Welcome to September!
At the beginning of 2019, I may have shared, I have attempted to use my “planner calendar” as a planner.
I use the term attempted because I have not done a 100% job of it, but I have maintained the effort and done better than if I had not tried at all.
And in that little sentence is a whole lot of life growth and healing and forward progression because I tend to quit if I can’t do it the way I had hoped so … high five for transformations, amen?
I have started about 50% of the months so far with a focused goal setting and recap of how I have followed up on previous plans and I actually did that this weekend so…
September…I see you and I am ready for you <3
We just came off a busy two weeks/weekends and I have some issues to work out with the technology side of this website space we gather together in during the week that I will be attacking this morning.
I would so very much appreciate some prayers for understanding and wisdom as I attempt to do some work on the backside of Journey Onward to keep the site running smoothly.
Thank you in advance for those.
And now for some musings from my readings this morning and then I shall be doing tech stuff for which I have zero interest, training or skill….sigh….
I have been working on a daily reading plan provided by our church recently and one of the passages today tugged at my heart.
Paul is writing a letter to the church in Corinth (and really…to all of us who have chosen to follow Christ) and he is expressing his heart for them to hold on to the Gospel.
Here are two translations and I am emphasizing the words in bold caps that jumped out at me:
Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand and by which you are being saved, IF YOU HOLD TO THE MESSAGE I PREACHED TO YOU – UNLESS YOU BELIEVED IN VAIN.1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NASB
Friends, let me go over the Message with you one final time – this Message that I proclaimed and that you made your own; this Message on which you took your stand and by which your life has been saved. (I AM ASSUMING, NOW, THAT YOUR BELIEF WAS THE REAL THING AND NOT A PASSING FANCY, THAT YOU’RE IN THIS FOR GOOD AND HOLDING FAST.)
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 MSG
As I read those passages this morning, the point of the reading plan was that the Gospel is important to declare, but what gripped my heart was Paul’s heart.
He is obviously sharing the Good News one more time, yet again…with believers.
And in his words that I have highlighted I tried to grasp what name I would give the emotion that fuels his words and it seemed to my heart he is expressing a deep fear of disappointment.
He fears the ones who had taken a stand because they heard the Gospel and believed have now turned away.
As I sat thinking of my own disappointments and what disappointment and fear of disappointment can feel like, I got curious about the word itself.
I know for me the essence of it is expressed in a phrase I have become familiar with personally and I hear voiced by sweet and dear and precious friends and fellow believers a lot lately…
- “Things just didn’t turn out the way we had hoped”
- “It’s not what we signed up for”
- “This isn’t what I thought our life would look like”
Maybe you have you own phrasing so pause a minute and let it settle in your heart.
And then think about that feeling and Paul and his writing to the Church of Jesus Christ as he tried to fight discouragement so that he could encourage.
According to our old Webster’s dictionary I gleaned these insights:
Dis – the Roman god of the underworld…interesting isn’t it?
dis-as a prefix is “the opposite of”: so disappoint is to have the opposite of what was arranged.
Disappoint: to fail to meet the expectation or hope of; frustrated.
In a lovely book called “Family Word Finder” that I scored at a garage sale from our dear friends the Kents, I find these added pieces of information:
letdown, failure, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, fiasco, disaster, thwarted expectation, miscarriage of plan, unrealization, unfulfillment, loss, frustration, setback, dissatisfaction, defeat, fizzle.
Certainly does seem the calling card of the god of the underworld, doesn’t it?
So Paul is wondering if those he is encouraging were just on board for the short haul.
I relate to the last term the most … fizzle…makes me think of the old Alka-seltzer tablets and how they were all full of energy and action when you dropped them in the water but then…they fizzle out.
Disappointment is usually a process…a slow fade where a dream or hope or expectation just fizzles out.
And I want to join with Paul and urge you who have taken a stand…remember the Gospel that once stirred your heart and moved you with passion for Jesus.
Remind yourself and others believers frequently, even as you continue to pray and seek to share the Good News with the lost..because if we do not spur one another on…we will fizzle out.
This story of our redemption and salvation never gets old and boring…let it sink deep into your soul today…
As Paul would say:
The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time…
1 Corinthians 15: 4-5 The Message
Read it for yourself today and then tell someone…He is alive and He lives to intercede for us today that we would stand and when we have done all…we will remain standing in Him by His grace and mercy…in His power.