Tag Archive: new year

Interrupt the Rot


It is 2 days to go til 2015.

In some ways, most ways actually, nothing really changes when the clock hand ticks off that final second. As a South African, i can be assured that Australians, New Zealanders and more have been experiencing 2015 for hours, and that it will be another ten hours after i do before my friends in Oakland, where we lived for more than half of this year, will be arriving at their own 2015.

It’s just another day.

But also it’s not.

Mentally, emotionally, maybe even spiritually, there is a whole lot more going on and it is a great opportunity to seize, like the wriggly diem that it is, with both hands and make the absolute most of it.

i call it a life stock take and the end of a year, beginning of a year, is a great time to do it, because in our minds something changes.

It is the opportunity for a fresh start in many ways.

And i am not talking about New Year’s Lie-o-lutions. Altho in the past, i have called them Evolutions, and come up with some great posts on ideas of things you might want to change or put in place.

Don’t make ‘promises’, make plans.

If you’re married, this can be a great activity to do with your person as they can help keep you accountable. And if you’re not, you may want to suggest a good friend joins you and you do this together.

Set an hour or two aside in the next day or so. Look at some different aspects of your life [can use a different page for each one] – good habits you would like to keep up or strengthen, bad habits you would like to remove, how you spend your time, how you spend your money, who are the voices you invite to speak into your life, who are you mentoring, how is your eating or your exercise, your sport or your play, any addictions that need some attention [from smoking or drinking or gambling to things like World of Warcraft, Golf or sport-watching, how is your relationship with God, are you reading books written by people of a different race or culture or perspective than your own, who do you need to forgive or ask forgiveness from.

And probably 100 more. Those are just some ideas to get you going.

The point is to stop for a bit. To interrupt the norm. To create the space to catch things you don’t want to be part of your day to day. To create the foundation for 2015 to be a most excellent year.

i would LOVE to hear how it goes…

‘It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.’ [Terry Pratchett]

finally, the busyness fades away

quietly into the distance

and there is a space and time to slow down

to reflect

to be still and know

that which i already know

but which, in the rush

of the ordered out activities of the day

of the foolishness of harsh words with someone i love

or simply the pressure of trying to create a space to be this still

is quickly and so easily pushed to the side


to once again be reminded of the Love of a Saviour

of the faithfulness of a Loving Father

of the active Presence of a Holy Spirit

of the Truth of what I know and believe to be true


As the world does its best to go crazy outside

There is a certain comfort in just being

And knowing

And remembrance-ing

And reading

And listening

And praying

both together and alone

in helping create a space

and carving out a space of time

in helping others gain focus

and taking time to refocus

in turning down the lights

and lighting up the candles


in praying with a friend

and together praying for a friend

and receiving prayer from a friend


and so i read, ‘if there is any encouragement in Christ…’

IF there is..?

There is EVERY encouragement in Christ!

It is Christ in me, that is the hope of glory

The only hope I have

Not by works

Certainly not by anything i have done, or achieved

To somehow try to keep me humble

To remind me that i have no boast here

No brag that won’t immediately get me laughed out the room

It is all Him

He must always become greater

As i become less

And take steps backward

So that all focus is on Him

As i remain quietly

Hidden in the shadow of the cross…


and see myself once again in Him

and am offered the opportunity of a new year

not simply another year

a new one

the chance to start fresh

to clean up

to clear out

to throw off everything that hinders

the sin that so easily entangles

and to run once more with perseverance

the race marked out for me

to return to my first love

and see my lukewarm move to hot

to be salt and light and the fragrance of Him

to all those who wander across my path


what about you?

will you head into a new year with me?

Not another year.

you really don’t want to settle for less

when He has told you, you are worth so much more


hold my hand, walk with me

it won’t be easy, i don’t imagine

but it will be everything of good

why would anyone be happy with less?


you coming? i think it’s time…

another way of evolving or transforming your life towards the better in 2012 is this:


i don’t think i know anyone who laughs too much.

i know people who smile A LOT and who seem to be perpetually happy and unphased by life and they are really refreshing to be around. and i’m not talking about people pretending nothing is ever wrong – they still have bad days and hard times and definitely get frustrated on occasion and cry when the situation calls for it… but in the neutral times, they have a joy that just pours out of them and infects those around them. is this you?

there is a distinct difference between happiness and joy and i believe it is this:

# happiness is situation or context dependent – so if i am having a good day i am happy, if i am eating ice-cream i am happy, if i find twenty bucks in the street i am happy, but if i get caught in traffic or i fail an exam or someone misunderstands my intentions then i get sad or depressed or angry.

# whereas joy is a deeper experience that goes beyond feeling and is situation or context irrelevant – so things can be going badly, but aware of who i am and God’s great love for me and all the privilege and advantage i have in life, i am still upbeat and hopeful and often happy as well. so joy can be expressed in happiness, but more often than not would be expressed by a lack of the expected emotion [anger, depression, irritability] when things are not going so well. joy comes as an overflow of a solid foundation on God and His word and promises and truth and is also more likely to be found where there is significant community

there are some people who are always whining, complaining, negative facebook status/twitter’ing – don’t be like them – i challenged a friend of mine on facebook cos we felt that her statuses [stati?] were negative maybe half the time and she responded by unfriending me and i am okay with that [room for one more] but i hope that even by bringing it to light she will be challenged to think about it and hopefully have an ‘aha’ realisation moment that leads to her being more intentionally positive from now on. the thing about being constantly negative or brought down by circumstances is that people eventually stop wanting to hang around with you, which will lead to greater sadness, disappointment depression and so it just feeds itself – but by being intentionally joyfilled we uplift others around us which often leads to us being further uplifted and so it becomes an upward spiral.

so in 2012 find reasons to laugh, to smile, to make others laugh – think carefully about how you speak to people [do you tend to uplift or criticise, mock, joke negatively, bring down] and how you write your stati [statuses?] and tweets and create opportunities that will help others to find happiness and laughter and be built up in their own joy

as the writer says in the psalms, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ [118.24]

and a great way to be living this out is to make others laugh because it is highly contagious – think of something you can do today to make someone else really happy or give someone a great reason to break out in a raucous laugh…

[oh and one specific way that might help you to laugh is by checking out the brad fish ‘Dangerous Things’ videos if you haven’t like this one on how violins can be so subtly dangerous, and sharing them with your friends]

continue on to the next one about dreaming and helping others live theirs…

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