It is late, the house is quiet, my new cat, Tux (for "tuxedo cat") lies under the bed snoring peacefully, and I am contemplating the year past, the year present, the year future.
The past year was rough in places for me, and I'm sure parts were rough for you, too - that's the way life is. I haven't posted since losing Katrina, and left the Job study unposted, but not forgotten - I will share the rest of it, eventually. Unfortunately, my health has kept me from doing a lot. I seem to have lost a great deal physically since the cardiac event. I'm slowly working on regaining some ground, and would welcome your prayers in that direction. But God (one of my favorite phrases from the Bible) as always, has been upholding me through thick and thin. He comforts in the darkest of nights, and enhances the brightest of days.
I truly don't know how people make it without Him.
I have family members who have yet to meet Him - and I ache inside, and pray fervently for Jesus to open the eyes of their understanding. The way this world is going, it doesn't seem likely that we can long continue before we are Raptured out of here - and the doors of grace are closed. It scares me to contemplate those I love facing Tribulation times alone.
And that brings me to my choosing of the word to live by in 2014. The word I've chose is "attention."
I don't want days to slip by in a blur, taking things (and people) for granted. I want to purposely pay attention - to friendships, to things to write, sketch, watercolor, to loving.
Every person born has an expiration date.
And I would bet that 90% of us have no clue it is approaching.
It is not a topic that draws us in - most of us would rather ignore the subject, blundering from day to day taking for granted mothers and fathers, husbands or wives, children or friends or whether we are living according to God's standards rather than the world's. So many things in the modern world that would have been unthinkable 50 years ago are accepted without qualms today.
For some things, the change has been good - racial discrimination for one.
For far too many others, it has simply erased the line between right and wrong. It's the frog-in-the-pot syndrome. Degree by degree, God has been erased from our society under the name of "tolerance".
But "tolerance" in this country has come to involve everything but Christianity. It has commanded Christians not only to "tolerate" but to support and enhance things that God calls an abomination - from fornication to abortion to homosexuality, Christians are to ignore things that God took the time to record in His Word as sin.
And God does not ignore such things.
He judges them.
Yes, He is a merciful, gracious God.
But His grace and mercy have a limit.
And when it is reached, horror will descend.
Just a light reading of the Revelation tells of 1/3 of the population destroyed by a meteor strike, including 1/3 of the ships at sea, and the animals in the sea. Then drought takes 1/3 more - billions of people each time. And that's just for starters.
And the USA is nowhere mentioned in end time scenarios. Nowhere. Yet the middle east countries continue, seemingly without problems.
That means that the 1/3 of the world that is destroyed is far enough away from them for them to continue onward . Which paints a big red "X" on the USA.
Which brings me again to my choice of word for 2014.
I want to pay attention. I want to be faithful in prayer for those who don't want anything to do with Him. To pray for my country and it's rulers. To pray for one more period of Grace that would bring a revival of a "Jesus movement" to this country.
And I want my example to further His kingdom, not ignore it. When God says something is wrong, it's wrong. Period. No amount of tolerance will change that fact. And it is no kindness to be tolerant of someone on their way to eternal pain and darkness.
LORD, please open my eyes, bend my knees, flood my heart with desire to do Your will, to intercede for the things dearest to Your heart, to choose obedience when tolerance would be an easier place to stand. Give me holy courage, faithfulness and a bold heart. I ask for this in the Name of the One Who died to pay for the things that tolerance shelters, Jesus my LORD and King. Amen.