But what about my goals?  What about your goals?

I have always found it good to reacquaint myself with the purpose I do things....sort of my job description. I look at and study what I am called to do. I am called to preach and teach the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am called to serve you all as your pastor and sheepdog. There are a lot of "things" that make up those calls. Many times our calls  in the "heat of the battle" , yes our lives as Christians really are battles, we get distracted. I often say we take our eye off of the prize. This happens many ways...just ask is the task furthering God's work or plan? I don't know about you all but my path, or should I say journey on that path, is one that is zigzagged.  Yes, as I look back I have been distracted by many a squirrel!

Yup, I know you all find it hard to believe (NOT!) that I can get distracted.  Maybe it was the heating system that stopped working, or the blower that did not  blow, or the chain in the toilet that broke. Maybe it was the internet that stopped working or the song that I just had to sing. Oh and then there's the cup of coffee I left in the microwave or in my coffee maker.   All of this while I was writing a sermon or perhaps the January Providence Post article.  SQUIRREL!  

 As far as I know Jesus is the only one born that knew why he was here. He never lost sight of his goal...his purpose....never. Just in the Gospel of John we are reminded that Jesus talked about his "hour" not yet coming 20 times....yes twenty! His first time when he was confronted with not enough wine at the marriage in Cana and the last in his prayer to God for his disciples and us in John 17:1-26. He never let the squirrel get him. He knew his divine purpose and he lived and stuck by it!  He kept his eyes on the prize...his hour...the hour(s) of the cross. He came to make good on the covenant God made with Abraham. He came to die for us to cleanse our sins so we might live with him in paradise eternally. He boldly walked his path and his was a straight line! He never lost his drive, his steadfastness, his love. Oh, he got frustrated be he never veered off path.   

My goal this year is to walk the path straighter, to not get distracted and not grow weary. I pray I don't get caught chasing the side issues and that I stay on task.  You see Jesus received all the "authority in heaven and on earth" and we are called to listen to him....to obey him.I pray I don't get caught in the arguments of the day or the distractions that are thrown at me. I pray and make my goal that if I do the things I am called to do that if some don't believe, it is OK, I just shake the sand off of my sandals and move on to the next task at hand.  I pray I trust the Holy Spirit does the work of change of heart and gives me the strength of heart to keep on keeping on!

I set as my goal that I devote an hour to prayer each day. I pray that by my example you all will devote an hour a day to prayer. Maybe not right off of the bat but in time. Start with five minutes and build.  When I pray the alphabet prayer it consumes 35 minutes just for you folks at Providence.  If you can't pray ... devote the time to doing God's work. I urge you to read Jesus' prayer for us in John 17:1-26.  Study it, think about it and keep it in your heart. When you get distracted be reminded that you are protected and given the strength of Jesus Christ. Then you can with that power, all that authority worship God fully, Love everyone like yourself and GO ....GO and answer the Great Commission. Remembering, Jesus is always with you, to the end of the age.

I pray you have a joyous and wonderful New Year! I look forward to seeing you on the journey this year.


Pastor Ken


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