Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Remember, Seek, Surrender

for the new year ... continued

The dawn of a new decade is an excellent time for reflection.  I consider, for example, that it was the dawn of the last decade that I started an interesting journey.  There were many points of beginning on that path, but this time I will tell you about how it began in 2003 with a beautiful lady who was prompted by God to take me under her wing.  Though she did not know me, she invited me to be a part of her small group.  Because she did not know me, she could not have known the impact that this invitation would have or how that small group would forever change my life.  It was called simply Boundariesand the things that I learned there and the fellowship that I experienced invited me into a relationship with the body of Christ that I hadn't dreamed possible before, a relationship of knowing and being known.  It was there that I first experienced discipleship; there that I came to thrive in the practice of accountability.  Furthermore, it was in that group that God gently called me to recovery and to ministry in one unmistakable revelation of Himself.  God used Boundaries to open my eyes to the slavery in which I lived - and to call me out.  I have since been involved in a 12 step program - for almost 8 years now - and I will always be involved in offering Boundaries and the hope of recovery to others, in some form or fashion.  It saved my life.  Literally.  And it offered me hope.

That is a very shortened version of my story because tonight I want to write about something else.  My reflections have brought me back to one of our group traditions, a tradition for the new year.  Around October and through the holidays we would begin to pray and to ask God for, and to focus our devotional study in search of, a particular verse or passage, God's vision for the upcoming year.  My mentor had been practicing this tradition for some time, and many were the stories she could share as to how God spoke to her in this simple act of seeking, study and meditation.  As a group she encouraged us to participate with her and now, nearly 8 years later, though I have moved over 3,000 miles away, this is a tradition I continue and adore.  Now, many are the stories I can share about God and the ways He has spoken to me through this simple act of seeking.  He has been faithful to offer His vision for me and over my year, a focus, a message, a promise or a lesson, for nearly each of the last 8 years.

The title of this blog is actually the title of a "sermon" that God gave me as I studied the passages for 2010, verses from Deuteronomy.  But before I get ahead of myself, I confess that I got a late start this year; I am still seeking the passage that will shape and form me and cast vision for this gift He has given me in life circa 2011.  As I do, and in keeping with what I have learned - to remember, seek, and surrender - I thought I would take the time to write a series of blogs that reflect on each of the passages that have come before.  I hope to find this discipline helpful for establishing the mindset of a new year and a new decade, but perhaps it will also encourage those around me to take advantage of such an opportunity as well.

I may make these posts here or I may put them up on The Crimson Sparrow.  I haven't decided yet.  But one thing I have decided, in the year and decade to come, I am committed to Remembering what God has done and the covenant He has called me to; Seeking Him, His heart, His purposes, His vision for my life; and Surrendering myself to His plan, His will, and His presence.  Remember, Seek, Surrender - that is how you take the land, the Kingdom of Heaven.  Amen!

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