Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Beginings - Happy Endings

Are you ready for this New Year, 2011?

If you want to start the new decade right, close the last decade strong. God is just as passionate about happy endings as he is about new beginnings.

John Maxwell says, "Finishing is just as important as starting. They are the book ends to what you believe God is calling you to do."

It is 100% natural to jump into the new thing. Ever start a project only to leave it mid way? Whether it's boredom, distraction, frustration or exhaustion; it's much easier to pick up something new. We easily find reasons to move on to new things, and leave things undone. When you do what is fun and new, your excitement is renewed. After a while, you are busy with the many new projects in front of you.

This is especially evident during the Christmas holidays in the life of my children. My kiddos have been blessed with so many gifts that they want to open them all and play. Christmas presents are unwrapped and everywhere! Before long every little toy, game, trinket is opened, assemble and ready to be played with. My kids who have just finished singing on the karaoke machine have not put away their game pieces on the table, only to find that they are ready to grab their coats and play outside. As they are bundling up for winter weather, I would gently have to remind them, "Before moving on to the next thing, you must make sure you finished cleaning up your last project! If you don't do that first, you will come back to a big mess!"

First Things First:

I am always asking God to do new things, why because I love NEW things! I'm just like my little ones who want to move on to the new. Sometimes I hear the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit say; "Eileen, can you remember the last thing you asked for? Are we done with that yet? Have you completed what I gave you to do?"

Benjamin Franklin said, "To succeed one must jump at opportunities as you do conclusions."

What is God trying to finish in your life?

"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." Phil 1:6 MSG

Strong Finish:

Christ shouted, "It is Finished!" as he hung on the cross. Sin was dealt with, Christ's mission was complete, and people could now receive a New Covenant.

How about making sure we close some doors by forgiving some people, filing some receipts, and completing our goals? When we walk through the open doors God has for us in 2011, let's believe for God to get ultimate glory out of our lives!

Jesus said to the Father, " I glorified you on the earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do." John 17:4 MSG

Let's start this NEW decade right.

May we each have a Happy New Year!

your sis and friend,



Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Homes for the Holidays

Winter frost often brings wandering travelers back home for the holidays. There is something unique when family comes together during Christmas time. As you gather at the family table this year, maybe you are celebrating the arrival of a new baby or the loss of loved ones. These winds of change can bring tears of joy or tears of sadness. And yet all families share this in common, that time spent with relatives can often bring out the best in us or the worst in us. One thing is true: family is forever! So how do you please this busy bunch for the holidays? What gifts can you give to your family that they can cherish for a lifetime?

As you scramble to find the perfect presents for the people you love, let me suggest four precious gifts to give your family during this holiday season:

#1 The Gift of Listening- Don’t be the first to share your opinion or solve life’s problems, but how about this year giving the gift of listening? We have two ears and one mouth, and yet we talk a lot more than we listen. Don’t you feel valued when God listens to you? Listening is much more detailed then hearing. It takes focus and understanding. As we effectively listen, we can effectively pray. As my 8-year-old Trinity told me, “Mom, we learn so much from listening.”

#2 The Gift of Life- Proverbs says, we have a choice to poison people with the words that come from our mouths or we have an opportunity to give life (Proverbs18:21). It’s easy to be critical, factual, and judgmental because we live in a negative, fallen world. Speaking words of life, making hope tangible is a priceless gift. Selecting to speak God’s choice words will be a life-giving gift to those who sit in our living rooms. We all need a little encouragement through our winter season. Become a life support! You maybe someone’s only hope to survive his or her greatest storm.

#3 The Gift of Love- Let me tell you what to give folks that are opinionated, offended, wounded, and even difficult at times; this gift never fails. It happens to be the greatest gift of all! It accepts the unlovely, it embraces the abrasive, and most of all it makes a seat at the table for the hungry. Love creates an atmosphere that covers shame, releases debts, and forgives wrong. Remember when Christ gave us this perfect gift? It is a costly present but it will be appreciated from the youngest to the oldest.

#4 The Gift of Laughter- Having fun with your family has to be a part of our plan. Try not to major on your differences, remember that you will have each other for years to come. Create new family traditions, share clean jokes, play games, laugh out loud, and make special memories. Laughing is contagious and I found out, you have to learn to laugh. It doesn’t even have to start out funny but by the end you will be picking your self up, off the floor and wiping your eyes because you just can’t stop laughing. Laughter is a good medicine (proverbs 17:22 ). This is a gift we all desperately need to unwrap especially during the holidays.

As you remember the song, Bing Crosby made popular, “I’ll be home for Christmas” it is my prayer that your homes are filled with great comfort and joy. From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Your Sister and Friend,

Eileen Hunter